Tour du MoNt Blanc Hike
Circumnavigation of the Mont Blanc Range through France, Italy and Switzerland

TOUR DU MONT BLANC

Private Family & Friends Hiking Experience
– Circumnavigate the Mont Blanc Range – France, Italy & Switzerland

With over 30 years of experience rambling across the Alps as both professionals and tourists and celebrating our 20th anniversary as a guiding company, we have elaborated itineraries which are gentle enough for younger walkers and neophytes, but also challenging enough to keep the most experienced trekker captivated by the nature of the terrain, the rich variety of cultures and diversity of its cuisine.

As aficionados of the “good life”, we are keen to assist you in discovering the magic of circumnavigating the Mont Blanc, from Chamonix, the alpine capital, through to Courmayeur in Italy, an ancient Roman garrison town and back around to France. From Courmayeur we walk over the Grand Col Ferret into Switzerland and the discover the magic of the Rhône Valley and its ancient vineyards and fortifications. With several options per day to alter the itinerary and a variety of accommodation to choose from, let us customize this remarkable trek for your small, private, group. From 1-8 hikers per certified guide.

LOCATION
FRANCE – italy – SWITZERLAND
LENGTH OF TRIP
3-10 DAYS
PRICE – THIS itinerary

USD $ 3, 500
CAD $ 4,500
*Pricing based on three hikers

Day 1: ARRIVAL DAY
Geneva International Airport (GVA) is the nearest and most convenient airport to Chamonix, France.
Meet in Chamonix, the undisputed Alpine capital, located just under the shadow of western Europe’s highest peak, the Mont Blanc.
Welcome drinks and dinner. 5-star hotel options available.

Hotel in Chamonix
Dinner included

Day 2: CHAMONIX: AIGUILLE DU MIDI – MONTENVERS

A short walk brings us to the bottom station of the Aiguille du Midi, one of the most impressive cable car systems in the world. Two cable cars bring us to 3807m, a world of ice and snow. Stunning views out to Mont Blanc, Les Grandes Jorasses, the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and many more Alpine giants.

After taking the cable car down to the mid-station, we begin a gentle hike under the famed Chamonix Needles, jagged spires of granite, which have been coveted prizes for climbers over the centuries. This warm-up hike will allow us to soak up the views, with ample time to stop for photographs or to simply contemplate the beauty at hand. We take lunch at the Montenvers train station, a majestic hotel sitting on the edge of the Mer de Glace, one of Chamonix’ most impressive glaciers. After lunch, we head back to Chamonix via the cog railway built in 1909 and still one of the highlights of any visit to Chamonix.

Hotel in Chamonix
Breakfast / Dinner included
Distance: 6km (3.75m), 2-3 hours, up 150m (500ft)

Day 3: LES CHAPIEUX
A quick transfer to Les Contamines, followed by a one of the longest and more difficult hikes of the trip, as we cross two mountain passes, Col du Bonhomme and the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, with a stop at the refuge of the same name for a picnic lunch, or a hot soup/salad combo. Freshly energized, the descent to the little hamlet of Les Chapieux awaits us, in the heart of the famous cheese-making region of the Beaufort, the Queen of the Gruyère cheeses.

Mountain Hotel in Les Chapieux
Breakfast / Dinner included
Luggage Delivered
Distance: 18.5km (11.5m), 7hours, up 1270m (4160ft), down 885m (2900ft)

Day 4: COURMAYEUR
After a visit to a Beaufort cheese-making cooperative on the way and the purchase of some cheese for our picnic lunch, we say au revoir to France, and ciao to Italy. Over the Col de la Seigne and down into the Val Veney and eventually the Rifugio Elisabetta for a well-deserved Italian coffee!
A moderate walk down to Lac Combal and La Visaille before taking a bus or taxi transfer to Courmayeur, the mountaineering capital of the Italian Alps. Gourmet pizza dinner in great little restaurant followed by Italian gelato!

Hotel in Courmayeur
Breakfast / Dinner included
Luggage delivered
Distance: 14 km (8.75m), 5 – 6 hours, up 735m (2400ft), down 550m (1790ft)
Transfer from Lac Combal / Visaille to Courmayeur (10 min)

Day 5: RIFUGIO BONATTI
After a hearty breakfast, we begin our walk along the cobblestone streets of the old town before heading steeply up to the Mont de la Saxe ridge and the first refuge, the Bertone, gaining nearly 900m (2,700ft). A further 5-6 hours is required to reach the Walter Bonatti refuge, perched high on the lateral moraine, looking out towards the South Face of the Mont Blanc Range and the towering Grandes Jorasses.

Rifugio Bonatti, shared bathrooms
Breakfast / Dinner included
Distance: 12km (13m), 6 – 7 hours, up 1050m (3465ft), down 260m (858ft)

Day 6: CHAMPEX-LAC
Continuing along the Mont de la Saxe ridge for a short time, we descend to the Val Ferret, only to climb again to the Rifugio Elena and possibly the best hot chocolate in the world! Today’s climb is short and sweet with the last views of this side of the range. Once at the Grand Col Ferret, we say ciao to Italy and bonjour to Switzerland as we make our way to Champex-Lac.

Hotel in Champex-Lac
Breakfast / Dinner included
Luggage delivered
Distance: 19km (11.8m), 6 hours, up 990m (3265t), down 1350m (4455ft)
Transfer from La Fouly to Champex-Lac (20 – 25 min)

Day 7: ARGENTIÈRE
Today’s hike takes us along a forested path of the TMB up a steep trail to the Bovine hut for lunch, where Nathalie, the owner, produces amazing home-cooked meals on a wood stove. She’s also the owner of a large herd of ‘fighting cows’, a breed from the Val d’Hérens called ‘Reines’ (Queens).
They are known for their aggressive behaviour towards each other and are the centre of elaborate events at the beginning and the end of each summer season. Two more hours of hiking bring us to the Col de Forclaz, before being taken to Argentière, in France for the night.

