Tour du Mont Blanc Trek – Every Step of the Way

Tour du Mont Blanc – Every Step

  • One of the best treks in the world

  • Trek around western Europe's highest mountain

  • Visit France, Italy & Switzerland

  • Stunning scenery every day

  • Fully guided trip with luggage support

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

  • We are the TMB experts

  • Outstanding fully-qualified guides

  • Off-the-beaten path on little-travelled variants

  • Excellent quality hotels with private rooms

  • We stay in the wonderful Bonatti hut

Tour du Mont Blanc Trek – Every Step: Dates and Prices

AT A GLANCE

 

12 nights

11 days' trekking

 

Luggage delivery

 

Group size 4-10

 

Price: £2295

 

Join: Les Houches

 

Nearest Airport: Geneva

 

ACCOMMODATION

8 nights in hotels

1 night in a guest house

1 night in an auberge

2 nights in a refuge

DIFFICULTY GRADING

8

Tour du Mont Blanc Trek – Every Step: Overview

The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the world's classic trekking journeys. It covers 166km with 10,000m of ascent and descent. Standing on the border of France, Switzerland and Italy, at 4810m above sea level, Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in western Europe. Our route takes us over varied terrain including rugged cols, high alpine meadows and conifer forests. You will see plenty of alpine flowers and are likely to see marmots, chamois, ibex and birds of prey. As well as Mont Blanc, you should have fantastic views of many other famous peaks in the area: the Domes de Miage, the Aiguille Verte, the Aiguille du Chardonnet, the Grandes Jorasses, Mont Dolent and the Grand Combin amongst others.

 

Which Tour du Mont Blanc trek shall I book?

 

This version, 'Tour du Mont Blanc - Every Step of the Way', does what it says on the tin! We'll trek the whole route rather than taking minibuses to avoid certain sections, as condensed or highlight itineraries can do. If this 12 trekking days' Every Step itinerary isn't quite what you're looking for, peruse our other Tour du Mont Black options below, or skip down to read the Every Step of the Way itinerary beneath. 

 

Classic Tour du Mont Blanc - The classic itinerary completes the circuit over 10 days' trekking and uses cable cars and occasional transfers to offer the most comfortable version of this trek. We take variants whenever possible in order to leave the crowds behind - and it is for this reason that we start on a weekday rather than at the weekend - it makes a huge difference.

 

Highlights of the Tour du Mont Blanc - we use vehicle transfers to link up the Highlights of the TMB, enabling you to complete the circuit over 7 days. Perfect for those who are short of time but who don't want to compromise the best bits - our Highlights version still does some of the exciting variants, and we also stay in the Bonatti hut, a true highlight.

"Best of" the Tour du Mont Blanc - shorter and easier than our Highlights Trip, this version stays in hotels only, and takes 6 days. We use vehicle transfers to shorten some of the days.

 

Ultimate Tour du Mont Blanc - for fit, experienced trekkers only. This is the most challenging version of the Tour du Mont Blanc that we offer. We take little-known variants and climb optional summits on this truly exceptional 10 day itinerary.

Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc - we book all your accommodation and provide suggestions on the best places to eat, buy your lunches, and our favoured route options and recommendations. We can provide anything from Every Step of the Way over 10-12 days, our 10 day Classic trip with a couple of bus transfers, a 5-9 day Highlights trip, a Tour du Mont Blanc East, or West, or even a 3 or 4-day mini TMB from Chamonix to Courmayeur. We can add rest days to your itinerary wherever you like.  And we can cater for all budgets - anything from luxury hotels, to a more budget trip staying in mountain huts, or a comfortable mix. You can choose whether or not to have luggage delivery, whether you'd like your meals included, and we can arrange airport transfers if need be.

Private Tour du Mont Blanc - If you would like an independent trip on dates to suit you, then just let us know. We can offer any number of itineraries for groups of all sizes and budgets from a luxury Tour du Mont Blanc to a budget trip staying entirely in huts, or a trek with a good mix of hotels and huts. You can travel clockwise or anti-clockwise, and take anything from 5 days to 2 weeks, with or without a rest day in Courmayeur, and be guided or self-guided.

