Refuge Col de Balme

Refuge du Col de Balme welcomes TMB hikers back to France with cozy dorms, friendly service, and delicious tartiflette at the Franco-Swiss border.
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It's a popular stopping point on the border with Switzerland
It's a popular stopping point on the border with Switzerland
Just below the Refuge
Just below the Refuge
Col de Balme
View of Refuge Col de Balme and panorama behind
Hiking towards Col de Balme
Hiking towards Col de Balme
Mountain hut at the border
Refuge Col de Balme

Perched on the Col de Balme, Refuge du Col de Balme marks a significant milestone on the Tour du Mont Blanc, greeting hikers as they make their triumphant return to France. The refuge, a beacon of hospitality with its distinctive red shutters, stands at the border between Switzerland and France, offering a picturesque welcome after the ascent from Trient or Le Peuty.

The journey to the refuge is a rewarding challenge, with the last leg of the uphill trek opening up to reveal the refuge’s welcoming facade. Despite its modest size, accommodating just 26 guests in its cozy dormitory, the refuge is known for its warm interiors and the conviviality of shared spaces.

The refuge’s culinary offerings are a delight, especially the tartiflette — a hearty, traditional dish of potatoes, bacon, and reblochon cheese. It’s a place where tired hikers can find rest, good food, and the camaraderie of fellow adventurers.

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