Optimal and complete trip
2021 Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfortis a 12-night, self-guided trip along the complete and legendary Mont Blanc trail with The Enlightened Traveller®. If you want to walk the Tour du Mont Blanc/TMB in one single trip, and under the best possible conditions, then this is the tour for you.
2021 Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comforthelps you achieve this life-time ambition by dissecting the TMB route into walkable segments that most active and healthy individuals can hike. Our guiding objectives are daily and manageable challenges complemented by excellent accommodation. You have time to enjoy the scenery and recuperate with ease for the next day in the comfort of your private, (mostly en suite) room.
Our 2021 Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort brings you:
- seven 3-star hotels,
- two 2-star hotels,
- one walkers’ inn,
- one middle-mountain refuge, and
- one comfortable hotel de tourisme or auberge in Trient/Forclaz.
No fit and healthy person should feel this Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort is beyond them – it most certainly isn’t. With your arrangements made by French-qualified, middle-mountain guides, there’s no need to worry about where to eat, sleep or how to navigate. The day’s walking becomes sheer enjoyment and at your own pace.”
- Maddie of The Enlightened Traveller
- 12-night price:
£1695.00 GBP Sterling or €1935.00 Euros
[per person in a private 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 – all the sites of this mythical hiking route: Chamonix, Lac Blanc, Lac Champex & the unforgettable ‘Balcon du Sud.’
- Moderate daily challenges – you walk at a relaxed pace.
- Stay in comfortable 3 and 2-star hotels throughout supplemented by two auberges and one refuge – no dormitories.
- Two starting points to suit your preference.
- Walk options/variants to suit your preferences on two days.
- Bad weather or ‘rest-day’ transfers – conditions and extra costs apply.*
- We transfer your luggage from inn to inn.
* Please ask us for details.
- Self-guided, 12-night, challenging trip, in comfort and at a more relaxed pace.
- Luggage transfers from start to finish.
- Start any day from 23rd June to mid-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.
- Best access: 30 mins bus from Chamonix, France and daily services from main cities in northern Italy and Geneva airport (Switzerland).
- 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 notes that empower & make orientation easy
- 1:25,000 scale maps & comprehensive, themed vacation dossier.
- Emergency telephone help-line service open 7/7 and 8 ’till late, with native-English speaking backup.
¹ 20 kgs Max. weight applies – please ask us for details.
* 8 evening meals on the 11-night tour
- 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.
– Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions between Italy and France, the service is unavailable at present (at Jan. 2021). However, it should be back and running shortly and definitely in the TMB summer season as it was last year.
Example timetables can be viewed here.
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. Two companies were traditionally responsible for the service: SAT Mont Blanc (France) and SAVDA (Italy). As a result of a very recent merger of local Italian bus companies, Arriva has taken control on the Italian side. The relevant website has only just been launched and it is not clear as to how/where to purchase tickets on-site. We are awaiting news from them to update this page. They do however recommend doing so by downloading their App via Google Play or the Apple Store.
Current information can be found here.
Coach access is also possible via Arriva from Northern Italy. 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.
- 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 bus to Courmayeur.
- By Air – Geneva airport in Switzerland is the closest airport and there are excellent transfer services from Geneva airport to Courmayeur. For an example, see Aosta Express.
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
- By Car – Courmayeur is one of the easiest Italian (ski) resorts to drive to from the UK or via hire car.
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.
- 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 (refuge Bonatti as an alternative)
• 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 Elisabetta [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 Elisabetta. 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.
2021 Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort – the finest sights from three countries
Experience the finest sights available whilst hiking four-and-a-half days in France and Italy plus two days in Switzerland. Based on departure from Courmayeur, we get you up to speed via an average of five hours of moderately-challenging walking per day during the first half of the trip. The second half is slightly more challenging, with up to six-and-a-half hours of walking per day.
Start from Courmayeur
Whilst you can start in Italy or France, we recommend you commence the 2021 Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort from Courmayeur, Italy. The two final days are then ‘relatively leisurely’ at five hours each. This allows you ample time to get the walking done early and enjoy the overnight destinations to the full. You can, however, merge these two days into a longer final day and avoid the over-nighter in the refuge Elisabetta. However, you miss some of the final day’s highlights and arrive back into Courmayeur by shuttle bus – not available in September. Moreover, the opportunity to savour the penultimate night in a private room in a fine alpine refuge is a must!
