Tour du Mont Blanc Guided Walks

Bespoke Guided Walk Overview

Everything you need to know in order to plan your bespoke Tour du Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest mountain at 4,810 metres.

The oldest recording of a journey around Mont Blanc, (White Mountain) goes to Horace Benedict de Saussure, a Swiss Geologist, who undertook the journey in 1767 (aged 27). Since then each of the surrounding peaks have attracted climbers and the journey around the mountain has attracted those seeking adventure, solitude, or both!The tour offers you the chance to visit France, Switzerland and Italy. The cultural and physical differences in each of these countries becomes immediately obvious as you enter them, the past physical barrier meant that for much of each year it was impossible to travel from one area to the other. Now, between June and September each year, when the snow recedes to around 3,000 metres altitude, the passes open up and the journey may be completed in warm temperatures and fairly settled weather conditions.

Please note the guided walks are aimed at families and groups only. Sorry but we don’t cater for individuals.

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.

 Day 7 – R. Bonatti to Courmayeur

We follow the traditional TMB route up into a rock amphitheatre before climbing to the Col Sapin. This place is very special to me, the one place on the TMB where you will find the ‘Stella Alpina’ (Eidelweiss) growing in it’s natural environment on the rocky mountainside. We descend through forests, passing donkeys, goats and sheep before arriving in Courmayeur for a 2 night stay. 12km, 800m ascent/1400m descent. 6.5 hrs.

Day 8 – Courmayeur rest day

We take a ride on the cable car up to the glacier, visit the spa at Pre st Didier. Then another cable car up to an outdoor swimming pool for a sun bathe and swim or just walk along the old pedestrianised high street of Courmayeur for coffee and ‘Gelato’. In the evening we’ll stroll over to Dolonne and have dinner in one of the restaurants in this quiet mountain village.

Day 9 – Courmayeur to Refuge Mottets (France)

Climbing above the Val Veny offers fantastic close up views of Mont Blanc and the glaciere Miage below. We drop into the Val Veny high up and after a stop at the Rifugio Elizabetta we continue our climb to arrive at the Col du Seine, the border of Italy and France. An hour and a half descent brings us to the Refuge Mottets and our overnight stay. 14 kilometres, 1500m climb/1200m decent. 8 hrs.

Day 10 – Refuge Mottets to Refuge Nant Borrant

We follow the glacial waters along the valley for half an hour before beginning a steady climb to the Col du Fours. You should be lucky and see Ibex on this relatively quiet section. From the Col, our joint highest point on the circuit, we are only 25 minutes from the Refuge Bonhomme and lunch! After lunch we contour around the mountain for an hour before starting our descent into the valley below to arrive at the Refuge Nant Borant (home of ‘Oggy’). Please note you’ll have to book a trek if you want to know more! 15km, 900m ascent/1000m descent. 8 hrs..

Day 11 – Refuge Nant Borrant to Les Houches

This morning we start with a walk down an ancient Roman road to arrive at the the Notre Dame de la Gorge church. We continue along the valley to the village of Contamines and a coffee stop. Then we climb through the forest to the Auberge de Bionnassay for lunch. After lunch we continue up a short way to cross the cog railway that runs from Saint Gervais up to the Nidge Aiguille (you may spot a few eagles nests here) on route to the Goutier Hut. You now have the option of a pleasant descent into Les Houches or cable car if you want an early finish. 14km,

Day 12 – Les Houches to Chamonix

Today we have a steady climb that will once again bring us to the Plan Praz Cable car, via Brevent, and some stunning views of the Bossons Glacier as well as the Aiguille du Midi, Mont Maudit, Mont Blanc du Tacal and Mont Blanc. A great place to picnic! After lunch we continue over Brevent and down to Plan Praz. Use the return portion of your ticket to descend into Chamonix and return to the Hotel Richmonde for the final night. 12km, 1300m ascent/500m descent. 7 hrs.

