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Tour du Mont Blanc Trek Highlights
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Highlights

  • Walking Europe's classic long distance trek through France, Italy and Switzerland
  • Wonderful alpine views at every twist and turn of the trail
  • Charming hotels of character offering great food and an authentic mountain welcome
  • Being part of the buzz in the vibrant town of Chamonix, the outdoors sporting capital of France
  • Comfortable hotel and auberge accommodation in private rooms and included bag transfer

Since The Tour du Mont Blanc was inaugurated as a GR in 1952 it has gained a reputation as one of the world’s classic treks. This route around Mont Blanc through France, Switzerland and Italy explores takes in the very best sections of the Tour du Mont Blanc.

On our Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort trek you will stay in private twin/double rooms in carefully selected three star hotels and two auberge in a private room. Walking in the standard anti-clockwise direction you will cover 6 days of the best walking of the Tour du Mont Blanc, using ski lifts and public transport to skip some sections so that you can spend your time on the very best sections of the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Starting from Les Houches in France your first morning of walking is dominated by the Dôme du Goûter and Aiguille de Bionnasay as you pass just beneath the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay on your way to Les Contamines. After a good night’s sleep your walk continues from Notre Dame de la Gorge over the airy Col de la Croix du Bonhomme to Les Chapieux. The next day you climb the Col de la Seigne into Italy, where you will be greeted by the glaciers of the Mont Blanc Massif pouring steeply into the Val Veni, rewarding your efforts with some of the best views of the TMB. Courmayeur, the stylish capital of the Italian Alps, is your next stop. A short bus transfer to Arnuva in the heart of the beautiful Val Ferret precedes the climb over Grand Col Ferret which brings you to Switzerland and then Champex after a short transfer.

The next day’s walk to Trient via Alp Bovine gives sensational views of the Rhone Valley or you can choose the challenging variant via Fenetre d’ Arpette, a highlight of the Tour du Mont Blanc for many. Your final day on the Tour du Mont Blanc from Trient over the Col de Balme to the Camonix Valley is one of superlatives, boasting fine views of Mont Blanc and the Mer de Glace, Argentière and many other glaciers of the Mont Blanc Massif. Your final night is spent in Chamonix, the heart of French and indeed Alpine mountaineering.

The Highlights of the Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort is ideal if you want to experience the best of the Tour du Mont Blanc in a week staying in comfortable accommodation. Accommodation is in comfortable three star hotels each night except on two nights in Les Chapieux/Mottets and Trient where you will have a private room in a comfortable and friendly auberge. Detailed information packs, a guidebook, IGN maps and local emergency support are all included. Daily door to door baggage transfer is included.

DAY 1: Arrive Les Houches

The pretty Alpine village of Les Houches is easily accessible by either train or shuttle from Geneva Airport in just over an hour. On arrival you can settle into your comfortable three star hotel, stroll through the town and get ready for your adventure on the Tour du Mont Blanc.


Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Du Bois***, Les Houches


Enjoying a wonderful outlook the 3* Hotel du Bois offers comfortable rooms, great food and has a sauna and swimming pool.


DAY 2: Les Houches - Les Contamines

Your trek starts with either a climb from Les Houches out of the Chamonix Valley to Bellevue(1801m) or a quick 10 minute ride on the Bellevue telepherique (1801m) where you join the Tour du Mont Blanc.


At Bellevue you have the option of taking the tough route via Chalet de Miage, which is dominated by the Dôme du Goûter and Aiguille de Bionnasay as you pass just beneath the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay. After passing the idyllic Chalet de Miage you descend to Les Contamines.


The easier option winds through beautiful forests and through alpine pastures via Bionnassay to Les Contamines.


Les Contamines is an attractive town spread along the valley floor and the Monday morning market is a treat if you happen to catch it.


Walk via Bionnassay: 16km, 5 Hours, 646m Ascent, 633m Descent


Walk via Chalets de Miage: 18km, 7.5 Hours, 1478m ascent, 1318m descent


Optional Cable Car: Reduces both routes by 2 hours and 900m of ascent.


Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Chemenaz*** , Les Contamines.


Located in a tranquil area almost directly on the TMB trail and a pleasant 10 minute walk to the village centre- enjoy this evening's luxurious 5 course meal!


