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Self-Guided Best of the Tour du Mont Blanc

For a quick trip to the Mont Blanc region, this half-TMB tour is a fantastic 6-night hike from Courmayeur through Switzerland to Chamonix.

Self-Guided Best of the Tour du Mont Blanc

For a quick trip to the Mont Blanc region, this half-TMB tour is a fantastic 6-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.

 

See our guided version

    Length
  • 7 days, 6 nights
    Departures
  • Jun 15 – Sep 30, 2023
    Cost
  • $2790 Per Person
  • $550 Single Room

Itinerary At a Glance

Days 1-2

Chamonix to Courmayeur, Italy

Arrive and make your way to Chamonix, France.  After a first night here, transfer in the morning 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, la Fouly to Trient

Hike across the Ferret pass to Switzerland, to the tiny village of la Fouly. Then it’s on to beautiful lakeside Champex. From here, your choice of hikes lead either through forest and farms or over a high, rocky pass to Trient, your final stop in Switzerland.

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 and 1 night in a hiker’s inn, with all breakfasts and 4 dinners. Taxi transfer to Courmayeur on day 2, and luggage transfers between village hotels are included. 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

Chamonix

Your Best of the Tour du Mont Blanc starts in Chamonix.  It’s best to fly to Geneva, then make your to beautiful Chamonix.  We start here since the route to Italy is way too time-consuming midday.  And because it’s awesome.  Enjoy your first views of Mont Blanc and settle in to your relaxing hotel.

There is plenty to do around Chamonix. The Aiguille du Midi cable car can take you high into the mountains, or the Montenvers train leads to striking glacier views at Mer de Glace.  We like to spend our first day simply strolling the pedestrian-only streets of Chamonix, a visual feast with cafes, outdoor gear stores, and seemingly something always going on.  You are on your own to explore Chamonix restaurant scene tonight (we’ll send suggestions).

Hotel l'Oustalet or similar

Day 2

Courmayeur

A morning taxi gets you to Courmayeur quickly and easily where you head out on the trail.  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 for a memorable night in this handsome village.

There is plenty to do if you don’t feel like hiking… cable cars take you up to high vantage points, or 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 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

La Fouly

Start with a short transfer by taxi or 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, one of the quieter corners of the Tour du Mont Blanc. Stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel or a friendly hiker’s inn.

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

Hotel Edelweiss, Col du Fenetre or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 4

Champex

Today is a nice, easy day. One of the mellower hikes on the Mont Blanc tour takes you on a valley walk through woods and up to the pretty village of Champex. Champex is a very pleasant little town, astride a beautiful small lake, and surrounded by flowers, babbling streams and hiking trails.

For strong hikers looking for a bigger day, we have a great option today. A much more strenuous alternate route leads over a high pass to a hut perched along the edge of the Orny Glacier. Gets those legs moving and head up for a true alpine experience in the ice and snow, and stop in at the hut before descending to Champex. Stay in a comfortable 3-star village hotel.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 9.5 miles; Elevation: 1560 ft up, 2000 ft down

Hotel Mont Lac, Splendide or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 5

Col de la Forclaz/Trient

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 the day at a small hiker’s inn in Trient or at the nearby Col de la Forclaz. Double rooms are typically available, but limited. Book early if you can.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 10 miles; Elevation: 2500 ft. up, 3050 ft. down (Bovine) or 7-9 hours, 10 miles; Elevation: 3940 ft. up, 4480 ft. down (Fenetre d’Arpette)

Col de la Forclaz or Grande Ourse
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 6

Chamonix

Your final hiking day of the tour is a great one. Hike up and over the Col de Balme pass into 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 to Chamonix. Dinner is included at one of our favorite restaurants in Chamonix tonight.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 8 miles; Elevation: 3160 ft up, 2580 ft down

Hotel Aiglons, Oustalet or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 7

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

Inn-To-Inn

  • Great options for easier to moderate hiking days
  • A moderate inn-to-inn with 6 stops in 6 nights
  • Geneva transfers to your hotel included, luggage 6 nights
  • Slow down and enjoy! Extra nights in Courmayeur and Chamonix
  • The highest peaks in the Alps, Mont Blanc, Grandes Jorasses and more
  • The northern half of the classic Tour du Mont Blanc circuit
  • $2790Per Person
  • $550Single Room

Self-guided Classic Tour du Mont Blanc

Inn-To-Inn

  • Big passes almost every day. Not too hard, but not easy either
  • A fairly strenuous inn-to-inn with 8 stops in 10 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
  • A great tour for meeting other hikers from around the world
  • $3590Per Person
  • $800Single Room

Self-guided Deluxe Tour du Mont Blanc

Inn-To-Inn

  • Big passes almost every day. Not too hard, but not easy either
  • A fairly strenuous inn-to-inn with 7 stops in 10 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
  • $5390Per Person
  • $1550Single Room

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