Mont Blanc from Chamonix Up to the Col du Bonhomme Refuge Miage Apres hike Chalet Refuge La Balme Beaufort Cheese starts here Beaufort Cheese Apres hike Refuge Les Mottets Italian Val Ferret

Tour du Mont Blanc

Hike a more sustainable, authentic Tour du Mont Blanc


Trip Details

Location France, Italy, Switzerland
Length 12 days
Grades Moderate, Strenuous
Accommodations Hotel, Mountain Hut
Group size 5-12
Dates Jun 22, 2020 - Jul 3, 2020,
Jul 11, 2020 - Jul 22, 2020,
Sep 8, 2020 - Sep 19, 2020
Land Cost $4,550.00
Single Supp Cost $600.00

Hiking Trip Summary

The Tour du Mont Blanc has arguably become THE most popular multi-day hiking route in European Alps, and it's not hard to understand why. Few routes offer as much grandeur and variety in such a manageable timeframe. Comprised of century-old trading and hunting routes, the Tour du Mont Blanc circles Western Europes highest mountain and its surrounding peaks, coursing its way through the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. It's a route of alpine meadows, barren passes, small hamlets and gigantic glaciers, hike-able in 12 days.

Our approach has always been to indulge in what is unique to the Tour du Mont Blanc and the European style of hut-to-hut hiking. We choose whatever accommodation is at the end of a reasonable day's walk. We stay in the mountain huts to soak in the remoteness and join in the camaraderie of fellow hikers. And, we stay in small inns and hotels along the way to relax into the well-earned comforts that towns and villages have to offer. With all of our accommodations providing hearty meals and warm beds, we embrace the simplicity and tradition of carrying our own packs. 

We keep our group size small, our guide to trip member ratio high, and our departures limited.

After over 30 years of guiding groups around Mont Blanc what we've learned is, it doesn't have to be a luxury experience to be a trip of a lifetime. In fact the opposite. Really, what's the point of being in the mountains if you can't get back to some basics, like throwing everything you need in your pack, which doesn't have to be a lot, and hitting the trail?

Forget about your bucket lists. Let your cell phone drift to the bottom of your pack. Forget about your next Instagram-able meal or perfect selfy. Put all those yoga classes and fitness sessions to work. Let your body show you what it's made of. Move with the rhythm of the mountains, take it slow, learn the flowers, make real connections. 


Itinerary

Show itinerary

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Additional Information

SINGLE TRAVELERS

If you wish to have your own room, there is a single supplement charge.  However, single rooms are not available at the refuges – Miage, La Balme, Mottets, or Bonatti. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration. Single rooms are limited.  

If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If there is no one with whom you can share, we will not charge you extra for this “forced” single during the hike.

INCLUDED

  • Group transfers to and from the Geneva Airport
  • All accommodations
  • All breakfasts (some are continental, others are buffet)
  • All dinners except two
  • All group transfers on ski lifts, buses, and trains as described in the itinerary
  • Guide/s
  • Great hiking and great memories!

NOT INCLUDED

Airfare, lunches, two dinners in Courmayeur, optional/individual transfers or excursions, items not on set dinner menu, beverages, insurance, tips to guides/leaders, items of a personal nature.

LUGGAGE

This hike is not vehicle supported. You will need to carry a pack with all the clothing and accessories you will need for the duration of hike (see our Sample Packing List). With advances in synthetic clothing and other travel gear, it’s possible to keep your pack weight to 15 – 20 lbs., including lunch and water. Any extra luggage or belongings you may have can be left at the hotel in Chamonix.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND FACILITIES

The accommodations on the TMB vary from comfortable 4-star hotels to rustic mountain refuges.

Hotels: For our 12-day Tour du Mont Blanc, we spend 7 nights in comfortable hotels with private baths: Chamonix (2 nights), Courmayeur (2 nights), Champex, La Fouly, and Argentiere. All are friendly, family-run hotels that reflect the local character. We are certain you will find these hotels comfortable and welcoming.

Mountain Huts or Refuges: We spend four nights in mountain refuges: Mirage, La Balme and Mottets, in France, and at Bonatti in Italy. The refuges in France are wonderful rustic farms that have been converted to accommodate hikers. They have co-ed bunkrooms, called dortoirs. The bunkrooms vary in size each night. Some refuges have bunkrooms that sleep 6, while others have larger bunkrooms that sleep 10 – 15. You should expect to share a bunkroom for these three nights. Bonatti was built purposely for hikers and has bunk rooms for 4 persons per room. Private rooms are not available at the refuges.

