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The Tour du Mont Blanc

Trip Length 12 days

From $4,895

  • Trek the classic 10-day circuit of the Mont Blanc massif—a “must-do” for every hiker
  • Explore an earthly paradise spanning three countries, three cultures, and three cuisines
  • Enjoy mountain hospitality, hearty alpine fare, and the expertise of dedicated MTS guides

Having led trips to the Alps for over four decades has given us more than our fair share of bias, but the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of our favorite itineraries. Mont Blanc is Western Europe’s highest and most iconic peak, and its idyllic views can inspire even the most jaded traveler. Travelling through France, Italy and Switzerland, you’ll wander up ancient trails through tall forests and grassy meadows, past enormous waterfalls and glaciers, and through charming hamlets in the shadow of some of the most awe-inspiring peaks in the world. While undoubtedly one of our more rigorous treks, the Tour du Mont Blanc never ceases to charm with days full of clinking cowbells, colorful wildflowers, mountain wildlife and genuine alpine hospitality. It's no wonder that Forbes called our Tour du Mont Blanc "the world's most luxurious hiking trip!"

Day 1: Arrive in Geneva, Transfer to Chamonix

Arrive at the airport in Geneva, Switzerland. You will be picked up promptly at 2:00 p.m. for a group transfer by private van to the mountain-ringed resort town of Chamonix, France. We suggest you arrive early enough (by 1:00 p.m.) to allow time to get through customs and immigration before the scheduled pickup. The transfer takes approximately 1½ hours, and once at the hotel, you'll have time to rest a bit or explore the town before orientation. After meeting the guides and the rest of the group, we will have a delicious welcome dinner at the fine restaurant at your hotel.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Les Aiglons

Day 2: Warm-up Hike above Chamonix

In 1741, the first tourists to Chamonix were transported to Montenvers on the backs of mules in order to admire the glaciers. Today, most travellers take a bright red cog train up the steep slopes to reach the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice), the second-largest glacier in the Alps. We begin our hike from the hotel (3,300'), crossing the town of Chamonix and entering the forest. We'll ascend a steep trail passing the Blaitiere farm to reach the “Grand Balcon,” from where we have a fabulous view of the Chamonix Aiguilles towering above us. We'll traverse below these towering peaks toward the Montenvers railway sitting high above the Mer de Glace glacier. We may see alpinists on the glacier. Return to Chamonix by the cog railway. Dinner tonight is on your own. (5 – 6 hours hiking ~ approx. 6 – 8 miles ~ 1,900' elevation ascent/2,000' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Hotel Les Aiglons

Day 3: Chamonix to Les Houches (France)

Again we hike from the hotel up to the start of the trail beneath the Aiguilles Rouges along the Petit Balcon to Merlet (4,921'), where we have magnificent views of the north face and glaciers of Mont Blanc. We traverse to Coupeau, then make an easy descent to the village of Les Houches (3,200'). (5 – 6 hours hiking ~ approx. 10 miles ~ 2,000' ascent/descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel du Bois

Day 4: Les Houches to Les Contamines (France)

Leaving Les Houches, we climb in the forest, passing beautiful mountain farmhouses, and continue through the woods to the small pass of Bellevue overlooking the Chamonix Valley; in the other directions we see the hanging glaciers of the Bionnassay and Mont Blanc. Then it’s down through the thickly wooded hillside and typical alpine hamlets to the charming small town of Les Contamines (3,829'), a traditional mountain village with picturesque wooden chalets and a fine old church. (7 hours hiking ~ approx. 10 miles ~ 2,500' ascent/2,800' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel La Chemenaz

Day 5: Hike the Roman Road to Les Chapieux (France)

Today we make a long ascent on an old Roman road to the Plan des Dames, before the last ascent to the Col du Bonhomme (7,641') and Croix du Bonhomme (8,100') for lunch. In the afternoon, we hike downhill on a grassy trail to Les Chapieux (5,080'). Along the way we may see some recently reintroduced ibex and lots of marmots and beautiful wildflowers. (7 hours hiking ~ approx. 12 miles ~ 4,200' ascent/3,000' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Auberge de la Nova

Day 6: The Vallée des Glaciers to Courmayeur (Italy)

We transfer 15 minutes to the end of the “Vallée des Glaciers,” enjoying a relatively easy hike over the Col de la Seigne (8,245'). Here the views of Mont Blanc are Himalayan in scale, as the mountain rises in a breathtaking abruptness from the Veny Valley to the summit 10,000 feet above. We then make a descent into Italy to Lac Combal and Visaille. Transfer to Courmayeur (3,800'), situated beneath the Grand Jorasses and Brenva Glacier, where we spend the night in a hotel. Dinner tonight is in town. (6 hours hiking ~ approx. 10 miles ~ 2,300' ascent/2,700' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Berthod

