The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the finest hiking tours in the world, but what to do if you don’t have time to hike the full route? For those who would like a shorter inn-to-inn hike, we offer two options on the TMB route: the TMB South and the TMB North. On the Tour du Mont Blanc South, you’ll hike through 2 of the traditional 3 countries – France and Italy – stopping at beautiful inns each night. It’s a fairly moderate tour, with multiple passes to cross and plenty of alternate, strenuous options, but always with a good main route of 7-10 miles and 2000-3000 ft of elevation change each day. Our tour includes Geneva airport transfers to Chamonix, France and back to Geneva from Courmayeur, Italy, as well as luggage transfers and numerous itinerary options. With years of personal experience on this route, we have the expertise and attention to detail to design the best way for you to hike Mont Blanc and experience one of the world’s classic hikes.
On this 6-night tour, you’ll have 5 nights in village hotels with private bathroom, and 1 night in a simpler hiker’s refuge where private rooms are often available but not assured. We always book private rooms if possible, and space in dormitory otherwise. Early booking gives you a better chance to have private rooms all nights. Showers are available all nights. These inns are wonderful places with a lively and convivial dining atmosphere and are the stops where you’re most likely to meet other TMB hikers. There are many alternate versions of the Tour du Mont Blanc, and we can arrange variations on this trip – layover nights in villages, fewer nights in huts and mountain inns, or 4-star upgrades in Chamonix or Courmayeur for a luxury half TMB – so please ask if you’re interested in varying this itinerary.
What about luggage transfers? The self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc, South, includes luggage transport (1 bag/person, 15 kg max weight). You’ll have luggage transfers to all stops except Les Chapieux (you’ll have it 5 of the 6 nights). Since you have bedding and meals provided each night, you can hike around Mont Blanc with very little in your pack, and if you have larger extra luggage, this can be stored at your hotel in Chamonix or arranged to be transferred separately at additional cost. If you don’t need luggage at all, we can drop this from the tour and reduce your price. Please ask for more info on these options.
Your typical day on the TMB starts with a continental buffet breakfast at your hotel or inn, giving you the energy needed for a big day of hiking. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Most of the hotels and mountain inns will sell picnic lunches if they are ordered the night before. Reminders will be included in your route notes. Soon, you’ll be out on the trail for 6-8 hours. The southern route starts in Chamonix and leads through remote landscapes on the way to Courmayeur. It’s a beautiful route, and is a good choice for strong hikers who want a fairly strenuous experience.
You should finish each daily hike around 4-5 pm, sometimes earlier on the shorter days, giving you time to wash up, relax, and gaze upon Mont Blanc and the surrounding scenery. After that, enjoy a delicious dinner at your inn or on your own in town. These are often multi-course feasts, featuring delicious local French and Italian specialties, and a hearty meal provides a satisfying end to your day. This tour includes dinner on 2 nights – dinner is not included in Chamonix or Courmayeur, where there are numerous great restaurants to choose from.
Traveling through France and Italy this hike is filled with soaring mountains, lofty passes, and gorgeous trails. The Tour du Mont Blanc, South is a spectacular one-week trek that covers many of the highlights of the full route.
Chamonix – For the Tour du Mont Blanc, it’s best to fly to Geneva, and we’ll arrange your transfer to Chamonix, the world-famous resort and mountaineering center at the foot of Mont Blanc.
Enjoy the ambiance of this beautiful village with impressive views of Mont Blanc. Stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel in town.
Chamonix – One of the classic hikes in the region leads to Lac Blanc for an introductory dayhike.
This high-mountain lake sits in the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Preserve, a rugged ridge across the valley from Mont Blanc, and commands one of the greatest mountain views anywhere. Make good use of local cable cars to enjoy more time hiking near the lake, and keep an eye open for bouquetin – a mountain goat with long curved horns that are frequently sighted in this region. Return to Chamonix for a 2nd night.
les Contamines – Leaving Chamonix, your Mont Blanc circuit starts with a cablecar above the scenic Voza pass to the lovely Bionnassay valley, a wooded region with impressive glaciers and waterfalls, and capped by blinding peaks.
An optional ascent leads over the higher Tricot pass to the Miage valley, before descending to the quaint village of les Contamines.
les Chapieux – Today the tour du Mont Blanc route leads you on a long ascent across two lofty passes, Col du Bonhomme and Col de la Croix du Bonhomme.
Descend to the tiny hamlet of les Chapieux and stay the night in a rustic mountain inn. Double rooms available but limited at the 2 inns at the head of the valley, la Nova and les Chambres du Soleil. We also often use the Refuge les Mottets a bit higher up the valley, a simple but convivial hiker’s inn, with newer 4-person dorms and a charming dining hall.
Courmayeur – Leaving les Chapieux, a gradual ascent through quiet alp pastures leads to the Col de la Seigne and into Italy.
Here you’re greeted by an amazing view into the Veny valley and the Mont Blanc range. The Aiguille Noire de Peuterey is particularly impressive from this vantage point, and Mont Blanc itself dominates the view ahead of you. Continue down valley and into the medieval village of Courmayeur, where you stay in a pleasant and friendly 3-star hotel.
Courmayeur – A second day in Courmayeur is a great way to break up the Tour du Mont Blanc.
There is plenty to do in the village, cable cars take you up to high vantage points, or there are great dayhikes near town. The nearby Pre St Didier spa is also a great way to unwind half-way through your tour. Courmayeur is a beautiful village, with cobblestoned pedestrian-only alleyways filled with comfortable cafes and stylish shops. Stay in the same hotel a second night.
depart – Today you say arrivederci, and depart for your post-Mont Blanc destinations.