Walking Mont Blanc [mini-TMB tour] is your chance to enjoy the best half of “Le Tour Classique” in a one-week format – viz., half the effort, but most of the highlights from the Tour du Mont Blanc. Feel empowered to walk this mythical route by our mini-tour for those who don’t feel the need to walk the whole of the circuit or simply cannot walk for 11 days at a time due to physical or time constraints.
No healthy and relatively-fit person should feel that the TMB is beyond them – it most certainly isn’t. So long as your detailed arrangements are made by experts, and you’re not having to worry about where to eat and sleep, nor navigational issues, the day’s walking becomes sheer enjoyment – including the ascents and descents, which you have plenty of time to negotiate at your own pace.”
- Maddie-Morganne of The Enlightened Traveller
You experience the finest sights of the TMB and enjoy the perfect harmony of two days walking in France, Italy and Switzerland; you average five hours of moderate-to-moderately-challenging walking per day, with options to reduce these further according to your interests and requirements, subject to accommodation availability. Get most of the walking done in the morning and enjoy your overnight destinations to the full.
- £995.00 Pounds Sterling or €1185.00 Euros [per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room]
Note: Please contact us to check for the latest Sterling prices. Sterling prices are confirmed at the time of booking.
- Europe’s ‘must do’ hiking trail.
- Enjoy fabulous Alpine scenery in modest stages.
- Stay in the best accommodation available – private rooms, no dormitories.
- 6-days of walking in three different countries.
- Option to stay in up to three fine mountain refuges – requires extra nights.
- Bad weather transfers – conditions apply.*
- We transfer your luggage from hotel to hotel.
* Please ask us for details.
- 7-night, harder self-guided tour.
- Start any day, last week in June to mid-September.
- Tour starts in Courmayeur, Italy and finishes in Les Praz de Chamonix, near Chamonix.
- Best access: 30 mins bus from Chamonix, France and daily services from main cities in northern Italy.
- Welcoming hotels, averaging superior ‘2-star standard’.
- 7 nights B & B in ‘superior 2-star standard’ hotels and auberges and all hotel taxes
- 5 evening meals – leaving you free to choose where to purchase lunch en route and dinner in towns – options are available and fully documented in tour dossier.
- Luggage transfers throughout¹.
- Hiking Insight Notes™ that empower & make orientation easy
- 1:25,000 scale maps & themed vacation dossier.
- Emergency telephone help-line service with native-English speaking backup.
¹ Max. weight and content conditions apply – please ask us for details.
- How to get to Courmayeur…
- By Road – Courmayeur is easily reached through the Mont Blanc tunnel from Chamonix in France, from where a regular bus service takes around 30 minutes. Please ask us for details;
Road access is also possible via the Grand St. Bernard way above Martigny in Switzerland. The ValD’Aosta tunnel makes it very easy to reach the town from Aosta, Turin or Milan;
Courmayeur can also be reached by bus via daily services from the main cities of northern Italy Turin, Milan, Genoa.
- By Train – Courmayeur does not have a train connection. However, travelling by train from Italy is recommended as far as Aosta, from where a bus connection will take you to Courmayeur.
- By Air – The nearest airports are Geneva, Turin’s Caselle and Milan’s Malpensa and Linate. Courmayeur is approximately an hour’s drive from Turin and a little more from Milan. Geneva International Airport is 90 minutes away.
- Family-run accommodation, carefully selected on the basis of superior facilities, location, service and welcome;
- Five 3-star hotels, one 2-star auberge and one welcoming walkers’ inn;
- Private rooms throughout – no ‘dortoirs’/dormitories.
- Early booking is advised and en suite facilities the norm and our aim.
However, this is arguably the world’s most popular hiking trip and such facilities may not always be available and so cannot be a precondition for your booking.
- If you particularly wish to experience a middle-mountain refuge, we know the best ones and are happy to build in such an overnight experience [comprising as many ‘mod-cons’ as possible, incl. private bedroom] that keeps you high up on the trail, and obviates the habitual late-afternoon descent and next-morning climb. Please ask us for details.
