Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort helps you achieve this life-time ambition by dissecting the TMB route into walkable segments based on the twin objectives of comfortable accommodation in private rooms and daily manageable challenges that allow you time to enjoy the scenery and recover for the next day.
You experience the finest sights available along the TMB whilst hiking for four-and-a-half days in France and Italy and for two days in Switzerland.To get you up to speed, you average five hours of moderate-to-moderately-challenging walking per day during the first half of your trip, followed by six to six-and-a-half hours of moderately-challenging-to-challenging walking per day for the next three days – based on departure from Courmayeur.
No healthy and relatively-fit person should feel that the Tour du Mont Blanc 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 of The Enlightened Traveller
- 12-night price:
- 11-night price, with NO Refuges:
£1425.00 GBP Sterling or €1635.00 Euros
[per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room]
£1295.00 GBP Sterling or €1585.00 Euros
[per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room]
- Europe’s ‘must do’ hiking trail – all the sites of this mythical hiking route: Chamonix, Lac Blanc, Lac Champex & the unforgettable ‘Balcon du Sud.’
- Best comfort available, walk at a more relaxed pace.
- Stay in comfortable hotels & auberges throughout – i.e., no refuges [11-night trip]; with one refuge used in the 12-nighter [private room, no dormitories]. All subject to availability on your chosen dates.
- Two starting points to suit your preference.
- Walk options/variants to suit your preferences on two days.
- Bad weather or rest-day transfers – conditions apply.*
- We transfer your luggage from hotel to hotel.
* Please ask us for details.
- Self-guided, 12-night, challenging trip, in comfort and at a more relaxed pace.
[11-night option: see itinerary below]
- Luggage transfers from start to finish.
- Start any day from 15 June to 4 September.
- Walk the classic route anti-clockwise for an enhanced experience
- Average 5½ hours and 9½ miles-15½ kms a day.
- Tour starts and finishes in sumptuous Courmayeur, Italy [just 30 mins from Chamonix, France via the Mont Blanc tunnel] or in Chamonix, France itself.
- Best access: 30 mins bus from Chamonix, France and daily services from main cities in northern Italy.
- Carefully-selected hotels & auberges of a high standard, with private rooms [no ‘dortoirs’/dormitories] throughout and en suite facilities the norm.
- 12 nights B & B in ‘3-star and superior 2-star standard’ hotels and auberges and all hotel taxes
- 9 evening meals* – leaving you free to choose where to purchase dinner in Chamonix & Courmayeur, where options abound.
- Luggage transfers throughout¹.
- Hiking Insight Notes™ that empower & make orientation easy
- 1:25,000 scale maps & themed vacation dossier.
- Emergency telephone help-line service open 7/7 with native-English speaking backup.
¹ 20 kgs Max. weight applies – please ask us for details.
* 8 evening meals on the 11-night tour
- 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;
- Private rooms throughout – no ‘dortoirs’/dormitories.
- We bring you:
• Courmayeur – 3-star hotel
• Arnuva – 2-star auberge [default is Refuge Elena with private room] • La Fouly – 3-star hotel
• Champex – 3-star hotel
• Col de la Forclaz/Trient – comfortable hotel de tourisme or auberge
• Argentiere – 3-star hotel
• Praz de Chamonix- 3-star hotel
• Les Houches, 3-star hotel;
• Les Contamines, superior 2-star hotel;
• Chapieux, one-star welcoming walkers’ inn;
• Val Veni, Refuge Elizabetta [private room without WC & bathroom] and
• Courmayeur, 3-star hotel.
Note: option to merge Days 11 and 12 [approx.6½ hrs] via a shuttle bus to Courmayeur, thus avoiding the over-nighter in Elizabetta. Ask us for details.
- 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.
