Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Treks

The TMB is one of the best treks in the world. You’ll hike through France, Italy and Switzerland!

Description

Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Treks

TOUR DU MONT BLANC SELF-GUIDED TRIP SUMMARY

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the best long-distance treks in the world! You’ll hike ~ 76 km (47 miles) on the 6-day luxury tour, 92 km (57 miles) on the 7-day tour and 130 km (81 miles) on the 10-day tour as you hike around the glacier-covered Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe.

This classic well-signed hike takes you through pristine alpine regions of France, Italy, and Switzerland. Your efforts will be rewarded each day with delectable local cuisine shared in the company of fellow TMB hikers.

self-guided and guided tours of Tour du Mont Blanc

Even if you’re not a morning person, you’ll wake up excited for the day’s adventure, before your mug, or three (I don’t judge) of piping hot coffee. You’ll find yourself smiling more, laughing more.

I know I did. It’ll dawn on you that you haven’t thought about work in several days. You’ll discover for yourself the healing powers of Mother Nature.

In a word “MAGIC”. An unforgettable experience that makes you want to start over. – Patrice

READ THIS FIRST if you haven’t already. It documents my TMB trip. And what I would have done differently so that you don’t repeat the mistakes I made.

Our Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided tours give you the freedom to hike on your own. But without the time-consuming hassles of booking accommodation in three different languages and planning your route.

We do the heavy lifting. You just need to focus on having the best trek of your life.

Our Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Tours give you the freedom to hike on your own with logistical support from us. And if something happens on the trail, we’re there to provide assistance. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR TOUR DU MONT BLANC SELF-GUIDED TREKS

– Visit three countries – France, Italy, and Switzerland on one trek.
– Be wowed by the incredible views of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe from all sides.
– Hike one of the most iconic long-distance trekking trails in the world. You’ve earned bragging rights!
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INFO

DURATION6, 7, or 10 days
DISTANCE92km (57 mi) to 130 km (81 mi)
AVAILABILITYJune 22nd – Sept 14th
START/FINISHLes Houches / Chamonix, France
GRADEModerate to Strenuous
ACCOMMODATIONDormitory or private double
PRICES (from)€939 pp
INCLUDED
✓ Detailed route description, & map✓ Unlimited email support pre-tour
✓ Accommodation – your choice of dormitory or private double✓  Phone support while on your tour in case of emergency
✓ Breakfasts & dinners (as indicated on each tour page)

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Why Travel With Us?

Adventure travel blogger Laurel Robbins hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc with her husband.
Laurel with Mont Blanc in the background

Laurel, the founder of Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel did the TMB at a way of trying to lift her out of what was a very low point in her life. It was her first long-distance trek and she loved it.

Little did she know that it would spark an addition to long-distance trekking. It literally changed her life and convinced her that it could do the same for others as well. It also became the first tour she offered when she became a tour operator and has since returned to hike parts of the TMB twice more.

Besides being incredibly scenic and eating delicious mountain hut food every day, for her the real gift of the TMB was the invaluable gift of getting her life back on track.

Check out our reviews and more about why you should book with us here.

There can be a lot of anxiety when booking a trek; Am I fit enough to do it? How do I figure out all the logistics? How do I get there? What’s it really like to sleep in a dormitory in a mountain hut?

Our goal is to make your Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Trek the easiest you’ve ever planned.

By booking with us you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited email support. Ask all the questions you need to
  • Practical tips to help make the TMB an incredible experience for you
  • Opportunity to ask questions on a live webinar before your TMB adventure
  • Packing list of what you need for the TMB
  • Emergency support while hiking the TMB if needed

You see the booking terms and conditions by clicking here.

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TOUR DU MONT BLANC SELF-GUIDED TOUR REVIEWS

review of TMB tourreview of TMB hiking tour

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6-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR INFO

The TMB Self-Guided Luxury Tour starts is the most luxurious offer we have for the TMB. It’s an excellent choice if you prefer more creature comforts. After hiking, you’ll stay in 3-star accommodations each night and have your own private bathroom. Note: with the exception of one night when only a 2-star superior accommodation is available.

Your tour starts in Les Houches and finishes in Chamonix. You’ll hike the most scenic parts of the trail and skip the less beautiful parts via transfers (buses, lifts or private taxis).

This is an excellent choice if you want more comfortable accommodation, are new to long-distance trekking, are short on time. Or simply want to spend a few days eating croissants at cafes in Paris (no judgment here).

You’ll hike ~4 – 6 hours each day w/ 500 m – 1300 m of elevation gain. Our TMB self-guided tour includes a detailed route description, walking times and a map. We’ll also provide you with a contact number should any emergencies arise during your trip.

Our TMB self-guided tour allows you to experience the freedom of independent hiking without all the headaches of organizing the logistics.

IF YOU’RE BOOKING A GROUP OF 4+ PEOPLE DON’T DELAY. SPACES ARE VERY LIMITED.

An extraordinary trip! You have to love the effort, but it’s nothing insurmountable with a little drive. A daily panoramic view that you will never have in the office unless you are a guide. I highly recommend it. – Jean

PRICE OF THE 6-DAY SELF-GUIDED TOUR

€1,399 for five nights of accommodation.

INCLUSIONS

  • 5 nights of accommodation (4 nights in three-star accommodation with a private bathroom and 1 night in two-star superior accommodation with a shared bathroom)
  • 5 breakfasts and 3 dinners (dinner in Bourg St Maurice and Courmayeur are not included)
  • Luggage transfer (limit one bag per person 15 kg/33 lbs)
  • Transfer to and from Bourg St Maurice on day 2 and 3 and from Trient to Argentière on day 5
  • In-person pre-tour briefing in Chamonix for Mon-Sat departures
  • Detailed route description, walking times, and map
  • Unlimited email support pre-tour
  • Tour du Mont Blanc Toolkit (useful resource)
  • 24/7 phone support while on your tour in case of emergency

Young woman with the backpack walking on a footpath in the mountains. Sunny summer day with blue sky and clouds. France, Mont Blanc

Day 1
Les Houches – Bellevue – Col du Tricot – The Les Contamines

Your tour starts at the lift in Les Houches which you’ll take up to Bellevue (1780 m).

You’re now at the foot of the route of the regular route to the summit of the Mont-Blanc, and at the starting point of your incredible trek!

Your hike starts with a beautiful crossing that takes you under the glacier of Bionnassay. Then, you’ll climb the alpine pastures to the Col du Tricot (2120 m). Reward your efforts so far by taking in the panorama of the Contamines-Montjoie valley, before descending a steep path on the rustic chalets of Miage (1559 m). Finally, you’ll go around Mount Truc (1811 m) to reach the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie where you’ll spend the night.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 600 m ascent, 1200 m descent, ~ 11 km.

Transfers: Lift from Les Houches to Bellvue (2 km, Cost: €14.30 pp, 10 minutes). If you wish to hike this section and skip the transfer, it’s 4.5 km, 797 m ascent and takes ~1.5 hours.

N.B.: it is possible to shorten this stage by removing the climb to Col du Tricot. You’ll find info on the alternate route in your Travel Pack.

Day 2
Les Contamines-Montjoie – Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge – Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme – Les Chapieux – Bourg St. Maurice

You’ll start the day with a short transfer to Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge (1210m) and an optional visit to the famous Baroque church. Then, it’s a progressive hike up to Bonhomme Pass (2329m) between the Mont-Blanc and Beaufortain mountain range. You continue going up until you reach  Croix-du-Bonhomme Pass(2433 m) where a beautiful panorama of Mont-Pourri (3779 m) is the reward for your efforts.

Then, you’ll hike down through an alpine pasture that leads you to the hamlet of Chapieux. From there, you’ll take a private transfer (included in the price) to your accommodation in Bourg St Maurice.

Hiking Time: 6 hours, 1300 m ascent, 950 m descent, ~ 15 km.

Transfer 1: Notre Dame de la Gorge: 3.6 km.

Transfer 2: Bourg Saint Maurice 15km (transfer to your accommodation in the village). You’ll do the same transfer the next morning to start hiking again.

Day 3
Bourg Saint Maurice – Col de la Seigne – Val Veny – Courmayeur

You’ll start the day with a private transfer (included in the price) to la Ville des Glaciers (1800 m) and start hiking from there. But first, you may want to start with a visit to the cheese farm to discover how the famous Beaufort cheese is made.  Then, you’ll hike up to an alpine pasture to La Seigne Pass (2516 m).

You’ve now reached the Italian border. It’s a stunning viewpoint with views of legendary summits like  Mont-Blanc of Courmayeur, Noire de Peuterey, and Grandes Jorasses. They all seem so close!

Then, you’ll hike down to the Val Veny at the end of Miage Glacier. It’s a short transfer by local bus to Courmayeur (1226 m), the capital of the Italian Alps where you’ll be spending the night.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 750 m ascent, 900 m descent, ~ 13.5 km.

Transfer 1: Bourg Saint Maurice – La Ville des Glaciers: 19 km.

Transfer 2: To Courmayeur: 7 km.

Day 4
Courmayeur – Grand Col Ferret – Ferret or La Fouly – Champex

Courmayeur to the end of the Val Ferret. You’ll begin the hike at the end of the Pré-de-Bar Glacier and Mont Dolent (3823 m) and hike until you reach Elena Hut (2052 m).

Then, you’ll continue hiking in the direction of the Grand Ferret Pass (2 57m), the border pass between  Italy and Switzerland. Take one last look at the Val Ferret before you hike down through the picturesque Swiss mountain pasture to reach the hamlet of Ferret (1 740m). Then you’ll take a short transfer on a local bus to the village of Champex and its charming lake where you can cool off with a swim.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 800 m ascent, 850 m descent, ~ 12 km.

Transfer 1: To Arnuvaz: 13 km.

Transfer 2: To Champex: 19 km.

Day 5
Champex – Les Bovines (option: fenêtre d’Arpette (Arpette Window) – Trient – l’Argentière

From Champex, you’re going to discover the famous Swiss mountain pastures and the cows that produce some of the most famous cheese of the Alps! From Bovines, the view of the valley of the Rhônes and of the Swiss Valais is amazing.

There’s also an option for a longer and harder hike to the Fenêtre d’Arpette (2665m), a splendid pass that’s one of the highlights of the trip. Note: this option should only be done in good weather. Your hike finishes in the village of Trient (1 280m). From there, you’ll take a private transfer to l’Argentière. You’re now back in France.

Hiking Time: Bovines Route: 5:30 hours, 700 m ascent, 800 m descent OR Arpette Window: 8 hours, 1200 m ascent, 1400 m descent, ~ 14 km.

Transfers To Argentière: 15 km or 10 km by foot. 