Day 7: Courmayeur to La Vachey (Italy)

Today’s beautiful walk is along the side of the mountain with fabulous views of Mont Blanc, which appears opposite us as we climb the trail. Hanging glaciers and glacial moraines are on the menu for the day! The trail takes us through larch and alder where it’s possible to see deer and chamois. Continue ascending to the Rifugio Bonnatti, with its unforgettable views. We descend the steep trail to the valley floor and continue to La Vachey (4,500'). (5 hours hiking ~ approx. 7 – 8 miles ~ 2,500' ascent/1,500' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel La Vachey

Day 8: La Vachey to Champex (Switzerland)

After a 10-minute transfer, we walk up a nice trail past the spectacular “Glacier de Pre-de-Bar” with Mont Dolent above. This is the meeting point of the borders with France, Italy, and Switzerland. Cross the Grand Col Ferret (8,300') to enter Switzerland, and descend to the scenic village of La Fouly (5,280'), located beneath the Glacier de l’A Neuve. Transfer by van to Champex (4,808'), a small lake resort that features typical Swiss-style chalets and charming gardens. (5 – 6 hours hiking ~ approx. 9 miles ~ 2,500' ascent/3,100' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Glacier and Sporting

Day 9: Champez to Col de la Forclaz (Switzerland)

The classic route of the Tour du Mont Blanc takes the Bovine route. An hour and a half of easy walking followed by a rapid ascent in the forest brings us high over the Rhône Valley and the town of Martigny. You will not be disappointed with this fabulous view! An easy descent brings us to the Col de Forclaz (3,900'). (6 hours hiking ~ approx. 12 miles ~ 2,400' ascent/2,300' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel du Col de La Forclaz

Day 10: Col de la Forclaz to the Vallorcine Valley (France)

The trail climbs steeply through the forest on an old smuggler’s path to the border with France. Here there is a simply wonderful view of the Mont Blanc massif with the Chamonix valley stretched out in front of us. We will make our way down to the Vallorcine Valley east of Chamonix, and then to our hotel in Argentière. (5 – 6 hours hiking ~ approx. 10 miles ~ 2,900' ascent/2,650' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel de la Couronne

Day 11: Back to Chamonix (France)

From Le Col De Montets (4,800') we will hike to Les Cheserys (7,130'), enjoying views of the Le Tour and Argentiere glaciers, and all the Mont Blanc range. After rejoining the Grand Balcon Route and La Flégère, we descend to Chamonix (3,300'). Tonight we’ll enjoy a festive farewell dinner in town. (5 hours hiking ~ approx. 8 miles ~ 2,700' ascent/1,500' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Les Aiglons

Day 12: Return to Geneva - Fly Home!

Transfer to the Geneva airport. There will be one group departure for the airport at 8:30 a.m.* Please schedule your flight after 11:00 a.m. for inter-European destinations, after 12:00 p.m. for all transcontinental destinations. If you would like to depart earlier or later, the transfer is on your own.

*Due to Switzerland’s commercial transportation laws, we are only able to provide one group taxi service to the Geneva Airport on Day 12, included in the cost of your trip. This transfer will be at 8:30 a.m. and will arrive at the Geneva Airport at 10:00 a.m. Private transfers can be arranged at an additional cost.

  • Breakfast

Aug 16 - 27, 2016

Sep 13 - 24, 2016

Jun 20, 2017 - Jul 01, 2017

Jul 18 - 29, 2017

Aug 15 - 26, 2017

Sep 19 - 30, 2017

pricing


2016 Prices
$4,895 (5-14 members)

2017 Prices
$5,395 (5-14 members)



 



 

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Auberge de la Nova — Les Chapieux, France


Hotel Berthod — Courmayeur

Originally built in 1882 by Jean Laurent Berthod, Hotel Berthod is still run by the Berthod family. As you'd expect, there is a familial atmosphere here, and guests are made to feel quite at home. The property is ideally located within walking distance to the ski lift and just steps away from Courmayeur's main street, where guests will have numerous dining and shopping options. The hotel is outfitted with indoor spa facilities, cozy, personalized rooms and offers an excellent breakfast buffet.