Tour du Mont Blanc Trek – Every Step: Itinerary

 

Day 1 - Arrive in Les Houches, Chamonix Valley

Our trip begins in the famous mountain town of Les Houches in the Chamonix valley, at the foot of Mont Blanc. The group will meet at the hotel at 6pm for a trip briefing followed by our evening meal.

 

Accommodation: 3* Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

 

Day 2 - Trek from Les Houches to Les Contamines

We start today in Les Houches with a cable car ride on the Bellevue lift. We then cross the spectacular suspension bridge at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier, and we have several route choices to take us to Les Contamines. We usually cross the Col de Tricot, with a coffee stop at the Chalet de Miages at the foot of the mighty Dome de Miages. If the weather is bad we can take a lower level route. We stay in a lovely hotel in Les Contamines.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 6 hrs

Altitude gain / loss: +837m / -1520m

 

Day 3 - Trek from Les Contamines to Les Chapieux

Today we trek up the old Roman road to the chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge. From here it’s uphill, past the Chalet de Balme (if we’re doing well for time, it’s a perfect coffee stop!) and up to the Col de Bonhomme (2328m) for a well-earned lunch stop. We then we have a gentle climb to the Col de la Croix de Bonhomme (2478m), from where we have a great view towards the Vanoise National Park. Next we have a 2 hour walk down to Les Chapieux, and will stay in a lovely chambre d’hôte.

 

Accommodation: Guest house, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 7-8 hrs

Altitude gain / loss: + 1348m / -960m

 

Day 4 - Trek from Les Chapieux to Cabane du Combal

It's a shorter day today, and we start by taking a newly cut path up to Ville des Glaciers (in previous years the TMB took the tarmac road). At Ville des Glaciers, if the farmer is on hand you might have the opportunity to see how Beaufort cheese is made. After passing Refuge des Mottets, we start to climb more steeply up to our goal, the Col de La Seigne, at 2516m the second highest pass on the Tour du Mont Blanc. We've reached the border with Italy! From here, it's just under 2 hours' descent to the newly renovated Cabane du Combal.

 

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 5-6 hours

Altitude gain / loss: +867m / -600m

Day 5 - Trek from Cabane du Combal to Courmayeur

Today you can either take a balcony path with incredible views of Mont Blanc, or you can choose a slightly lower route via the Rifugio Monte Bianco (if there is bad weather or too much snow). From the Col Checrouit (where you can stop at the Maison Vieille for a coffee or lunch), a steep descent will take you to the lovely mountain town of Courmayeur. This is an often-missed day on the TMB - most companies take a bus from La Visaille and miss out this fantastic balcony hike.

 

Accommodation: 3* Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 6 hours

Altitude gain / loss: +900m / -1120m

 

Day 6 - Trek from Courmayeur to the Rifugio Bonatti

We start the steep walk up to the Bertone hut and the Mont de la Saxe ridge. If the weather is good and there is not too much snow, we can take the lesser-travelled variant to the Mont de la Saxe ridge, up the Tête de la Tronche, and then down steeply to the Col Sapin. We then have a descent, followed by another climb to the Col Entre Deux Sauts: it’s a fairly long, but really stunning day, with few other trekkers about and breathtaking scenery. We overnight at the delightful Rifugio Bonatti, from where you can watch the beautiful sunset behind Mont Blanc. Tonight is the only night of the trip with no luggage access.

