TOUR DU MONT BLANC TRANSPORT GUIDE
On this page, you will find useful numbers for taxis and transporters in the Mont Blanc area. We have also created stage by stage detailed alternative transport suggestions for the TMB, should you be unable to walk any section of it (or in case of bad weather).
We have taken great care in preparing this information; however, schedules do change, and we recommend you also check with the local tourist information or your accommodation for updates or alternatives. Please note that many timetables are not available until the week before and, whilst we endeavour to keep the information below up to date, we rely on the transport providers publishing their schedules.
Feel free to call our office for assistance or if you need any help as we keep all the relevant timetables and can help you to change accommodation bookings if necessary. It is best to call during office hours from Monday to Friday between 9:00 – 17:30 UK time as this is when we are fully staffed and will almost always have French and Italian speakers in the office.
Our baggage couriers (Taxi Besson) have two seats available in their van, which are available on a first come basis to ill or injured hikers who have booked baggage transfer. It is not available if the route is affected by poor weather, or you are disinclined to walk. If you get injured or start feeling unwell whilst walking, please contact us and we can find out if there is an available seat in the Besson Taxi.
Useful Contact Details
TMB Trail Conditions - https://www.autourdumontblanc.com/en/information/trails-conditions
Baggage Transfer and Taxis (Bessons Taxi) - 0033 (0) 4 50 93 62 07 / http://www.taxi-montblanc.com/
Les Houches / Les Contamines
Compagnie du Mont Blanc (Ski Lifts) - 0033 (0) 4 50 53 22 75 / http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr
Mont Blanc Bus (Cambus) https://www.chamonix.net/english/transport/bus
St Gervais to Les Contamines
SAT Montblanc - https://www.sat-montblanc.com/accueil/actualites.aspx
Bourg St Maurice
Taxi L’vie - 0033 (0) 6 47 47 18 86 / http://www.taxi-bourg-st-maurice.net
Les Chapieux – La Vallée des Glaciers shuttle (Bourg St Maurice Tourist Office) - 0033 (0) 4 79 07 12 57
Promo Valdigne Taxis - 00 39 0165 809 840 (landline) or 00 39 347 380 5808 (mobile)
Courmayeur Tourist Office - 00 39 0165 842 060 / www.courmayeur-montblanc.com
Arriva Bus Services - https://aosta.arriva.it/en/
Stage by Stage
Stage 1: Les Houches to Les Contamines
Bad weather option:
We suggest you take the route via Bionnassay. The high point is Col de Vosa (1653m) and should be fine in most weather conditions. If you decide not to walk at all use the alternative transport options detailed below.
Shortening the day:
(Optional Bellevue Telepherique from Les Houches to Bellevue) - This cable car reduces the climb out of Les Houches by 800m and is recommended. The lift operates daily between approx. the 10th of June and the 10th of September. Check following link for specific timetables: https://en.chamonix.com/activities/practical-information-about-the-lifts/bellevue-cablecar
Note: When you leave the top station follow the path down to Col de Voza to re-join the TMB to Bionnassay.
This is an easy stage to skip, you have the following two options to skip the stage in its entirety
Option 1: Take the Mont Blanc Express train from Les Houches to St Gervais. Trains run hourly and take 24 minutes. Take the SAT bus from Saint Gervais Les Bains le Fayet to Les Contamines. Buses leave from Le Fayet Gare SNCF. Timetables change seasonally, but buses leave approximately every 2 hours.
The bus runs intermittently on Sundays so please check the timetables carefully.
More on schedules: https://www.lescontamines.com/ete/pratique/acces-et-se-deplacer/navettes-et-transport-a-la-demande, click on "Horaires des Navettes 2023"
Option 2: Take a taxi. We recommend Bessons Taxis. (See contact details at top of page).
Stage 2: Les Contamines to Les Chapieux / Refuge Des Mottets
This is a very difficult section to skip. It is a two-hour drive by taxi and much longer by public transport.
Bad weather option:
There is no bad weather option from Les Contamines to Les Chapieux. Alternative transport should be used. If heading for Refuge des Mottets in poor weather, Col Des Fours should not be attempted. Descend instead to Les Chapieux and walk up the road or catch the shuttle bus if operating.