Hotel Glacier and Sporting — Champex

Serving guests for over 100 years, the Hotel du Glacier is a Swiss hotel tradition. Rooms are basic but comfortable, and many have lake views. There are two restaurants, one serving regional cuisine, another serving café food and pizza. Perfectly situated for boating, trekking, mountain biking and tennis in the summer, and skiing, snowboarding and sledding in winter, this hotel is a cozy getaway for all travelers.

Hotel La Chemenaz — Les Contamines-Montjoie, France

La Chemenaz chalet hotel is located in the French Alps, in the Haute-Savoie at Les Contamines-Montjoie village resort. The hotel offers luxurious accommodations in a gorgeous setting facing the Mont Blanc Massif. A variety of rooms, suites and family accommodations feature decor that is decidedly chalet chic, with faux fur textiles and warm wood finishes. The restaurant serves local specialties such as raclette, fondue, tartiflette and reblochonnad.

Hotel La Vachey — Val Ferret, Italy

Hotel Les Aiglons — Chamonix

Five minutes from the town centre, at the foot of the Midi summit, three star Les Aiglons Resort & Spa has undergone a full renovation.

Resolutely contemporary whilst breaking down the barriers of traditional mountain resort hotels, three star Les Aiglons Resort & Spa has undergone an audacious redesign and decoration, with warm and modern colours, natural materials, glass and light…

Hotel de la Couronne — Argentière

Hotel du Bois — Les Houches, France

A warm, welcoming atmosphere makes the Hotel & Chalet du Bois feel like home. Rooms are comfortable and those on upper floors have excellent views. Le Caprice restaurant serves a buffet breakfast and delicous dinners, featuring Savoyarde specialties. The facilities also boast an indoor and outdoor pool, a sauna, and bike rentals.

Hotel du Col de La Forclaz — Switzerland

The Hotel du Col de la Forclaz dates back to 1830 and has been family run for six generations! Nestled in a valley, with the towering snowy peaks of the French Alps in the background, the hotel provides an intimate setting with some of the most breathtaking scenery on the continent. The inn offers a wide variety of mouthwatering seasonal favorites, and boasts a café, terrace, restaurant, and bar. No matter the season, this classic establishment is sure to make an impression with its first class accommodation and tranquil location in the shadow of Mont Blanc.

“Excellent hiking, great guide, wonderful food & wine, wonderful company!" Jeff Johns

“Totally blown away with the beauty of the Alps and the organization of the trek." George Dancik

 

 

 

  • Trek the classic 10-day circuit of the Mont Blanc massif—a “must-do” for every hiker
  • Explore an earthly paradise spanning three countries, three cultures, and three cuisines
  • Enjoy mountain hospitality, hearty alpine fare, and the expertise of dedicated MTS guides

Having led trips to the Alps for over four decades has given us more than our fair share of bias, but the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of our favorite itineraries. Mont Blanc is Western Europe’s highest and most iconic peak, and its idyllic views can inspire even the most jaded traveler. Travelling through France, Italy and Switzerland, you’ll wander up ancient trails through tall forests and grassy meadows, past enormous waterfalls and glaciers, and through charming hamlets in the shadow of some of the most awe-inspiring peaks in the world. While undoubtedly one of our more rigorous treks, the Tour du Mont Blanc never ceases to charm with days full of clinking cowbells, colorful wildflowers, mountain wildlife and genuine alpine hospitality. It's no wonder that Forbes called our Tour du Mont Blanc "the world's most luxurious hiking trip!"

review

“Excellent hiking, great guide, wonderful food & wine, wonderful company!" Jeff Johns

“Totally blown away with the beauty of the Alps and the organization of the trek." George Dancik

 

 

 

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Geneva, Transfer to Chamonix

Arrive at the airport in Geneva, Switzerland. You will be picked up promptly at 2:00 p.m. for a group transfer by private van to the mountain-ringed resort town of Chamonix, France. We suggest you arrive early enough (by 1:00 p.m.) to allow time to get through customs and immigration before the scheduled pickup. The transfer takes approximately 1½ hours, and once at the hotel, you'll have time to rest a bit or explore the town before orientation. After meeting the guides and the rest of the group, we will have a delicious welcome dinner at the fine restaurant at your hotel.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Les Aiglons

Day 2: Warm-up Hike above Chamonix

In 1741, the first tourists to Chamonix were transported to Montenvers on the backs of mules in order to admire the glaciers. Today, most travellers take a bright red cog train up the steep slopes to reach the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice), the second-largest glacier in the Alps. We begin our hike from the hotel (3,300'), crossing the town of Chamonix and entering the forest. We'll ascend a steep trail passing the Blaitiere farm to reach the “Grand Balcon,” from where we have a fabulous view of the Chamonix Aiguilles towering above us. We'll traverse below these towering peaks toward the Montenvers railway sitting high above the Mer de Glace glacier. We may see alpinists on the glacier. Return to Chamonix by the cog railway. Dinner tonight is on your own. (5 – 6 hours hiking ~ approx. 6 – 8 miles ~ 1,900' elevation ascent/2,000' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Hotel Les Aiglons