Day 6
Argentière – Tré-le-Champ – lacs Chéserys – Lac Blanc – La Flégère – Chamonix

You’re in for a treat on your final day. This hike in the Aiguilles-Rouges Massif in front of Mont Blanc provides spectacular viewpoints glaciers and summits. FromMontets Pass (1 461m), you’ll follow a balcony trail to Chéserys Lake. It’s famous for its reflection of Mont Blanc!

You’ll continue to the beautiful Blanc Lake (2352m), then hike down to La Flégère (1877m). You can either take the Lift les Praz de Chamonix or hike down to Chamonix. It’s your choice. Your hike finishes at the train station in Chamonix where you’ll pick up your luggage.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 950 m ascend, 650 m descent, ~ 10 / 11 km.

Transfers: Argentière – Col des montets (10min, 3km), Lift of la flégère 30 min, Bus Praz de Chamonix to Chamonix (5min, 3km).

NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel insurance which is required. (We recommend World Nomads)
  • Transfers, ~ €70 pp. We provide you with the information, but they’re not included in the price except for the transfers to Bourg St Maurice as indicated above. If you book the tour in June or September, you may have to take a taxi, which is more expensive than public transportation.
  • Dinner on day 2 and 3 in Bourg St Maurice and Courmayeur, but there are restaurants nearby.
  • Lunches, but they can be ordered for the next day at mountain huts or hotels for an additional fee.
  • Snacks and personal items.
  • Accommodation on the last day of your trip.
  • Optional rest day in Courmayeur. Stay at a B&B for an additional cost of €85 per person. It does not include dinner, but there are plenty of restaurants to choose from nearby.
  • Anything not indicated above.

Note: All times, distances and elevations are approximate. The route may vary slightly depending on whether you’ve chosen dormitory or private accommodation and on availability. On some sections, you have a choice of an easier or more difficult route. You’ll find all this information in your Travel Pack that you’ll receive before your tour. The times indicated above don’t include breaks. Allow more time than you think you’ll need. 

7-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR INFO

The best of the TMB self-guided tour starts in Les Houches and finishes in Chamonix. You’ll hike the most scenic parts of the trail and skip the less beautiful parts via transfers.

This is the second easiest hiking tour. The easiest is the 6-day self-guided tour but only because it’s one day shorter. It’s an excellent choice if you’re new to long distance trekking, are short on time, or simply want to spend a few days eating croissants at cafes in Paris (no judgment here).

You’ll hike ~4 to 6 hours each day w/ 500 m – 1300 m of elevation gain. Our TMB self-guided tour includes a detailed route description, walking times and a map.

This allows you to experience the freedom of independent hiking without all the headaches of organizing the logistics.

IF YOU’RE BOOKING A GROUP OF 4+ PEOPLE DON’T DELAY. SPACES ARE VERY LIMITED – ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT PRIVATE ACCOMMODATIONS.

An extraordinary trip! You have to love the effort, but it’s nothing insurmountable with a little drive. A daily panoramic view that you will never have in the office unless you are a guide. I highly recommend it. – Jean

PRICE OF THE 7-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR

€939 pp for dormitory-style accommodation and €1239 pp for private double accommodation in mountain huts (auberges and gîtes) and hotels/inns in nearby villages. Both options include 6 breakfasts and 5 dinners. For dormitory-style accommodation, we include 1 night in a private room in Courmayeur at no extra cost.

INCLUSIONS

hikers on a flat section of the Tour du Mont Blanc

  • 6 nights accommodation in either dormitory-style or in private double rooms
  • 6 breakfasts and 5 dinners (not included in Courmayeur)
  • 1 night in private accommodation in Courmayeur (for dormitory bookings)
  • In-person pre-tour briefing in Chamonix for Mon-Sat departures
  • Detailed route description, walking times, and map
  • Unlimited email support pre-tour
  • Tour du Mont Blanc Toolkit (useful resource)
  • 24/7 phone support while on your tour in case of emergency

Day 1
Les Houches- Bellevue – Col du Tricot – The Les Contamines

Your tour starts at the lift in Les Houches which you’ll take up to Bellevue (1780 m).  You’re now at the foot of the route of the regular route to the summit of the Mont-Blanc, and at the starting point of your incredible trek!

Your hike starts with a beautiful crossing that takes you under the glacier of Bionnassay. Then, you’ll climb the alpine pastures to the Col du Tricot (2120 m). Reward your efforts so far by taking in the panorama of the Contamines-Montjoie valley, before descending a steep path on the rustic chalets of Miage (1559 m). Finally, you’ll go around Mount Truc (1811 m) to reach the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie where you’ll spend the night.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 600 m ascent, 1200 m descent, ~ 11 km.

Transfers: Lift from Les Houches to Bellvue (2 km, Cost: €14.30 pp, 10 minutes). If you wish to hike this section and skip the transfer, it’s 4.5 km, 797 m ascent and takes ~1.5 hours.

N.B.: it is possible to shorten this stage by removing the climb to Col du Tricot. You’ll find info on the alternate route in your Travel Pack.

Day 2
Les Contamines-Montjoie – Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge – Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme – Les Chapieux

You’ll start the second morning with a short transfer to Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge (1210 m) and a visit to a famous baroque church. The progressive climb to the pass of Bonhomme (2329 m) gives you a superb view of the Mont Blanc massif. The climb continues to the Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme (2433 m), and a magnificent panorama on Mount Pourri (3779 m) rewards your efforts. Then you’ll descend into alpine pastures in the hamlet of Les Chapieux (1549 m). You’ll spend the night in Chapieux if you’ve chosen the private accommodation option or a refuge in Ville des Glaciers if you’ve chosen dormitory accommodation.

Hiking Time: 6 hours, 1300 m ascent, 950 m descent, ~ 15 km.

Transfers: * Bus (3.7 km, optional).

Day 3
Les Chapieux – Col de la Seigne – Val Veny – Courmayeur

You’ll make your way to the Ville des Glaciers (1800 m) where you’ll want to stop at a farm to discover the production of the famed Beaufort cheese and naturally stock up. Then you’ll climb in the beautiful alpine pastures of the Col de la Seigne (2516 m) to the Italian border. From this point of view, the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif are splendid!

Then you’ll descend into the Valle Veny at the foot of the Miage Glacier and its pastoral lake where you’ll find unique alpine flora. You’ll cap off the day with a short transfer to the bottom of the Val Ferret (2052 m).

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 750 m ascent, 900 m descent ~ 13.5 km.

Day 4
Courmayeur – Grand Col Ferret –  Champex

This shorter day is an opportunity to let your weary muscles recover. After an unforgettable night at the foot of the Pre-de-Bar suspended glacier and the Dolent mountain (3823 m), you’ll drive in the direction of the Ferret Pass (2537 m), the border between Italy and Switzerland.

Take a last look at the Italian Val Ferret as you climb in mountain pastures to reach the hamlet of La Fouly. You’ll take a bus to the village of Champex and it’s charming little lake. Are you ready for a refreshing dip?

Hiking Time: 4 hours, 500 m ascent, 900 m descent for dormitory accommodation OR 4:30 hours, 800 m ascent, 850 descent for private accommodation, ~ 12.5 km.

Transfers: Bus from Courmayeur to Arnouvaz in the morning (13km) and then from La Fouly to Champex (19km).

Note: it’s possible to extend this step by hiking to the village of La Fouly.

Day 5
Champex – Les Bovines (option: fenêtre d’Arpette (Arpette Window) – Trient

If you have stayed in La Fouly, take a bus to the village of Chamex and its charming little lake

You’ve been discovering the Swiss mountain pastures and their cows that produce some of the most renowned cheeses from the Alps, so it should come as no surprise that the regular route is called the Bovine Route.

It offers fantastic views of the Rhone Valley and the Valais Mountains. We highly recommend this route in the early season and when the weather is bad.

If you’re seeking more of a challenge, Arpette Window (2665 m) is a more technical route. You should only take this route in good weather and when there’s no snow. The day ends at the village of Trient (1280 m).

Hiking Time: Bovines Route: 5:30 hours, 700 m ascent, 800 m descent OR Arpette Window: 8 hours, 1200 m ascent, 1400 m descent, ~ 14 km

Day 6
Trient – Col de La Balme – Le Tour – Montroc – Tré-le-Champ (Dormitory) or Argentière (Private)

From Trient, you’ll head back to the French border, the Col de Balme (2191 m). Here you get a fantastic view of Chamonix Valley and one of the most beautiful panoramas on the summit of Mont Blanc, the Sea of Ice and the glacier of Argentiere!

You have the option of descending by foot or taking the lift (1453 m). Then walk to Montroc (1370 m) and Tré-le-Champ.

Hiking Time: Dormitory accommodation: 5 hours, 900 m ascent, 750 m descent, ~ 10 km. Private accommodation: 5:30 hours to the hotel in Argentière. It is possible to take a lift down Col de Balme and a bus from Le Tour to Argentière (for private accommodation only).

Day 7
Tré-le-Champ (Dormitory) or Argentière (Private) – lacs Chéserys – Lac Blanc – La Flégère – Chamonix

This is one of the best days of the Mont-Blanc massif. The trail takes you across Les Aiguilles Rouges (a nature reserve) in front of the glaciers and the great summits of the Mont-Blanc range; Aiguille Verte, Mer de Glace, north face of Grandes Jorasses, and of course Mont-Blanc itself.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 950 m ascend, 650 m descent, ~ 11 km.


Congratulations! You’ve now completed the Tour du Mont Blanc!

NOT INCLUDED

  •  Travel insurance which is required. (We recommend World Nomads)
  • Transfers. This tour requires transfers as indicated above  (lifts, buses or taxis). We provide you with the information, but they’re not included in the price. Plan ~€50 per person, but it will likely be €20 – 30. Note: some of the lifts and buses only run in July and August. If you book the tour in June or September, you may have to take a taxi, which is more expensive than public transportation.
  • Dinner on day 3, but there are plenty of restaurants to choose from nearby.
  • Lunches, but they can be ordered for the next day at mountain huts or hotels for an additional fee.
  • Snacks and personal items.
  • Accommodation on the last day of your trip.
  • Luggage transfer is available. We transport your luggage each day and it will be taken to your next accommodation. Luggage is limited to one case/bag per person weighing up to 15 kg (33lbs) per bag. It costs €179 for the 7-day tour. Our carrier requires a minimum of two bags for the luggage transfer.
  • Optional rest day in Courmayeur. Stay at a B&B for an additional cost of €85 per person (does not include dinner, but there are plenty of restaurants to choose from nearby).
  • Anything not indicated above.