- Warm, but short summers;
- Alpine flora and fauna – ibex, bouquetins, marmots;
- Classic alpine topography: jagged, ice-covered peaks and flat, glaciated valleys;
- A fine and varied mix of undulating trail through alpine pasture and along broad ridge. Morning climbs and late-afternoon descents are the norm.
The tour commences in Courmeyeur, Italy, just the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel from Chamonix (the tunnel is only 14 kms long), with easy access from Chamonix by a regular bus service that takes approx. 30 minutes. Taxi is an alternative if required. Furthermore, you avoid the main rush of all those hikers who follow the pack and commence Le Tour in Les Houches. Their battle-worn faces and leg-weariness will reconfirm your decision to have stolen a march and started your hiking in Italy. The finish is fifteen minutes’ walk [or one stop on the train] from the cradle of popular alpinism, Chamonix, so you can choose whether to go their or not. Either way, it’s convenient for your departure.
Walking tour Mont Blanc [mini-TMB tour] includes luggage transfers and requires no guide. You will meet many willing companions en route, but rest assured that our industry standard-setting walking notes will empower you to hike this extraordinary trail alone or in the company of your own choosing. Snow clears from the higher passes from mid-June and returns at any time after mid- September. Book early, get the best accommodation reserved and look forward to one of life’s memorable experiences. Please ask us about the option of staying in one or two fine mountain refuges with private bedrooms. This would extend the tour by one night/day.
Walking Mont Blanc [mini-TMB tour] – Tour Itinerary
Times and ascents/descents are an approximation.
Day 1: Arrive in Courmayeur [Italy] and hotel check-in. Courmayeur is a short coach-ride through the Mont Blanc tunnel from Chamonix, or you can approach from northern Italy
Courmayeur to D’Arnuva
[6.00 hrs, +1025 ms, -380 ms]
Enjoy the morning’s climb followed by the gentle, sub-alpine pastures of the picture-postcard Ferret Valley.
Night in Arnuva.
D’Arnuva to La Fouly
[5 hrs, +865 ms, -1030 ms]
La frontiere Suisse
Climb up past Refuge Elena and enjoy the fine descent into Switzerland from the Grand Col.
Night in La Fouly.
La Fouly to Champex
[4.30 hrs, +385ms, -380 ms]
The morning river-hugging trail is a delight to behold and the afternoon climb to the banks of “Little Canada” a real gem.
Night in Champex.
Champex to Col de la Forclaz
[5.30 hrs, +720ms, -655 ms ]
The views down the Upper Rhone Valley from Bovine are a treat and the descent to the Franco-Swiss border is absorbing.
Night in Col de la Forclaz or Trient.
Col de la Forclaz to Argentiere
[5 hrs, +890ms, -1165 ms]
Col de Balme
The climb to the Col de Balme is breathtaking and the views as you descend into France are as exceptional as they are expansive.
Night in Argentiere.
Argentiere to Les Praz de Chamonix via La Flegere
[5.30 hrs, +1100ms, -470 ms]
Two options for the climb up to Lac Blanc: the GRP and the ‘Grand Balcon du Sud’ or the gentler climb via the TMB proper plus the ladders. Imagine you’re the only one there before descending the rocky steps to La Flegere and the cable-car down to your celebration meal.
Night in Les Praz de Chamonix.
Day 8: Departure day – Enjoy your breakfast, Bon retour et a la prochaine!
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Independent testimonials about The Enlightened Traveller can be read here:
- Spectacular scenery - arguably the best of our harder-challenge tours
- Complementary accommodation - the very best the TMB has to offer
- Options on one day to suit you: the 'ladders section' or the variant.
- The 'ladders section' is not for vertigo sufferers, but an alternative variant is available for you!
- Not for the faint hearted - but certainly for the healthy who keep fit with regular walking
- Most days involve morning ascents and afternoon descents - well worth the effort, but we help you avoid the worst/final descent via a cable car.
European hiking just doesn't come any better than this: three countries and six days of sumptuous scenery."