Day 3: Chamonix to Les Houches (France)

Again we hike from the hotel up to the start of the trail beneath the Aiguilles Rouges along the Petit Balcon to Merlet (4,921'), where we have magnificent views of the north face and glaciers of Mont Blanc. We traverse to Coupeau, then make an easy descent to the village of Les Houches (3,200'). (5 – 6 hours hiking ~ approx. 10 miles ~ 2,000' ascent/descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel du Bois

Day 4: Les Houches to Les Contamines (France)

Leaving Les Houches, we climb in the forest, passing beautiful mountain farmhouses, and continue through the woods to the small pass of Bellevue overlooking the Chamonix Valley; in the other directions we see the hanging glaciers of the Bionnassay and Mont Blanc. Then it’s down through the thickly wooded hillside and typical alpine hamlets to the charming small town of Les Contamines (3,829'), a traditional mountain village with picturesque wooden chalets and a fine old church. (7 hours hiking ~ approx. 10 miles ~ 2,500' ascent/2,800' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel La Chemenaz

Day 5: Hike the Roman Road to Les Chapieux (France)

Today we make a long ascent on an old Roman road to the Plan des Dames, before the last ascent to the Col du Bonhomme (7,641') and Croix du Bonhomme (8,100') for lunch. In the afternoon, we hike downhill on a grassy trail to Les Chapieux (5,080'). Along the way we may see some recently reintroduced ibex and lots of marmots and beautiful wildflowers. (7 hours hiking ~ approx. 12 miles ~ 4,200' ascent/3,000' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Auberge de la Nova

Day 6: The Vallée des Glaciers to Courmayeur (Italy)

We transfer 15 minutes to the end of the “Vallée des Glaciers,” enjoying a relatively easy hike over the Col de la Seigne (8,245'). Here the views of Mont Blanc are Himalayan in scale, as the mountain rises in a breathtaking abruptness from the Veny Valley to the summit 10,000 feet above. We then make a descent into Italy to Lac Combal and Visaille. Transfer to Courmayeur (3,800'), situated beneath the Grand Jorasses and Brenva Glacier, where we spend the night in a hotel. Dinner tonight is in town. (6 hours hiking ~ approx. 10 miles ~ 2,300' ascent/2,700' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Berthod

Day 7: Courmayeur to La Vachey (Italy)

Today’s beautiful walk is along the side of the mountain with fabulous views of Mont Blanc, which appears opposite us as we climb the trail. Hanging glaciers and glacial moraines are on the menu for the day! The trail takes us through larch and alder where it’s possible to see deer and chamois. Continue ascending to the Rifugio Bonnatti, with its unforgettable views. We descend the steep trail to the valley floor and continue to La Vachey (4,500'). (5 hours hiking ~ approx. 7 – 8 miles ~ 2,500' ascent/1,500' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel La Vachey

Day 8: La Vachey to Champex (Switzerland)

After a 10-minute transfer, we walk up a nice trail past the spectacular “Glacier de Pre-de-Bar” with Mont Dolent above. This is the meeting point of the borders with France, Italy, and Switzerland. Cross the Grand Col Ferret (8,300') to enter Switzerland, and descend to the scenic village of La Fouly (5,280'), located beneath the Glacier de l’A Neuve. Transfer by van to Champex (4,808'), a small lake resort that features typical Swiss-style chalets and charming gardens. (5 – 6 hours hiking ~ approx. 9 miles ~ 2,500' ascent/3,100' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Glacier and Sporting

Day 9: Champez to Col de la Forclaz (Switzerland)

The classic route of the Tour du Mont Blanc takes the Bovine route. An hour and a half of easy walking followed by a rapid ascent in the forest brings us high over the Rhône Valley and the town of Martigny. You will not be disappointed with this fabulous view! An easy descent brings us to the Col de Forclaz (3,900'). (6 hours hiking ~ approx. 12 miles ~ 2,400' ascent/2,300' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel du Col de La Forclaz

Day 10: Col de la Forclaz to the Vallorcine Valley (France)