Alternative transport - Starting from Notre Dame de la Gorge:
Optional Shuttle Bus from Les Contamines to Notre Dame de la Gorge: A free shuttle operates between The Office de Tourisme in Les Contamines and Notre Dame de la Gorge, with several stops between including Le Lay. The summer shuttle operates approximately between the end of June and the beginning of September. Timetables are usually published just before the Summer season, check the following link for a pdf titled ‘Horaires Navette été’ https://www.lescontamines.com/ete/pratique/acces-et-se-deplacer/navettes-et-transport-a-la-demande or ask at your hotel. This shuttle cuts 5km and about 1 hour of walking from the day.
Optional taxi from Les Contamines to Notre Dame de la Gorge (5km) - Call Taxi Besson to book a taxi at a convenient time.
Alternative transport for the full section - Les Contamines to Les Chapieux:
Option 1: Bus, Train, Taxi (5 –7 hours)
Bus from Les Contamines to St Gervais https://www.sat-montblanc.com/accueil/actualites.aspx Y84 route, click on « Sallanches - Saint Gervais - Les Contamines »
Taxi from Bourg St Maurice to Les Chapieux (see transport contact details at front)
Option 2: Taxi from Les Contamines to Les Chapieux/Mottets
This is the quickest and easiest option but is expensive. The journey takes about 2 hours. The cost is approximately €150 for 1 – 4 people and approximately €180 for 5 – 8 people.
Option 3: Cancel Les Chapieux and go to Courmayeur via Chamonix
If the weather is set to be bad for a few days a good option is to skip the night at Les Chapieux/Mottets and travel to Courmayeur via Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Tunnel as this is an easier transfer and you can instead spend some time in either Chamonix or Courmayeur. (This will not be an option from the 4th September 2023 and until the end of the 2023 season because of the Mont Blanc Tunnel closure)
Alternative transport: Ending in Les Mottets and shuttle to Les Chapieux/Bourg St Maurice:
The shuttle between Les Chapieux and Les Mottets operates from approx. mid June to early September. Specific timetables are not available until the start of the Summer season. For more information, please visit the following website closer to the time of departure: https://en.lesarcs.com/hiking/les-chapieux.html click on « Shuttle timetables»
September: When the shuttle is not operating, you should plan on walking. Alternatively, Taxi Besson are now offering a shuttle service between Les Chapieux and Les Mottets, by reservation. Call them the night before or ask your accommodation to do this. Places are limited and payment is directly to the driver: Taxi Besson: http://www.taxi-montblanc.com/ Tel : +0033450936207
Stage 3: Les Chapieux - La Ville Des Glaciers - Col De La Seigne - Rifugio Elisabetta
If you choose to abandon this stage, and you were booked to stay at Elisabetta, it is better to cancel the night at Elisabetta and stay in Courmayeur instead. It is costly to skip this stage as there is no public transport from Bourg St Maurice on to La Thuile, so a taxi is the only option.
Bad weather option:
There is no bad weather option from Les Chapieux to Rifugio Elisabetta. Alternative transport should be used if you choose to abort.
Alternative transport - Starting from Les Mottets:
Starting from Les Mottets - Shuttle bus from Les Chapieux to Les Mottets (See details in the previous section.)
Alternative transport for the full section - Les Chapieux to Courmayeur:
Option 1: Taxi (1h40min) - Book a taxi to collect you and transfer you to Courmayeur.
Option 2: Taxi to Bourg St Maurice, taxi to La Thuile, bus to Courmayeur. Book a taxi from Les Chapieux to Bourg St Maurice and onto to La Thuile. From La Thuile you can catch the Arriva bus line 573 to Courmayeur. Catch the bus from La Thuile Capoluogo. Follow the link, select Alta Valle and you will find the latest timetable: https://aosta.arriva.it/en/timetables-and-routes/
Stage 4: Rifugio Elisabetta to Courmayeur
Whilst not possible to skip completely it is an easy downhill walk to Visaille where you can pick up the shuttle bus to Courmayeur.
Bad weather option:
Described on page 67 of guidebook. (Val Veni to Courmayeur bad weather option)
Alternative transport - Cable Car / Chairlift from Col Chécrouit to Courmayeur:
You can avoid the long steep descent from Col Chécrouit to Courmayeur by taking the chairlift and cable car, which runs from early July to early September.
