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Self-Guided Classic Tour du Mont Blanc Express

Hike this quicker self-guided Express TMB through France, Italy, and Switzerland

Self-Guided Classic Tour du Mont Blanc Express

Hike this quicker self-guided Express TMB through France, Italy, and Switzerland

  • Self-Guided,
  • Inn-To-Inn,
    Activity Level
  • Moderate to Challenging,

The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the best hiking tours in the Alps. For a quick trip around, our Express TMB can’t be beat.

Short on time? Start in wonderful Chamonix and hike around the biggest mountain in the Alps in 8 days. Incroyable! Cross high passes tour through all three countries. You’ll hike all day, see Mont Blanc from every angle, and reach a cozy inn each night. If this isn’t heaven, it sure is close!

We like to think of the TMB as a pilgrimage. There are jaw-dropping mountains, the three countries full of cultural flair, clear air and clean water. But there’s more than that. Everyone wants to hike the TMB, and you’ll meet people from around the world as you hike, at a small mountain huts at lunch, and maybe on the trail the next day.  Your fellow hikers will all share a sense of awe and accomplishment. It’s fun, and is part of what makes the TMB memorable.

This Express Mont Blanc itinerary is slightly modified from our normal 10-night TMB to avoid stops that book up a year in advance. The hotels are slightly simpler overall, with a couple pretty basic hiker’s inns, and a couple places where you’ll take the bus instead of a taxi.  We’ve dropped the extra nights in Chamonix, Courmayeur, and la Fouly, and have added a night in Argentiere.  This is a great itinerary for the on-the-go hiker.

  • 9 days, 8 nights
  • Jun 20 – Sep 30, 2024
  • $3790 Per Person
  • $1150 Single Room

Itinerary At a Glance

Days 1-3

France, Chamonix to les Chapieux

Start in dazzling Chamonix, right at the base of Mont Blanc.  Your first 2 hiking days on the TMB route lead through les Contamines to les Chapieux, where you stay in a simple hiker’s inn.

Day 4

Italy, Courmayeur

Cross the Seigne pass into Italy’s stunning Val Veny, Mont Blanc towering above. You’ll stay the night in Courmayeur, a beautiful medieval village that invites exploration.

Days 5-6

Switzerland, Champex to Trient

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

Days 8-9

France, Argentiere and Chamonix

Hiking up to the Balme pass from the French side, you come full circle on your tour with stunning views of Mont Blanc, Aiguille Verte and the entire Mont Blanc range. Descend to Argentiere.  Then enjoy one last hike as you return to Chamonix for a final night.


Your tour includes 8 nights in village hotels and hiker’s inns with all breakfasts and 4 dinners. Luggage transfers between all stops are included all nights, as well as select taxi transfers. You will also receive topo maps, detailed route descriptions, gps and sightseeing suggestions. We are always available by phone if you have questions during your tour.

This tour does not include arrival and departure transfers.  Please ask if you would like help with this.

Full Itinerary

Day 1


For the Tour du Mont Blanc, fly to Geneva travel independently to Chamonix, the world-famous resort and mountaineering center at the foot of Mont Blanc. There are convenient airport transfers that can bring you right to your hotel for your first night in France.

Enjoy the ambiance of this beautiful village with impressive views of Mont Blanc. Stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel in town. Dinner will be on your own in Chamonix, where there are tons of great choices (we’ll give suggestions).

Arrival: Geneva.  Plan to arrive by the day your tour starts.  You can book a private or shared shuttle from GVA to Chamonix.  The trip takes 1½ hrs.  We recommend booking early with Mountain Dropoffs or Chamonix Valley Transfers.

Hotel du Clocher or similar

Day 2

les Contamines

Leaving Chamonix, your Mont Blanc circuit starts with a cable car above the scenic Voza Pass to the lovely Bionnassay Valley, a quiet, wooded region with impressive glaciers and waterfalls, and capped by blinding peaks.

An optional (but recommended) ascent leads over the higher Tricot Pass to the Miage Valley, before descending to the quaint village of les Contamines.  Stay at the comfortable 4-star Hotel les Chemenaz, a quiet oasis with wonderful meals.

HIKE: 7-9 hours, 7 miles; Elevation: 2180 ft up, 4260 ft down

Hotel les Chemenaz, Gai Soleil or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 3

les Chapieux or Bourg St Maurice

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. This a long day, but taken slow and steady, it’s not unusually hard, and there are many beautiful sights along the way to keep you going.

From the Bonhomme pass, descend to the tiny hamlet of les Chapieux, where you stay in a simple hiker’s inn.  There are just 2 small hotels in Chapieux, private rooms with bathroom down the hall.  If they are full, we’ll arrange a taxi from les Chapieux to a nearby village for the night, and back in the morning.

