Our mini-tour has been especially conceived for those who don’t feel the need to walk the whole of the circuit, or simply cannot walk for eleven days at a time due to physical or time constraints.
No healthy and relatively-fit person should feel that Walking Mont Blanc [mini-TMB tour] is beyond them – it most certainly isn’t.
So long as you’re not having to worry about where to eat and sleep, nor navigational issues, the day’s walking becomes sheer enjoyment – and you’ve plenty of time, so can hike at your own pace.”
- Maddie-Morganne of The Enlightened Traveller
The northern half is undoubtedly the better of the two based on the key criteria of scenic trails, comfortable accommodation and moderate challenges – it’s up to you whether you return at some later date to complete the southern half of the hallowed circle!
When Walking Mont Blanc [mini-TMB tour] 2024, you 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 personalise according to your interests and requirements. Get most of the walking done in the morning and enjoy your overnight destinations to the full.
- £1195.00 GBP Sterling or €1470.00 Euros [per person in a private double or twin-bedded room]
- Europe’s ‘must do’ hiking trail.
- Enjoy fabulous Alpine scenery in modest stages.
- Stay in the best accommodation available, up to 3-star standard – all hotel rooms are on-suite, no dormitories.
- 6-days of walking in three different countries.
- Option to stay in two fine mountain refuges if of interest – requires an extra night.
- Bad weather or exhaustion 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: 40 mins bus from Chamonix, France, daily services from main cities in northern Italy or bus or shuttle from Geneva airport.
- Comfortable 3-star hotels, complemented by one 2-star hotel and one auberge/walkers’ inn.
- Private, en-suite hotel rooms. One auberge/walkers’ inn has facilities in the corridor.
- 7 nights comfortable accommodation: five 3-star hotels, one 2-star hotel and one auberge/walkers’ inn. All hotel rooms are on-suite.
- 7 breakfasts and 5 evening meals – leaving you free to choose where to purchase lunch en route and dine out in Courmayeur and Les Praz de Chamonix – options are available.
- Luggage transfers throughout¹.
- Hiking Insight Notes™ that empower & make orientation easy
- 1:25,000 scale maps & themed vacation dossier.
- Telephone help-line service with native-English speaking backup.
¹ 15 kgs Max. weight applies – please ask us for details.
- By Bus/Coach – Courmayeur is easily reached through the Mont Blanc tunnel from Chamonix in France, from where a regular bus service takes around 40 minutes.
- By Rail – Courmayeur does not have a train connection. However, travelling by train from Italy can be done as far as Aosta, from where a bus connection will take you to Courmayeur. Otherwise it requires a train to Chamonix (France) followed by the above-mentioned bus service to Courmayeur.
- By Air – Geneva airport in Switzerland is the closest airport to Courmayeur.
- By Car – Courmayeur is one of the easiest Italian (ski) resorts to drive to from the UK or via hire car.
The service runs direct between the Gare SNCF in Chamonix and Courmayeur bus station. Tickets can be purchased on arrival in Chamonix from the SAT Mont Blanc kiosk located just outside the station – the eastern exit. On your departure from Courmayeur, you can buy tickets for onward bus travel (to Chamonix, France, or to Milan, Turin, etc) from the Courmayeur bus station or the Courmayeur Tourism Office – both of which are located a short walk away from your Courmayeur hotel.
Alternatively, tickets can be purchased on-line from the two companies who run the line in partnership: SAT Mont Blanc (France) and Arriva (Italy).
Click to visit SAT Mont Blanc here
Click to visit Arriva here
Coach access is also possible via Arriva from Northern Italian cities such as Turin and Milan. See here.
The French company SAT Mont Blanc runs a bus service to Chamonix from Geneva airport, which connects with the above-mentioned Chamonix-to-Courmayeur line. Details can be found by clicking here.
See also the new train connection by the Léman Express between Geneva Airport and the Saint Gervais Le Fayet train station, with onward train travel to Chamonix and bus to Courmayeur.
There are a multitude of excellent transfer services from Geneva airport to Courmayeur. For an example, see Aosta Express. Many other private companies offer a shuttle service to/from Courmayeur and Geneva airport.
The most convenient Italian airport is Turin Caselle. Approximate travel times and distances from the major airports to Courmayeur are as follows:
Geneva – 118km / 1hr 30 minutes
Turin – 151km / 1hr 40 minutes
Milan Malpensa – 214km / 2hrs 20 minutes
- Family-run accommodation, carefully selected on the basis of superior facilities, location, service and welcome;
- Four 3-star hotels, one 2-star hotel and two auberges/walkers’ inns;
- Private rooms throughout, with en suite facilities – except in one auberge where they are in the corridor.
- Early booking is advised and no ‘dortoirs’/dormitories.
- If you particularly wish to experience a middle-mountain refuge or two, 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 Walking Mont Blanc tour commences in Courmayeur, Italy, just the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel from Chamonix. The tunnel is only 14 kilometres long, with easy access from Chamonix Gare SNCF by a regular bus service that takes approx. 45 minutes. Information on alternative access options from Italy or Geneva, Switzerland can be found in the right hand column of this page.
Furthermore, by starting in Courmayeur, you avoid the main rush of hikers who follow the pack and commence Le Tour in the Chamonix Valley. The Big Finish is in Les Praz, just fifteen minutes’ walk [or one stop on the train] from the cradle of popular alpinism, Chamonix. There’s plenty to enjoy there that warrants an optional extra night’s stay. Either way, it’s a convenient location for your onward journey.
Walking Mont Blanc [mini-TMB tour] 2024 includes luggage transfers and requires no guide. You will meet many willing companions en route, but rest assured that our industry-leading 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 late-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] 2024 – 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 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.
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 de Ferret.
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 Trient
[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.
The video takers visited an off-piste belvedere before commencing the day’s walk.
Night in Trient or Forclaz.
Trient or 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. The video takers stayed in a 4-star hotel on the southern outskirts of Argentière.
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.
The video takers opted for the main GR Ladders’ route.
Night in Les Praz de Chamonix.
Day 8: Departure day – end of the Walking Mont Blanc tour – Enjoy your breakfast, Bon retour et a la prochaine!
Read our article on:
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."