The timetables for the lifts will be available at the start of the summer season and can be found here: http://www.lovevda.it/fr/base-de-donnees/5/remontees-mecaniques/courmayeur/telecabine-dolonne-plan-checrouit-et-telesiege-plan-checrouit-maison-vieille/4343
A one-way ticket costs approximately €10 for the cable car and €5 for the chairlift.
Alternative transport - Bus from La Visaille to Courmayeur:
From the beginning of July until the beginning of September, the bus 931 operates between La Visaille and Courmayeur. Buses leave about every hour and operate approximately between 8:00 and 21:00. You can purchase a ticket from the driver which will cost a few euros.
Timetables are available at the beginning of the summer season and can be found here: https://aosta.arriva.it/en/timetables-and-routes/ . Select Alta Valle, and you will find the timetable for the bus 931 "VAL VENY – PMB / LA VISAILLE"
If the bus is not operating, you should either follow the low-level alternative walk described in the guidebook (on page 67) or call a taxi from Courmayeur. (Promo Valdigne, tel.: 00 39 0165 809 840 (landline) or 00 39 347 380 5808 (mobile).)
Approx. price is for a taxi from Visaille in the Val Vény to Courmayeur for 2-4 people is €30
Stage 5: Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti
Bad weather option:
This route doesn’t go much above 2000m so should be passable in all but the very worst weather conditions. In which case take the alternative transport detailed below.
If you want a shorter day today, you can catch the bus from Courmayeur to Bivio Rifugio Bonatti in the Val Ferret and walk up to Rifugio Bonatti. It is a 400m climb from the road.
Timetables are usually only available at the beginning of the summer season and can be found here: https://aosta.arriva.it/en/timetables-and-routes/ . Select Alta Valle, and you will find the timetable for the bus 924 "VAL FERRET – VERRAND / ARPNOUVAZ"
Stage 6: Rifugio Bonatti - Grand Col Ferret- La Fouly
This section crosses the Grand Col Ferret (2537m). There is no low-level option so if you choose to abandon the walk you need to travel to La Fouly/Champex via Courmayeur, Aosta and Orsières.
Bad weather option:
No low-level option. Abort and use alternative transport. Make this decision and get going as early as possible as otherwise the connections are tough.
Option 1: Bus to Courmayeur, bus to Aosta, bus to Orsières, bus to La Fouly or Champex
Step 1: Walk down to the road at Bivio
Step 2: Catch the bus 924 to Courmayeur: https://aosta.arriva.it/en/timetables-and-routes/ . Select Alta Valle and 924 "VAL FERRET – VERRAND / ARPNOUVAZ".
Step 3: Catch the bus 581 to Aosta: https://aosta.arriva.it/en/timetables-and-routes/ . Select Alta Valle and 581 "AOSTA / COURMAYEUR".
Step 4: Take the bus 210 from Aosta Bus Station to Orsières: https://www.tmrsa.ch/en/timetables/ . For the timetables, under Services, select "TMR bus lines"; under Routes, select the line 210 "Orsieres - Le Grand St Bernard - (Aoste)"
Step 5: Take the bus from Orsières to either La Fouly or Champex, depending on where you are staying.
You can search for buses from Orsières to La Fouly or Orsiéres to Champex here: https://www.tmrsa.ch/en/timetables/ . Times do change depending on the season, so please do check the up-to-date timetables before you travel. (Lines 271 and 272).
Option 2: Take a Taxi (Promo Valdigne Taxis). A quicker but more expensive option. Approx. costs: Taxi from Arnuva to Courmayeur €50 (2 – 4 pax) & Taxi from Courmayeur to Champex €150 (2 – 4 pax).
Stage 7: La Fouly to Champex Lac
This is the easiest stage of the TMB with a maximum altitude of 1610m at La Fouly.
You can catch the Bus via Orsières if you don’t wish to walk. Timetables available at the bus stop in La Fouly or on-line below. Timetables can be found here: https://www.tmrsa.ch/en/timetables/ (Lines 271 and 272)
Stage 8: Champex to Trient
Bad weather option:
The standard route via Alp Bovine is passable in most weathers as it reaches a maximum altitude of 2040m. The Fenêtre d’Arpette variant should only be attempted in good weather conditions.
As you are now in Switzerland public transport is excellent and integrated. You can buy a ticket right through from Champex to Trient. Depending on connections the journey takes 2h30 – 4h00. Use the journey planner at https://www.tmrsa.ch/en/timetables/
Step 1: Bus from Champex to Orsières.
