TOUR DU MONT BLANC
SELF-GUIDED
HIKING TOURS

Tour Du Mont Blanc: Self-Guided Hiking Tours

Location: Les Houches / Chamonix, France

Length: 6, 7 or 10 Days
Availability: June 22nd – Sept 14th

Type: Self-Guided or Guided Grade:  Moderate to to Strenuous

Starting from: €949 pp.

NOTE: This trip is now available to book. We require 2 weeks notice to book all your accommodations. Please ensure that you’re able to enter France, Switzerland and Italy. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Tour Trip Overview

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the best long-distance treks in the world! 
This classic well-signed hike takes you around the glacier-covered Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe. You’ll hike through pristine alpine regions of France, Italy, and Switzerland. You’ll climb dramatic mountain passes, hike through alpine meadows filled with wild flowers, and pass pristine mountain lakes.

Your efforts will be rewarded each day with delectable local cuisine from each country shared in the company of fellow TMB hikers.

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, planning your route, or trying to look up bus schedules. You also get peace of mind, knowing if something goes wrong on the trail, we’re only a phone call away.

With our Tour du Mont Self-Guided Tours, we do the heavy lifting so that you can focus on having the best hike of your life.

you'll get gorgeous lakes and amazing views of Mont Blanc on your Tour du Mont Blanc self guided hiking tour

Highlights of the Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Tours

  • Hike in 3 countries – France, Italy, and Switzerland.
  • 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. 
  • Pass through charming mountain villages in the Alps.
  • Eat delciious meals with a regional flair from each country.
  • Hike dramatic mountain passes, meadows filled with wild flowers and gorgeous mountain lakes.
  • Choose to stay in mountain huts on the trail or hotel/ B&Bs in nearby villages. 

What’s Included

  • Detailed route description, & map.
  • Accommodation – your choice of dormitory or private double.
  •  Breakfasts & dinners (as indicated on each tour page)
  • Unlimited email support pre-tour.
  • Pre-tour live webinar to answer all your questions before you go.
  • In-person orientation in Chamonix to pick up your itinerary/map and get the latest trail conditions.
  •  Phone support while on your tour in case of emergency.

 

 

 

 

ibex seen on the tour du mont blanc hiking tour
Laurel Robbins doing the Tour du Mont Blanc self-guided hiking tour

Why Us

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

Little did she know that it would spark an addition to long-distance trekking. As much as she loved it, she hated planning it and booking all the accommodations on her own which was extemely time consuming and confusing at times. After her own trip, she was committed to making it easy for other hikers to experience the Tour du Mont Blanc as a self-guided tour and started a hiking tour company.

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?

That’s where we come in. Our small team are hikers too. As hikers, we know how to design great trips that hikers will love. 

 

 

6-Day Tour Du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Tour Info

The Tour du Mont Blanc 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 totally ~ 76 km (47 miles) 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.

 

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couple enjoying views of Mont Blanc

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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

€1409 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

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 6-Day Self-Guided Hiking Tour Itinerary

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 to 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 l’Argentière: 15 km or 10 km by foot.

Day 6: l’Argentière – Tré-le-Champ – lacs Chéserys – Lac Blanc – La Flégère – Chamonixl’

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 Tour Du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Tour Info

The best of the Tour du Mont Blanc 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, totally ~ 92 km (57 miles).

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.

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views while doing the tour du mont blanc self guided tour
you can sleep in mountain huts on your Tour du Mont Blanc self-guided hiking tour

.

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 Tour Du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Tour

€949 pp for dormitory-style accommodation and €1249 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

  • 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

.

ibex seen on the tour du mont blanc hiking tour

7-Day Self-Guided Hiking Tour Itinerary

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 Incluided

  •  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 Tour De Mont Blanc 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, ~130 km (81 miles) 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.

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.

Hiking markers on the TMB
tour du mont blanc self-guided tour

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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

€1299 pp for dormitory accommodation and €1579 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.

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

10-Day Self Guided Hiking Tour Itinerary

you'll pass Argentière on your self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc hike

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 – Chèserys 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. 

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 Self-Guided Hiking Tour! You’ve earned your bragging rights.

Not Included

hiker on the Tour du Mont Blanc

  • Travel insurance which is required. s(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.