DAY 3: Contamines – Col Bonhomme (2329m) – Les Chapieux or Refuge des Mottetts

A gentle start from Les Contamines for the first 5km along the valley floor to chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge (shuttle transfer possible- not running in September). Here the path turns upwards and climbs steadily on the Chemin Roman through the Contamines Montjoie Nature Reserve towards the distant Col du Bonhomme.


A steady climb reveals increasingly rugged views of the high peaks and you quickly reach the rugged landscapes of the Col du Bonhomme (2329 m). A further hour on rough and rocky ground brings up the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme.


If you are staying in Les Chapieux you descend past the spectacularly located Refuge Col de la Croix du Bonhomme all the way to the valley below.


Those staying at Refuge des Mottets have the choice of either descending to Les Chapieux and then catching the shuttle to Les Mottets or connoisseurs will love the climb to the Col des Fours (2665m), which promise clear views of Mont Blanc before descending into the emote and beautiful Valle des Glaciers.


Walk to Les Chapieux: 19.5km, 1220m Ascent, 950m Descent, 7 – 7.5 Hours.


Walk to Refuge des Mottetts via Col des Fours: 21km, 1532m Ascent, 926m Descent, 7.5- 8 Hours


Dinner & Overnight: Either the friendly and comfortable Auberge de La Nova, which serves agreat beer and even better grub or Refuge des Mottets idyllically situated with over 50 beds and offering hearty mountain food.


DAY 4: Les Chapieux – Courmayeur

The Col de la Seigne (2516m) lies a steep 750m above the Refuge des Mottets and is where you leave France for Italy. Just wait until you see the view! Stupendous! The steep southern side of the Mont Blanc Massif, made up of jagged peaks, hanging glaciers and plunging waterfalls, seems close enough to touch. The trail descends through high alpine meadows past refuge Elisabetta into the Val Veni.


At Lac Combal you leave the TMB for a couple of kilometres to follow the valley floor to la Visaille, where you catch the local bus to Courmayeur.


Walk from Les Chapieux: (possible to reduce by 5km using shuttle) 22km, 6-7 Hours, 1004m Ascent, 794m Descent, 9-10 Hours


Walk from Refuge des Mottets: 17km, 750m Ascent, 794m Descent, 5-6 Hours


Overnight: Hotel Crampon***, Courmayeur


Located in the heart of Courmayeur the family run Hotel Crampon has a large garden and comfortable rooms.


Or: Hotel Bouton d'Or***, Cormayeur


Also located in the centre of Cormayeur, Patrizia and family offer the warmest of welcomes and one of the very best breakfasts on the trail!


DAY 5: Courmayeur - Champex

Your day begins with a bus (25 minutes) to Arnuva, in the heart of the beautiful Val Ferret, in the Grandes Jorasses. Back on your own two feet you ascend Grand Col Ferret (2,537 m), you are in Switzerland! Descent to Ferret (1740 m) where you catch the local bus to the Swiss lakeside village of Champex.


 Walk: 14km, 825m Ascent, 1050m Descent, 5.5 Hours


Dinner & Overnight: Hotel du Glacier*** , Champex


Since 1895 the Bisselx family have welcomed guests to their comfortable mountain hotel in the true tradition of Swiss hospitality. You can look forward to relaxing on the sunny terraces and dinner featuring regional specialities.


DAY 6: Champex to Trient

The official route goes via Alp Bovine, a splendid walk through pine and larch forests interspersed with alpine meadows and wonderful views down the Rhône Valley.


Alternatively the demanding variant goes via the spectacular Fenêtre d’Arpette to the Trient Valley. Climbing to 2665m it’s a challenging and exposed route but worth every step. Whichever route you choose you will end the day by descending right to the valley floor to the small village of Trient.


Walk via Alp Bovine: 17.5km, 742m Ascent: 900 m Descent, 5.5 Hours.


Walk via Fenêtre d’Arpette: 15.5km, 1200m Ascent, 1450m descent, 7 Hours


Dinner & Overnight: Auberge Relais du Mont Blanc or La Grand Ourse, Trient


Nestled deep in the valley Trient is always bursting with walkers on the Tour du Mont Blanc and Walkers Haut Route and both of these hostelries cater admirably for them. These are both fairly basic mountain auberges but you will have a private twin room.