Note: All times, distances and elevations are approximate. The route may vary slightly depending on whether you’ve chosen dormitory or private accommodation and on availability. On some sections, you have a choice of an easier or more difficult route. You’ll find all this information in your Travel Pack that you’ll receive before your tour. The times indicated above don’t include breaks. Allow more time than you think you’ll need. 

10-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR INFO

The 10-day TMB self-guided tour starts in Chamonix and finishes in Chamonix. It’s more challenging than the 6 and 7-day trips as you’re hiking more and taking fewer transfers.

The 10-day TMB self-guided tour is an excellent choice if you’re seeking a challenge but at a more relaxed pace. Several transfers are required.

DESCRIPTION

You’ll hike ~5 to 6 hours most days w/ 400 m – 1050 m of elevation gain each day. Our self-guided tour includes a detailed route description, walking times, a map and all your accommodation.

This allows you to experience the freedom of independent hiking without the time-consuming headaches of organizing the logistics.

IF YOU’RE BOOKING A GROUP OF 4+ PEOPLE DON’T DELAY. SPACES ARE VERY LIMITED – ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT PRIVATE ACCOMMODATIONS.

Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. It’s a great way to experience Europe in a way that most people never will. – Nicole

PRICE OF THE 10-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR

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€1289 pp for dormitory accommodation and €1569 pp for private accommodation in mountain huts (auberges and gîtes) and hotels/inns in nearby villages. It includes ten breakfasts and eight dinners. For dormitory-style accommodation, we include 1 night in a private room in Courmayeur at no extra cost.

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INCLUSIONS

  • 9 nights accommodation in either dormitory style or in private double rooms
  • 9 breakfasts and 8 dinners (not included in Courmayeur)
  • 1 night in private accommodation in Courmayeur (for dormitory bookings)
  • In-person pre-tour briefing in Chamonix for Mon-Sat departures
  • Detailed route description, walking times, and map
  • Unlimited email support pre-tour
  • Tour du Mont Blanc Toolkit (useful resource)
  • 24/7 phone support while on your tour in case of emergency

Day 1
Chamonix – Brevent – Les Houches

Your tour starts in Chamonix with a lift. You’re now at the foot of the route of the regular route to the summit of the Mont-Blanc, and at the starting point of your incredible trek!

You’ll hike to  Brevent Pass and Brevent Summit(2525 m). Here you’ll get amazing views of  Mont Blanc and its glaciers. Then you’ll hike down to Bellachat Hut, where you take a break before climbing up to Aiguillette des Houches, then descending down to Houches.

Hiking Time: 6 hours, 600 m ascent, 1670 m descent, ~ 6 km.

Transfers: Gondola lift from Chamonix to Plan Praz (2000m). (Cost: €24.50 pp).

Day 2
Les Houches – Les Contamines Monjoie

You’ll start the day by taking a lift for Les Houches to Bellvue. Here you’ll start hiking at a beautiful crossing that takes you under the glacier of Bionnassay from a Nepali hanging bridge.

Then, you’ll climb the alpine pastures to the Col du Tricot (2120 m). Reward your efforts so far by taking in the panorama of the Contamines-Montjoie Valley – you’re really doing this – before descending a steep path on the rustic chalets of Miage (1559 m).

Finally, you’ll go around Mount Truc (1811 m) to reach the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie where you’ll spend the night

Hiking Time: 5- 6 hours, 600 m ascent, 1200 m descent.

Transfers: Lift from Les Houches to Bellvue (2 km, Cost: €14.30 pp, 10 minutes). For hikers wishing to hike this section and skip the transfer, it’s 4.5 km, 797 m ascent and takes ~1.5 hours.

Day 3
Les Contamines-Montjoie – Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge – Col de la Croix du Bonhomme – Les Chapieux

You’ll start the day with a short transfer to Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge (1210 m) where you have the option of visiting a famous Baroque church. 

Then it’s a progressive hike up to Bonhomme Pass (2329 m) between the Mont-Blanc and Beaufortain massifs. The trail continues up to Croix-du-Bonhomme Pass (2433 m), where the beautiful panorama of Mont Pourri (3779 m) awaits. The descent leads you through an alpine pasture to the hamlet of Chapieux.

Hiking Time: 6-7 hours, 1300 m ascent, 950 m descent.

Day 4
Les Chapieux – Col de la Seigne – Val Veny – Courmayeur

You’ll start hiking at the Ville des Glaciers (1800 m) where you can visit a cheese farm to discover the famed Beaufort cheese for yourself. That’s one of the great things about hiking, you get to reward yourself with treats like yummy cheese! Then you’ll hike up to the alpine pasture to La Seigne Pass (2516 m) to reach the Italian border for a stunning viewpoint of legendary Mont Blanc summits like Mont-Blanc of Courmayeur, Noire de Peuterey, and Grandes Jorasses. Then you’ll hike down in the Val Veny to the end of Miage Glacier before taking a short transfer to Courmayeur (1226 m), the adventure capital of the Italian Alps.

Hiking Time: 5:30 hours, 1050 m ascent, 900 m descent, ~ 17 km + 5 km if the lift (optional) is closed in June and September.

Day 5
Courmayeur – Refuge Bertone – Refuge Bonatti

Walk up to the Bertone Hut (2000 m) to discover one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Tour du Mont Blanc on the famous Grandes Jorasses. The balcony path leads you to the Bonatti Hut (2025 m) where you can reward your efforts so far with a stunning sunset.

Hiking Time: 5:30 hours, 1100 m ascent, 200 m descent, ~ 10 to 11 km.

Day 6
Refuge Bonatti – Grand Col Ferret – La Fouly

You’ll walk down to the Val Ferret and hike to the Elena Hut (2061 m) in front of Mont Dolent (3820 m). Then, you’ll hike up to the Grand Col Ferret Pass (2537 m) to enter Switzerland. You’ll finish off with a walk down to the hamlet of La Fouly.

Hiking Time: 5:30 hours, 850 m ascent, 1300 m descent, ~ 15 to 16 km.

Day 7
La Fouly – Val Ferret Suisse – Champex

This short day gives you time to rest near the lake of Champex. From La Fouly an easy walk leads you to the village of Praz le Fort. (1151 m). The path follows the river of Ferret to the hamlet of Issert. Then you’ll hike up to the beautiful lake of Champex (1477 m). Ready for a refreshing dip?

Hiking Time: 3 hours, 400 m ascent, 100 m descent, ~ 14 to 15 km.

Day 8
Champex – Arpette window (optional: The Bovines) – Trient

You’ve been discovering Swiss mountain pastures famous for the cows that produce some of the best cheeses in the Alps. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the regular way is called the Bovine Route. It offers fantastic views of the Rhone Valley and the Valais Mountains. We highly recommend this option in the early season and in inclement weather.

If you’re seeking more of a challenge, Arpette Window (2665 m) is a more technical route. You should only take this way in good weather and when there’s no snow. The day ends at the village of Trient (1280 m).

Hiking Time: 5:30 – 6:00 hours, 700 m ascent, 800 m descent (The Bovines route) OR 8 hours, 1200 m ascent, 1400 m descent (Arpette Window), ~ 14 to 15 km.

Day 9
Trient – Col de La Balme – Argentière

From Trient, you’ll hike up to the French border at the Balme Pass (2191 m). Here you’ll get one of the best panoramas of Mont Blanc Summit and Chamonix Valley. Then you’ll either hike down to Le Tour (1453 m) or take a lift, your choice. You’re almost there; it’s just a bit further to reach Montroc (1370 m) and the village of Argentière.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 900 m ascent, 750 m descent,  10 km (dormitory). 5:30 hours to the hotel in Argentière (private accommodation). It’s possible to take a lift down Col de Balme and a bus from Le Tour to Argentière (private accommodation only).

Day 10
Argentière – Cheserys Lake – Lake Blanc – Chamonix

You’re in for a real treat on your last day. This hike in the massif of the Aiguilles-Rouges is n front of the Mont Blanc Summit. It offers a spectacular view of glaciers and summits. From the Montets pass (1461 m), you follow a balcony trail to Chéserys Lake which reflects the most famous mountain in the Alps! You’ll continue to the beautiful Lake Blanc (2352 m). Then you’ll hike down to La Flégère (1877 m) to reach the Lift Les Praz de Chamonix. If you choose the luggage transfer option, you’ll meet the taxi at Chamonix Train Station in the early afternoon.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 950 m ascent, 650 m descent, ~ 10 to 11 km.


Congratulations, you’ve now completed the epic Tour du Mont Blanc! You’ve earned your bragging rights.

NOT INCLUDED

hiker on the Tour du Mont Blanc

  • Travel insurance which is required. (We recommend World Nomads)
  • Transfers. This tour requires transfers as indicated above (lifts, buses or taxis). We provide you with the information, but they’re not included in the price. Plan ~ €50 per person, but it will likely be €20 – 30.  Note: some of the lifts and buses only run in July and August. If you book the tour in June or September, you may have to take a taxi, which is more expensive than public transportation.
  • Dinner on day 4, but there are plenty of restaurants to choose from nearby.
  • Lunches, but they can be ordered for the next day at mountain huts or hotels for an additional fee.
  • Snacks and personal items.
  • Accommodation the last day of your trip.
  • Luggage transfer is available in which we transport your luggage for you each day (with the exception of one day when it’s not possible). Luggage is limited to one case/bag per person and costs €249 per bag. Our carrier requires a minimum of two bags for the luggage transfer.
  • Optional rest day in Courmayeur. Stay at a B&B for an additional cost of €85 per person (does not include dinner, but there are plenty of restaurants to choose from nearby).

Note: All times, distances and elevations are approximate. The route may vary slightly depending on whether you’ve chosen dormitory or private accommodation and on availability. On some sections, you have a choice of an easier or more challenging route. These are all detailed in your Travel Pack that you’ll receive before your tour. The walking times don’t include breaks, so allow for longer than indicated.

For 2020 we are pleased to offer guided tours with a professional mountain guide. 

This is a good option if you want to focus on hiking and not route-finding and enjoy meeting other hikers.

If you’d like to book a private guided tour, please contact us at info(@)monkeysandmountains.com.

Information on our scheduled groups will be available mid-October. Please contact us if you’d like to be informed as soon as we have the details and further information. 

Not sure which Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Tour is right for you? Check out our comparison chart below to help you find your perfect tour.