Step 2: Bus to Martigny
Step 3: Bus to Trient (route 213) The journey takes about 45 minutes. There are only about 4 buses per day, and you can check the timetables here: https://www.tmrsa.ch/en/timetables/ . Under Services, select "Car Postal"; under Routes, select the line 213 "Martigny - Trient - Chatelard"
** If you are staying in Martigny ** For latest timetable, download the SBB Mobile App. For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ch.sbb.mobile.android.b2c&hl=en&gl=US&pli=1 or for Apple: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/sbb-mobile/id294855237. As this route does not run as regularly as some of the others, we recommend you use the app before travelling to check the correct timetable for the day you are walking to Trient.
If you feel like you have too long of a wait for the next bus, we recommend the following taxi companies:
An estimated cost for the taxi is around 100CHF. Please note, there are no dining options in Trient.
Stage 9: Trient-Col de Balme-Tré-Le-Champ/Argentière
Bad weather option:
You can shorten the day by descending directly from the Col de Balme (2191m) to La Tour. It is also possible to take the chair/bubble down to Le Tour if it is operating. If the weather is too poor to cross the Col de Balme, take alternative transport.
Public transport from Trient to Argentière/Chamonix is easy and takes about 2 hours depending on connections.
Step 1: Bus 213 from Trient (Poste) to Le Châtelard-Frontiére VS (takes about 10 mins). Timetable can be found here: https://www.tmrsa.ch/en/timetables/
Step 2: Take the train from Châtelard-Frontiére VS to Argentiere (usually with a change in Vallorcine). Check timetables here: https://www.sbb.ch/en/timetable.html
Shortening the day - Optional chairlift/Telecabine from Col de Balme to Le Tour – bus to Argentière:
The telecabine and chair to Autannes operates from mid-June to the third week in September. Opening hours change slightly during the season but are normally 09:00 – 16:30. A single ticket for the chair and gondola costs around €25. In the Chamonix Valley, all the lifts are operated by Compagnie du Mont Blanc and up to date opening hours and tariffs are available on their website here: http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr
Chambus from Le Tour to Argentière/Chamonix. (Line 02):
There are regular buses to Argentière/Chamonix from La Tour, just make your way to the bus stop opposite the lift station, which has a bus timetable attached. Buses run approx. every 30 minutes or every hour depending on the day of the week (every hour on Sundays) throughout the day. A one-way ticket is approx. €2.00.
Stage 10: Tré-Le-Champ - Lac Blanc/ Le Flégère
Bad weather option:
There are several low-level trails marked on your map that stay close to the valley floor. We would suggest following the Petit Balcon Sud from Argentière to les Praz de Chamonix, where you can catch the cable car to Le Flégère and then walk the 1 hour to Lac Blanc if staying there or continue to Chamonix Mont Blanc if staying in Chamonix.
Bus travel within the Chamonix Valley - Use the Chambus (free with card d’hôte) for bus travel throughout the Chamonix valley. (Details in the transport contact details)
Le Flégère – Les Praz de Chamonix Telepherique:Check the up-to-date information here: https://en.chamonix.com/activities/practical-information-about-the-lifts/flegere-gondola-and-index-lift
Approx €17.50 for a single ticket (then take the shuttle bus to central Chamonix)
Stage 11: Lac Blanc/ Le Flégère - Plan Praz – Les Houches - Chamonix
Bad weather option:
If you have two nights in Chamonix, there is plenty of low-level walking and alternative activities on offer. If you are staying at Lac Blanc descend to Le Flégère on the TMB and catch the telepherique from there. You can also opt to shorten the day at Plan Praz or Brévent.
Le Flégère – Les Praz de Chamonix Telepherique: https://en.chamonix.com/activities/practical-information-about-the-lifts/flegere-gondola-and-index-lift - Approx €17.50 for a single ticket. Then take the shuttle bus to central Chamonix)
Brévent – Plan Praz – Chamonix: https://en.chamonix.com/activities/practical-information-about-the-lifts/brevent-cable-car - Cost approx 28€ for a single ticket from Brévent and approx €17.50 single ticket from Plan Praz.
Les Houches – Chamonix by bus - https://www.chamonix.net/english/transport/bus
Les Houches – Chamonix by train - You can take the Mont Blanc Express from the station at Les Houches to Chamonix. Check the up-to-date information here: http://www.sncf.com