The first day is reserved just for arrival, either to Chamonix or directly to Courmayeur (where the hike starts). Both alpine towns are ripe with outdoor equipment stores, so you should have no problem getting a piece or two you forgot to take with you.
If you were staying in Chamonix, you will take a bus into Italy via the Mont Blanc Tunnel. If in Courmayeur, enjoy some extra sleep.
The day starts with a walk through this alpine town, leaving to the mountains on a steep path upwards. After an espresso at the Rifugio Bertone, you have a choice to make: You can take the classic TMB, which takes you along the flank of the mountain with great views of the massif and Val Ferret. But in case of good weather, you can go higher reaching the mountain ridge on one of the most peaceful and pristine parts of the TMB. There you can hike over Mont de la Saxe, taking in all the 360° views you can manage.
End the day after the descent at the Rifugio Bonatti, a mountain hut with one of the best views over Mont Blanc.
After breakfast, descend back to Val Ferret. From there, hike towards Grand Col Ferret, where you leave Italy and cross into Switzerland. The landscape will start to look noticeably different. Don’t forget to enjoy the views of the Grand Combin and the Grande Jorasses before descending into the Alpine village of La Fouly. There you’ll also see Mount Dolent, the tri-border between France, Italy, and Switzerland. Take the bus to the lake town of Champex-Lac and stay overnight in an auberge.
This is the last day in Switzerland, and you have two options on how to spend it. You can leave the relaxing valley and ascend the Col de la Forclaz with great views of the Rhone Valley. This is the easier route, cutting around the mountain with awesome views over Val Valais. In case of good weather and energetic legs, you can also go across the Fenetre d’Arpette. This route is more technically difficult but also more scenic and wild. Don’t worry, they both end up in Trient, where you’ll stay at a cozy auberge.
The first ascent of the day will be to Col du Balme, where the end comes into sight. From the refuge there, you’ll have some awesome views of the whole Chamonix Valley. Continue on into France towards the Col des Posettes and the equally-named ridge that follows. Enjoy the great views of some of the most iconic parts of the massif on the left, while the descent takes you steeply down to Montroc, where you can board the train back to Chamonix and end the trip before 4 pm.
You’ll have plenty of time to get to Geneva for an evening flight or stay in Chamonix for some celebration. Either way, inform us in advance and we can help you plan.
If you’ve always wanted to hike the world-famous Tour du Mont Blanc, but you can never find the time to do the whole circuit, this is the place for you.
This is the perfect short version of the TMB, still hiking through 3 countries, exploring some of the most diverse alpine landscapes. Yes, you will see Mont Blanc, the glaciers, the sharp mountain peaks, the winding valleys, and the green pastures. If somebody asked you how it was on Tour du Mont Blanc, they would think you’ve hiked the whole.
Combing our off-trail research and hiking experience, we take your wishes and preferences to best advise you on which specific route to take. We then book all of your accommodations and other services that you need. And a few weeks before setting off, you’ll get the detailed itinerary with the planned GPS route, and you’re ready to go.
You’ll stay in one peaceful mountain hut, a boutique hotel, and two authentic auberges (inns), giving you a chance to also experience the local cuisine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The whole trail is relatively not technically difficult, as most of it goes on well-maintained trails. Still, even on the trails, you might encounter some rougher terrain, where you’ll have to watch your step.
The tougher challenge is conditioning. You have to be comfortable enough to hike more than 1000 meters of elevation gain and loss for 4 straight days.