Whilst you choose whether to start in France or Italy, our personal preference is to commence the tour in Courmayeur. The final two days, from Les Chapieux to Courmayeur, are then ‘relatively leisurely’ at five hours each and allow you ample time to get the walking done quite early and enjoy your fine overnight destinations to the full. You can, however, merge these two days into a six-and-a-half hour final day and avoid the over-nighter in the refuge Elizabetta; but you do miss the final highlights and take a shuttle bus to Courmayeur instead – however, one again, the choice is yours!
Some of the TMB variants are verging on the ‘Are you nuts?’ end of the novice-to-expert continuum. Fear not! We are delighted to bring you just two days when you can choose which route you take. The first gives vertigo sufferers the chance to avoid the ladders section of the main TMB en route to the Balcon du Sud; whilst the second allows you to treat the Les Houches to Les Contamines stage as a rest day or another challenge. Both ‘tougher’ options should be avoided in inclement weather.
We offer you two starting points for the tour to suit your preferences: either Chamonix in France or Courmayeur, 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. Either way, you thus avoid the main rush of hikers who follow the pack and commence Le Tour in Les Houches.
Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort 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 normally 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.
Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort – 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
[10 miles-16 kms, 6.00 hrs, +1025ms/-380ms]
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
[9 miles-14½ kms, 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
[8½ miles/13½ kms, 4½ 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 Forclaz
[10 miles-16 kms, 5½ hrs, +720ms/-655ms]
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
[11 miles-18 kms, 5 hrs, +890ms/-1165ms]
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
[7 miles-11 kms, 5½ hrs, +1100ms/-470ms]
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.
Les Praz de Chamonix to Les Houches
[10½ miles-17 kms, +770ms/–1550ms, 6½ hrs]
Walk out the hotel, take the cable car up to La Flagere and get straight into the TMB action: le Balcon du Sud, the splendid col du Brevent, the magnificent panorama from Brevent itself and the descent to Les Houches via Le Merlet.
Night in Les Houches.
Les Houches to Les Contamines
Low or all-weather Route via Bionnassay
[10 miles-16 kms, +90 ms/–640ms, 4 hrs] or
High Route via Refuge de Miage
[11 miles-18 kms, +840ms/ –580ms, 5¾ hrs]
High or Low Route
Avoid the knee-crunching and monotonous climb, take the cable car up to Bellevue and, depending on the weather, and your mood, opt for the trail that suits you to Les Contamines.
Night in Les Contamines.
Les Contamines to Les Chapieux
[11 miles-18 kms, +1320ms/–930ms, 7 hrs]
Col du Bonhomme
Follow the Bon Nant Torr past Notre Dames de la Gorge and two refuges en route to the Col du Bonhomme and Col de la Croix. Lunch in the refuge du Bonhomme is followed by the descent to Les Chapieux and your welcoming auberge.
Night in Les Chapieux.
Les Chapieux to Ref Elizabetta
[9½ miles-15 kms, +1000ms/–260ms, 5 hrs]
Vallee des Glaciers
The Vallee des Glaciers is a joy to behold. Enjoy a quick drink at Les Mottets before climbing up to the Col de la Seigne and into Italy. The views are delightful as too is the descent into Lex Blanche.
Night in Elizabetta.
Refuge Elizabetta to Courmayeur
[11 miles-18 kms, +460ms/–1580ms, 5 hrs]
Your final day takes you further down the Lex Blanche before ypu climb up past abandoned farmsteads overlooking the remains of the Miage Glacier. The balcony trail to the Col Checrouit makes for a fine end to this superb hiking trip.
Note: option to merge Days 11 and 12 [approx.6½ hrs] via a shuttle bus to Courmayeur, thus avoiding the over-nighter in Elizabetta. Please ask us for details.
Night in Courmayeur.
Day 13: Departure day and end of tour Tour du Mont Blanc – breakfast and onward journey by bus to Chamonix, Milan or Turin or transfer to Geneva – Bon Voyage et à bientôt!
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 two days to suit you: the High or the Low Route and avoid the 'ladders section'.
- 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 via two cable cars.
A once in a lifetime experience that will fulfil most hikers' dreams of crossing international frontiers on foot. A right of passage par excellence!"
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