TOUR6-DAY LUXURY SELF-GUIDED7-DAY SELF-GUIDED10-DAY SELF-GUIDED
Level of DifficultyModerateModerateIntermediate – Strenuous
~Elevation Gain Each Day

500 – 1300 m 

(1640 – 4265 ft)

500 – 1300 m

(1640 – 4265 ft)

400 – 1050 m

(1312 – 3444 ft)

~Hiking Time Each Day4 – 6 hours4 – 6 hours5 – 8 hours
This Self-Guided Tour is Perfect if You:want luxury (mountain-style). You’ll stay in 3-star accommodations every night but one.want to experience the most beautiful parts of the TMB, and still have time to relax.are an experienced hiker who enjoys a challenge and wants to hike as much of the TMB as possible while hiking at your own pace.
Prices per person. Note: Private accommodations require 2+ participants.€1399 (private double, upgraded)€939 (dormitory)/ €1239  (private double)€1289 (dormitory) / €1569 (private double)

YOUR FAQS ABOUT OUR TMB SELF-GUIDED TOURS ANSWERED

Why should I book My Self-Guided Tour with you?

Click on the Why Us tab to find out why we offer this tour. We also encourage you to check out our reviews. It’s important that you feel comfortable booking with us.

When are the TMB Self-Guided Tours Available?

Our TMB trips are available to start between June 22nd – September 14th, 2020. We advise not to select dates at the end of August due to the TMB Ultramarathon and other racing events (you can see the specific dates here: https://worldsmarathons.com/marathon/ultra-trail-du-mont-blanc-) which would have a negative impact on your experience. You can choose your start date for your self-guided tour. We recommend starting your tour on a Saturday.

What’s the Difference Between a Self-Guided Tour vs a Guided Tour?

On our TMB self-guided tours, you get the flexibility and freedom of starting your day when you choose. You hike at your own pace and take breaks whenever your heart (or lungs) desire. But without the pain and time-consuming planning and booking accommodations in three different countries in three different languages.

We’ll take care of booking your accommodation at our preferred providers, arrange for daily luggage transfer (if you wish), provide you with a map and instructions in English.

We’re there for you both prior and during your trip, if you have any questions. But keep in mind that these are self-guided trips so you also need to use your judgment and arrange your own transfers (unless otherwise indicated).

On our guided trips (being offered in 2020) we take care of everything for you. This is a good option if you enjoy hiking with hikers, are new to hiking and want to focus on the hiking itself and not worry about route finding, or figuring out how to take transfers on your own.

You’ll also get or want the expertise of a local guide who will point things out that you wouldn’t likely notice while hiking on your own.

Our goal is to make this the easiest holiday that you’ve ever planned while giving you the freedom to experience it in the way that’s best for you.

How far in advance do I need to book my self-guided tour? 

Book as soon as possible to ensure that accommodation is available on your start date. Private double accommodation fills up VERY quickly.

Cow in an Alpine meadow. Melchsee-Frutt, Switzerland

Do You Offer Luggage Storage or Luggage Transfers?

Yes. Upon booking with us, we can recommend hotels that will likely store your luggage for you while you trek.  Always check with the hotel when you book that they’ll do this. Otherwise, we can store your luggage for €75 for up to three bags.

Alternatively, if you want your luggage with you, we also offer luggage transfer. The rates are €179 for the 7-day tour and €249 for the 10-day tour. Discounted rates are available if you have 4+ bags. Luggage transfer is included in our 6-day luxury tour.

On the 10-day tour, there’s one day that luggage transfer isn’t available due to the location of the hut. On this day, you’ll pack what you need for the night. Your luggage will be transported to your next accommodation.

What’s the grade and terrain Like? I.e. How hard is t?

Grade 3 (middle) for the 6 and 7 day tours and Grade 4 (challenging) for the 10 day tours. We recommend that you are in decent shape and active. Otherwise, you likely will find it too challenging.

What’s the highest point on the Tour du Mont Blanc? And do I need to worry about altitude sickness?

While Mont Blanc is an incredible 4807 m (15,781′), on the Tour du Mont Blanc the highest elevation you’ll be going is 2532m (8307 ‘) at the Grand Col Ferret. It’s on the boundary between Switzerland and Italy. The second highest is Col de la Seigne (2516m) (8255 ‘). This isn’t high enough to cause altitude sickness in most people.

Where do the TMB Self-Guided Tours start and finish? 

Our self-guided tours start in Les Houches (if you’ve chosen the 6 or 7-day tour) and Chamonix (if you’ve chosen the 10-day tour). All our self-guided tours finish in the high-mountain town of Chamonix in France.

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What do I need to pack for my TMB Self-Guided Tour? 

See our  Tour du Mont Blanc Packing List for full details of what to bring.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes. Travel insurance is required. Be sure that it includes emergency evacuation and hospital care in the unlikely incident that you get injured. We recommend World Nomads insurance.

What level of fitness do I need?

You should be in good physical condition and have hiking experience. If you are concerned about your ability and want to make it easier, you can do so in two ways.  1) Take our 6 or 7-day self-guided tours, which are the lightest tours and involve ~4 to 6 hours of hiking each day and 2) Choose the luggage transfer service. This is automatically included in the 6-day tour. That way you only need to carry your day-hiking backpack instead of a much larger and heavier one.

What’s the payment schedule?

25% of the payment is due at the time of booking. As soon as we receive your deposit, we will start making the arrangements for your accommodation.

The remaining balance is due 45 days before the onset of the trip. If you’re booking within 45 days, payment will be charged as indicated above.

What other general info do I need to know about the TMB?

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations as are the hiking times. These don’t include breaks. The itineraries shown may change slightly based on the available accommodation for your self-guided tour.

Are there extras that aren’t included?

Transfers (lifts and buses ) if required are not included. The total cost will come to less than €50, unless you take a taxi. You’ll take transfers on selected days as indicated in each tour section. Some of these are optional. You can either choose to hike these sections or take the transfers to make it easier. It’s your choice.

Lunches are not included. They can be ordered from your mountain hut (refuge) or hotel the night before for an additional fee. You’ll also need to bring your own snacks.

Travel insurance is required and not included.

What’s your refund policy?

Your trip is nonrefundable but it is transferable for a fee of €50 per person if you can find someone to take your spot 45 days in advance of your tour start date. That’s why we recommend that your travel insurance also includes Trip Cancellation Insurance.

If for some reason we’re not able to find suitable accommodation for your self-guided tour, you’ll receive a full refund.

You can view the full Terms and Conditions here.

TRAVEL: HOW DO I ARRIVE?

Arriving By Air

While many people assume that it would be Paris, it’s actually in Geneva Switzerland.

I find the best deals on Skyscanner and book most of my flights through them.

Note: We highly recommend waiting to book your flights or making other travel arrangements until you receive an email from us notifying you that all your accommodation has been confirmed.

Getting from Geneva to Chamonix

The easiest way to get to Chamonix is with a shared transfer which takes 90 minutes.  You can book this by clicking on the above link. It’s available directly from the airport. They also allow cancellations up to 24 hours in advance. I’ve taken them before and was happy with them.

There’s also an option to take a private transfer on Viator which is even cheaper. I haven’t personally taken this shuttle so can’t comment on it one way or another but it is another option. The journey by shuttle or bus takes ~ 90 minutes.

The train takes over 3 hours and isn’t any cheaper so we don’t recommend this option. There are various shuttle services available directly from Geneva airport to Chamonix.

Getting from Paris to Chamonix

The best option is either train or bus. Book early to get the best fares.

Tour Starting Point

The starting point for the tour is either Les Houches (6 and7-day tours) or Chamonix (10-day tour) depending on your tour. The endpoint for all our tours is Chamonix.

You can either take the Mont Blanc Express Train or the Chamonix Bus to the starting point in Les Houches (~ 7 km) if you’re doing the 6 or 7 -day tour. It’s fine to spend the night in Chamonix since Les Houches is just 7 km away and you can easily take a train or bus to reach it the morning that you start hiking. It takes ~15 -20 minutes.

You’ll need to book your own pre-tour accommodation the night before you start hiking in Chamonix.  It’s also a good idea to book a hotel in Chamonix on the day that you finish.  You’ll likely be tired, but feel fantastic, and the last thing you want to do is have to search for accommodation.

If you have extra time, it’s worth spending a couple of days in Chamonix, a popular mountain town.  We recommend using Booking.com to book additional accommodation but will provide recommendations for you upon booking, including hotels that will often store your luggage for you.

MAP OF THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC ROUTE

WHAT ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS LIKE ON THE TMB?

Mountain Hut Accommodation (Refuges/Auberges/Gîtes)

Your standard accommodation is dormitory-style and will include shared bathroom facilities. Showers are available, usually for an additional fee and a time limit.  Accommodation is simple, yet clean.

There’s usually a strict lights-out policy at around 10:00 pm and hikers are up at approximately the same time to eat a light breakfast served between limited hours. Staying in a mountain hut is a great way to connect with fellow hikers. Huts are usually right on the trail or close to it.

Refuge Elena

Staying in a mountain hut is a great way to connect with fellow hikers and is a budget-friendly alternative. Furthermore, huts are usually conveniently located right on the trail or close to it.

dormitory accommodation on the TMB
Dormitory accommodation at Refuge de Nant Borrant on the TMB.

Private Double Accommodation 

You’ll be staying in a combination of mountain huts (refuges/auberges/gîtes) and inns, in a private room.  The hotels and inns are usually in small villages.

This is a good option if you prefer a bit more luxury, would like more privacy and/or are a light sleeper.   Note: you will still be sharing a bathroom some nights as some providers have limited bathroom facilities. The exception is on our 6-day luxury tour, in which you’ll have your own bathroom every night except for one.

private double accommodation in a mountain hut
One example of private double accommodation found in a mountain hut.

Accommodation is very simple by hotel standards and we carefully choose the accommodation that appeals to hikers. That way you can still connect with other hikers and get the TMB experience – which you won’t get by staying in 4-star hotels. It’s a treat to even have the option of private double accommodation on a trek.

room in a mountain hut in the Alps
Another example of mountain hut accommodation.

Our self-guided TMB Tours give you the freedom to hike on your own. But without the time-consuming hassles of booking accommodation in three different languages and planning your route.

We do the heavy lifting so that you can focus on hiking and have the trek of your life.

Book Now to Avoid Disappointment

How to Make it Happen:

  1. Choose from our 6, 7 or 10-day tours.
  2. Select the dates in the calendar.
  3. Complete your booking in less than 5 minutes.

Solo hikers – please see the info below the form before you book.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Upon receiving your booking we need to organize all your accommodation. This can take 2 -3 weeks as we need to contact each place separately by phone or email. I.e. there is no central booking system where we can check to see how much space is available. We’ll notify you by email when all your accommodation has been confirmed. We recommend waiting to book flights and making other travel arrangements until we’ve confirmed all your accommodation.

SOLO TREKKERS

For the 2019 season, we’re pleased to accept solo trekkers. Please note the following:

1)We only accept solo hikers in July and August for safety reasons.

2)We can only offer dormitory accommodation due to the lack of single rooms available (many huts don’t have single rooms). However, we MAY be able to book a few nights in a private room for an additional fee for a couple of nights. If you would like us to in private accommodation where possible, let us know in the comments on the booking form.