Day 13 – Departure after breakfast

We have reached the end of your Tour du Mont Blanc guided walk. We say our goodbyes and head home.

Included:

  • Guiding services each day
  • Half board accommodation in a mixture of hotels and refuges on the tour
  • Bed & Breakfast during stay in hotels in Chamonix/Courmayeur
  • Assistance with arranging in-country transfers to/from airports or rail terminals.

Excluded:

  • Transfer to start point, from airport. (currently 24 euro single from Geneva)
  • Cable car (17 euro return)
  • Baggage transfer (around 170 euro for a 15kg case)
  • Single room supplements in hotels
  • Evening meal on the arrival day and on return to Chamonix (also rest day in Courmayeur if taking the rest day)
  • Lunches each day – picnics can be purchased at huts, usually costing 9-15 euro.
  • Transfer from end of trip.

Additional Information

Information on how to arrive at Chamonix or Courmayeur from any airport/rail station will be included in your welcome instructions on receipt of booking.

£2560 per person price based on minimum group of 6 persons, shared twin/double room on 9 hotel nights and dormitory style accommodation (bunk beds) on 3 hut nights. Single supplements are only possible on the nights in hotels.​​​

Dates available

These walks run any time from June-September available during any day of the week.

 Included:

  • Guiding services each day
  • Half board accommodation in a mixture of hotels and refuges on the tour
  • Bed & breakfast during your stay in a hotels in Chamonix/Courmayeur
  • Assistance with arranging in-country transfers to/from airports or rail terminals

Excluded:

  • Transfer to start point, from airport. (currently 24 euro single from Geneva)
  • Cable car (17 euro return)
  • Evening meal on the arrival day and on return to Chamonix (also rest day in Courmayeur if taking the rest day)
  • Lunches each day – picnics can be purchased at huts, usually costing 9-15 euro
  • Transfer from end of trip

If you are traveling as a couple or family of 4, 6 or 8 there are limited private rooms available in some huts. Please ask prior to booking if you would prefer this option (subject to availability and additional costs of around 10-15 euro per person per night).

£1700 per person based on minimum group of 6 persons, shared twin/double room on 9 hotel nights and dormitory style accommodation (bunk beds) on 3 hut nights. Single supplements are only possible on the nights in hotels.​​​

Additional Information

Information on how to arrive at Chamonix or Courmayeur from any airport/rail station will be included in your welcome instructions on receipt of booking. 

Dates available

These walks run any time from June-September available during any day of the week.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is suitable for anyone who is a regular walker. You will need to carry a medium sized rucksack (a maximum of 30 Litres in size) and the total weight based on the kit list provided should not exceed 10 kilograms.

How long will we be walking for each day?

You should expect to be trekking for 5-8 hours per day, based on a walking speed of 3 kilometres per hour, known to some as ‘Alpine plod’. It’s not a race and there is plenty of time for taking in the scenery and stopping for picnic lunches on route. The tracks and paths are rocky in places, but of good quality.

Can we customise the experience?

Alpine Walk’s guided walking tours are all about the personal touch. We will plan your journey along a range of different routes that provide different challenges based on what you want from your walking break. Do you want the best views? Do you want the chance to experience some of the local wildlife?

You should also consider the different types of accommodation available on these routes. Spending a night in a hut does not necessarily involve sharing a dormitory with 30 other people! Some huts have smaller private rooms.

Things to consider:

  • Start in Chamonix, France or Courmayeur, Italy?
  • Go clockwise or anti clockwise?
  • Full circuit or half circuit?
  • Hotels, huts or a combination?
  • When to go?

So if you are considering this journey and need to discuss your requirements, please feel free to contact us. We’ll arrange a chat on Skype to discuss your personal tour.

Tour du Mont Blanc Guided Walks From £1,780 Per Person

Basic requirements:

Max group size is 12

Suitable for anyone who is a regular walker carrying a medium rucksack (max 30 litres).

You'll spend 5-8 hours walking per day at a moderate walking pace.