Day 1: Arrive in Chamonix & overnight.
Arrive in the iconic mountaineering town of Chamonix. Experience the sensational backdrop of the Mont Blanc Massif. Chamonix is a great small town to explore. Why not sit in one of the many convivial outdoor cafés or restaurants with a local beer and admire the mountain views.
Day 2: Walk Tre le Champ to Planpraz via La Flégère and Lac Blanc or Argentière Valley Walk
Today’s walk is one of the most iconic in the Alps due to its spectacular panoramas over the Mont Blanc Massif. Take a local bus to Tre le Champ and then follow the Tour du Mont Blanc trail to Lac Blanc walking along the famous Grand Balcon Sud. Take the cable car back down to Chamonix from Planpraz.
For those travelling outside of the cable car operating dates (or even for those who are travelling within them) a lovely walk through the Argentière Valley is a splendid and easier alternative.
Walk: 13.5 km or 10 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +1355/-768m or +375m/-375m
Day 3: Walk Plan de l’Aiguille to Montenvers
Take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to Plan de l’Aiguille and the beginning of your walk. Begin at 1200m and walk along the Grand Balcon Nord with awe-inspiring views of the Grandes Jorasses. Montenvers is on the edge of the Mer de Glace glacier which, in the 18th century, used to descend all the way into the Chamonix Valley. Take the train from Montenvers back down the valley into Chamonix.
Walk: 6 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +125m/-493m
Day 4: Bellevue Loop via Le Champel or Vallorcine Valley Walk
Make your way to Les Houches by local bus or train (10-15mins) and to the base of the Bellevue Cable Car Station. From here you walk up to Mont Vorassay and the Col de Tricot. Reach the Chalet de Miege huddling on the edge of picturesque pastures and continue to Le Champel, a hamlet of old houses and a tiny chapel. Traverse the wooded south flank of the Bionnassay Valley before arriving back at the cable car.
An excellent alternate walk is available through the Vallorcine Valley when the cable car to Bellevue is not operational.
Walk: 14 km or 10 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +1000m/-1000m or +565m/-565m
Day 5: Transfer Chamonix to Courmayeur. Free time in Courmayeur
Cross the border into Italy as you get taken by private transfer from your hotel in Chamonix through the Mont Blanc tunnel to the other side of the Mont Blanc Massif and to Courmayeur (a transfer of 30 mins). Once you have dropped your luggage off at the hotel spend some free time in Courmayeur set in a dramatic position at the base of Mont Blanc. Enjoy ambling through this towns scenic streets surrounded by mountain peaks.
Day 6: Walk Plan Checrouit to La Visaille via Lac Combol, or Val Vény Valley Walk
Take the cable car to Plan Checrouit high above the town for a thrilling walk which provides some of the best views in the Alps. Make your way past the Maison Vieille skirting the valley Vény before dropping down to Lac Combal. Follow the small road along the valley floor to La Visaille where you can catch a local bus back to Courmayeur.
If you want an easier walk an alternate Val Vény walk is provided. (This walk can also be completed when the cable car is not operational.)
Walk: 12 km or 18km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +715 m/-790m or +645m/-645m
Day 7: Refugio Bonatti to Courmayeur
Today’s walk is another Mont Blanc Massif classic. A transfer (20mins) brings you to Lavachey and from here you walk up to Refugio Bonatti. The route contours around the flank of Mont de la Saxe on an undulating path giving you plenty of time to take in the dramatic icy panorama of the Mont Blanc Massif and Grand Jorasses across the valley.
Walk: 12 km
Elevation Gain/Loss: +120m/-860 mOvernight:
Day 8: Onward Travel
Make your way to Geneva Airport and from here fly home.
On this tour you will stay in hand-picked 3* hotels. You will be warmly welcomed by these family-owned accommodations.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.
We welcome solo walkers on this trip with a supplement. Although you should of course take extra care in the outdoors when walking solo.
We will always try and accommodate you at the hotels listed. However, if those listed are unavailable, alternative accommodation of the same or better standard than those described will be provided.
Examples of accommodations we typically use are listed below.
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.
Hotel des Aiglons - Chamonix
Set right at the heart of Chamonix, this 3-star hotel offers you the chance to enjoy an active yet cosy stay in the mountains. Newly refurbished, this modern hotel is both practical and comfortable.