Breakfasts and dinners are served at the hotels or refuges and lunches are picnic style along the trail.

We feel that if you truly want to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc, staying in the refuges, which are in spectacular settings, is the only way to hike this amazing route. Sure, it is a little harder sharing your space for a few nights or carrying a few extra pounds on your back, but this effort is rewarded 100-fold when you arrive on foot and depart on foot, all the while carrying just what you need for the trip.

TRAVEL

It is easiest to fly to Geneva. However, there are frequent trains from Zurich or Paris, just be sure to allow for extra travel time. Included in the trip cost is a group transfer from the Geneva Airport on Day 1 and to the Geneva Airport on Day 12.

MEETING POINT

Rendezvous at Geneva Airport at 1:00 pm on the first day for a group transfer to our hotel in Chamonix.

ENDING POINT

Included is a group transfer from Chamonix to the Geneva Airport on the last day. We depart the hotel in Chamonix between 7:15 and 7:30 am and arrive at the Geneva airport between 9:00 and 9:30 am. Should you need to depart Chamonix earlier in the morning, we are happy to help you arrange a transfer at an additional cost.

WHO WOULD LIKE THIS TRIP?

Our Tour du Mont Blanc trips are perfect for hikers who look forward to wonderful, challenging hikes and like the thought of staying in comfortable hotels as well as more rustic mountain huts. This route offers an excellent introduction to the European style of hut-to-hut and inn-to-inn hiking in the Alps. The scenery is awe-inspiring, the hiking demanding but not overly-strenuous, the accommodations varied, and the meals hearty. This is the alpine hike every hiker should do once, maybe twice!

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP DIFFERENT?

The Tour du Mont Blanc is our cornerstone. It was the first hiking route we offered as a guided trip in 1988, and it continues to be our fondest. A genuine alpine hiking experience, we believe, includes staying in mountain accommodations such as huts and refuges and carrying one's own pack. We do both of these on our Tour du Mont Blanc. Staying in a few refuges gets us out of town and into the mountains and carrying our own packs cuts down on the use of vehicles and creates a stronger connection to the landscapes we travel.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP SUSTAINABLE?

20 years ago offering luggage support around Mont Blanc was an innovation, today its impact is obvious. Increasing numbers of tour companies are putting on increasing numbers of departures, all luggage supported. Not only is this causing obvious impacts to the trails due to increasing numbers of hikers, but more and more vehicles are also are making their way ever farther into these mountains for the sole purpose of delivering luggage. There is something strangely disorienting about stepping out of a remote mountain hut early in the morning to be greeted by cool mountain air and an enormous pile of luggage waiting to be collected.  

We think there are more important things than running as many people as we possibly can around Mont Blanc. We prefer to keep our impact to a minimum. We keep our groups small and our departures limited. We feel that carrying our own packs, we like to think of it as being "luggage free", is an environmentally kind and respectful way of being in these mountains. 

We totally understand that for some hikers having luggage support in the mountains provides access to an experience they might not otherwise be able to have. We're all for that. And, for the rest of us, it's worth considering another way.   

MORE INFORMATION

If you would like to register, receive more information, including a detailed itinerary (including elevation gains, loss, and distance), please contact us. We're happy to supply a list of past participants willing to share their insights into this guided Tour du Mont Blanc experience.

Reserving This Trip

A deposit of $500 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the area provided when completing your registration forms.

The balance is due 60 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 60 days prior to departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as personal checks.

As confirmation of receipt of your deposit and registrations, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form, medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive trip rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most trips.

Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.

Reserve Your Spot



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Testimonials

"They are very well connected on the TMB – all the hut and hotel owners greet them with open arms, so you know you’re going to be treated well."

Kem Edwards, New Haven CT

As I reflect on our hike now, so many months later, I still feel its impact in so many positive ways. In some remarkable way, I felt at the time, and I still feel, so much better connected to myself. I came home feeling physically strong, happy, confident and much more open to the world and people. It's a wonderful feeling. I think just being in my body and outside every day changed me in some way. 

Mary Head, Putney VT

I’d just like to let you know that the Tour du Mont Blanc was a trip of a lifetime! Brooke and I had the greatest time.  Rupert is the best guide in the world. He is such a wealth of knowledge, kind, generous and fun!  Our trip mates were awesome, and we built life long friendships.  We couldn’t have asked for anything better.  We’ll definitely be working with you the next time we book a trip.
Thank you!

Blythe Manson, Redmond WA