8-Day TMB Guided Tour

The 8-day TMB guided tour takes you through routes and towns from France, Switzerland, and Italy. It starts and finishes in Chamonix. It’s not a true- TMB round tour as our self-guided tours are. Instead, it includes the highlights of the region including hiking, a wine & cheese tasting and a spa day. You get the perk of having a guide to support you at all times. It’s a good choice if you want a mix of hiking with other activities.

2020 Dates

  • June 18 to June 25
  • July 16 to July 23
  • August 6 to August 13
  • September 10 to September 17
couple enjoying views of Mont Blanc

Price for the TMB Guided Tour

€2,790 pp (max 8 people in a group).

Inclusions

  • Accommodation: 2 nights in Chamonix, 2 nights in Champex and 3 nights in Courmayeur; in a twin room (2 separate beds)
  • Meals: Breakfasts from day 2 to day 8 / Picnic lunches from day 1 to day 7 / Dinners on day 1, 3, 4 and 7
  • Guiding: international certified trekking guide(s) for 7 days
  • A private minibus throughout the trip
  • Lift tickets on day 1 and day 6
  • Wine & cheese tasting on day 3
  • Spa entrance on day 5
  • International certified high mountain guide on day 6 + equipment

8-Day TMB Guided Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Chamonix

Meet with your guide at the Aiguille du Midi cable car station in Chamonix and take a cable car from Chamonix to the top of the Aiguille du Midi. Visit.

Descent from the top to Plan de l’Aiguille and hike from Plan de l’Aiguille to Montenvers. Visit of the Ice Cave.

Finally descent by train to Chamonix and enjoy dinner with the group at your hotel in Chamonix.

  • Ascent: 187m.
  • Descent: 588m.

Day 2: Chamonix

Have breakfast at your hotel in Chamonix before departing from the hotel with your guide to La Flégère cable car station.

Take a cable car to the top of La Flégère, the starting point of the hike to start your hike to the famous and most beautiful lake of the Mont Blanc range: the White Lake.

In the end, have a picnic lunch by the lake before starting your descent to Chamonix.

  • Ascent: 566m.
  • Descent: 566m.

Day 3: Chamonix – Champex

After having breakfast at your hotel in Chamonix you will start your day with a transfer from Chamonix to Saillon, Switzerland, where you will enjoy a delicious “wine and cheese tasting” in a lovely vineyard.

When that is done take a transfer from Saillon to Champex where you will have dinner and stay the night.

Day 4: Champex

After breakfast, you will take the chairlift of La Breya.

From the top, you will start hiking to the Cabane d’Orny and stop only for lunch.

Situated at 2831m high, the cabane d’Orny is a charming little mountain hut, where you sometimes get the chance to see ibex. At the end of the day, you will descent back to Champex.

  • Ascent: 649m.
  • Descent: 649m.

Day 5: Champex – Courmayeur

In the morning you will depart from Champex to Grand Saint Bernard hospice. You will then transfer from Grand Saint Bernard to Pré Saint Didier in Italy and enjoy a relaxing afternoon Spa in a historical place. The last part of the day will be a transfer to the charming village of Courmayeur.

Day 6: Courmayeur

This morning you will quickly reach 3462 metres and the Helbronner peak by cable-car. The view up there is absolutely stunning. Don’t forget your camera! And because we think hiking across a glacier is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you will get to traverse the Col du Géant with one of our high mountain guides. Descent by cable car and go on a short transfer to your hotel in Courmayeur.

Day 7: Courmayeur

Start hiking on to La Montagne de la Saxe where a balcony trail leads to the Rifugio Bonatti, named after the famous Italian alpinist and adventurer Walter Bonatti. From there, start the descent and head back to Courmayeur to spend the last evening of the trip. 

  • Ascent: 649m. 
  • Descent: 649m.

Day 8: Courmayeur – Chamonix

It’s time to say goodbye …

This morning is the last morning of your trip, you and your guide will drive you back to Chamonix.

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airport transfers
  • The pre-trip and the last night of the trip
  • Dinner on day 3, 5 and 6; drinks and personal expenditure (souvenirs)
  • Repatriation and cancellation insurance.
  • Anything not indicated in the inclusions section

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.

BOOK NOW

SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING START DATES IN THE CALENDAR: June 18 to June 25 July 16 to July 23 August 6 to August 13 September 10 to September 17

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We require a minimum of 4 participants to run each tour. Please do not book your flights or make other travel arrangements until we’ve confirmed your tour.

