If you love hiking and the outdoors, then chances are you’ve heard of the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). It’s a 170 km trekking trail leading you around Mont Blanc, the highest peak of Western Europe, passing through France, Italy, and Switzerland.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a spectacular trek in the Alps, exploring one of the most beautiful terrains you’ll ever set foot in. Hiking along glorious glaciers, across epic mountain passes, and past towering mountains makes it hard to believe you are not dreaming.
It is one of the best multi-day hikes in Europe and a popular choice for many people wanting a hiking vacation to the Alps.
But it is also notoriously hard to plan, and that’s where we come in.
We provide you with all the above, so you don’t give up before even making a first step on the trail.
And what’s the first step of your planning? It’s simple — explore our classic Tour du Mont Blanc options listed above, choose the one that suits your wishes, and send us an inquiry.
If you’re still unsure, contact us, and we’ll advise you on the best solution.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is not a walk in the park; it’s a demanding trek that demands good physical fitness. With over 170 kilometers in length and more than 10,000 meters of vertical gain and loss, you’ll need to be well-prepared. If you’re someone who hikes regularly — say, at least once a week with a minimum of 500 meters of elevation — you’ll find the trek challenging but manageable.
Read more about TMB’s technical and physical difficulties here.
The TMB is traditionally divided into 11 stages and takes about 11 days to complete. However, this can vary depending on your pace and the specific itinerary you choose. The trail traverses through France, Italy, and Switzerland, offering a truly international hiking experience.
Read more about where does TMB go and how long it takes here.
The optimal time for this trek is between late June and early September. While it’s possible to go outside this window, you’ll risk encountering snow and other challenging conditions. The weather can be quite variable, with daytime temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C in the mountains, so it’s crucial to be prepared for all conditions.
Read more about when to go on the TMB here.
Accommodation along the TMB is diverse, ranging from rustic mountain huts to comfortable hotels in the valleys. Mountain huts, known as refuges, offer an authentic alpine experience but tend to book up quickly. Valleys offer a wider range of options, from small family-run inns to boutique hotels. Regardless of your choice, early booking is highly recommended if not necessary.
Read more about different types of accommodations on TMB here.
Proper gear is essential for a successful TMB trek. The trail is often uneven and riddled with roots and rocks, requiring sturdy hiking boots and layered clothing. A waterproof and windproof jacket is a must, as weather conditions can change rapidly. While the trail is well-marked, it’s advisable to use GPS navigation so you don’t get lost.
Read more about what to pack for TMB here.
The TMB offers a visual feast, from the lunar-like landscapes of Aiguille Rouges to the lush valley pastures of Les Contamines. The constant backdrop of the Mont Blanc range adds to the awe-inspiring scenery. Whether glaciers, alpine meadows, or stunning mountain passes, the TMB offers something for every nature lover.
Read more about TMB’s scenery here.
The technical difficulty is low as it is not a climb, but a walk, except for a few lone ladder sections that are pretty straightforward. But still, it is not easy. You need to have proper fitness to hike this many days in a row along with elevation gain. It also goes over wild and uneven terrain, so at least some basic experience with hiking is recommended.
The weather in the mountains is very changeable. Even if it is +25°C in the valley, it much colder on the mountain passes, especially if cloudy and windy. That’s why you should take clothing in layers, along with with a windproof and waterproof jacket (could be two), and waterproof trousers (in case of rain). You should also have a separate set of clothes for chilling in the refuges.
Check out our full packing list here.
Even though the views on the Tour du Mont Blanc are scenic and wild, the trail itself never goes more than a day of hiking away from the nearest road or civilization. In case you decide to stop hiking, you can always get to the nearest village or town, and use public transportation to get to your desired destination. If that happens during the hike, we are also here to help you plan this.
Should there be an emergency situation on the trail, you will always have access to the local rescue services on the number 112. We provide more information on that in our self-guided handouts.
The official starting point of the Tour du Mont Blanc is in the village of Les Houches, just south of Chamonix.
Although it’s not the only one hikers decide to take, it is the best. The main advantage of that is that you’ll always have the view of the Mont Blanc massif in front, and not behind your back. There will also be fewer steep downhills (saving your knees) than otherwise.
The trail is officially divided into 11 stages for 11 days of hiking. However, everyone has their own pace. Some prefer to hike a little more relaxed and leisurely, and some want to go faster. Fastpackers complete it in about a week, while some people decide to hike just a section of it for a few days, exploring the highlights of the trail.
Yes, but it is not recommended if they are too young (younger than 10). Either way, they need to have some previous experience with mountain hiking and know what it takes to complete a full day on the trail.
You should do it as early as possible because the spots at the accommodations along the trail usually run out fast. That means the longer you wait, the fewer options there are.
Yes, public transportation is available in most of the valleys, which can shorten some flat sections of the hike. Additionally, there are some cable cars that can take you up the mountains, reducing the amount of ascending you do on some stages.
Yes, but only through the valley. That means that it will be waiting for you at your next accommodation on the valley floor, be it a hotel or a chalet. If you are staying a night in between in a mountain hut, you have to take enough with you in the backpack to make it an extra day.
Yes, except at stages 10 and 11, where the nature parks prohibit them, so you’ll need to do a detour.
Some parts of the trail are exposed to thunder, so hiking them in that kind of weather is heavily unadvised. Still, you can make up for that lost time by taking public transportation when possible.
Most of them do not, which is why you should always have enough cash to pay for anything extra than what is included in our tours. Only one hut needs to be paid on the spot, of which we inform you in advance. Do not worry about the hotels and other private accommodations though — they mostly accept them. Still, it is recommended you always have some extra cash with you in case something goes wrong.
You’re going to be traveling through three countries — Italy and France use Euros (EUR) while Switzerland has Swiss Francs (CHF).
Some of them offer showers, but there might not be any hot water. In most, you need to buy a token to get a minute of hot water (if it didn’t run out already).
No. All of the huts have blankets, bedding, and pillows, but it’s nice to bring your own silk or cotton sleeping liner.
We can arrange it in the hotels and other accommodations in villages and towns along the way. As for the mountain huts, a rare few have that option, but it is usually the first one that is sold out, so you need to be really early if you want us to get it.
There isn’t in most of them. Enjoy the opportunity of disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. But if you really need it, you can try to get some signal outside or wait until coming back to the valley. There, you should have no problem getting to the internet.
Vegetarian meals are readily available in most accommodations. On the other hand, vegan options are harder to be found, especially in the huts. But if you tell us enough in advance, we’ll contact the huts for you and try to accommodate you to the best of our abilities.
Choose which cookies you want to allow. You can change these settings at any time.
These cookies are essential for the website to function and cannot be switched off.
We use these cookies to analyze how our visitors use the website and monitor site performance.
These cookies are used to personalize ads and content based on your interests.