Walking the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of Europes finest hiking accomplishments. To hike through France, Italy and Switzerland, surrounded by the sheer glory of the Alps is a fine way to pass a week. Macs Adventure are the true experts on self-guided walking on the Tour du Mont Blanc and we are eager to pass our expertise on to you.
The Tour du Mont Blanc, whats in a name? The main confusion with the name of this epic hike is the fact that you do not climb or walk on Mont Blanc. The mountain itself is a pretty hostile environment and generally better left for those of us with extensive mountaineering experience. The Tour du Mont Blanc takes in the area surrounding the mountain, the cols and valleys that ring the Mont Blanc massif.
How long is the Tour du Mont Blanc? The complete route is around 170miles. We recommend taking ten days to walk the route, but if you do not have that length of time, we offer highlight packages, walking the classic sections and also a more relaxed version if you want to take a little more time to do it. Whatever your ability or desire, Macs Adventure can sort out the TMB that is perfect for you.
The time of year is all important. The route is at a higher altitude, so snow is an issue. We only operate the trip between mid-June and mid-September and keep a constant eye on the conditions so that we can get our customers out walking as soon as it is safe to do so. It is advisable not to book your trip too close to these dates for fear that the snow may be an issue.
How high does the Tour du Mont Blanc go? The highest point on the route is the Grand Col Ferret, which is 2,532m in height. All together on the trip, you will gain around 10,600m which is a good bit higher than Mt Everest. However, don't let this put you off, it is a lot more straightforward, much safer and more fun than climbing Mt Everest.
Aguille du Midi Cable Car - Although you will be spoiled for great views as you walk around the Mont Blanc Massif, if you have the time in Chamonix, it is a great idea to take the cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi. At just under 4,000m it has some of the best views of Mont Blanc and for once you won't have to climb to get them!
Take some highlighter pens - We provide some great maps for the Tour du Mont Blanc and there is nothing better than sitting over a glass of wine the evening before and marking out your route. While it is great fun, it is also a good way to decide which routes you are going to attempt.
Breakfast in Hotel Bouton d'Or - Sarah, our TMB Product Manager, has fallen in love with the breakfast served in the Hotel Bouton d'Or in Courmayeur. There is a vast range of homemade cakes, pastries and jams all complimented by the best in locally sourced bread, dairy and meats. A real treat and a super-friendly family who run the hotel make it even more special.
Walking Poles - There is a lot of chat about the pros and cons of walking poles, but on the Tour du Mont Blanc they are verging on an essential piece of kit. The nature of the trip is that you climb and descend every day. This is where poles come into their own, providing extra stability on these gradients, taking the pressure off the ankles.
Sample the local fare - Cheese, mushrooms and cured meat are the staples in the Haute-Savoie area and you will come across these on every menu in every restaurant. They are all of a very high standard and we would definitely recommend having at least one Raclette, Tartiflette or Fondue while you are on the trip. There is something about the comfort and heartiness of melted cheese that goes well with walking in the Alps.
Learn the language - While it is not essential to be fluent in French or Italian to take the trip, it always makes a trip more immersive when you can converse with the locals. While many people will speak English, knowing the pleasantries is helpful. We have compiled a list ofuseful phrases for walking the TMBon our blog.
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