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Self-Guided Best of the Tour du Mont Blanc 5 night

For a quick trip to the Mont Blanc region, this half-TMB tour is a fantastic 5-night hike from Courmayeur through Switzerland to Chamonix.

Self-Guided Best of the Tour du Mont Blanc 5 night

For a quick trip to the Mont Blanc region, this half-TMB tour is a fantastic 5-night hike from Courmayeur through Switzerland to Chamonix.

    Support
  • Self-Guided,
    Style
  • Inn-To-Inn,
    Activity Level
  • Relaxed to Moderate,

The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the best hiking tours in the world. For those without time for the full circuit, we’ve designed this shorter hiking tour hitting all the highlights.

Hiking from Courmayeur to Chamonix across the northern half of the tour has always been our favorite stretch of the TMB. You see all three countries, visit both Courmayeur and Chamonix, and enjoy some of the best views from the circuit. Meet hikers from around the world, stroll through postcard-perfect Champex, perhaps tackle the daunting Fenetre d’Arpette pass (your choice), and finish with the exhilarating views of Mont Blanc from the Balme pass as you hike into France.

Yes, you can express your way through the whole circuit in a week, by skipping a hike here and a night there, but that requires prioritizing passes over highlights. This isn’t that. You won’t see the southern half of the TMB on this tour, and you won’t miss it. This trip is fantastic, moving at the right pace and leaving time for the most important sights and best hikes. You will love it. With years of personal experience on this route, we’ll use our expertise and attention to detail to help you savor one of the world’s classic hikes.

This itinerary is slightly modified from our normal self-guided Best of the TMB to avoid stops that become fully booked very early in the season.

 

See our guided version

    Length
  • 6 days, 5 nights
    Departures
  • Jun 15 – Sep 30, 2023
    Cost
  • $2590 Per Person
  • $550 Single Room

Itinerary At a Glance

Days 1-2

Italy, Courmayeur

Fly to Geneva and transfer to Courmayeur, the sunny Italian side of Mont Blanc. Take a fabulous day hike on a balcony trail to Bonatti hut, and leave plenty of time to enjoy the delights of this medieval town before moving on.

Days 3-5

Switzerland, Champex to Forclaz

Hike across the Ferret pass to Switzerland, to the tiny village of la Fouly and transfer to beautiful lakeside Champex. From here, your choice of hikes lead either through forest and farms or over a high, rocky pass to Trient, where you will transfer by taxi to Chamonix.

Day 6-7

France, Chamonix

Hiking over the Balme pass, you walk into France with stunning views of Mont Blanc, Aiguille Verte and the entire Mont Blanc range. Descend to charming Chamonix for a final night.

Included

Your tour includes 5 nights in village hotels, with all breakfasts and 3 dinners. Luggage transfers to all stops are included, as well as select taxis during the trip. You will also receive topo maps, detailed route descriptions, gps routes and sightseeing suggestions. We are always available by phone if you have questions during your tour.

This tour does not include arrival or departure shuttles.  Please ask if you would like help with these.

Full Itinerary

Day 1

Courmayeur

Although you’re starting your Tour du Mont Blanc in Courmayeur, it’s best to fly to Geneva. Make your way to the medieval village of Courmayeur in Italy, just over 2 hrs from Geneva but a world away, where you stay in a pleasant and friendly hotel near the center of town.

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 relax if you arrive early. Courmayeur is a beautiful village, with cobblestoned pedestrian-only alleyways filled with comfortable cafes and stylish shops. Dinner included in a local restaurant.

Hotel Bouton d'Or or similar
  • Dinner

Day 2

Courmayeur

Perhaps our absolute favorite hike of the TMB is the high traverse of Mont de la Saxe above Courmayeur. You have to work hard for a couple hours to gain the ridge, but are rewarded with incredible views of Mont Blanc and the towering Grandes Jorasses as you hike to the Bonatti hut.