TOUR DU MONT BLANC SELF-GUIDED TOUR INFO

Availability

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. The first week of July is also very full. Otherwise, you can choose a start date for your Tour du Mont Blanc self-guided tour that’s convenient for you. We recommend starting your tour on a Saturday since we’ve already pre-booked some accommodations and may be able to confirm your accommodations more quickly. Book as soon as possible to ensure that accommodation is available on your start date. Private double accommodation fills up VERY quickly and most of the first week of July is already full.

Self-Guided Tour Details

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).

Luggage Storage and Luggage Transfers

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. 

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. 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.

Grade & Terrain and Required Fitness Level
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.

Altitude Sickness

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

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

Hiking Times/Distances

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations as are the hiking times. These don’t include breaks. We’ve used the times indicated on the hiking isgn posts on the trail to be consistent, but most people find it takes them longer than the times indicated.

The itineraries shown may change slightly based on the available accommodation for your self-guided tour.

Extras

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. We recommend World Nomads since it includes mountain rescue and repatriation insurance which are required and not covered by all insurance polices.

Payment Schedule and Refunds

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.

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.

 

you'll pass Argentière on your self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc hike
Chamonix is the starting point for the 10-day Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek
couple enjoying views of Mont Blanc
you'll hike in ever changing scenery on your Tour du Mont Blanc self-guided tour
views while doing the tour du mont blanc self guided tour
ibex seen on the tour du mont blanc hiking tour
a hiker on one of the two highest points of the Tour du Mont Blanc
dormitory accommodation on the Tour du Mont Blanc self-guided tour
Dormitory accommodation at Refuge de Nant Borrant
room in a mountain hut in the Alps
private double accommodation in a mountain hut
Example of upgraded accommodation that you’ll find on the 6-day tour.

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS ON YOUR TOUR DU MONT BLANC SELF GUIDED TOUR

You have a choice of three options 1) dormitory in mountain huts, 2) Private double in a combination of mountain huts/B&Bs with mainly shared bathrooms or 3) private rooms in 3-star hotels (except 1 night) with your own private bathroom in nearby villages. The last option is only available on our 6-day luxury tour.

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.

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.

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 multi-day hike.

3-Star Hotel Accommodations

Available on our 6-day tour. This is our most luxurious option but keep in mind, they’re still 3-star hotels (except one night in a 2-star hotel where you will be sharing a bathroom. If you want more luxury, and your own private bathroom and want to experience charming villages nearby, this is a good option for you. 

TRAVEL INFO TO GET TO THE START OF YOUR TOUR DU MONT BLANC SELF-GUIDED TOUR 

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: Please do not book your flights or make other travel arrangements until you receive an email from us notifying you that all your accommodation has been confirmed.

Getting from Geneva to Chamonix

You can get from Geneva to Chamonix by either bus, shared transfer or private transfer. The cheapest way is by bus. You can see all the different options for going by bus here. The middle option is a  shared transfer which takes 90 minutes.  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 and 7-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.

 

 

 

Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc
The Tour du Mont Blanc is well marked making it a great self guided tour
Self guided hikers will stay in Courmayer on their Tour du Mont Blanc

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.

TOUR 6-DAY LUXURY SELF-GUIDED 7-DAY SELF-GUIDED 10-DAY SELF-GUIDED
Level of Difficulty Moderate Moderate Intermediate – 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 Day 4 – 6 hours 4 – 6 hours 5 – 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. €1409 (private double, upgraded) €949 (dormitory)/ €1249  (private double) €1299 (dormitory) / €1579 (private double)

Our Tour du Mont Blanc self-guided hiking 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.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Upon receiving your booking we need to organize all your accommodation. This can take 2 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. Please do not book your flights or make other travel arrangements until we’ve confirmed all your accommodation.

SOLO TMB HIKERS

1) 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. 2) Please note that luggage transfer is unavailable. 3) 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 Past Tour du Mont Blanc Clients Say

review of TMB tour
review of TMB hiking tour

Click here to see the Terms and Conditions. Note: Terms and conditions have been favourably modified for our clients due to the Coronavirus. Changes are highlighted in yellow for easy reference.

 
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