Tour Du Mont Blanc
Tour Du Mont Blanc
- All Lodging
- Round-Trip Airport Shuttle
- Guide-led Hikes
- Gondola Ride over the Mountain
- Storage of luggage in Chamonix
Trip Dates: September 8-22, 2019
15 days/14 nights. 100 miles. 3 countries.
A trek of a lifetime in Europe’s awe-inspiring Alps region.
Experience the cultures and cuisines of France, Switzerland and Italy while circling the spectacular Mont Blanc massif on the Tour du Mont Blanc trail system. It’s a challenging route that rewards us with some of the most exquisite mountain scenery in the world. It’s a classic and popular European adventure…. even better when we’re doing it our way:
Two stages with 6 days trekking in each stage and a rest day in the middle. Choose one stage, or do both.
5-7 hours trekking per day, at a comfortable pace.
A lodge-to-lodge excursion, with dinner, breakfast, a bunk and a shower provided at each stop.
- Trek begins and ends in the high-style resort town of Chamonix, France
- Hike 6-10 miles per day, crossing international borders (France, Italy and Switzerland) on foot
- 100 miles +/- total hiking, with an accumulated elevation gain/loss of about 32,800’
- Follow historic routes through the Alps once used for hunting and trading
- Discover quaint villages and valleys in the shadow of enormous glaciers and peaks
- Take a rest day in the lovely medieval city of Courmayeur, Italy.
- Ride a sky gondola up to about 13,000’ for close-up views of Mont Blanc’s summit and glaciers.
- Enjoy fresh, local and hearty meals. Regional cuisine that changes as we cross borders.
- Meet locals and other trekkers at mountain lodges (refuges, inns and chalets) along the way
- Comfortable lodging and no camping; a reduced load each day on the trail.
- Luggage stored safely in Chamonix during the trek
- Shuttles between Geneva Airport and Chamonix included
$3,348 (per person) — 15-day trip
$2,189 (per person) — 9-day trip
Included: All lodging, round-trip airport shuttle, all breakfasts & dinners, guide-led hikes, gondola ride over the mountain (halfway point), storage of luggage in Chamonix.
Not Included: Airfare. Private rooms. Hiking gear. Wine and beer with meals. Lunch and snacks on the trail. Tips for guides.
A $500 (per person) deposit is due when you submit the reservation form. Your 2nd payment (50% of remaining balance) will be due June 1, 2019. The remaining balance will be due July 15, 2019. You’ll receive a reminder email when these are due.
Once each payment is made, it becomes non-refundable.
Travel insurance is always a good idea to prevent loss of funds in case of an unexpected cancellation or even injury while on the trip. The easiest way to get insurance is to purchase along with your flight purchase.
1st Half (trekking clockwise route) – 9 days/ 8 nights
Sept 8: Arrive at Geneva airport in the morning (GVA) and shuttle to Chamonix, France. Trip orientation and group dinner in Chamonix.
Sept 9: Acclimation day - This morning will be a good time to walk around the town of Chamonix, buy any last minute supplies, and acclimate to the time change and altitude before starting our TMB journey with a short, half-day hike to Argentière. Easy / 5.6 Miles / 700’ Elevation Gain
Sept 10: Argentière to Trient, Switzerland – Our first big climb starts right out of Argentière as we make our way to the Col de Balme, a high mountain pass at the border of France and Switzerland, before descending into Trient. Very Difficult / 8.9 Miles / 3,100’ Elevation Gain / 2,800’ Elevation Loss
Sept 11: Trient to Champex, Switzerland – With a symphony of Swiss cowbells to motivate us, we tackle a steep climb in the morning up to high mountain pastures. The route moderates in the afternoon, ending at a mountain chalet nestled in the hills outside of Champex. Moderately Difficult / 8.6 Miles / 1,750’ Elevation Gain / 2,250’ Elevation Loss
Sept 12: Champex to Ferret, Switzerland – We follow a downhill route into the beautiful town of Champex and stop for photos at the scenic Lac Champex before starting a long, relatively gentle climb up the Swiss side of Val Ferret. Moderately Difficult / 12.4 Miles / 2,000’ Elevation Loss / 2,100’ Elevation Gain
Sept 13: Ferret to Rifugio Bonatti – Crossing from Switzerland into Italy over the Grand Col Ferret we enjoy a terrific view down the full length of the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif. The route then descends through the Italian Val Ferret before mounting a higher balcony trail that leads to our mountain refuge. Difficult / 10.3 Miles / 2,700’ Elevation Gain / 2,400’ Elevation Loss
Sept 14: Rifugio Bonatti to Courmayeur, Italy. We come off the high routes down into the ancient and charming village of Courmayeur, with stunning views along the way of Mont Blanc and the grand Aosta Valley. A big Italian celebration dinner awaits. Moderate / 7.4 Miles / 2,700’ Elevation Loss
Sept 15: Rest and recovery day in Courmayeur with a spectacular gondola ride over Mont Blanc and spa options.