DAY 7: Trient - Col de La Balme – Chamonix

From Trient, you climb to reach the French border at Col de Balme (2191 m). From the col the entire Mont Blanc Massif stretches ahead; the Chamonix Valley, the summit of Mont Blanc, the Aiguilles, the Mer de Glace and the Argentière glaciers! The route then continues via the Col des Posettes and Aiguillette des Posettes, with wonderful views throughout, before descending into the Chamonix Valley at Tré le Champ, where you catch the local shuttle bus to Chamonix, the centre of French and indeed Alpine mountaineering.


Walk: 11.5km, 1069m Ascent, 950m Descent, 5 Hours



Overnight: Hotel l’Arve***,
Chamonix. Enjoying a quiet location with great views, despite being so close to the centre of Chamonix, the hotel l'Arve has 37 comfortable rooms and a friendly welcoming atmosphere.


DAY 8: Onward Travel

Chamonix is a great base to spend a couple of days and we would recommend that you add extra nights here. You can enjoy some fabulous walking in the Aiguilles Rouge Park (the walk to Le Brévent is a favourite), take the cable car to the Aiguilles du Midi at 3795m or perhaps the train to the Montenvers on the Mer de Glace.


If you are heading home there are numerous shuttles, buses and trains back to Geneva and throughout France.

Please Note

Accommodation Your trip includes 5 nights in small 2/3* hotels in private double/twin rooms with private bathrooms and 2 nights in a mountain hotel in a private double/twin room with shared bathroom. We specifically select your hotels for authenticity, warmth of welcome and great food and just know that you will adore them. Single Rooms If you require single rooms within a party a limited number are available, although a supplement is payable. Solo Walkers: The Tour du Mont Blanc is not available to solo walkers due to safety considerations. Meals 7 breakfasts and 5 evening meals are included. Packed lunches are available from your accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop on the way. Allow about 10 Euro per day for lunch. Drinks are not included but available at all overnight accommodation. Baggage Transfer Your main luggage (maximum 15kg) is transferred between hotels each day If you have additional bags we can store these for you at no extra charge. Experience & Fitness As this is a self guided walk you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip. This walk is strenuous, crosses high mountain passes and the weather can change quickly. You should be able to navigate easily with a map and compass in poor visibility and be experienced in the mountains. The route averages about a 1000m of ascent and descent each day so you should be walking fit and if not engage in a rigorous fitness programme prior to the trip. Walking poles are highly recommended as the TMB is tough on the knees. Travel Insurance It is a

Accommodation

Your trip includes 5 nights in small 2/3* hotels in private double/twin rooms with private bathrooms and 2 night in a mountain hotel in a private double/twin room with shared bathroom. We specifically select your hotels for authenticity, warmth of welcome and great food and just know that you will adore them. Full hotel details are listed in the detailed itinerary.


Private Rooms on the Tour du Mont Blanc

As the Tour du Mont Blanc season is short and as the "Comfort" trips have proved to be especially popular this year, please be aware that there is currently no guarantee that private rooms will be available in the smaller accommodations. We will still continue to do all we can to accommodate your preferences.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within a party a limited number are available, although a supplement is payable.


Solo Walkers

The Tour du Mont Blanc is not available to solo walkers due to safety considerations.


Meals

7 breakfasts and 6 evening meals are included. Packed lunches are available from your accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop on the way. Allow about €10 per day for lunch. Drinks are not included but available at all overnight accommodation.


Baggage Transfer

Is available as an optional extra. If you have booked optional luggage transfer your main luggage (max 15kgs) will be transferred between your accommodations each night.

Time of Year

The season for the Tour du Mont Blanc runs from mid June to mid September. The trail is sometimes closed until the last week of June due to snow, in which case your tour would need to be rescheduled or cancelled. Please note that public transport in the area in the shoulder months of June and September is limited. This means that certain 'short cut' options will not be at your disposal during these months. Those hiking in these months should be prepared to walk the full distances each day. In the itinerary description you will find the daily distances both with and without any possible short cuts.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This tour is not available to solo walkers and single rooms are not available except on the first and last nights. A supplement is payable.