Flexible first day from Courmayeur
If you would prefer to break yourself in gently on the first walking day, especially if recovering from jet lag, why not reduce the challenge by 90 minutes/4½ kms and stay overnight in fabulous Bonatti refuge? Considered the best refuge in the Mont Blanc Massif, you also get to stay up high in the middle mountain rather than descending to the valley floor in Arnuva as per the standard format. Bonatti does not have en-suite rooms, so WCs and showers are in the corridor. Walking-wise, your second day’s walking to La Fouly would, as a consequence, be increased by 90 minutes/4½ kms. The choice is yours and it’s subject to availability!
Safety first on our Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort
Some of the Tour du Mont Blanc’s variants are verging on the ‘Are you nuts?’ end of the challenge stakes. Fear not! We bring you two days when you can choose which route to take. The first option gives vertigo sufferers the chance to avoid the ‘ladders section’ of the main TMB route. The second option allows you to treat the Les Houches to Les Contamines stage as either a ‘rest day’ or another challenge. Both ‘tougher’ options should be avoided in inclement weather.
Ease of access
We offer you two starting points for our 2021 Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort to suit your preferences. Courmayeur, Italy, is in pole position, 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 40 minutes. Courmayeur is also easily reached from Geneva by either bus or airport shuttle. Chamonix in France is our alternative starting point. Either way, you avoid the main rush of hikers who follow the pack and commence Le Tour in Les Houches.
Rely on us
Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort includes luggage transfers, most evening meals and requires no guide. You will meet many willing companions en route, but our industry-leading walking notes empower you to hike this extraordinary trail in the company of your own choosing. Snow normally clears from the higher passes from mid-June and returns at any time after late-September. We are happy to take reservations from the last week in June. Book early, get the best accommodation reserved in advance and look forward to one of life’s rights of passage.
2021 Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort & Self-guided – 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 or Geneva airport
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.
Note: option of staying in Refuge Bonatti for the night. See ‘Flexible first day from Courmayeur,’ above.
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,
The morning river-hugging trail is a delight to behold, while the afternoon climb to the banks of “Little Canada” is a real gem.
Night in Champex.
Champex to Trient
[10 miles-16 kms, 5½ hrs,
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
[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, 6 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 with the ladders. Imagine you’re the only one there! Then descend the rocky steps to La Flegere and take the cable-car to Les Praz.
The video takers opted for the main GR Ladders’ route.
Night in Les Praz de Chamonix.
Les Praz de Chamonix to
[10 miles-16 kms, +650ms/–1525ms, 8 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 and the magnificent panorama from Brevent itself.
The video takers opted to walk up to Le Flagère from Les Praz and continue only as far as Brevent; from where they took the cable cars down to Chamonix and the Mont Blanc train to Les Houches – thus avoiding the long descent (see walking notes).
Night in Les Houches.
Les Houches to
[10 miles-16 kms, +90 ms/–640ms, 4 hrs] or
[11 miles-18 kms, +840ms/ –580ms, 5¾ hrs]
Miage or Bionnassay
Avoid the knee-crunching and monotonous climb and take the cable car up to Bellevue. Depending on the weather, and your mood, opt for the trail that suits you best to Les Contamines.
The video takers opted for the High Route.
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. Pass two refuges en route to the Col du Bonhomme and Col de la Croix. Lunch in the refuge du Bonhomme is recommended before the descent to Les Chapieux and your welcoming auberge.
Night in Les Chapieux.
Les Chapieux to Ref Elizabetta
[9½ miles/15 kms, +1000ms/–260ms, 5hrs]
Vallee des Glaciers
The Vallee des Glaciers is a joy to behold. Take 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 Elisabetta.
Refuge Elizabetta to Courmayeur
[11 miles-18 kms, +460ms/–1580ms, 5 hrs]
Your final day takes you further down the Lex Blanche. Then 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 Elisabetta. This option is not available in September. Please ask us for details.
Night in Courmayeur.
Day 13: Departure day and end of your Walking Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort trip – 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!"
Click to see our full range of harder walks in France