Hotel Bouton d'Or - Courmayeur
Located just a few minutes from the pedestrianized centre of Courmayeur this family run hotel is wonderfully friendly and has a calm garden and terrace in which to relax.
Hotel Berthod - Courmayeur
This family-run 3* hotel has individually designed rooms and an abundant breakfast buffet.
Time of Year & Availability
You can start this walking tour anytime between mid–June and mid-October. Please bear in mind that the some of the cable cars and some buses do not operate on all the dates when this tour is available. However alternate walks are available on these dates. Check your information pack for more cable car and bus timetable information. You can start your tour on any day of the week during the season, subject to availability.
The season for this tour does not begin until the middle of June. This is because there is a chance that at the higher elevations there will still be snow before this time. All season from June to October is great to be here and walk in the Mont Blanc Massif. Towards the end of September to mid-October will be chillier but often the weather can be sunny at this time of year and it's a great time for walking with fewer crowds.
Grade & Terrain
This tour has a moderate grading. As you are walking in the Alps there will most definitely be some elevation gains and losses. We have tried to utilize cable cars where possible in order to avoid steep elevation gains and losses to and from the valley floor. When cable cars are not running we have provided alternate walks which again do not entail lots of elevation gains and losses. These walks have been put together specifically so that most people in good physical shape can do them. So although you are in the mountains they are still only moderate. The terrain is a combination of dirt or rocky trails, with some country tracks and lanes.
Navigation, Route Notes & Maps
Some trails will be
waymarked (mostly with the Tour du Mont Blanc markers). We also provide
detailed turn-by-turn directions for each walk, detailed maps, GPX tracks and
access to the Macs Adventure smart phone navigation app, so you will have no problem finding your way.
Your bags will be transferred with you on Day 5 from Chamonix to Courmayeur.
Travel During the Trip
In this itinerary, public transport is used on many of the days to get to the start and from the end of some of the walks. All public transport info will be included in your trip documents. All public transport is payable locally.
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.
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 ncludes 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.
Getting to Chamonix
The closest and most convenient airport to fly into is Geneva. 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.
You can also take a TGV train to St Gervais-le-Fayet and from here the Mont Blanc Express train to Chamonix. For more information please visit the SNCF and Mont Blanc Express websites. The total journey time is approximately 3.5H.
Getting from Courmayeur
Again the best option is to take a return flight from Geneva. You can take a bus from Courmayeur to Chamonix through the Mont Blanc tunnel. You can find bus information here. This journey takes about 1 hour. From Chamonix you can do what is suggested on the way from Geneva in reverse, or take the pre-booked shuttle. Whilst there are pre-booked shuttles available from Courmayeur to Geneva it is very expensive, but we can arrange that if you prefer.
- 7 Nights accommodation in 3* hotels
- 7 Breakfasts
- Private transfer from Chamonix to Courmayeur
- Transfer to Lavachey on Day 7
- Detailed information pack, route notes, maps, GPS tracks and access to the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
- 24/7 telephone support from our UK office
- Travel insurance (required)
- Travel to Chamonix and from Courmayeur
- Cable cars or buses wherever necessary
- Lunches & Dinners
- Drinks and snacks
- Personal equipment
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk
- Single Room Supplement(s)
- Solo Traveller Supplement
- Upgraded hotel package
How fit do I need to be?
This tour has a moderate grading. As you are walking in the Alps there will most definitely be some elevation gains and losses. We have tried to utilize cable cars where possible in order to avoid steep elevation gains and losses to and from the valley floor. When cable cars are not running we have provided alternate walks which again do not entail lots of elevation gains and losses. These walks have been put together specifically so that most people in good physical shape can do them. So although you are in the mountains they are still only moderate.
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 quite 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 a day pack and hats/gloves etc. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack. A detailed kit list is included in your information pack.
How do the baggage transfers work?
As there are only 2 accommodations on this tour, there is just 1 transfer included for you and your luggage from Chamonix to Courmayeur. We ask that you limit your luggage to 1 piece weighing no more than 20kg's. /p>
When is the best time of year?
The season for this trip is mid June to mid October. 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.