This is a grand panoramic hike and is a stunning introduction to the Mont Blanc region. Mont de la Saxe is a big hike, but there is a more moderate option as well, an undulating traverse just above tree line directly to the hut. Return to Courmayeur by bus for a 2nd night. Dinner is on your own tonight.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 9 miles; Elevation: 3920 ft. up, 3150 ft. down

Hotel Bouton d'Or or similar
  • Breakfast

Day 3

Champex

Start with a short transfer by bus to the back of the Italian Val Ferret, where you start your hike. You’ll enjoy more great views while crossing the Grand Col Ferret and into Switzerland. The Grand Col Ferret is a modest pass, with grassy meadows great for a mid-day break and a picnic lunch. You savor views back toward Mont Blanc while you contemplate the trail ahead.

When you’re ready to leave, you’ll descend through tidy green fields with high cliffs and glaciers reaching down from the heights. Walk in to the tiny village of la Fouly, and take a local bus to the beautiful lakeside village of Champex. Stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 9 miles; Elevation: 2840 ft up, 3390 ft down

Hotel Splendide, Mont Lac or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 4

Col de la Forclaz and Chamonix

You’ll have two great options today, the easier Bovine route or the much steeper route over the Fenetre d’Arpetta pass. If you’re keeping it mellow, an undulating trail known as the Bovine route leads through pine forests and alpine pastures and plenty of cows). Stop at a small cafe enroute for lunch or a drink, with sweeping views of the Rhone valley.

Weather and energy permitting, a more rigorous possibility leads up to the high pass of Fenetre d’Arpette, a tiny notch in a rocky ridge, and one of the highest points along the tour. The steep descent is accompanied by incredible views of the Trient Glacier. Finish your hike at a small hiker’s inn at Col de la Forclaz, where we will have a taxi take you to Chamonix.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 9 miles; Elevation: 2460 ft. up, 2260 ft. down (Bovine) or 7-9 hours, 9.5 miles; Elevation: 3940 ft. up, 3740 ft. down (Fenetre d’Arpette)

Hotel Aiglons, Oustalet or similar
  • Breakfast

Day 5

Chamonix

Your final hiking day of the tour is a great one. Hike up to the Col de Balme pass separating Switzerland and France, where you’re greeted with spectacular views of Mont Blanc, Aiguille de Tour, Aiguille Verte and the entire Chamonix Valley. Truly a classic view and a great capstone to your tour.

If you’re looking for a shorter day, there is a gondola that can take you down from the pass. Otherwise, we send you on a beautiful side trail through alpenrose and wild blueberries with the brilliant glaciers of Mont Blanc ahead in the distance. Hike down to the village of le Tour where you catch a bus back to Chamonix. Dinner is included at one of our favorite restaurants in Chamonix tonight.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 8 miles; Elevation: 3520 ft up, 3050 ft down

Hotel Aiglons, Oustalet or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 6

depart

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

  • Breakfast

Tour Options

Self-guided Best of the Tour du Mont Blanc 5 night

Inn-To-Inn

  • Great options for easier to moderate hiking days
  • A moderate inn-to-inn with 3 stops in 5 nights
  • Luggage transfers included every night
  • Slow down and enjoy! Extra nights in Chamonix and Courmayeur
  • The highest peaks in the Alps, Mont Blanc, Grandes Jorasses and more
  • The northern half of the classic Tour du Mont Blanc circuit
  • $2590Per Person
  • $550Single Room

Self-guided Classic Tour du Mont Blanc 9 night

Inn-To-Inn

  • Big passes almost every day. Not too hard, but not easy either
  • A moderate inn-to-inn with 6 stops in 9 nights
  • Luggage transfers included all nights
  • Slow down and enjoy! Extra nights in Chamonix and Courmayeur
  • The highest peaks in the Alps, Mont Blanc, Grandes Jorasses and more
  • A great tour for meeting other hikers from around the world
  • $3390Per Person
  • $800Single Room

Self-guided Deluxe Tour du Mont Blanc 9 night

Inn-To-Inn

  • Big passes almost every day. Not too hard, but not easy either
  • A fairly strenuous inn-to-inn with 6 stops in 9 nights
  • 6 nights in deluxe 4-5 star hotels, private transfers, luggage every night
  • The most luxurious version of the Alps’ most renowned tour
  • The highest peaks in the Alps, Mont Blanc, Grandes Jorasses and more
  • Extra days in Chamonix and Courmayeur to relax and unwind
  • $5190Per Person
  • $1550Single Room

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