3)Please note that luggage transfer is unavailable for solo hikers but luggage storage is included in the price.

4) All solo hikers are required to sign THIS FORM and email to info@monkeysandmountains.com at the time of your booking. This is again for your safety.  If you do not have the experience indicated on the form please do not sign up for this tour. Your safety is very important to us.

What Our Clients Say

review of TMB tour
review of TMB hiking tour

TOUR DU MONT BLANC SELF-GUIDED TRIP SUMMARY

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the best long-distance treks in the world! You’ll hike ~ 92 km (57 miles) on the 7-day tour and 130 km (81 mi) on the 10-day tour as you hike around the glacier-covered Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe.

This classic well-signed hike takes you through pristine alpine regions of France, Italy, and Switzerland. Your efforts will be rewarded each day with delectable local cuisine shared in the company of fellow TMB hikers.

hiker resting and enjoying the gorgeous scenery while doing a Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Tour

Even if you’re not a morning person, you’ll wake up excited for the day’s adventure, before your mug, or three (I don’t judge) of piping hot coffee. You’ll find yourself smiling more, laughing more.

I know I did. It’ll dawn on you that you haven’t thought about work in several days. You’ll discover for yourself the healing powers of Mother Nature.

In a word “MAGIC”. An unforgettable experience that makes you want to start over. – Patrice

READ THIS FIRST if you haven’t already. It documents my TMB trip. And what I would have done differently so that you don’t repeat the mistakes I made.

Our Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided tours give you the freedom to hike on your own. But without the time-consuming hassles of booking accommodation in three different languages and planning your route.

We do the heavy lifting. You just need to focus on having the best trek of your life.

Our Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided tours give you the freedom to hike on your own with logistical support from us. And if something happens on the trail, you can call us for assistance.

HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR TOUR DU MONT BLANC SELF-GUIDED TREKS

  • Visit three countries – France, Italy, and Switzerland on one trek.
  • Be wowed by the incredible views of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe from all sides.
  • Hike one of the most iconic long-distance trekking trails in the world. You’ve earned bragging rights!

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INFO

  • DURATION: 6, 7, or 10 days
  • DISTANCE: 92km (57 mi) to 130 km (81 mi)
  • AVAILABILITY: June 22nd – Sept 14th
  • START/FINISH: Les Houches / Chamonix, France
  • GRADE: Moderate to Strenuous
  • ACCOMMODATION: Dormitory or private double
  • PRICES (from): € 899
  • INCLUDED:
    • ✓ Detailed route description, & map
    • ✓ Unlimited email support pre-tour
    • ✓ Accommodation – your choice of dormitory or private double
    • ✓ Phone support while on your tour in case of emergency
    • ✓ Breakfasts & dinners (as indicated on each tour page)

Why Travel With Us?

Adventure travel blogger Laurel Robbins hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc with her husband.
Laurel with Mont Blanc in the background

Laurel, the founder of Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel did the TMB at a way of trying to lift her out of what was a very low point in her life. It was her first long-distance trek and she loved it.

Little did she know that it would spark an addition to long-distance trekking. It literally changed her life and convinced her that it could do the same for others as well. It also became the first tour she offered when she became a tour operator and has since returned to hike parts of the TMB twice more.

Besides being incredibly scenic and eating delicious mountain hut food every day, for her the real gift of the TMB was the invaluable gift of getting her life back on track.

Check out our reviews and more about why you should book with us here.

There can be a lot of anxiety when booking a trek; Am I fit enough to do it? How do I figure out all the logistics? How do I get there? What’s it really like to sleep in a dormitory in a mountain hut?

Our goal is to make your Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Trek the easiest you’ve ever planned.

By booking with us you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited email support. Ask all the questions you need to
  • Practical tips to help make the TMB an incredible experience for you
  • Opportunity to ask questions on a live webinar before your TMB adventure
  • Packing list of what you need for the TMB
  • Emergency support while hiking the TMB if needed

You see the booking terms and conditions by clicking here.

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TOUR DU MONT BLANC SELF-GUIDED TOUR REVIEWS

review of TMB tourreview of TMB hiking tour

Want to speak with us? Click here to schedule a call with us.

6-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR INFO

The TMB Self-Guided Luxury Tour starts is the most luxurious offer we have for the TMB. It’s an excellent choice if you prefer more creature comforts. After hiking, you’ll stay in 3-star accommodations each night and have your own private bathroom. Note: with the exception of one night when only a 2-star superior accommodation is available.

Your tour starts in Les Houches and finishes in Chamonix. You’ll hike the most scenic parts of the trail and skip the less beautiful parts via transfers (buses, lifts or private taxis).

This is an excellent choice if you want more comfortable accommodation, are new to long-distance trekking, are short on time. Or simply want to spend a few days eating croissants at cafes in Paris (no judgment here).

You’ll hike ~4 – 6 hours each day w/ 500 m – 1300 m of elevation gain. Our TMB self-guided tour includes a detailed route description, walking times and a map. We’ll also provide you with a contact number should any emergencies arise during your trip.

Our TMB self-guided tour allows you to experience the freedom of independent hiking without all the headaches of organizing the logistics.

An extraordinary trip! You have to love the effort, but it’s nothing insurmountable with a little drive. A daily panoramic view that you will never have in the office unless you are a guide. I highly recommend it. – Jean

PRICE OF THE 6-DAY SELF-GUIDED TOUR

€1,399 for five nights of accommodation.

INCLUSIONS

  • 5 nights of accommodation, 4 nights in three-star accommodation with your own private bathroom, and 1 night in two-star superior accommodation with a shared bathroom)
  • 5 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • Luggage transfer (limit one bag per person 15 kg (33 lbs)
  • Transfer to and from Bourg St Maurice on day 2 and 3
  • In-person pre-tour briefing for Mon-Sat departures
  • Detailed route description, walking times road and map
  • Unlimited email support pre-tour
  • Tour du Mont Blanc Toolkit (useful resource)
  • 24/7 phone support while on your tour in case of emergency

Young woman with the backpack walking on a footpath in the mountains. Sunny summer day with blue sky and clouds. France, Mont Blanc

  • Your in-person orientation will be offered in our Chamonix office where you’ll also pick up your  Travel Pack. It’s offered at 5:00 pm if you start hiking Tue – Thur or Mon morning at 9:00 am if you start hiking on a Monday. Get a good night sleep before your first day of hiking tomorrow!

Day 1
Les Houches – Bellevue – Col du Tricot – The Les Contamines

Your tour starts at the lift in Les Houches which you’ll take up to Bellevue (1780 m).

You’re now at the foot of the route of the regular route to the summit of the Mont-Blanc, and at the starting point of your incredible trek!

Your hike starts with a beautiful crossing that takes you under the glacier of Bionnassay. Then, you’ll climb the alpine pastures to the Col du Tricot (2120 m). Reward your efforts so far by taking in the panorama of the Contamines-Montjoie valley, before descending a steep path on the rustic chalets of Miage (1559 m). Finally, you’ll go around Mount Truc (1811 m) to reach the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie where you’ll spend the night.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 600 m ascent, 1200 m descent, ~ 11 km.

Transfers: Lift from Les Houches to Bellvue (2 km, Cost: €14.30 pp, 10 minutes). If you wish to hike this section and skip the transfer, it’s 4.5 km, 797 m ascent and takes ~1.5 hours.

N.B.: it is possible to shorten this stage by removing the climb to Col du Tricot. You’ll find info on the alternate route in your Travel Pack.

Day 2
Les Contamines-Montjoie – Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge – Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme – Les Chapieux – Bourg St. Maurice

You’ll start the day with a short transfer to Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge (1210m) and an optional visit to the famous Baroque church. Then, it’s a progressive hike up to Bonhomme Pass (2329m) between the Mont-Blanc and Beaufortain mountain range. You continue going up until you reach  Croix-du-Bonhomme Pass(2433 m) where a beautiful panorama of Mont-Pourri (3779 m) is the reward for your efforts.

Then, you’ll hike down through an alpine pasture that leads you to the hamlet of Chapieux. From there, you’ll take a private transfer (included in the price) to your accommodation in Bourg St Maurice.

Hiking Time: 6 hours, 1300 m ascent, 950 m descent, ~ 15 km.

Transfer 1: Notre Dame de la Gorge: 3.6 km.

Transfer 2: Bourg Saint Maurice 15km (transfer to your accommodation in the village). You’ll do the same transfer the next morning to start hiking again.

Day 3
Bourg Saint Maurice – Col de la Seigne – Val Veny – Courmayeur

You’ll start the day with a private transfer (included in the price) to la Ville des Glaciers (1800 m) and start hiking from there. But first, you may want to start with a visit to the cheese farm to discover how the famous Beaufort cheese is made.  Then, you’ll hike up to an alpine pasture to La Seigne Pass (2516 m).

You’ve now reached the Italian border. It’s a stunning viewpoint with views of legendary summits like  Mont-Blanc of Courmayeur, Noire de Peuterey, and Grandes Jorasses. They all seem so close!

Then, you’ll hike down to the Val Veny at the end of Miage Glacier. It’s a short transfer by local bus to Courmayeur (1226 m), the capital of the Italian Alps where you’ll be spending the night.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 750 m ascent, 900 m descent, ~ 13.5 km.

Transfer 1: Bourg Saint Maurice – La Ville des Glaciers: 19 km.

Transfer 2: To Courmayeur: 7 km.

Day 4
Courmayeur – Grand Col Ferret – Ferret or La Fouly – Champex

Courmayeur to the end of the Val Ferret. You’ll begin the hike at the end of the Pré-de-Bar Glacier and Mont Dolent (3823 m) and hike until you reach Elena Hut (2052 m).

Then, you’ll continue hiking in the direction of the Grand Ferret Pass (2 57m), the border pass between  Italy and Switzerland. Take one last look at the Val Ferret before you hike down through the picturesque Swiss mountain pasture to reach the hamlet of Ferret (1 740m). Then you’ll take a short transfer on a local bus to the village of Champex and its charming lake where you can cool off with a swim.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 800 m ascent, 850 m descent, ~ 12 km.

Transfer 1: To Arnuvaz: 13 km.

Transfer 2: To Champex: 19 km.

Day 5
Champex – Les Bovines (option: fenêtre d’Arpette (Arpette Window) – Trient – l’Argentière

From Champex, you’re going to discover the famous Swiss mountain pastures and the cows that produce some of the most famous cheese of the Alps! From Bovines, the view of the valley of the Rhônes and of the Swiss Valais is amazing.