Hotel in Argentière
Breakfast / Dinner included
Luggage delivered
Distance: 14km (8.8m), 6 hours, up 520m (1700t), down 660m (2170ft)
Transfer Col de Forclaz – Argentière (15 min)

Day 8: CHAMONIX: LAC BLANC
We head to the Flégère cable car and take a short lift up to the mid-station, where we begin a gentle ascent to one of the best vantage points in the Chamonix valley: Lac Blanc. Today’s walk takes place opposite the Mont Blanc Range, giving us some of the classic views of Mont Blanc and the other peaks in the area, meandering along hillsides covered in rhododendron and skirting alpine lakes. Our lunch spot is the Refuge of Lac Blanc, where hearty meals of Crôute Savoyarde (baked cheese and bread casserole, drowned in white wine) are served up fresh, along with fruit tarts and other delicious desserts. We return via the same trail, using the cable car to save nearly 1000m of descent.

Hotel in Chamonix
Breakfast / Dinner included
Luggage delivered
Distance: 6km (3.75m), 4-5 hours, up 475m (1570ft), down 475m (1570ft)

Day 9: DEPARTURE DAY
Trip ends after breakfast. All guests leave at their own leisure.

Breakfast included

Here’s a list of everything you can customize for your group of travellers:

ITINERARY – OPTIONS

The full circumnavigation of the Mont Blanc range can be done between 6 and 11 days of hiking, depending on your preferences, the longer walk allowing for a smaller pace whereas the 6-day version focuses on the main highlights of the ‘TMB’.  A half-tour is also a possibility, starting in Chamonix and ending in Courmayeur, cominb back to Chamonix via the Mont-Blanc Tunnel, or starting in Courmayeur, and ending in Chamonix. The Chamonix Valley and the nearby Swiss Valais and the Aosta Valley in Italy are perfect for anything between day-hikes, 2-3 days of hiking with overnight stays in mountain huts, or longer tours.

OPTIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Staying in some of the refuges, adding a rest-day here and there, or do a longer variation are all options. The best places for rest days would be Chamonix, Courmayeur, and Champex-Lac.

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation is generally booked in three-star hotels, and if you would like to stay in the mountains, some nights are spent in mountain huts with a varying degree of creature comforts.

WHAT IS ALWAYS INCLUDED

  • Hiking guide (we only hire certified International Mountain Leaders)
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Local transfers and lifts
  • Detailed information package including day-to-day itinerary with elevation gains/descents, and a Tour du Mont Blanc hiking map.
  • Some dinners

Optional Services

  • Lunches, some dinners
  • Luggage transfer where possible

Moderate to difficult walking on some well-marked trails, but also some cross-country hiking.
Scree slopes, some boulder-hopping, minimal ridge-walking with minimum exposure. 6-9 hours of daily walking to complete the full Tour du Mont Blanc, consecutively for 6-11 days. 1200m (3600ft) maximum elevation gain per day. Day-pack and occasionally overnight pack. Maximum altitude in the Alps of 3,000m (10,000ft).

HOW TO GET THERE:
Nearest airport to get to Chamonix is Geneva (GVA), but an alternative option would be Zurich (ZRH), depending on your plans before or after the Tour du Mont Blanc. Minibus shuttles exist from Geneva airport to the Chamonix valley, with transfers straight to your hotel. For more information on how to get there, hotel, restaurants, etc, please have a look at our travel resources.

The Tour du Mont Blanc is often considered the most scenic and popular hike in the Alps. This is  due in part to the quality of the hiking but also for the variety of cultures, cuisine and accessibility making it a perfect active family holiday. Ideally suited for a self-guided option, we highly recommend the TMB for intrepid families or beginners to multi-day hiking. Easily modified to fit most budgets ad ability levels, the TMB offers spectacular hikes through high alpine pastures and rocky crags but also lower down in valleys in order to experience the cultures of three alpine countries and their long histories. With excellent trip notes, maps and guide book, our custom, self-guided options provide the freedom to travel at one’s own pace, stay longer in one particular area and enjoy the slow pace of travel circumnavigated the “Jewel of the Alps”.

We are here to make your dream holiday come true
About Alpine Interface
Alpine Interface is a small, family-run organization, specializing in guided hiking tours, in the Alps, Europe, and the Canadian Rockies.

The company is owned and operated by Karin Stubenvoll and Louis Marino.

Louis is the owner of the company and the lead guide. He is responsible for the smooth operation and high quality of all our guided hiking trips, new itineraries, and our special customer care, which is the main reason why we have so many returning clients. Karin is the Office Manager and does all the work!

In 2005, Karin and Louis moved from Chamonix in the French Alps to the Bow Valley in the Canadian Rockies in order to explore the wilderness of the Canadian west. It also provides better customer service, being in North America.

Imagine letting Alpine Interface tailor your private dream holidays for your family and friends. Celebrating our 20th anniversary in business this year has given us vast experience when it comes to the details of trip preparation. Let us take you to the majestic trails of the European Alps, to Provençal markets, the historic D-Day beaches of Normandy, and the jagged limestone spires of the Dolomites.

  • All guides are certified professionals with adequate work permits
  • Exceptional customer care and service
  • Fully customized itineraries catering to your group
  • Safe travelling with family & friends only

19 Sep: Cheese-Tasting on the Tour du Mont Blanc

You’ve hiked and trekked your way to the Col du Bonhomme the highest point on the Tour du Mont Blanc(TMB) trail…

05 Jan: Hello world!

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