Self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc

France, Italy, Switzerland Inn-to-inn

A self-guided hike through 3 countries - France, Italy, and Switzerland - stopping at beautiful inns and enjoying unequaled variety.

Self-Guided Tour

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  • Length
  • 12 days, 11 nights
  • Departure Dates
  • Jun 15 – Sep 20, 2015
  • Tour Cost
  • Tour Cost: $2590 per person
    $400 single supplement
Reserve this Tour

More options for this tour

Self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc: 9 day Express

A 9-day self-guided version of the longer tour

Guided Tour du Mont Blanc

Small group guided tour with guaranteed departures, max size 14 people.

Private guided Tour du Mont Blanc

Make it private! Your companions, your dates, your tour - we do the rest.

Description

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the finest hiking tours in the world. On this self-guided tour, you’ll hike through 3 countries – France, Italy, and Switzerland – stopping at beautiful inns and enjoying an unequaled variety of cultures, views, and hikes as you circumnavigate the Mont Blanc massif, featuring many of the highest peaks in the Alps. If you’re an independent hiker, a self-guided TMB tour is the perfect way to hike around Mont Blanc at your own pace with assurance of knowing that every detail of your tour is well-planned. With optional luggage transfers and a numerous itinerary options, we’ll help you choose the best way for you to hike Mont Blanc and experience one of the world’s classic hikes.

On our standard, 11-night Mont Blanc tour, you’ll have 8 nights in village hotels with private bathroom, and 3 nights in simpler mountain inns where private rooms are often available but not assured. Showers are available all nights. Starting and finishing in Chamonix, this tour includes airport pickup and dropoff in Geneva. We’ve included a couple of our favorite scenic detours to maximize your TMB experience, as well as a welcome rest day in Courmayeur in the middle of the tour. Private rooms are often available for 3 of the nights in remote huts and inns, but space is limited, and if private rooms are not available, there are somewhat larger communal sleeping rooms. They’re 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 as well – longer or shorter tours are very possible, we can arrange more or fewer nights in huts and mountain inns, simpler hotels in the villages, or 4-star upgrades in Chamonix or Courmayeur with private rooms and luggage every night for a luxury TMB – so please ask if you’re interested in varying this itinerary.

Luggage? This self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc does not automatically include luggage transport, but private luggage transfers are available by taxi. For 2 people, this adds $350/person for luggage transfers to all villages (you’ll have it for 8 of the 11 nights), or your bags can be transferred from Chamonix to Courmayeur and back for $150/person for 2 people (giving you luggage for 5 of the 11 nights). You can hike around Mont Blanc with very little in your pack, and extra luggage can be stored at your hotel in Chamonix, but if you want your luggage more often, we can make that happen for you. 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. With a several passes to cross, Tour du Mont Blanc is often strenuous, but there will also be opportunities for easier days.

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 multi-course feasts, featuring delicious local French and Italian specialties. A hearty meal provides a satisfying end to your day. Our standard self-guided TMB includes dinner on 6 nights (dinners are not included in Chamonix or Courmayeur, where there are numerous great restaurants to choose from). We normally reserve top 3-star hotels in all the villages and private rooms whereever available in the remote inns. Upgrades to superb 4-star hotels are available in Chamonix and Courmayeur if you would prefer a more deluxe Mont Blanc experience.

With 3 countries worth of soaring, beautiful mountains, lofty passes, and gorgeous trails, the self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc is an exhilarating trek that lives up to its world-class reputation.

For those without the time to devote to the full Tour of Mont Blanc, you are welcome to join us for half the tour. 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. The northern route begins in Courmayeur and crosses through Switzerland before dropping down to Chamonix. This is a better choice for people who would like a more moderate inn-to-inn experience. Both stand alone as a beautiful tour in their own right, with plenty of great hiking, wonderful views, and pleasant surprises along the way.  The tour cost for a 6 day/5 night half TMB is $2695/person.

Map of Self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc

Itinerary More +

Day 1

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. 

Day 2

Chamonix – One of the classic hikes in the region leads to Lac Blanc for an introductory dayhike.

Day 3

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.

Day 4

Auberge de la Nova or les Mottets – 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. 

Day 5

Courmayeur – Leaving les Chapieux, a gradual ascent through quiet alp pastures leads to the Col de la Seigne and into Italy.

Day 6

Courmayeur – A second day in Courmayeur is a great way to break up the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Day 7

Rifugio Bonatti – One of the highlights of the tour is the high traverse of Mont de la Saxe above Courmayeur, with incredible views of Mont Blanc and the towering Grandes Jorasses as you hike to the comfortable Bonatti hut.

Day 8

La Fouly – Hiking to the back of the Italian Val Ferret, you’ll enjoy more great views while crossing the Grand Col Ferret and into Switzerland.

Day 9

Champex – One of the easier hikes on your Mont Blanc tour takes you through woods and up to the pretty, lakeside village of Champex.

Day 10

Col de la Forclaz – An undulating trail leads through alpine pastures and pine forests, with sweeping views of the Rhone valley.

Day 11

Chamonix – On your final hiking day of the tour, cross the Col de Balme into France, coming back full circle to sweeping views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix valley.

Day 12

depart - Today you say au revoir, and depart for your post-Mont Blanc destinations.

Included 8 nights village hotels
3 nights inns with private rooms
11 breakfasts, 6 dinners
Geneva airport transfers
topo maps
detailed route descriptions
sightseeing suggestions
local contact for questions

optional luggage transfers
$150-350/person