There’s also an option for a longer and harder hike to the Fenêtre d’Arpette (2665m), a splendid pass that’s one of the highlights of the trip. Note: this option should only be done in good weather. Your hike finishes in the village of Trient (1 280m). From there, you’ll take a private transfer to l’Argentière. You’re now back in France.

Hiking Time: Bovines Route: 5:30 hours, 700 m ascent, 800 m descent OR Arpette Window: 8 hours, 1200 m ascent, 1400 m descent, ~ 14 km.

Transfers To Argentière: 15 km or 10 km by foot. 

Day 6
Argentière – Tré-le-Champ – lacs Chéserys – Lac Blanc – La Flégère – Chamonix

You’re in for a treat on your final day. This hike in the Aiguilles-Rouges Massif in front of Mont Blanc provides spectacular viewpoints glaciers and summits. FromMontets Pass (1 461m), you’ll follow a balcony trail to Chéserys Lake. It’s famous for its reflection of Mont Blanc!

You’ll continue to the beautiful Blanc Lake (2352m), then hike down to La Flégère (1877m). You can either take the Lift les Praz de Chamonix or hike down to Chamonix. It’s your choice. Your hike finishes at the train station in Chamonix where you’ll pick up your luggage.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 950 m ascend, 650 m descent, ~ 10 / 11 km.

Transfers: Argentière – Col des montets (10min, 3km), Lift of la flégère 30 min, Bus Praz de Chamonix to Chamonix (5min, 3km).

NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel insurance which is required. (We recommend World Nomads)
  • Transfers, ~ €70 pp. We provide you with the information, but they’re not included in the price except for the transfers to Bourg St Maurice as indicated above. If you book the tour in June or September, you may have to take a taxi, which is more expensive than public transportation.
  • Dinner on day 2 (but there are restaurants nearby).
  • Lunches, but they can be ordered for the next day at mountain huts or hotels for an additional fee.
  • Snacks and personal items.
  • Accommodation on the last day of your trip.
  • Anything not indicated above.

Note: All times, distances and elevations are approximate. The route may vary slightly depending on whether you’ve chosen dormitory or private accommodation and on availability. On some sections, you have a choice of an easier or more difficult route. You’ll find all this information in your Travel Pack that you’ll receive before your tour. The times indicated above don’t include breaks. Allow more time than you think you’ll need. 

7-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR INFO

The best of the TMB self-guided tour starts in Les Houches and finishes in Chamonix. You’ll hike the most scenic parts of the trail and skip the less beautiful parts via transfers.

This is the second easiest hiking tour. The easiest is the 6-day self-guided tour but only because it’s one day shorter. It’s an excellent choice if you’re new to long distance trekking, are short on time, or simply want to spend a few days eating croissants at cafes in Paris (no judgment here).

You’ll hike ~4 to 6 hours each day w/ 500 m – 1300 m of elevation gain. Our TMB self-guided tour includes a detailed route description, walking times and a map.

This allows you to experience the freedom of independent hiking without all the headaches of organizing the logistics.

An extraordinary trip! You have to love the effort, but it’s nothing insurmountable with a little drive. A daily panoramic view that you will never have in the office unless you are a guide. I highly recommend it. – Jean

PRICE OF THE 7-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR

€899 pp for dormitory style accommodation and €1239 pp for private double accommodation in mountain huts (auberges and gîtes) and hotels/inns in nearby villages. Both options include six breakfasts and six dinners.

INCLUSIONS

hikers on a flat section of the Tour du Mont Blanc

  • 6 nights accommodation in either in dormitory style or double accommodation in hotels/inns in nearby villages
  • 6 breakfasts and 6 dinners
  • In-person pre-tour briefing for Mon – Sat departures
  • Detailed route description, walking times road and map
  • Unlimited email support pre-tour
  • Tour du Mont Blanc Toolkit (useful resource)
  • 24/7 phone support while on your tour in case of emergency
  • Your in-person orientation will be offered in our Chamonix office where you’ll also pick up your  Travel Pack. It’s offered at 5:00 pm if you start hiking Tue – Thur or Mon morning at 9:00 am if you start hiking on a Monday. Get a good night sleep before your first day of hiking tomorrow!

Day 1
Les Houches- Bellevue – Col du Tricot – The Les Contamines

Your tour starts at the lift in Les Houches which you’ll take up to Bellevue (1780 m).  You’re now at the foot of the route of the regular route to the summit of the Mont-Blanc, and at the starting point of your incredible trek!

Your hike starts with a beautiful crossing that takes you under the glacier of Bionnassay. Then, you’ll climb the alpine pastures to the Col du Tricot (2120 m). Reward your efforts so far by taking in the panorama of the Contamines-Montjoie valley, before descending a steep path on the rustic chalets of Miage (1559 m). Finally, you’ll go around Mount Truc (1811 m) to reach the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie where you’ll spend the night.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 600 m ascent, 1200 m descent, ~ 11 km.

Transfers: Lift from Les Houches to Bellvue (2 km, Cost: €14.30 pp, 10 minutes). If you wish to hike this section and skip the transfer, it’s 4.5 km, 797 m ascent and takes ~1.5 hours.

N.B.: it is possible to shorten this stage by removing the climb to Col du Tricot. You’ll find info on the alternate route in your Travel Pack.

Day 2
Les Contamines-Montjoie – Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge – Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme – Les Chapieux

You’ll start the second morning with a short transfer to Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge (1210 m) and a visit to a famous baroque church. The progressive climb to the pass of Bonhomme (2329 m) gives you a superb view of the Mont Blanc massif. The climb continues to the Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme (2433 m), and a magnificent panorama on Mount Pourri (3779 m) rewards your efforts. Then you’ll descend into alpine pastures in the hamlet of Les Chapieux (1549 m). You’ll spend the night in Chapieux if you’ve chosen the private accommodation option or a refuge in Ville des Glaciers if you’ve chosen dormitory accommodation.

Hiking Time: 6 hours, 1300 m ascent, 950 m descent, ~ 15 km.

Transfers: * Bus (3.7 km, optional).

Day 3
Les Chapieux – Col de la Seigne – Val Veny – Courmayeur

You’ll make your way to the Ville des Glaciers (1800 m) where you’ll want to stop at a farm to discover the production of the famed Beaufort cheese and naturally stock up. Then you’ll climb in the beautiful alpine pastures of the Col de la Seigne (2516 m) to the Italian border. From this point of view, the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif are splendid!

Then you’ll descend into the Valle Veny at the foot of the Miage Glacier and its pastoral lake where you’ll find unique alpine flora. You’ll cap off the day with a short transfer to the bottom of the Val Ferret (2052 m).

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 750 m ascent, 900 m descent ~ 13.5 km.

Day 4
Courmayeur – Grand Col Ferret –  Champex

This shorter day is an opportunity to let your weary muscles recover. After an unforgettable night at the foot of the Pre-de-Bar suspended glacier and the Dolent mountain (3823 m), you’ll drive in the direction of the Ferret Pass (2537 m), the border between Italy and Switzerland.

Take a last look at the Italian Val Ferret as you climb in mountain pastures to reach the hamlet of La Fouly. You’ll take a bus to the village of Champex and it’s charming little lake. Are you ready for a refreshing dip?

Hiking Time: 4 hours, 500 m ascent, 900 m descent for dormitory accommodation OR 4:30 hours, 800 m ascent, 850 descent for private accommodation, ~ 12.5 km.

Transfers: Bus from Courmayeur to Arnouvaz in the morning (13km) and then from La Fouly to Champex (19km).

Note: it’s possible to extend this step by hiking to the village of La Fouly.

Day 5
Champex – Les Bovines (option: fenêtre d’Arpette (Arpette Window) – Trient

If you have stayed in La Fouly, take a bus to the village of Chamex and its charming little lake

You’ve been discovering the Swiss mountain pastures and their cows that produce some of the most renowned cheeses from the Alps, so it should come as no surprise that the regular route is called the Bovine Route.

It offers fantastic views of the Rhone Valley and the Valais Mountains. We highly recommend this route in the early season and when the weather is bad.

If you’re seeking more of a challenge, Arpette Window (2665 m) is a more technical route. You should only take this route in good weather and when there’s no snow. The day ends at the village of Trient (1280 m).

Hiking Time: Bovines Route: 5:30 hours, 700 m ascent, 800 m descent OR Arpette Window: 8 hours, 1200 m ascent, 1400 m descent, ~ 14 km

Day 6
Trient – Col de La Balme – Le Tour – Montroc – Tré-le-Champ (Dormitory) or Argentière (Private)

From Trient, you’ll head back to the French border, the Col de Balme (2191 m). Here you get a fantastic view of Chamonix Valley and one of the most beautiful panoramas on the summit of Mont Blanc, the Sea of Ice and the glacier of Argentiere!

You have the option of descending by foot or taking the lift (1453 m). Then walk to Montroc (1370 m) and Tré-le-Champ.

Hiking Time: Dormitory accommodation: 5 hours, 900 m ascent, 750 m descent, ~ 10 km. Private accommodation: 5:30 hours to the hotel in Argentière. It is possible to take a lift down Col de Balme and a bus from Le Tour to Argentière (for private accommodation only).

Day 7
Tré-le-Champ (Dormitory) or Argentière (Private) – lacs Chéserys – Lac Blanc – La Flégère – Chamonix

This is one of the best days of the Mont-Blanc massif. The trail takes you across Les Aiguilles Rouges (a nature reserve) in front of the glaciers and the great summits of the Mont-Blanc range; Aiguille Verte, Mer de Glace, north face of Grandes Jorasses, and of course Mont-Blanc itself.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 950 m ascend, 650 m descent, ~ 11 km.


Congratulations! You’ve now completed the Tour du Mont Blanc!

NOT INCLUDED

  •  Travel insurance which is required. (We recommend World Nomads)
  • Transfers. This tour requires transfers as indicated above  (lifts, buses or taxis). We provide you with the information, but they’re not included in the price. Plan ~€50 per person, but it will likely be €20 – 30. Note: some of the lifts and buses only run in July and August. If you book the tour in June or September, you may have to take a taxi, which is more expensive than public transportation.
  • Lunches, but they can be ordered for the next day at mountain huts or hotels for an additional fee.
  • Snacks and personal items.
  • Accommodation on the last day of your trip.
  • Luggage transfer is available. We transport your luggage each day and it will be taken to your next accommodation. Luggage is limited to one case/bag per person weighing up to 15 kg (33lbs) per bag. It costs €179 for the 8-day tour. Our carrier requires a minimum of two bags for the luggage transfer.

Note: All times, distances and elevations are approximate. The route may vary slightly depending on whether you’ve chosen dormitory or private accommodation and on availability. On some sections, you have a choice of an easier or more difficult route. You’ll find all this information in your Travel Pack that you’ll receive before your tour. The times indicated above don’t include breaks. Allow more time than you think you’ll need. 

