Chamonix. Mont Blanc. These two places are intertwined and incomparable. You could spend all summer here exploring the quiet trails, side-valleys and mind-blowing views. We’ll settle for a week, hiking some of Chamonix’s most classic trails and leaving time to explore more off-the-beaten-path areas as well.
If you are ready to get away, this week in Chamonix is perfect. Experience gorgeous mountain scenery, relax in a comfortable hotel, dine on exquisite French cuisine. One of the joys of slowing down is that you really get to know a place. Unpack. Exhale. There are amazing trails to explore, from easy days to epic climbs. There is much to see and do. Take a day off to ride the Aiguille du Midi lift to the top of the mountains, or just relax by the pool at your hotel, gazing from time to time at the mountains around you.
Our guided tours are all guaranteed… sign up, show up, and forget about everything else. Our guides will choose the right trails and uncover the best viewpoints, and can tell you about the culture and history of the Alps. They’ll let you know when it’s time to go and where you’re going to. No need to worry about anything. It’s been a long time… you can’t take this for granted. Chamonix is waiting, and it will be well worth it.
Chamonix – Arrive in Geneva, and transfer by airport shuttle to Chamonix, the world-famous resort and mountaineering center in France.
Enjoy your first impressive views of Mont Blanc, with perhaps time to relax at the pool and outdoor patio of our charming Chamonix hotel before meeting the group for dinner.
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.
We’ll 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.
Chamonix – Hiking the traditional first stage of the Mont Blanc tour brings us to the minor Voza pass to the lovely Bionnassay valley, a wooded region with impressive glaciers and waterfalls, and capped by blinding peaks.
We’ll hike on quiet trails to a rustic inn where you can enjoy a coffee or cold drink along with boundless alpine views. After a day exploring this valley, return to Chamonix. We’re leaving dinner free tonight for you to explore on your own, and we’ll have lots of suggestions for the great culinary spots in town.
Chamonix – Heading now toward Switzerland, we’ll hike another traditional stage of the TMB, the Col de Balme pass. Heading up from le Tour, the delightful trail below the Posettes ridge brings plenty of scenic beauty. Alpenrose and wild blueberry bushes surround the trail, with incredible views to the entire Mont Blanc range off to our side.
After reaching the Balme pass, you’ll have your choice of an easy descent back to le Tour or a secondary climb up to the Refuge Albert 1er. This alpine club hut is perched high above the le Tour glacier with commanding views, leaving you with a wonderful sense of accomplishment for the day.
Chamonix – What? We’ve been in Chamonix for 4 days and haven’t been to Mer de Glace yet? It’s time to fix that. The hike up to this “sea of ice” is a Chamonix classic, with very pleasant views down to the Chamonix valley, and astounding views of France’s largest glacier. At 7 km long, the Mer de Glace is a sight to behold.
Stop for lunch or just a drink at the panoramic terrace of the Montenvers hotel to take it all in. You might decide to visit the cave that is annually carved into the glacier to see the magnificent blue ice up close. Then return on a delightful trail that weaves through the forests along the ancient lateral moraine wall of the glacier back down to Chamonix. Dinner will again be on your own to visit one of Chamonix’s many stylish restaurants.
Chamonix – We may have saved the best for last. Now that you have you legs under you, a steep ascent up to la Jonction, the stunning confluence of the Bosson and Taconnaz glaciers, is about as close as you can get to Mont Blanc without climbing. It’s a steep hike, but definitely worth it.
If you’d rather take it easier today, the Grand Balcon Sud from Flegere to Brevent has a cable car on either end, and a wonderful balcony trail in between. It is also a gorgeous option today. Return to Chamonix for a celebratory meal at one of our favorite local restaurants.
Depart – After breakfast, an airport shuttle van will pick you up at your hotel and take you right to the Geneva airport. Au revoir!