Sept 16: Morning shuttle from Courmayeur to Geneva for mid-day departures.
2nd Half – (resuming clockwise route) 9 days/ 8 nights
Sept 14: Arrive at Geneva airport in the morning (GVA) and shuttle to Courmayeur, Italy. Trip orientation and group dinner in Courmayeur.
Sept 15: Acclimation Day – From our hotel in the center of town, you can explore all of Courmayeur while acclimating to the time change and altitude. You can also join the group for a spectacular gondola ride over Mont Blanc.
Sept 16: Courmayeur to Rifugio Elisabetta – We resume our TMB trek and it is one of the most demanding days of the entire route, starting with a steep climb straight out of Courmayeur. We will take it slow and steady all morning until stopping to enjoy a well-deserved break and picnic lunch. Our preferred spot is a high viewpoint looking across Val Veni and Lac Combal to the towering Aiguille des Glaciers. From lunch on, we follow a mostly downhill track towards our mountain refuge. Very Difficult / 9.8 Miles / 3,950’ Elevation Gain / 1,450’ Elevation
Sept 17: Rifugio Elisabetta to Les Chapieux, France – A relatively short and easy climb to the Col de la Seigne starts the day well. It is here, the high point for the day, that we cross from Italy into France. A long, steady descent through the Vallée des Glaciers brings us to our delightful guesthouse in the tiny hamlet of Les Chapieux. Moderate / 8.8 Miles / 1,150’ Elevation Gain / 3,250’ Elevation Loss
Sept 18: Les Chapieux to Les Contamines, France – Two things make this one of the more difficult days of the journey. First, is the steep ascent to the Col de la Croix. Second, is navigating - and sometimes scrambling - over long stretches of very rocky terrain. The demanding track eventually eases - and the views are spectacular - as we approach our destination near the town of Les Contamines. Very Difficult / 8.4 Miles / 3,150’ Elevation Gain / 3,350’ Elevation Loss
Sept 19: Les Contamines to Les Houches, France – This long-distance day includes a couple of good uphill climbs, but we stop in the middle for a leisurely lunch break in the hamlet of Bionnassay. By afternoon, we are descending across ski slopes and past elegant chalets sitting above the town of Les Houches. Moderately Difficult / 14.3 Miles / 1,950’ Elevation Gain / 2,100’ Elevation Loss
Sept 20: Les Houches to Chamonix. A shorter, more moderate day of hiking along a balcony trail - with “only” 1,500 feet of elevation change - completes the route back to Chamonix, where a private chalet and catered dinner await. Congratulations on completing the TMB journey! Moderate / 4.3 Miles / 1,500’ Elevation Gain / 1,500’ Elevation Loss
Sept 21: A day to recover. Take the extra time to discover all the makes Chamonix the ultimate resort town in Europe. Visit the glacier and ice cave, book a hang-gliding trip, ride the sky-high gondolas, or just spend the day resting and shopping.
Sept 22: Morning shuttles from Chamonix to Geneva for mid-day departures.
Note: Alternate routes, destinations and activities may be incorporated into itinerary at the discretion of guides.
Full Trip – 15 days/14 nights
Start and finish in Chamonix, spending eleven days on the route to complete the full tour, traveling clockwise. Rest day, on September 14, will include a scenic gondola ride from Courmayeur to the Aiguille du Midi near the top of Mont Blanc, and shopping and spa options.
Sept 8: Arrive Geneva (morning) and shuttle to Chamonix, France. Hotel and group dinner in Chamonix.
Sept 9: Acclimation day- you will be jet-lagged so this will be a good time to walk around the town of Chamonix, buy any last minute supplies, rest etc
Sept 10: Start trek -- Chamonix to Trient, Switzerland
Sept 11: Trient to Champex, Switzerland
Sept 12: Champex to Ferret, Switzerland
Sept 13: Ferret to Rifugio Bonatti
Sept 14: Rifugio Bonatti to Courmayeur, Italy
Sept 15: Rest and recovery day in Courmayeur with scenic gondola ride over Mont Blanc and spa options.
Sept 16: Start trek – Courmayeur to Refuge Elisabetta
Sept 17: Refuge Elisabetta to Les Chapieux, France
Sept 18: Les Chapieux to Les Contamines, France
Sept 19: Les Contamines to Les Houches, France
Sept 20: Les Houches to Chamonix. Private catered dinner and chalet Chamonix.
Sept 21: Day on the town in Chamonix
Sept 22: Shuttle from Chamonix to Geneva for mid-day departures.
Note: Alternate routes and destinations may be incorporated into itinerary at the discretion of guides. Please refer to above route descriptions and elevation change listed for half trips.
You each inspired me so much, I came back a different person, a few lbs heavier (due to the amazing food) but so much lighter in heart!!! Thank you all
Thank you for your patience, kindness, humor and thoughtfulness as Fit 4 Adventure guided me (and a group of other women) through the mountains of Mont Blanc. This was a great way to end my 60th year and begin the first year of my 60s and opened my eyes to the other side of the world..
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