10-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR INFO

The 10-day TMB self-guided tour starts in Chamonix and finishes in Chamonix. It’s more challenging than the 6 and 7-day trips as you’re  hking mor and taking fewer transfers.

The 10-day TMB self-guided tour is an excellent choice if you’re seeking a challenge but at a more relaxed pace. Several transfers are required.

DESCRIPTION

You’ll hike ~5:00 – 5:30 hours most days w/ 400 m – 1050 m of elevation gain each day. Our self-guided tour includes a detailed route description, walking times, a map and all your accommodation.

This allows you to experience the freedom of independent hiking without the time-consuming headaches of organizing the logistics.

Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. It’s a great way to experience Europe in a way that most people never will. – Nicole

PRICE OF THE 10-DAY TMB SELF-GUIDED TOUR

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€1269 pp for dormitory accommodation and €1569 pp for private accommodation in mountain huts (auberges and gîtes) and hotels/inns in nearby villages.
Note: for two nights, it’s only possible to have dormitory accommodation, even if you’ve chosen the private option. It includes ten breakfasts and nine dinners.

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INCLUSIONS

  • 9 nights accommodation in either dormitory style or in private double rooms
  • 9 breakfasts and 9 dinners
  • In-person pre-tour briefing for Mon-Sat departures
  • Detailed route description, walking times road and map
  • Unlimited email support pre-tour
  • Tour du Mont Blanc Toolkit (useful resource)
  • 24/7 phone support while on your tour in case of emergency
  • Your in-person orientation will be offered in our Chamonix office where you’ll also pick up your  Travel Pack. It’s offered at 5:00 pm if you start hiking Tue – Thur or Mon morning at 9:00 am if you start hiking on a Monday. Get a good night sleep before your first day of hiking tomorrow!

Day 1
Chamonix – Brevent – Les Houches

Your tour starts in Chamonix with a lift. You’re now at the foot of the route of the regular route to the summit of the Mont-Blanc, and at the starting point of your incredible trek!

You’ll hike to  Brevent Pass and Brevent Summit(2525 m). Here you’ll get amazing views of  Mont Blanc and its glaciers. Then you’ll hike down to Bellachat Hut, where you take a break before climbing up to Aiguillette des Houches, then descending down to Houches.

Hiking Time: 6 hours, 600 m ascent, 1670 m descent, ~ 6 km.

Transfers: Gondola lift from Chamonix to Plan Praz (2000m). (Cost: €24.50 pp).

Day 2
Les Houches – Les Contamines Monjoie

You’ll start the day by taking a lift for Les Houches to Bellvue. Here you’ll start hiking at a beautiful crossing that takes you under the glacier of Bionnassay from a Nepali hanging bridge.

Then, you’ll climb the alpine pastures to the Col du Tricot (2120 m). Reward your efforts so far by taking in the panorama of the Contamines-Montjoie Valley – you’re really doing this – before descending a steep path on the rustic chalets of Miage (1559 m).

Finally, you’ll go around Mount Truc (1811 m) to reach the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie where you’ll spend the night

Hiking Time: 5- 6 hours, 600 m ascent, 1200 m descent.

Transfers: Lift from Les Houches to Bellvue (2 km, Cost: €14.30 pp, 10 minutes). For hikers wishing to hike this section and skip the transfer, it’s 4.5 km, 797 m ascent and takes ~1.5 hours.

Day 3
Les Contamines-Montjoie – Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge – Col de la Croix du Bonhomme – Les Chapieux

You’ll start the day with a short transfer to Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge (1210 m) where you have the option of visiting a famous Baroque church. 

Then it’s a progressive hike up to Bonhomme Pass (2329 m) between the Mont-Blanc and Beaufortain massifs. The trail continues up to Croix-du-Bonhomme Pass (2433 m), where the beautiful panorama of Mont Pourri (3779 m) awaits. The descent leads you through an alpine pasture to the hamlet of Chapieux.

Hiking Time: 6-7 hours, 1300 m ascent, 950 m descent.

Day 4
Les Chapieux – Col de la Seigne – Val Veny – Courmayeur

You’ll start hiking at the Ville des Glaciers (1800 m) where you can visit a cheese farm to discover the famed Beaufort cheese for yourself. That’s one of the great things about hiking, you get to reward yourself with treats like yummy cheese! Then you’ll hike up to the alpine pasture to La Seigne Pass (2516 m) to reach the Italian border for a stunning viewpoint of legendary Mont Blanc summits like Mont-Blanc of Courmayeur, Noire de Peuterey, and Grandes Jorasses. Then you’ll hike down in the Val Veny to the end of Miage Glacier before taking a short transfer to Courmayeur (1226 m), the adventure capital of the Italian Alps.

Hiking Time: 5:30 hours, 1050 m ascent, 900 m descent, ~ 17 km + 5 km if the lift (optional) is closed in June and September.

Day 5
Courmayeur – Refuge Bertone – Refuge Bonatti

Walk up to the Bertone Hut (2000 m) to discover one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Tour du Mont Blanc on the famous Grandes Jorasses. The balcony path leads you to the Bonatti Hut (2025 m) where you can reward your efforts so far with a stunning sunset.

Hiking Time: 5:30 hours, 1100 m ascent, 200 m descent, ~ 10 to 11 km.

Day 6
Refuge Bonatti – Grand Col Ferret – La Fouly

You’ll walk down to the Val Ferret and hike to the Elena Hut (2061 m) in front of Mont Dolent (3820 m). Then, you’ll hike up to the Grand Col Ferret Pass (2537 m) to enter Switzerland. You’ll finish off with a walk down to the hamlet of La Fouly.

Hiking Time: 5:30 hours, 850 m ascent, 1300 m descent, ~ 15 to 16 km.

Day 7
La Fouly – Val Ferret Suisse – Champex

This short day gives you time to rest near the lake of Champex. From La Fouly an easy walk leads you to the village of Praz le Fort. (1151 m). The path follows the river of Ferret to the hamlet of Issert. Then you’ll hike up to the beautiful lake of Champex (1477 m). Ready for a refreshing dip?

Hiking Time: 3 hours, 400 m ascent, 100 m descent, ~ 14 to 15 km.

Day 8
Champex – Arpette window (optional: The Bovines) – Trient

You’ve been discovering Swiss mountain pastures famous for the cows that produce some of the best cheeses in the Alps. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the regular way is called the Bovine Route. It offers fantastic views of the Rhone Valley and the Valais Mountains. We highly recommend this option in the early season and in inclement weather.

If you’re seeking more of a challenge, Arpette Window (2665 m) is a more technical route. You should only take this way in good weather and when there’s no snow. The day ends at the village of Trient (1280 m).

Hiking Time: 5:30 – 6:00 hours, 700 m ascent, 800 m descent (The Bovines route) OR 8 hours, 1200 m ascent, 1400 m descent (Arpette Window), ~ 14 to 15 km.

Day 9
Trient – Col de La Balme – Argentière

From Trient, you’ll hike up to the French border at the Balme Pass (2191 m). Here you’ll get one of the best panoramas of Mont Blanc Summit and Chamonix Valley. Then you’ll either hike down to Le Tour (1453 m) or take a lift, your choice. You’re almost there; it’s just a bit further to reach Montroc (1370 m) and the village of Argentière.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 900 m ascent, 750 m descent,  10 km (dormitory). 5:30 hours to the hotel in Argentière (private accommodation). It’s possible to take a lift down Col de Balme and a bus from Le Tour to Argentière (private accommodation only).

Day 10
Argentière – Cheserys Lake – Lake Blanc – Chamonix

You’re in for a real treat on your last day. This hike in the massif of the Aiguilles-Rouges is n front of the Mont Blanc Summit. It offers a spectacular view of glaciers and summits. From the Montets pass (1461 m), you follow a balcony trail to Chéserys Lake which reflects the most famous mountain in the Alps! You’ll continue to the beautiful Lake Blanc (2352 m). Then you’ll hike down to La Flégère (1877 m) to reach the Lift Les Praz de Chamonix. If you choose the luggage transfer option, you’ll meet the taxi at Chamonix Train Station in the early afternoon.

Hiking Time: 5 hours, 950 m ascent, 650 m descent, ~ 10 to 11 km.


Congratulations, you’ve now completed the epic Tour du Mont Blanc! You’ve earned your bragging rights.

NOT INCLUDED

hiker on the Tour du Mont Blanc

  • Travel insurance which is required. (We recommend World Nomads)
  • Transfers. This tour requires transfers as indicated above (lifts, buses or taxis). We provide you with the information, but they’re not included in the price. Plan ~ €50 per person, but it will likely be €20 – 30.  Note: some of the lifts and buses only run in July and August. If you book the tour in June or September, you may have to take a taxi, which is more expensive than public transportation.
  • Lunches, but they can be ordered for the next day at mountain huts or hotels for an additional fee.
  • Snacks and personal items.
  • Accommodation the last day of your trip.
  • Luggage transfer is available in which we transport your luggage for you each day (with the exception of one day when it’s not possible). Luggage is limited to one case/bag per person and costs €269 per bag. Our carrier requires a minimum of two bags for the luggage transfer.

Note: All times, distances and elevations are approximate. The route may vary slightly depending on whether you’ve chosen dormitory or private accommodation and on availability. On some sections, you have a choice of an easier or more challenging route. These are all detailed in your Travel Pack that you’ll receive before your tour. The walking times don’t include breaks, so allow for longer than indicated.

Not sure which Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Tour is right for you? Check out our comparison chart below to help you find your perfect tour.

TOUR6-DAY LUXURY SELF-GUIDED7-DAY SELF-GUIDED10-DAY SELF-GUIDED
Level of DifficultyModerateModerateIntermediate – Strenuous
~Elevation Gain Each Day

500 – 1300 m

(1640 – 4265 ft)

500 – 1300 m

(1640 – 4265 ft)

400 – 1050 m

(1312 – 3444 ft)

~Hiking Time Each Day4 – 6 hours4 – 6 hours6 hours
This Self-Guided Tour is Perfect if You…:want luxury (mountain-style). You’ll stay in 3-star accommodations every night but one.want to experience the most beautiful parts of the TMB, and still have time to relax.are an experienced hiker who enjoys a challenge and wants to hike as much of the TMB as possible while hiking at your own pace.
Prices per person. Note: Private accommodations require 2+ participants.€1399 (private double, upgraded)€899 (dormitory)/ €1239  (private double)€1269 (dormitory) / €1569 (private double)

YOUR FAQS ABOUT OUR TMB SELF-GUIDED TOURS ANSWERED

Why should I book My Self-Guided Tour with you?

