Self-guided trails of the Tour du Mont Blanc
Alpine meadows and rocky peaks, windswept cols and glaciers, glorious views and some great trekking and hiking. Find all that and more in the Mont Blanc Massif. For experienced hikers, our self-guided Mont Blanc Circuit is the perfect trek through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Alps of France, Italy and Switzerland.
Your accommodation is pre-booked for you and your luggage will be transported between overnight stops, leaving you to only carry the essentials in a day pack.
Start your trek with a hike along the Grand Balcon Sud, affording excellent views of the Mont Blanc range. Hike along Col de Balme into Switzerland before walking along the 'Bovine Trail' through meadows and high alpine pastures to Champex. Next, walk though flower-strewn meadows and alpine farming villages to La Fouly before climbing to Grand Col Ferret, the highest pass of the tour and your entry point to Italy. Spend the night in refuge Walter Bonatti for a true mountain hut experience before trekking around Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur, all the way enjoying spectacular views.
Joining an old Roman road climb to Col de la Seigne where you re-enter France to reach Les Chapieux, a hamlet inhabited only in summer. Turning north you hike over Col de la Croix du Bonhomme and Col du Bonhomme to Les Contamines from where a challenging with good views of the north side of Mont Blanc takes you to Les Houches. Another long hiking day will give you the best views of the French side of Mont Blanc before reaching Chamonix, where the trip ends.
Activity / Theme
France, Switzerland, Italy
2 & 3-star hotels, auberge, mountain refuge
Months of Operation
June, July, August, September
Adventure Coordinators Insider Tip:
You can add free days to this trip at the time of booking - thus you can add a restday or two as you see fit.
DAY 1 Start Chamonix
DAY 2 Hike to Argentiere
DAY 3 Col du Balme to Col du Forclaz
DAY 4 Cattle Route to Champex
DAY 5 Hike to La Fouly
DAY 6 Trek over Grand Col Ferret towards Walter Bonatti refuge
DAY 7 Hike to Courmayeur
DAY 8 Over Col de la Seigne to Les Chapieux
DAY 9 Climb Col de la Croix du Bonhomme to Les Contamines
DAY 10 To Les Houches
DAY 11 To Chamonix
DAY 12 End Chamonix
The Tour du Mont Blanc is an absolutely wonderful hike — there are picture perfect views of mountains 75% of the time, the trails are well maintained and varied. It is truly a world class hike. [...] the hike is hard, there is no two ways about it. But it is doable if you pace yourself, and enjoy the views along the way. [...] I really liked doing the tour clockwise with relatively quiet mornings, and around lunch time would encounter all the anti-clockwisers which was always a good sign. Then a quiet afternoon as well.
The route notes provided were extremely helpful, and needed to be followed to the letter. Although there is a lot of signage, it would be easy to accidentally take a variant, so the notes give a good indication of what to look out for and which signs to follow. [...]
talk of the ladders is way overblown. It is a very short section, the ladders are very solid and well designed. [...] That being said in the last couple days there are some hair parts of the trail that you need to be very very careful … so long as you do that all is okay but I wouldn’t want to be afraid of heights in those parts.[...]
It was good staying in the hotels each night — a nice shower and private rooms. Food was consistently excellent for both breakfasts and dinners. Coffee is consistently excellent and quick — and that says a lot coming from me :-). Breakfasts were plentiful with glorious yogurt, fruit, granola at the very least … and in most places cheeses, hams, eggs, croissants etc. Dinners were full on delicious 3 course meals.
Accommodations were all good. Bottom of the list was Base Camp in Bourg St. Maurice because I found it a bit claustrophobic. The Hotel Richmond in Chamonix is wonderful, the owner is super helpful and friendly, and it is very central. Outstanding views from Hotel Splendide in Champex and Auberge des Glaciers in La Fouly. Roccy Pop in Les Houches is bizarre :-) but fun, and food excellent. I had heard so much about Refugio Bonatti before the trip — really no loss not having stayed there …. you hike there anyway and get to see the views and I am happy enough missing the dormitory experience :-).
The transfers (taxi) and bus trips were all very easy. The taxi was setup and was pre-arranged for a particular time to pick up already. Buses all turned out to be free for some reason and were relatively easy to figure out. [...]
Bottom line: it is fantastic.
Mara - Toronto, ON
(abbreviated version - full version available on request)
All breakfasts, 7 hotel/restaurant dinners
All accommodation (see below)
All baggage transport
Sample tour. Itinerary, accommodation, transportation, inclusions and prices are correct at the time of publication but may change without prior notice. Please inquire.
© Adventure Coordinators