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3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • guided alpine walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights in gîte-hostels or refuges
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days£1085GBP

Overview

Trip Code: UCW

Trip highlights


  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery around the highest peak in Western Europe
  • Experience the exhilaration of trekking through three countries in the European Alps
  • Enjoying the culinary specialties such as Raclette
  • Sharing your walking day with like minded fellow travellers

Specially devised for walkers who like to 'smell the roses' en route to the next comfortable gîte or mountain refuge, this relaxed walk around Mont Blanc still takes in the vistas for which the Tour du Mont Blanc is so famous. In the company of a small group of like minded companions and a bilingual guide, the walk traverses high passes, meadows brimming with alpine flowers and wanders through typical mountain villages. There is ample time to stop and take in the stunning scenery, enjoy a picnic of local ingredients and absorb the alpine culture as you make your way to the next accommodation. This is relaxed alpine hiking at its best.

Countries:

France, Italy, Switzerland

Starting Point:

Chamonix

Finishing Point:

Courmayeur


Leaving from Chamonix, we trail above the Chamonix Valley. As we ascend the trail there are numerous opportunities to take in the huge expanse of the Mont Blanc Massif, the Argentiere glacier and the Aiguille du Tour (3542m). It is an exhilarating walk and a fabulous start to the week. Overnight Le Tour. Ascent: 450m/1476ft, Descent: 150m/492ft

Meals:  L,D

Leaving from the village of Le Tour you take the scenic high mountain path of Balme heading towards Switzerland. Weather permitting you will be able to take some wonderful photos of the Mont Blanc chain including the impressive “La Verte”, the Drus and the Needles of Chamonix. You will cross the border between France and Switzerland before making your way down to the village of Trient for overnight accommodation. Ascent: 894m/2933ft, Descent: 740m/2427ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The route we take today is via the Mountain of Bovine which involves crossing the Forclaz Pass (1527m) where there are beautiful lake views. Along the route there will be views of Grand Combin, the Rhone Valley and the Bernese Alps. Ascent 700m/2296ft, Descent: 900m/2952ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Although this is most definitely a quieter day, it is also one that brings you into contact with some scenes of amazing natural beauty. Dry meadows, pools of cold, fresh water and chalets that are as black as the small Heren cows that roam about, and are surrounded by flower filled gardens. Swiss village life is all about us and whilst the dramatic scenery of previous days is not as apparent today, it is a chance to experience the wonderful “Valais des homes”. Overnight gîte with shower. Ascent: 420m/1378ft, Descent: 650m/2132ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The route today takes you out of Switzerland and into Italy by the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) pass. It’s a steady climb and at the Col you will be awe inspired by the sweeping views of the Pre de Bar glacier. After some time drinking in the panorama you can amble down the steep track to your overnight accommodation at the Refuge Elena which is located at the base of the glacier and a great place to view the changing light on the alps. Ascent: 930m/3050ft, Descent: 475m/1558ft

Meals:  B,L,D

This mornings walk takes you through the Val Ferret and along a balcony path with impressive views of the Grand Jorasses, Mont Blanc and in the distance the Col de la Seigne marking the border between France and Italy. On reaching Refugio Bonatti there are two options to reach Berthone. The newly rerouted TMB trail traverses the north flank of Monte de la Saxe, whilst the former official TMB route takes you along the crest of Monte de la Saxe. Both are high trails with fabulous views of the Brenva face of Mont Blanc and the dramatic Aiguille Noire. Overnight Rifugio (1989m). Ascent: 631m/2070ft, Descent: 704m/2309ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The TMB trail takes us down to the charming alpine village of Courmayeur where the trip concludes around midday - time to celebrate with a gelato! Descent: -900m/2952ft

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. Lunch is picnic style. Dinner will consist of 2 or 3 courses which include regional specialities.
  • 6 nights in gîte-hostels or refuges on a multi share basis with shared facilities (upgrade to rooms - 5 nights double, 1 nights quad share available - supplement applies. Note: not necessarily private facilities)
  • Luggage transfer by vehicle (max 15kgs - soft duffel style luggage only)
  • Experienced mountain guide

  • Travel to Chamonix and from Courmayeur, as well as to and from the trailhead
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Storage of luggage. There is the option to have your main luggage transferred from Chamonix to Courmayeur, to collect at the end of the trip - must be pre-booked - please ask your consultant.
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance

Accommodation


Suitability

moderate

3

MODERATE– GRADE 3 The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily guided walks of around 3-6 hours (approx 12-15km). There are some more demanding stages during the walk with steep uphills, descents, and many sections of the trail which require care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. At any time during summer, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong sun and extreme winds. The planned itinerary may be altered in the event of adverse weather conditions. As with all our moderate programs, we expect participants to be active and fit, enjoying aerobic sport around two to four times a week over some period of time. Preferably this has been a long term interest but if not, you have set a program of fitness preparation with at least three months lead in time to your trip. The fitter you are for your trip, the more of a holiday it will be. Activities as close to the actual activity on your trip are the best training; in this instance walking with and without a pack. This builds leg strength, aerobic capacity and confidence in your ability to travel comfortably with a pack for extended periods. At the same time, you are also comfortable with the layers you like to wear and footwear. Important note: good quality walking boots with ankle support are strongly recommended for your participation. Runners or shoes without ankle support are not ideal for the conditions encountered on this walk.


Departure dates


Notes

DN1
Please ensure you read the downloadable trip notes prior to booking.
DN2
The Chamonix Marathon is held in late June, and TMB Ultra Marathon in late August. We recommend making your pre- & post- trip accommodation reservations well in advance. See Trip Notes for more information.

Priceper person from

£1085GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • double room supplement - 1 night quad / 5 nights doubleGBP£120
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


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Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

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Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

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We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Videos

Mont Blanc Guided Walk with UTracks