The trail climbs steeply through the forest on an old smuggler’s path to the border with France. Here there is a simply wonderful view of the Mont Blanc massif with the Chamonix valley stretched out in front of us. We will make our way down to the Vallorcine Valley east of Chamonix, and then to our hotel in Argentière. (5 – 6 hours hiking ~ approx. 10 miles ~ 2,900' ascent/2,650' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel de la Couronne

Day 11: Back to Chamonix (France)

From Le Col De Montets (4,800') we will hike to Les Cheserys (7,130'), enjoying views of the Le Tour and Argentiere glaciers, and all the Mont Blanc range. After rejoining the Grand Balcon Route and La Flégère, we descend to Chamonix (3,300'). Tonight we’ll enjoy a festive farewell dinner in town. (5 hours hiking ~ approx. 8 miles ~ 2,700' ascent/1,500' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Les Aiglons

Day 12: Return to Geneva - Fly Home!

Transfer to the Geneva airport. There will be one group departure for the airport at 8:30 a.m.* Please schedule your flight after 11:00 a.m. for inter-European destinations, after 12:00 p.m. for all transcontinental destinations. If you would like to depart earlier or later, the transfer is on your own.

*Due to Switzerland’s commercial transportation laws, we are only able to provide one group taxi service to the Geneva Airport on Day 12, included in the cost of your trip. This transfer will be at 8:30 a.m. and will arrive at the Geneva Airport at 10:00 a.m. Private transfers can be arranged at an additional cost.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Auberge de la Nova — Les Chapieux, France


Hotel Berthod — Courmayeur

Originally built in 1882 by Jean Laurent Berthod, Hotel Berthod is still run by the Berthod family. As you'd expect, there is a familial atmosphere here, and guests are made to feel quite at home. The property is ideally located within walking distance to the ski lift and just steps away from Courmayeur's main street, where guests will have numerous dining and shopping options. The hotel is outfitted with indoor spa facilities, cozy, personalized rooms and offers an excellent breakfast buffet.

Hotel Glacier and Sporting — Champex

Serving guests for over 100 years, the Hotel du Glacier is a Swiss hotel tradition. Rooms are basic but comfortable, and many have lake views. There are two restaurants, one serving regional cuisine, another serving café food and pizza. Perfectly situated for boating, trekking, mountain biking and tennis in the summer, and skiing, snowboarding and sledding in winter, this hotel is a cozy getaway for all travelers.

Hotel La Chemenaz — Les Contamines-Montjoie, France

La Chemenaz chalet hotel is located in the French Alps, in the Haute-Savoie at Les Contamines-Montjoie village resort. The hotel offers luxurious accommodations in a gorgeous setting facing the Mont Blanc Massif. A variety of rooms, suites and family accommodations feature decor that is decidedly chalet chic, with faux fur textiles and warm wood finishes. The restaurant serves local specialties such as raclette, fondue, tartiflette and reblochonnad.

Hotel La Vachey — Val Ferret, Italy

Hotel Les Aiglons — Chamonix

Five minutes from the town centre, at the foot of the Midi summit, three star Les Aiglons Resort & Spa has undergone a full renovation.

Resolutely contemporary whilst breaking down the barriers of traditional mountain resort hotels, three star Les Aiglons Resort & Spa has undergone an audacious redesign and decoration, with warm and modern colours, natural materials, glass and light…

Hotel de la Couronne — Argentière

Hotel du Bois — Les Houches, France

A warm, welcoming atmosphere makes the Hotel & Chalet du Bois feel like home. Rooms are comfortable and those on upper floors have excellent views. Le Caprice restaurant serves a buffet breakfast and delicous dinners, featuring Savoyarde specialties. The facilities also boast an indoor and outdoor pool, a sauna, and bike rentals.

Hotel du Col de La Forclaz — Switzerland

The Hotel du Col de la Forclaz dates back to 1830 and has been family run for six generations! Nestled in a valley, with the towering snowy peaks of the French Alps in the background, the hotel provides an intimate setting with some of the most breathtaking scenery on the continent. The inn offers a wide variety of mouthwatering seasonal favorites, and boasts a café, terrace, restaurant, and bar. No matter the season, this classic establishment is sure to make an impression with its first class accommodation and tranquil location in the shadow of Mont Blanc.

Dates and Pricing

Aug 16 - 27, 2016

Sep 13 - 24, 2016

Jun 20, 2017 - Jul 01, 2017

Jul 18 - 29, 2017

Aug 15 - 26, 2017

Sep 19 - 30, 2017

pricing


2016 Prices
$4,895 (5-14 members)

2017 Prices
$5,395 (5-14 members)



 



 

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