Grade & Terrain

The Tour du Mont Blanc is a tough trek with considerable ascent and descent on each day. We would suggest that you are an experienced walker who is looking for a challenge. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme. The terrain is mountainous, rocky and rough underfoot.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The Tour du Mont Blanc is well waymarked with a combination of signs, arrows and the famous red and white stripes which can be found on tress, rocks or posts. We supply a detailed guidebook, notes and 2 good quality IGN maps. We strongly advise that you are comfortable using a map and compass for navigation as the weather and visibility can change very quickly in the mountains.


Baggage Transfers

Baggage transfer is included as standard, allowing you to enjoy the
trek with just a light day bag on your back. We ask that you limit your
baggage to one bag per person with a maximum weight of 15kg per person.


If you would prefer not to have bag transfer, and prefer to carry
everything on your back as you walk, this can also be arranged. Just ask
one of your Destination and Adventure specialists for more
information.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Travel during the walk

In order to focus on the best sections of the TMB you will skip some stages of the walk using public transport and lifts. These are very reliable and easy to catch. We include full details, fares and timetables in your information pack so it couldn’t be easier. You will need to pay for these locally.


Day 2: Optional Telepherique from Les Houches to Bellevue (1801m)


Day 3: Optional shuttle from Les Contamines to Notre Dame de la Gorge. Optional shuttle from Les Chapieux to Ville des Glaciers


Day 4: Local bus from la Visaille to Courmayeur


Day 5: Local bus from Courmayeur to Arnuva; Swiss Postal Bus Ferret - Champex via Orsières.


Day 7: Optional ski lift from Col de La Balme – Le Tour (500m vertical drop-down).


Getting to Les Houches / From Chamonix

By Air: Geneva is the best airport for the Chamonix valley.  From here you catch a train if you wish , but the best option is to take a pre-booked shuttle through a company such as Mountain Dropoffs. Your Destination & Adventure Specialist will be happy to book this for you.


By Rail: TGV to Saint-Gervais-Le Fayet. www.voyages-sncf.com and then Mont Blanc Express to Les Houches. For the return, they are regular trains between Chamonix and St Gervais les Bains Le Fayet.


By Road: Highway A40-E25 Mont Blanc-Chamonix, exit Les Houches. More information at www.viamichelin.fr


Parking: At Les Houches you can park at the Bellevue Telepherique base station. In Chamonix, free parking at the Aiguille du Midi & the parking Planards (Montenvers station).


Travel during the walk

This itinerary skips a few of sections of the TMB and you will need to use public transport/lifts as follows.We provide full timetables, details and instructions and it couldn't be easier.


Day 2: Telepherique from Les Houches to Bellevue (Col de Voza).


Day 3: Optional shuttle from Les Contamines to Notre Dame de la Gorge. Optional shuttle from Les Chapieux to Refuge des Mottets


Day 4: Shuttle from Visaille to Courmayeur.


Day 5: Local bus from Courmayeur to Arnuva. Local bus from Ferret or La Fouly to Champex via Orsières.


Day 7: Optional ski lift from Col de Balme to Le Tour. Local bus from Tre le Champ to Chamonix In total you should allow about €40 per person to cover ski lifts and buses during the tour.

Included

  • 5 Nights in three star hotels on a twin share basis
  • 2 Nights in mountain auberge in private twin room
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 5 Dinners during the walk (Chamonix & Courmayeur not included)
  • Detailed maps, information pack, route notes and guidebook for group leader
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our team.

Excluded

  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Les Houches and from Chamonix
  • Lunches (allow 10 Euro per day)
  • Dinners in Chamonix and Courmayeur
  • Local transfers and ski lifts (allow 45 Euros for the trip)
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk.
  • Single room supplement if applicable.

How fit do I need to be?

The Tour du Mont Blanc is a tough trek with considerable ascent and descent on each day. We would suggest that you are an experienced walker who is looking for a challenge. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

The closest airport is Geneva which is served by flights from throughout Europe and around the world.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised. This is a very popular hiking area with a short season. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, sleeping sheet, a day pack and hats/gloves etc. A detailed kit list is included in your information pack.

