Acclaimed as one of Europe’s best Alpine treks, the Tour du Mont Blanc is on the bucket list of many walkers. But so many people are put off the higher-level hiking tour because they worry they will not be fit enough, however with such a broad range of itineraries Macs Adventure is allowing increasing numbers of walkers to enjoy spectacular walking around the Mont Blanc Massif.
The facts look daunting on paper with a total multi-day hike of 170km and some 10,000m of ascent and descent to circle the Mont Blanc Massif. The route also passes through three countries, France, Italy and Switzerland.
Many “average” walkers discover they can enjoy this superb long-distance walk. The route to happiness on the Tour du Mont Blanc is to choose the right tour to suit your fitness and ability – and put in some training before you go.
Macs Adventure offers nine different Tour du Mont Blanc tours. There are “classic”, “comfort”, “huts” and “relaxed” tours of various lengths, from the complete Tour du Mont Blanc hike to a shorter “highlights of” tour.
The Tour du Mont Blanc holidays are self-guided, and there is an option to have your baggage transferred on most of the days if you prefer to walk only with a daypack.
On average the complete Tour du Mont Blanc tour is walked between eight to 10 days, but it’s possible to extend this time if you would prefer to have shorter walking days.
There are also many options for daily routes that can decrease the amount of climbing required.
You’ll see that there are many different options when choosing a Tour du Mont Blanc walking trip. However, all walkers should have put in some training before heading to the Alps.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is more of an endurance hike than a sprint. Think marathon rather than 1500m running race.
To increase your fitness in the months preceding the Tour du Mont Blanc we suggest you incorporate the kind of training we mention below, so you are better equipped to enjoy the trip, not just endure it.
Great, you’ve got plenty time! Starting your training six months before your trips is the ideal goal.
There’s still plenty time!
Left it a bit late? As long as you are a reasonably active person and have a reasonable base level of fitness, you’ll be fine!
Of course, you should always be honest with yourself – there’s nothing wrong with aiming high but if you’re concerned about your health or fitness, or have medical conditions which may affect your ability to complete the route safely, do contact your doctor.
In addition to these walking tips, it is good to get some general fitness. You could swim, cycle, run or visit the local gym. These sessions will increase your aerobic ability and ensure that you can bound up the ascents on the TMB.
Recovery is vital. Rest days or days when you include a rest and recovery session such as gentle walking, swimming or yoga, will allow your body to adapt and grow in strength.
The hills and mountains of northern England, Wales and Scotland offer plenty of scope for tough hiking days. Not only are these good for physical training but they will allow you to understand how you cope mentally on long hiking days.
Walking at home, wherever you live, can also be a superb experience with lots of rewards.
When it comes to booking your Tour du Mont Blanc holiday be honest with your tour specialist. Ask for their advice about the right trip for you. The hiking holiday is meant to be enjoyable, and there are a variety of different options to choose from to suit a wide range of fitness levels. Contact a member of the team on [email protected] for further information.