The mountains are epic – Mont Blanc, Grandes Jorasses, Aiguille du Midi – the villages lively and fun. Want to get away and relax for awhile? Come spend 6 nights in lovely Chamonix and Courmayeur. Dayhikes around Mont Blanc are better than doing the full tour. You get to settle in to a comfortable village hotel, go at your own pace, escape the crowds and explore off-the-beaten-path. Yes, you get to see all the highlight views from the TMB, but much more as well.
Fly to Geneva, hop on your private transfer to Courmayeur, hike, and unwind Italian style. After 3 nights here, catch another transfer through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Chamonix and check out the French side of Mont Blanc. Here we splurge, with 3 nights in a fabulous 5-star hotel. When it’s time to go, the airport is a short transfer away. It’s quick, it’s beautiful… it’s the perfect Mont Blanc getaway.
Courmayeur – Fly to Geneva and hop on your private transfer to Courmayeur, just over 2 hours away on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. Courmayeur is a fascinating town, with a pedestrian-only village core and numerous cafes and shops. Mont Blanc and the Grandes Jorasses rise majestically in the distance.
We stay in a wonderfully friendly 3-star hotel close to everything. Patrizia and Andrea are charming hosts, always ready to help with anything you need. Head out into Courmayeur, wander the narrow cobblestoned alleyways, stop in for a gelato or espresso (why not both?) and enjoy your first evening in the Italian Alps. Dinner will be on your own tonight in one of the many fine restaurants in town. We’ll suggest some favorites.
Courmayeur – There are two wonderful valleys outside of Courmayeur on either side of Mont Blanc, Val Veny to the south and Val Ferret to the north. Both feature scenic ridge walks with delightful mountain cafes to visit for lunch. First, enjoy a fabulous breakfast at your hotel. Next, let’s explore the Val Veny.
Take a short bus ride into the valley and decide if you want to start with a big day or something a little easier. The Elisabetta hut is a beautiful and popular stop with TMB walkers and is well within reach. Hiking past glaciers and mountain streams, head up to the hut for a hearty alpine lunch with a view. Afterwards, the ridge walk to Col Checrouit is hard to beat, with unbelievable Mont Blanc views and another cute-as-can-be alpine restaurant inviting you to linger. When you’re ready to head back, a chairlift whisks you back to town with time to relax. We’ll include dinner in a favorite local restaurant.
Courmayeur – If we have to pick a favorite hike along the TMB, today’s walk into the Val Ferret is it. Rising steeply out of Courmayeur on a wooded trail, you have to work for your views today. But don’t worry… they are worth it. After a couple hours of uphill hiking, you’ll crest the ridge to some of the finest alpine scenery anywhere – Mont Blanc in all its glory and the vast wall of mountains that separates Italy and France.
Another choice to make… a moderate day today, or harder? You have options for both, with either a mid-level balcony walk or a high hike across the ridge, either way you are treated to endless views all day. Arrive at the scenic Bonatti hut with time to relax on their terrace with a beer or hot chocolate before a short descent to the bus and back to town.
Want to take it slow instead? The nearby Pre St Didier spa is a great way to unwind and soak in the public hot springs, or take the cable car up to Monte Bianco for high glacier views. So many choices! Dinner is on your own tonight.
Chamonix – It’s time to pack up and head to the French side of Mont Blanc. Your private taxi will come in the morning to whisk you through the Mont Blanc tunnel. A short hour later, you’re in Chamonix. Similar to Courmayeur yet very different. Chamonix is filled with wide-open plazas with strikingly large glaciers reaching down from the mountains above.
We’re splurging on 5-star luxury in Chamonix, at one of our favorite hotels anywhere, the Hameau Albert 1er. If 5-stars are not for you, let us know in the planning stages and we’re happy to book a cozy 3-star alternative. Plenty of time to hit the trail today, perhaps up to the Mer de Glace glacier and the wonderful wooded walks around it. Dinner included tonight at a favorite local restaurant.
Chamonix – Let’s explore. Chamonix offers almost endless hiking options and you’ll have a lot to choose from. A good easier day leads along the river before a short ascent to the appropriately-named la Floria restaurant. This little cafe sits on a mountain ledge above town looking out onto the whole valley. A short hike like this also leaves plenty of time to enjoy the pool and spa at the Hameau Albert back in Chamonix.
Looking for a bigger day? It’s hard to be the challenging ascent up to la Jonction, a dramatic ridge dividing the Taconnaz and Bosson glaciers. Strenuous but hugely rewarding, this is as close as you can hike to Mont Blanc before reaching the world of mountaineers. And the views are top of the world. Dinner will be on your own tonight in one of Chamonix’s many fine restaurants.
Chamonix – For your last full day, perhaps something with classic Mont Blanc views is in order. The hike to Lac Blanc certainly qualifies. There is a fairly easy loop that can be done from the Flegere cable car to this iconic hut, nestled on the edge of a small lake reflecting the mountains in the distance.
We like a slightly longer hike, starting with a bus to the Col des Montets. From here a steep ascent zig-zags up to a high ridge where you reach a wonderful balcony walk, the whole of the Mont Blanc chain lined up before you. Pass a couple of small lakes and even climb a couple iron ladders on an entertaining trail up to Lac Blanc. Descend by cable car from Flegere for a final night in Chamonix. We’ll include dinner again tonight at a favorite restaurant in town.
depart – All good things must end. Today we say au revoir to Chamonix and Mont Blanc and catch your airport shuttle back to Geneva.
For a quick trip to the Mont Blanc region, this half-TMB tour is a fantastic 7-night hike from Courmayeur through Switzerland to Chamonix.Learn more ›
Discover Mürren and Zermatt on this village retreat-based tour – two of the most stunning hiking destinations in Switzerland.Learn more ›