 

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: Approx 7 hrs

Altitude gain / loss: +1584m / -940m

 

Day 7 - Trek from the Bonatti hut to La Fouly

Today we trek over the Grand Col Ferret (one of the highest cols on the trip at 2537m).  We are rewarded with stunning views of the Grandes Jorasses, the Grand Combin and Mont Dolent (the summit of which is on the border of France, Switzerland and Italy). At the top of the col we cross over into Switzerland, where the scenery changes yet again. If we’re doing well for time we might stop for a coffee at La Peule. Here we leave the signposted TMB and head to La Fouly via a higher balcony path. La Fouly is an alpine village with traditional Swiss 'chocolate box' chalets, and we stay in a simple hotel.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 6-7 hrs

Altitude gain / loss: +1128m / -1580m

 

Day 8 - La Fouly to Champex

A much shorter day today has us winding through beautiful Swiss alpine meadows, tiny rural villages and finally up to the beautiful alpine resort of Champex, nestled alongside the lake that gives it its name.  Here we stay in a traditional hotel, with wonderful food.

 

Accommodation: 3* Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 5 hrs

Altitude gain / loss: +711m / -855m

 

Day 9 - Hike from Champex to Col de la Forclaz or Trient

There are 2 options today. If we’re feeling fit and the weather is good, we can take the Fenêtre d’Arpette, the highest col on the TMB at 2665m. It’s a fantastic route with stunning views of the Trient glacier.  If we want to be a little more relaxed, we can take the normal route via Bovine to the Col de la Forclaz - our guide will make the decision according to the weather conditions and fitness of the group. We either stay at Col de la Forclaz or at Trient, depending on availability. If we are staying in Trient we continue down to the valley floor for a further 30-40 minutes.

 

Accommodation: Auberge, dinner included.  We aim for en-suite rooms here but they are subject to availability.

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 6 hrs

Altitude gain / loss: +1484m / -1760m

 

Day 10 - Forclaz or Trient to Argentière

Today our plan is to take another variant from the official TMB – a lesser-travelled route, either via Les Grands or Les Tseppes, depending on where we stayed last night. There are much better views from both of these routes, and there are usually not many people, so it’s worth the extra time and effort. If the weather is bad then we might just take the normal TMB. Either route takes us to the Col de Balme, where we are back in France at the head of the Chamonix valley. From here we have more options: either via the Aiguillette de Posettes down to Tré-le-Champ, or straight down to Le Tour, followed by the Petit Balcon Nord to reach Argentière. 

 

Accommodation: Hotel or chalet, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 7 hrs

Altitude gain / loss: +1200m / -1500m

 

Day 11 - Trek from Argentière via the Lac Blanc to Chamonix

We make the short walk back to Tré-le-Champ and hike up to the Lac Blanc via the beautiful Lacs des Chéserys, with simply the best views of Mont Blanc. This is one of the best walks in the Chamonix valley, and we use a series of ladders and chains to skirt the cliffs – this is nothing to worry about and is not difficult! From the Lac Blanc we descend via the Flégère cable car to Les Praz and either walk along the river or take the bus or train to Chamonix.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 7-8 hrs

Altitude gain / loss: +1000m / -650m

 

Day 12 - Chamonix to Les Houches

Today we take the cable car back up the Flégère to resume walking at the same point we finished at yesterday. We start with the famous Grand Balcon Sud linking the Flégère with Planpraz. From here we climb up to the Col du Brévent and then up to the Brévent summit with excellent views of Mont Blanc. To complete our Tour du Mont Blanc, we descend via Bel Lachat and Merlet to reach Les Houches, and take a transfer back to our hotel in Chamonix. It's a long day but there are various places where you can take a cable car to ease the journey.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: Approx 8 hrs

Altitude gain / loss: +870m / -1770m

 

Day 13 - Depart Chamonix

Our trip finishes after breakfast today. Congratulations, you have just completed one of the world's most renowned trekking loops. Every step of the way! 

 

 

 

Included

  • All accommodation 

  • All breakfasts and evening meals

  • All cable cars and transport as detailed in the itinerary

  • Luggage transfers on all but 1 night

  • Qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader

Not Included

 

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Airport transfers

  • Packed lunches

  • Personal drinks & snacks

  • Tips

Tour du Mont Blanc Trek – Every Step: Book Online

The Park, Waresley, Sandy, Beds SG19 3BS

+44 208 144 8102     

© 2018 Cloud 9 Adventure

info@cloud9adventure.com

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