Sample Tour du Mont Blanc Itinerary
The itinerary below is based on a 12 day clockwise tour starting and finishing in Chamonix, France, 3 nights in huts and 9 hotel nights..
Day 1 – Arrival at Chamonix
Arrive at Chamonix and check into the Hotel Richmonde. Meet your guide, who will run through the itinerary in more detail and answer any questions you may have. We finish with a short stroll into town for dinner.
Day 2 – Chamonix to Argentiere
Leaving Chamonix, we take the cable car up to Plan Praz at 2000 metres We start the grand tour with a climb of just under 500 metres towards the Aiguille de la Charlanon before turning towards Lac Blanc for lunch. The ‘White Lake’, is the prime spot from which to view the Mont Blanc massif from the French side. After lunch there are opportunities to spot Ibex as we descend into Argentiere. Distance of 12 kilometres, ascent 800m/descent 1100m.
Day 3 – Argentiere to Trient, Switzerland
Leaving our hotel, we walk through the old village of Argentiere and up to Montroc. Then a steady climb through the Pine forest rewards us with a view of Le Tour, and the Le Tour glacier. After a coffee break in one of the ‘Alpage’s’ we continue up to the Col du Balme refuge, the border with Switzerland. After lunch, spent gazing down the length of the Chamonix valley, we continue up for about 30 minutes to the Tete de Balme 2,321m. Beyond, our descent begins through Alpine pastures, inhabited by grazing cattle, giving way to the pine forests before arriving in Trient. A final short climb brings us to the Col du Forclaz and our hotel. Distance 9 Kilometres and 1200 metres ascent/1100m descent.
Day 4 – Trient to Champex Lac
The Bovine Route (800 metre ascent, 6 hrs) with a lunch stop at the ‘Alpage’, is the easier option. Alternatively, if the weather is suitable and the group are feeling strong, there is the Finetre d’Arpette (1200m, 8 hrs) with its glacial views. Either route ends at the Hotel Splendide in Champex Lac.
Day 5 – Champex Lac to La Fouly
An easier day with an initial drop through forests to the valley floor. Our afternoon is spent on an easy incline following the valley up through a series of farming villages, over a long extinct terminal moraine and narrow paths above the river to arrive in the small resort of La Fouly. We then lodge overnight in a hotel.
Day 6 – La Fouly to Valle Ferret (Italy)
This morning we climb to the Grand Col Ferret, the border of Switzerland & Italy. We are now crossing into the western flank of the Mont Blanc massif. A chance to see the glaciers close up and some of the impressive rock formations that make up the Grande Jourasse. There are huts to stop at throughout the journey for refreshments. Our first hut stay is in the Rifugio Bonatti, named after the famous Italian climber and explorer Walter Bonatti. Distance 14 kilometres and 1200m up/1000m decent, 7.5 hrs.