Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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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
  • 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
  • Delicious mountain food featuring rich Savoyard specialities

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 goes through France, Switzerland and Italy takes in the very best sections of the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Walking in the standard anti-clockwise direction you will cover 6 days of the best walking of the trail, using ski lifts and public transport to skip some sections so that you can spend your time on the very best stretches.

Stay in private rooms and enjoy the freedom of included bag transfer on this fantastic inn to inn trek. The Tour du Mont Blanc is a trek filled with superlatives from beginning to end and the ever changing mountain panoramas will just blow you away.

For all the information you could possibly need on the Tour du Mont Blanc, please visit our Online Tour du Mont Blanc Information Page, or download our free Tour du Mont Blanc Guide

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 to Les Contamines

Your trek starts with either a climb from Les Houches out of the Chamonix Valley to Bellevue 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, 650m Ascent, 630m Descent


Walk via Chalets de Miage: 18km, 7.5 Hours, 1500m ascent, 1300m 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 5 course meal!


Day 3: Les Contamines to Les Chapieux/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. 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 remote and beautiful Valle des Glaciers.


Walk to Les Chapieux: 18km, 1300m Ascent, 950m Descent, 7 – 7.5 Hours.


Walk to Refuge des Mottetts via Col des Fours: 20km, 1600m Ascent, 880m 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/Refuge des Mottets to 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, 1000m Ascent, 800m Descent, 9-10 Hours


Walk from Refuge des Mottets: 17km, 750m Ascent, 800m 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 to 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: 15km, 895m Ascent, 1125m 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, 745m 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. Both these accommodations are fairly basic but comfortable mountain auberges.


Day 7: Trient to 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, 1070m 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.

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 5 dinners are included (Courmayeur & Chamonix not included).  Breakfast in the 3* hotels is a buffet selection with lots of sweet treats like pastries, home made jams fruit and cereals. Savoury tastes are also catered for with bread, cheese, ham and eggs available.


Breakfasts in the mountain hotels and huts tend to be very basic; bread, butter, jams, coffee, tea and orange juice.  If you prefer something more substantial before walking, we recommend carrying a few energy bars with you each day and supplement your breakfast with one of these.Packed lunch items can be bought locally from supermarkets or the local boulangerie. If you are staying in a hut or remote accommodation, order a packed lunch with them upon arrival.


Dinner in the hotels will be at least three courses chosen from a fixed menu, and sometimes there is a choice available. Dinner in the mountain huts tend to be a convivial affair, and you will be seated with the other guests.

Meal times are a real highlight in the huts, and you can enjoy the company of people from all over the world while you dine on good honest home cooked food. Dinner is typically soup with bread, a main course consisting of meat and rice or pasta, a side salad or vegetables, followed by a simple dessert or cheese. If you have any dietary requirements, please tell us upon booking and we can arrange this with the accommodations.




In Chamonix and Courmayeur. dinner is not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Savoyard specialities are mostly based on cheese. Dishes which shouldn’t be missed include fondue, tartiflette and raclette.

Time of Year

For 2018, the TMB has been extremely popular and as a result, we are
only taking bookings for the persiod 23rd of July - the 13th of August.
Even for these dates, we can not guarantee confirmation of the trip, so
please do not book any travel arrangements until you have received full
confirmation of your trip from your Destination Specialist.   


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. There are a couple of short sections which make use of cables/ropes to aid ascent/descent over particularly rocky sections. 


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The Tour du Mont Blanc is comprehensively way marked at all junctions and by regular paint marks along the trail. We supply you with detailed 1:25 000 IGN maps, a comprehensive guidebook and route notes so you should have absolutely no problem following the route. We also provide you with access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App, which you can use to navigate. We strongly recommend using this App, or at least having it on your phone ready to use should you ever be in any doubt about your direction. You should also polish up on your map and compass skills prior to departing, as weather and visibility can change very quickly in the mountains, and these kinds of skills never go out of fashion!


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.


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. You will need to pay for these locally.


Day 2: Optional 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: Bus or taxi from Visaille to Courmayeur.


Day 5: Bus or taxi 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 Tré le Champ to Chamonix.

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, guidebook, GPX tracks, access to the Macs Adventure navigation app
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our team.

Excluded

  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Les Houches and from Chamonix
  • Lunches
  • Dinners in Chamonix and Courmayeur
  • Local transfers and ski lifts
  • 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.

One of our best treks

4

The highlights comfort options were the perfect choices for us, two triathletes in our 60's. The daily hikes were work, but not exhausting. The lodges and refugios all had great food and accommodations except one near Lac Champex that was just OK. We added a rest day in Courmayeur that allowed us to go up to Helbronner, which was a special treat. All in all, an outstanding trek that we highly recommend.

Tesla Fan

Chicago

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Highlights of the Tour Du Mont Blanc!!!!

5

Loved the hikes. The Mac's app was fantastic.

Jadventurer

Toronto

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My new adventure collaborator

5

Courteous, competent and professional from initial inquiry to support before and during the hike. The Macs Adventure App was very helpful though knowing which maps to download was not at all intuitive. Most accommodations were fantastic. The dinner at Champenax was pretty cheap! But aside from that glitch and other small ones, it was truly an awesome experience and I will be adventuring with Macs again!

Peter

Dover, DE

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Great trip!

5

This was a great trip, if strenuous. The weather can vary a lot, so be prepared to be sunburned one day and walking in the cold the next. The food and accommodations were excellent, and varied a lot. Do yourself a favor and get in shape before you go, it will make it a lot more enjoyable!

Dusty Trails

Greensboro North Carolina

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A really wonderful trip and well organised by Macs Adventure

5

We were really impressed with the accommodation as well as the organisation of the luggage transfer.

Suzie

London

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Excellent Trip

5

The Highlights of the TMB was exactly what our group was looking for. The Macs team went above and beyond to ensure everyone was taken care of and their experience was invaluable in the planning process. The Macs app made planning for each days hike a simple task and allowed everyone the comfort of knowing the terrain and managed expectations.

KS

Canada

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Definitely an experience worth doing

4

A fantastic experience with great views and scenery. Some days were tougher than others (if you opt for the more challenging route) but probably worth doing. Would recommend a rest day in the middle though. All in all, a very well organised tour that made the trip more enjoyable.

Helen

Newcastle, UK

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Challenging hikes with rewarding views

5

This is a great trip for people who want to challenge themselves with the structure and comforts of accommodations and meals each day. Having baggge transferred is a perfect way to enjoy day hiking. We were able to do all of the hikes without a problem (in our 60s but work out) and we reviewed alternatives each day to decide which route best suited us. It was great to know everything would be set up at the end of each day for a good night's rest and meals. Everything went smoothly! We met others who were doing the same trip and it was fun to see how others managed the same journey simultaneously but at their own pace.

Joanne

Florida

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Well organised varied activity holiday

4

Well organised itinerary lots of useful local information supplied beforhand.

Bunnman

Staffordshire

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Second time on the TMB - Second time with Mac's

5

This is a great circular route, breathtaking views, well marked trails and an opportunity to get away from it all for a week. Mac's adventures look after everything ahead of you setting off, luggage transfers during the days, hotels and refugio's with breakfast and dinner. This is the second time I have done the TMB with Macs and I can't fault them in any way. We met a few people that organised the trip themselves and it seemed painful and from what I understood around the same price we paid. The digital route information Macs provided this year for the first time was great. Thanks Minna and team.

Bobby

Birmingham

true

Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights in Comfort

4.8 40

97.5

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