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4
moderate to challenging

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • guided alpine walk
Accommodation
  • 5 nights in gîte-hostels/hotels
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 5 Breakfasts

6 Days£840GBP

Overview

Trip Code: MBD

Trip highlights


  • Circumnavigation of Mont Blanc
  • Experiencing the exhilaration of trekking in the European Alps
  • Traversing high passes and walking through three countries
  • Enjoying the culinary specialties such as Raclette
  • Sharing your walking day with a group of like minded travellers

The beauty and majestic grace of the spectacular Mont Blanc region should be experienced by everyone on foot at some point in their lives. Thanks to this specially crafted walking itinerary, it can be. This trip is hiking at its most civilized combining both comfort and exceptional day walks, where you carry only a light daypack, that will surely increase your appetite for even more walking adventures. The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of Europe's most popular alpine trails and for many good reasons. The extraordinary vistas of snow clad peaks with daily pass crossings, the chance to see playful marmots and chamoix along the trail and the contrasts of walking through three different countries are just some of the memorable aspects of this iconic route. During this delightful introduction to walking in the region you'll gradually ascend high alpine passes, breaking for lunch to absorb the panoramic views stretching from tumbling glaciers to meadows laden with colourful blooms.

Countries:

France, Italy, Switzerland

Starting Point:

Le Tour


Itinerary

Leaving from the village of Le Tour this morning we 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 massif including the impressive “La Verte”, the Drus and the Needles of Chamonix. We will cross the border between France and Switzerland before making our way down to the village of Trient for overnight accommodation. (9km, +800m/2624ft, -900m/2953ft)

Meals:  L,D

There are two routes between Trient and Champex. The first is via the Mountain of Bovine which involves crossing the Forclaz Pass (1527m) where there are beautiful lake views. The other is The “Fenêtre d'Arpette” (2665m) route, which is a variant on the Tour du Mont Blanc and quite challenging. Our aim is to always take this trail except in bad weather. The trail is not as well defined as the lower route but as with many pass crossings, the rewards on a good weather day are extraordinary views, including to the Trient Glacier. The descent to Champex is steep though you will have the opportunity to have a hot shower at the lodge. The decision on which path will be taken is always at the discretion of the guide. (18.6km, +1200m/3937ft, -1000m/3280ft or +800m/2624ft, -650m/2132ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we have a bus transfer to the small village of Ferret (1705m). The route takes us out of Switzerland and into Italy by the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) pass. It’s a steady climb and at the Col the sweeping views of the Pre de Bar glacier are awe-inspiring. After some time drinking in the panorama we will amble down the steep track to Refuge Elena which is located at the base of the glacier, and a great place to view the changing light on the alps. A further hour takes us to the roadhead where we are transferred to Courmayeur and our overnight accommodation. (15.5km, +900m/2953ft, -800m/2624ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we transfer to La Visaille then set off on foot, ascending the enchanting valley where the enormous Miage glacier flows into Lake Combal. The Italian side of Mont Blanc offers a completely different perspective of the highest peak in the European Alps. We continue over the Seigne mountain path, overhung by limestone pyramids, and the Estelette Glacier, until we reach France. The trail descends through high mountain pastures to Ville des Glaciers. Today provides an excellent opportunity to buy Beaufort cheese from the local farmers. (+900m/2953ft, -1000m/3280ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

A beautiful climb this morning takes us up mountain pastures to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2483m) where there are good views southeast to the peaks of the Vanoise. We descend to the Contamines Natural Reserve, through a pine forest fringed gorge and down to an ancient Roman Road and the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge. We continue walking to our accommodation in the Contamines Valley. (+900m/2953ft, -1200m/3937ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

The trail takes us along the river valley and heads slowly to La Gruvaz before continuing to Le Champel and a fairly steep ascent via Bionnassay to the Col de Voza. We descend following a combination of gravel roads and tracks to reach the town of Les Houches, where the trek concludes. (+500m/1640ft, -900m/2952ft)

Meals:  B,L


Map

Elevation

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


Inclusions

  • 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 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.
  • 5 nights accommodation in mountain hotels /gîte hostels in multishare mixed dorm rooms - upgrade to twinshare, supplement applies
  • Luggage transfer by van (max 15kgs per person, must be a soft bag)
  • Experienced mountain guide
  • Group internal transfers by local bus

  • Travel to and from Chamonix Valley, and from Les Houches/Notre Dame de la Gorge to Chamonix on day 6
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Storage of excess luggage
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Cable cars

Accommodation


Suitability

moderate to challenging

4

MODERATE to CHALLENGING – GRADE 4 - 5 The walking is moderate to challenging (4 - 5) grade with daily guided walks of around 5 to 9 hours, between 8 and 15 km and maximum ascents of 1200 metres per day. There are some challenging stages during the walk with steep ascents and descents each day, and many sections of the trail which require care (eg steep drops, rocky terrain). There are more challenging variant sections of the TMB route which may require climbing ladders for short stages - the guide will use his/her discretion as to groups abilities and weather conditions to determine which route will be taken each day. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions and walking pace). You will need a good to excellent level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. It is considered suitable for experienced walkers who are sure footed with a good walking pace. If your pace is slow in mountainous terrain we recommend booking on our Rambler (code UCW) trip. Early in the season (June) you may encounter snow on the passes which may be quite deep and alter the grading of the trip to challenging. 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. As with all our moderate to challenging programs, we expect participants to be regular outdoors people, enjoying aerobic sport around four or five 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 a pre-requisite for your participation. Runners or shoes without ankle support are not suitable for the conditions encountered on this walk.


Departure dates


Notes

Note:
Hours indicated do not include rest stops.
DN2
option to upgrade to double rooms - supplement applies. Single rooms are not available on this trip. We cannot match single travellers so you will instead stay in dormitory accommodation.
DN3
Please ensure you read the downloadable trip notes prior to booking.

Total Priceper person from

£840GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Upgrade supplement - double roomGBP£100
*Prices listed are per person

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Videos

Mont Blanc Guided Walk with UTracks