Mont Blanc Guided Walk

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Small group
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The historic Tour du Mont Blanc is easily one of the most spectacular walks of the world. Brimming with incredible vistas from high mountain passes, lush valleys and highway sized glaciers, alpine scenery does not get much better than this. Joining an international group led by a bilingual mountain guide, the emphasis is on full immersion into the sublime mountain culture, with overnights in cosy mountain refuges or charming village gîtes. Carrying only a day pack, our mules transport your luggage leaving you free to enjoy the days walk. Commencing from the Chamonix Valley in France, the route takes you through Italy and Switzerland during a horseshoe circuit around the Mont Blanc massif. There is plenty of time to enjoy the small villages along the way, including the delightful hamlets of La Fouly and Trient.

Trip highlights

  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery around the highest peak in Western Europe
  • Experience the exhilaration of trekking through three countries in the European Alps
  • Enjoying the culinary specialties such as Raclette
  • Sharing your walking day with a group of like minded travellers


Day 1 Arrive in the Chamonix Valley, begin walk to Trient (6hrs, +894m/2932ft)

Leaving from the village of Le Tour we ascend on the scenic high mountain path of Balme heading towards Switzerland. Weather permitting you will be able to take some wonderful photos of the Mont Blanc chain including the impressive “La Verte”, the Drus and the Needles of Chamonix. We will cross the border between France and Switzerland before making our way down to the village of Trient for overnight accommodation. Walking: approx 9km, +894m/2932ft -900m/2953ft

Day 2 Walk to Champex (6 hrs, 900m or 1300m/2953ft or 4265ft), transfer to La Fouly

There are two alternative routes between Trient and Champex. The first is via the Mountain of Bovine which involves crossing the Forclaz Pass (1527m) where there are beautiful lake views. The other is the “Fenêtre d’Arpette” (2665m) route, a variant on the Tour du Mont Blanc and quite challenging. Our aim is to always take the variant trail except in bad weather. The trail is not as well defined as the lower route but as with many pass crossings, the rewards on a good weather day are the extraordinary views to the Trient Glacier. The descent to Champex is steep. Transfer by bus to La Fouly, set at the foot of the Dolent, the Val Ferret’s emblematic mountain which rises to 3820m. Overnight Gite / refuge. Note: The decision on which path will be taken is always at the discretion of the guide. Walking: approx 18km, variant route +1300m/4265ft, -1000m/3280ft or Bovine route +900m/2953ft, -650m/2132ft)

Day 3 Cross the Grand Col Ferret to Elena (5hrs, 900m/2953ft)

From our accommodation in La Fouly (1600m) we will meet up with our mules and commence walking. The route takes us out of Switzerland and into Italy by the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) pass. It’s a steady climb and at the Col you will be awe inspired by the sweeping views of the Pre de Bar glacier. After some time drinking in the panorama we will amble down the steep track to our overnight accommodation at the Refuge Elena, which is located at the base of the glacier and a great place to view the changing light on the alps. Walking: approx 13km, +900m/2953ft, -500m/1640ft

Day 4 To Refuge Berthone (5-6 hrs, 631m/2070ft)

This morning’s walk takes us through the Val Ferret and along a balcony path with impressive views of the Grand Jorasses, Mont Blanc and in the distance the Col de la Seigne, marking the border between France and Italy. On reaching Refugio Bonatti there are two options to reach our accommodation: the newly rerouted TMB trail traverses the north flank of Monte de la Saxe, whilst the former official TMB route leads along the crest of Monte de la Saxe. Both are high trails with fabulous views of the Brenva face of Mont Blanc and the dramatic Aiguille Noire. As always, the decision on which path will be taken is at the discretion of the guide. Overnight Rifugio Berthone (1989m). Walking: approx 15km, +631m/2070ft, -704m/2309ft

Day 5 To Elisabetta Refuge (7hrs, 1100m/3600ft)

We descend from the refuge to the roadhead, then take a bus to Courmayeur. Nestled at the end of Italy’s Aosta Valley, Courmayeur is an atmospheric town worthy of some light exploration – and a great place to taste some delicious Italian gelato. If the weather is good, we continue on foot from Courmayeur towards Elisabetta Refuge by crossing the Checroui Pass (2185m), following which a magnificent balcony trail offers expansive views of glaciers tumbling from the heights of Mont Blanc. In the event of bad weather a short bus ride from Courmayeur takes us to La Visaille from where we ascend the enchanting valley where the enormous Miage glacier flows down into Lake Combal. On the Italian side of Mont Blanc, one gains a completely different perspective of the highest peak in the European Alps. Walking: approx 16km (may be partly by bus), +1100m/3600ft, -1278m/4192ft

Day 6 Walk to refuge Bonhomme (7hrs, 1150m/3773ft)

We make our way over the Col de La Seigne mountain path, which is overhung by limestone pyramids and the Estelette Glacier, until we reach France. The trail then descends across the high mountain pastures to the City of the Glaciers. Today provides an excellent opportunity to buy Beaufort cheese from the local farmers. A big ascent (949m) leads to our overnight refuge just below the pass of Col de la Croix. Walking: approx 20km, +1150m/3773ft, -700m/2296ft

Day 7 Walk to Notre Dame de La Gorge (4-5 hrs, 40m/131ft)

This morning we traverse mountain pastures to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2433m) where there are brilliant views southeast to the peaks of the Vanoise. The trail continues down to the Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and crosses the Contamines Natural Reserve. A sharp descent through a pine forest fringed gorge takes us to an ancient Roman Road and the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge, where there is a bus or taxi service (payable locally) to Le Fayet and Chamonix. Walking: approx 9km, +40m/131ft, -1200m/3936ft


What’s included

  • 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. Lunch is picnic style. Dinner will consist of 2 or 3 courses which include regional specialties.
  • 6 nights accommodation in mountain refuges / gîte hostels on a dormitory share basis. It is possible to spend 5 nights in a double room, 1 night quadshare – supplement applies.
  • Luggage transfer by mule (strictly max 7kgs, early season departures use luggage van, and for first 2 days of Room Upgrade version on regular departures)
  • Experienced mountain guide
  • Group internal transfer by bus

Images courtesy of UTracks