How do the baggage transfers work? 

Baggage transfer is included as standard, allowing you to enjoy the trek with just a light day bag on your back. We ask that you limit your baggage to one bag per person with a maximum weight of 15kg per person.

If you would prefer not to have bag transfer, and prefer to carry everything on your back as you walk, this can also be arranged. Just ask one of your Destination and Adventure specialists for more information.

When is the best time of year?

The season for the Tour du Mont Blanc runs from mid June to mid September. The trail is sometimes closed until the last week of June due to snow, in which case your tour would need to be rescheduled or cancelled.

Are public transport transfer costs included in the price? 

This particular itinerary makes use of public transport to allow you to cover more ground on a shorter itinerary, or you have the option to make some walks easier/shorter by using ski-lifts/buses etc. The cost for these transfers are not included and are payable locally. Please note that in the shoulder season on the TMB, June and September, that not all public transport services are yet/still in operation. If you have any concerns about this then please contact us for more information.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

Some sections of the Tour du Mont Blanc are very easy to skip with the use of public transport, while others are very difficult, time consuming and expensive. We provide you with a handy 'Public Transport and Bad Weather Guide' to the TMB before you leave and will help you in any way possible should you be unable to walk a stage.

Great holiday but some frustrating issues with transport

3

Great walk and organisation apart from written info contained wrong / poor info given re bus transfers needed to complete walk in 6 days ( not told on booking that local bus services virtually stop in September ) .No phone signal available to ring to sort out on 2 nights when transport needed arranging for next day - stressful . However locals twice kindly let us use their land line to ring Macs in Uk and they sorted out our longest bus journey for us and let us know . Enjoyed the days not requiring buses best ! Probably not an issue if doing trip high season but wish we'd been warned this on booking

Hils

Stoke on Trent

Beautiful Hike

5

Very well organized, easy to book travel and tailor to needs. I wish I would have done a bit more research before booking as a few of the days hiking were actually 2 days on the normal 11 day route. Would recommend doing the full route if time. Most of the hotels were very nice, there were a few that seemed outdated and needed a bit more updating.

colohikegirl

Colorado, USA

Nothing but good things to say about this trip!

5

Fantastic experience - great pre trip information and wonderful hotels.

Aunt S

Vancouver

Am amazing trip so close to home

4

Enjoyed the trip and amazing weather made it even more enjoyable. Wasn't sure about self guide but worked well. Food in some places was very basic and amazing in other places. Would and have recommend the trip.

TT

Scotland

What a great trip!

4

The self-guided tour format was perfect for our group. The accommodations were great, and we really appreciated the routes on the new Mac's App. There were a few issues related to the organization, but these were eventually straightened and we all enjoyed the experience.

Parrot mom

Southern California

A great Lifetime experience!

5

We were 14 college friends group , we took 9 days TMB high light trip without tour guide. You firm provided great organizing , all hotels were great, food were good, bedding were clean...... The only issue was trip maps and other tour information packages did not sent out correctly.. All 5 sets maps were sent to The group leader hand, not followed our note to be sent to different group members.

Xi

California, US

super

5

It was good trip

none

california

Highly Recommended for Self Guided Trek

5

Mac Adventure provides relevant information for the trek in great details. The suggestion of using highlighter for marking of trekking routes was commendable. Although some refuge (such as Refuge La Nova at Chapieux) may not be easy to locate upon exiting the trek onto the main road, the rest were pretty straight forward. All accommodation arranged were to be high standard except La Nova (WC and bathroom allocation was not ideal and the bed arrangement in the room was too cramped). The recommendation of staying one extra night at Courmayeur and Chamonix was excellent as we thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of these towns. Thank you Mac Adventure for the arrangement for this trek.

Eng Chai

Singapore

Excellent self guided hike

5

The highlights tour in comfort suited our needs perfectly. A little adventure mixed with a comfortable nights stay each night.

Linda

Texas, USA

true

Great trip

5

Fantastic organisation. Would recommend booking well in advance as refuges book up early. Maps/instructions/directions all excellent. Never needed to use the app because they were so good, but it looked very useful particularly the tracking option.

Scared of heights

Cambridge

true

Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights in Comfort

4.8 27

100.0

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