Click on the Why Us tab to find out why we offer this tour. We also encourage you to check out our reviews. It’s important that you feel comfortable booking with us.

When are the TMB Self-Guided Tours Available?

Our TMB trips are available to start on June 22nd and end by September 23rd, 2019. They’re not available during selected dates in August due to the TMB Ultramarathon and other racing events (you can see the specific dates here: https://worldsmarathons.com/marathon/ultra-trail-du-mont-blanc-) which would have a negative impact on your experience. You choose your starting date for your self-guided tour.

What’s the Difference Between a Self-Guided Tour vs a Guided Tour?

On our TMB self-guided tours, you get the flexibility and freedom of starting your day when you choose. You hik at your own pace and take breaks whenever your heart (or lungs) desire. But without the pain and time-consuming planning and booking accommodations in three different countries in three different languages.

We’ll take care of booking your accommodation at our preferred providers, arrange for daily luggage transfer (if you wish), provide you with a map and instructions in English.

We’re there for you both prior and during your trip, if you have any questions. But keep in mind that these are self-guided trips so you also need to use your judgment and arrange your own transfers (unless otherwise indicated).

On our guided trips (being offered in 2020) we take care of everything for you. This is a good option if you enjoy hiking with hikers, are new to hiking and want to focus on the hiking itself and not worry about route finding, or figuring out how to take transfers on your own.

You’ll also get or want the expertise of a local guide who will point things out that you wouldn’t likely notice while hiking on your own.

Our goal is to make this the easiest holiday that you’ve ever planned while giving you the freedom to experience it in the way that’s best for you.

How far in advance do I need to book my self-guided tour? 

Book as soon as possible to ensure that accommodation is available on your start date. Private double accommodation fills up VERY quickly.

Cow in an Alpine meadow. Melchsee-Frutt, Switzerland

Do You Offer Luggage Storage or Luggage Transfers?

Yes. Upon booking with us, we can recommend hotels that will likely store your luggage for you while you trek.  Always check with the hotel when you book that they’ll do this. Otherwise, we can store your luggage for €75 for up to three bags.

Alternatively, if you want your luggage with you, we also offer luggage transfer. The rates are €179 for the 7-day tour and €279 for the 10-day tour. Discounted rates are available if you have 4+ bags. Luggage transfer is included in our 6-day luxury tour.

On the 10-day tour, there’s one day that luggage transfer isn’t available due to the location of the hut. On this day, you’ll pack what you need for the night. Your luggage will be transported to your next accommodation.

What’s the grade and terrain Like? I.e. How hard is t?

Grade 3 (middle) for the 6and y-day tours and Grade 4 (challenging) for the 10-day tours. We recommend that you are in decent shape and active. Otherwise, you likely will find it too challenging.

What’s the highest point on the Tour du Mont Blanc? And do I need to worry about altitude sickness?

While Mont Blanc is an incredible 4807 m (15,781′), on the Tour du Mont Blanc the highest elevation you’ll be going is 2532m (8307 ‘)at the Grand Col Ferret. It’s on the boundary between Switzerland and Italy. The second highest is Col de la Seigne (2516m) (8255 ‘). This isn’t high enough to cause altitude sickness in most people.

Where do the TMB Self-Guided Tours start and finish? 

Our self-guided tours start in Les Houches (if you’ve chosen the 6 or 7-day tour) and Chamonix (if you’ve chosen the 10-day tour). All our self-guided tours finish in the high-mountain town of Chamonix in France.

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What do I need to pack for my TMB Self-Guided Tour? 

See our  Tour du Mont Blanc Packing List for full details of what to bring.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes. Travel insurance is required. Be sure that it includes emergency evacuation and hospital care in the unlikely incident that you get injured. We recommend World Nomads insurance.

What level of fitness do I need?

You should be in good physical condition and have hiking experience. If you are concerned about your ability and want to make it easier, you can do so in two ways.  1)Take our 6 or 7-day self-guided tours, which are the lightest tours and involve ~4 to 6 hours of hiking each day and 2) Choose the luggage transfer service. This is automatically included in the 6-day tour. That way you only need to carry your day-hiking backpack instead of a much larger and heavier one.

What’s the payment schedule?

20% of payment is due at the time of booking. As soon as we receive your deposit, we will start making the arrangements for your accommodation.

The remaining balance is due 45 days before the onset of the trip. If you’re booking within 45 days, payment will be charged as indicated above.

What other general info do I need to know about the TMB?

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations as are the hiking times. These don’t include breaks. The itineraries shown may change slightly based on the available accommodation for your self-guided tour.

Are There Extras That Aren’t Included?

Transfers (lifts and buses ) if required are not included. The total cost will come to less than €50, unless you take a taxi. You’ll take transfers on selected days as indicated in each tour section. Some of these are optional. You can either choose to hike these sections or take the transfers to make it easier. It’s your choice.

Lunches are not included. They can be ordered from your mountain hut (refuge) or hotel the night before for an additional fee. You’ll also need to bring your own snacks.

Travel insurance is highly recommended and not included.

What’s your refund policy?

Your trip is nonrefundable but it is transferable for a fee of €50 per person if you can find someone to take your spot 45 days in advance of your tour start date. That’s why we recommend that your travel insurance also includes Trip Cancellation Insurance.

If for some reason we’re not able to find suitable accommodation for your self-guided tour, you’ll receive a full refund.

You can view the full Terms and Conditions here.

TRAVEL: HOW DO I ARRIVE?

Arriving By Air

While many people assume that it would be Paris, it’s actually in Geneva Switzerland.

I find the best deals on Skyscanner and book most of my flights through them.

Note: We highly recommend waiting to book your flights or making other travel arrangements until you receive an email from us notifying you that all your accommodation has been confirmed.

Getting from Geneva to Chamonix

The easiest way to get to Chamonix is with a shared transfer which takes 90 minutes.  You can book this by clicking on the above link. It’s available directly from the airport. They also allow cancellations up to 24 hours in advance. I’ve taken them before and was happy with them.

There’s also an option to take a private transfer on Viator which is even cheaper. I haven’t personally taken this shuttle so can’t comment on it one way or another but it is another option. The journey by shuttle or bus takes ~ 90 minutes.

The train takes over 3 hours and isn’t any cheaper so we don’t recommend this option. There are various shuttle services available directly from Geneva airport to Chamonix.

Getting from Paris to Chamonix

The best option is either train or bus. Book early to get the best fares.

Tour Starting Point

The starting point for the tour is either Les Houches (6 and7-day tours) or Chamonix (10-day tour) depending on your tour. The endpoint for all our tours is Chamonix.

You can either take the Mont Blanc Express Train or the Chamonix Bus to the starting point in Les Houches (~ 7 km) if you’re doing the 6 or 7 -day tour. It’s fine to spend the night in Chamonix since Les Houches is just 7 km away and you can easily take a train or bus to reach it the morning that you start hiking. It takes ~15 -20 minutes.

You’ll need to book your own pre-tour accommodation the night before you start hiking in Chamonix.  It’s also a good idea to book a hotel in Chamonix on the day that you finish.  You’ll likely be tired, but feel fantastic, and the last thing you want to do is have to search for accommodation.

If you have extra time, it’s worth spending a couple of days in Chamonix, a popular mountain town.  We recommend using Booking.com to book additional accommodation but will provide recommendations for you upon booking, including hotels that will often store your luggage for you.

MAP OF THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC ROUTE

WHAT ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS LIKE ON THE TMB?

Mountain Hut Accommodation (Refuges/Auberges/Gîtes)

Your standard accommodation is dormitory style and will include shared bathroom facilities. Showers are available, usually for an additional fee and a time limit.  Accommodation is simple, yet clean.

There’s usually a strict lights-out policy at around 10:00 pm and hikers are up at approximately the same time to eat a light breakfast served between limited hours. Staying in a mountain hut is a great way to connect with fellow hikers. Huts are usually right on the trail or close to it.

Refuge Elena

Staying in a mountain hut is a great way to connect with fellow hikers and is a budget-friendly alternative. Furthermore, huts are usually conveniently located right on the trail or close to it.

dormitory accommodation on the TMB
Dormitory accommodation at Refuge de Nant Borrant on the TMB.

Private Double Accommodation 

You’ll be staying in a combination of mountain huts (refuges/auberges/gîtes) and inns, in a private room.  The hotels and inns are usually in small villages.

This is a good option if you prefer a bit more luxury, would like more privacy and/or are a light sleeper.   Note: you will still be sharing a bathroom some nights as some providers have limited bathroom facilities.(The exception is on our 6-day luxury tour, in which you’ll have your own bathroom every night except for one.)

private double accommodation in a mountain hut
One example of private double accommodation found in a mountain hut.

Accommodation is very simple by hotel standards and we carefully choose the accommodation that appeals to hikers. That way you can still connect with other hikers and get the TMB experience – which you won’t get by staying in 4-star hotels. It’s a treat to even have the option of private double accommodation on a trek.

room in a mountain hut in the Alps
Another example of mountain hut accommodation.

Our self-guided TMB Tours give you the freedom to hike on your own. But without the time-consuming hassles of booking accommodation in three different languages and planning your route.

We do the heavy lifting so that you can focus on hiking and have the trek of your life.

Book Now to Avoid Disappointment

How to Make it Happen:

  1. Choose from our 6, 7 or 10-day tours.
  2. Select the dates in the calendar.
  3. Complete your booking in less than 5 minutes.

Solo hikers – please see the info below the form before you book.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Upon receiving your booking we need to organize all your accommodation. This can take 2 -3 weeks as we need to contact each place separately by phone or email. I.e. there is no central booking system where we can check to see how much space is available. We’ll notify you by email when all your accommodation has been confirmed. We recommend waiting to book flights and making other travel arrangements until we’ve confirmed all your accommodation.

SOLO TREKKERS

For the 2019 season, we’re pleased to accept solo trekkers. Please note the following:

1)We only accept solo hikers in July and August for safety reasons.

2)We can only offer dormitory accommodation due to the lack of single rooms available (many huts don’t have single rooms). However, we MAY be able to book a few nights in a private room for an additional fee for a couple of nights. If you would like us to in private accommodation where possible, let us know in the comments on the booking form.

3)Please note that luggage transfer is unavailable for solo hikers but luggage storage is included in the price.

4) All solo hikers are required to sign THIS FORM and email to info@monkeysandmountains.com at the time of your booking. This is again for your safety.  If you do not have the experience indicated on the form please do not sign up for this tour. Your safety is very important to us.

What Our Clients Say

review of TMB tour
review of TMB hiking tour

Additional information

Location

Italy, France, Switzerland

Dates

June – Sept

Duration

6, 7 or 10 days

Type

Guided, Self-Guided