Day 1: Arrive Les Houches
The pretty 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.
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
luxurious 5 course meal!
Day 3: Les Contamines to Les Chapieux/Refuge des Mottets
A gentle start from Les Contamines for the first 4km 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.
Here you can either climb over the Col des Fours (2665m) and descend steeply to Refuge des Mottets or alternatively descend to Les Chapieux.
Walk to Les Chapieux: 18km, 7.5 Hours, 1300m Ascent, 950m Descent
Walk to Refuge des Mottetts via Col des Fours: 20km, 1600m Ascent, 880m Descent, 8 Hours.
Optional shuttle: Taking the optional shuttle from Les Contamines to Notre Dame de la Gorge reduces the distance by 5km and time by an hour.
Dinner & Overnight: Either Refuge des Mottets idyllically situated with over 50 beds and a welcome meal at the end of a great day.
Or: Auberge de La Nova, Les Chapieux. The friendly and comfortable Auberge de la Nova serves a great beer and even better grub.
Day 4: Les Chapieux to Courmayeur
From Les Chapieux you can either walk the 5km up the road or catch the local shuttle to Refuge des Mottets. 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 and past the snout of the huge Glacier du Miage to Visaille, where you catch the shuttle bus into Courmayeur.
Walk: 15km, 900m Ascent, 790m Descent, 5 – 5.5 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
Day 5: Courmayeur to Champex
The day begins with a short local bus to Arnuva where the climb of Grand col Ferret begins. The top of the col brings up Switzerland. Descending through picture book scenes of chalets, grazing cattle and fabulous alpine views you soon reach La Fouly, an idyllic alpine village of wooden chalets overflowing with flowers. From La Fouly you catch the bus to the lakeside village of Champex.
Walk: 15km, 5.5 Hours, 895m Ascent, 1125m Descent
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 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 to Tré le Champ/Argentière
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.
From Tré le Champ you can either walk the 1.5km to your hotel in Argentière or catch the free shuttle bus.
Walk: 11.5km, 1070m Ascent, 950m Descent, 5 Hours
Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Couronne***, Argentière
Located on the main road in the heart of Argentiere the Hotel Couronne has 40 comfortable rooms and a restaurant specialising in Savoyard dishes.
Day 8: Argentière to Planpraz
The next two days are in my opinion the highlight of the Tour du Mont Blanc. The views across the Chamonix Valley to the Mont Blanc Massif are outstanding throughout.
From Tré le Champ the trail climbs via Aiguillette de Argentière to the Grand Balcon Sud of the Aiguilles Rouges, taking in a few fixed ladders on the way. You are now in the Aiguilles Rouge Nature Reserve and sightings of Ibex, Marmot and many other furry creatures are common.
You continue to climb to Lac Blanc, where the idyllically situated refuge is the perfect spot for lunch. Another hour of descent brings you to the cable car station at La Flégère, continue on the Grand Balcon du Sud path through woodland and arrive at Planpraz where you can take the cable car down to Chamonix.
Walk: 11.5km, 7.5 Hours, Ascent: 1300m, Descent: 530m
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 9: Planpraz to Les Houches
Begin your day by catching the cable car back up to Planpraz. For your last day on the Tour du Mont Blanc you have several options. The toughest, but most rewarding takes you all the way to Les Houches via the rocky pedestal of Le Brévent (2525m). Mont Blanc seems within touching distance on the opposite side of the valley.
Then it is just the long descent to Les Houches in the valley and a short bus or train ride to Chamonix. This day can be shortened at several points. You can catch the cable car from Plan Praz (2 hours) or Le Brévent (3.5 – 4 hours). Both of which cut out the long descent from Le Brévent to Les Houches and deliver you right back to Chamonix.
Chamonix is the centre of mountaineering in the French Alps and always a hive of activity. The perfect place to celebrate the end of your walk around Mont Blanc.
Walk: 11km, 430m Ascent, 1530m Descent, 6 Hours
Overnight: 3* Hotel l’Arve, Chamonix
Day 10: 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, take the cable car to the Aiguille 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.
9 Nights accommodation is included in your trip, 7 Nights are in 3 star hotels and 2 nights are in auberges/refuges in a private twin rooms as hotels are not available in these locations.
We carefully select small friendly hotels that offer great value, food and warm welcome. The accommodation we normally use is detailed in the 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.
Solo Walkers & Single Rooms
This trip is not available to solo walkers. Single rooms are available on most and a single supplement is payable.
9 Breakfasts and 6 Dinners are included (not in Courmayeur or Chamonix). 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 two sections that include the use of fixed ladders and footholds, and require some very light scrambling. This is on the Grand Balcon du Sud route between Tré-le-Champ and Lac Blanc/Le Flègére on Day 8 and again between Col du Brévent and Le Brévent on Day 9. Both sections can be avoided by taking an alternative route. These will be detailed in your route notes.
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 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 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
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 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.