Note: no single rooms here

HIKE: 7-9 hours, 12 miles; Elevation: 4390 ft up, 3110 ft down

Auberge de la Nova, Hotel Arolla, or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 4


After a morning bus to the trail head, a gradual ascent through quiet alp pastures leads to the Col de la Seigne and into Italy. Here you’re greeted by an amazing view into the Veny Valley and the Mont Blanc range. The Aiguille Noire de Peuterey is particularly impressive from this vantage point, and Mont Blanc itself dominates the view ahead of you.

You might stop at the Elisabetta hut for lunch and have your choice of either the long high route to Col Checrouit, or continue down valley to la Visaille, where you can catch a bus to Courmayeur.  You’ll stay in the medieval village of Courmayeur, in a pleasant and friendly 3-star hotel.  Dinner is on your own in town.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 12 miles; Elevation: 3430 ft up, 3010 ft down

Hotel Bouton d'Or or similar
  • Breakfast

Day 5


Start with a short bus transfer from your hotel to Arnuva, near the top of the Italian Val Ferret, where you start hiking.  You’ll enjoy more great views on your last morning in Italy while crossing the Grand Col Ferret and into Switzerland. You might sense the change to a new country, and a new culture.

Descend through tidy green fields with high cliffs and glaciers reaching down from the heights, to the tiny village of la Fouly, one of the quieter stops along the Tour du Mont Blanc.  Once you reach la Fouly, you’ll have a private taxi to Champex, a beautiful lakeside village seemingly made for postcards. Stay in a hotel in town, or the Arpette inn above Champex.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 9 miles; Elevation: 2840 ft up, 3380 ft down

Hotel Splendide, Relais d'Arpette or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 6


You have two choices today, the pleasant wooded Bovine route, or the high, rocky Fenetre d’Arpette. For the Bovine, an undulating trail leads through alpine pastures and pine forests, with sweeping views of the Rhone Valley. Stop at the rustic Bovine barn for a drink or snack along the way.

Weather permitting, we’ll also give you a more rigorous possibility leading up to the high pass of Fenetre d’Arpette, one of the highest points along the tour. After climbing, climbing, climbing you’ll reach the narrow Arpette pass – a small notch in a rocky ridge. Descend a steep trail along the Trient Glacier and finish the day at a simple hiker’s inn in Trient.  Private room with bathroom down the hall.

Note: no single rooms here

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 10 miles; Elevation: 2500 ft. up, 3040 ft. down (Bovine) or 7-9 hours, 9.5 miles; Elevation: 3950 ft. up, 4490 ft. down (Fenetre d’Arpette)

Auberge du Mont Blanc
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 7


You’ll hike up to the Col de Balme pass separating Switzerland and France, coming back full circle to sweeping views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley.  Start the day with the steady hike up to Col de Balme from Trient, with a friendly restaurant perched right a the pass.

If you’d like to finish early, there is a gondola down from here.  A delightful side-trip to the nearby Posettes ridge leads to even greater views, with a meandering trail leading down through blueberries and alpenrose to the valley floor.  Either walk or take a local bus for the short transfer to Argentiere, where you stay in a 2-star hotel.  Dinner will be on your own in Argentiere.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 8 miles; Elevation: 3420 ft. up, 3050 ft. down

Hotel le Dahu or similar
  • Breakfast

Day 8


Your final hiking day of the tour is another great one, and a fitting finish to the trip.  One of the classic hikes in the region leads to Lac Blanc. 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.

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.  Spend your last night of the Mont Blanc tour celebrating in Chamonix.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 6 miles; Elevation: 3020 ft. up, 1590 ft. down

Hotel du Clocher or similar
  • Breakfast

Day 9


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

Departure: Geneva.  Plan departure for the day your tour finishes.  You’ll need to book a private or shared shuttle from Chamonix to GVA, and the trip takes 1½ hrs.

  • Breakfast

Tour Options

Self-guided Classic Tour du Mont Blanc Express


  • Big passes almost every day. Not too hard, but not easy either
  • A moderate inn-to-inn with 8 stops in 8 nights
  • Slightly quicker and more rustic than our 10 night tour
  • Luggage transfers included all nights
  • Guaranteed pre-booked departures
  • A great tour for meeting other hikers from around the world
  • $3790Per Person
  • $1150Single Room

Self-guided Classic Tour du Mont Blanc


  • 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
  • $4290Per Person
  • $1450Single Room

Self-guided Deluxe Tour du Mont Blanc


  • Big passes almost every day. Not too hard, but not easy either
  • A fairly strenuous inn-to-inn with 7 stops in 10 nights
  • 7 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
  • $5990Per Person
  • $1950Single Room

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