Tour Du Mont Blanc
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Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
The most popular long distance trail in Europe, this famous alpine circuit circumnavigates the majestic Mont Blanc massif, Western Europe’s highest mountain at 15,781 feet (4,810m). The trail traverses the alpine passes and pastures of France, Italy and Switzerland, with stunning panoramas and picturesque villages throughout. Our holiday takes a comparatively leisurely 10 nights with time to soak up the spectacular scenery, flora and fauna and you will be left with no doubt that this is Europe's top trail
Our accommodation is at comfortable partner hotels, gites and mountain huts, where you should experience a friendly welcome and, in many instances, great views. Your evening meal will generally be a set menu, and may incorporate local specialities. Should you have any specific dietary requirements, please let us know well in advance and we will do our best to cater for you.
Our first night is spent just outside Chamonix. We follow the circuit in a clockwise direction.
Hotel de la Couronne (Day 1, 2 & 10)
285, rue Charlet Straton, Argentière, 74400 Chamonix. Tel: + 33 450 54 00 02. www.hotelcouronne.com
Hôtel La Couronne is situated at the foot of the Mont Blanc massif in the alpine village of Argentière. The hotels wooden frame rooms are furnished with TV and private bathroom with shower or bathtub and free WiFi access.
Hôtel du Col de la Forclaz (Day 3)
Fam. J.C. Gay-Crosier; Ch-1929 Trient, Tel: +41 27 722 26 88. www.coldelaforclaz.ch
Set on the Col de la Forclaz mountain pass this is a relaxed, family-run hotel first constructed in 1830. Rooms are simply decorated with en suite shower & WC. There is no internet access available.
Hotel du Glacier (Day 4)
1938 Champex-Lac. Tel: +41 27 782 61 50. www.hotelglacier.ch
This is a traditional hotel that dates back over 100 years. The hotel offers well-furnished rooms with shower or bath, WC, radio, telephone and TV. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel and also in bedrooms.
Hôtel Edelweiss La Fouly (Day 5)
Orsières ; Suisse. Tel: +41 27 783 26 21. www.lafouly.ch
Hôtel Edelweiss La Fouly is situated under the Grand Col Ferret and is one of the most authentic valleys of the Valais region. There are 20 rooms in this small family run hotel with private bathrooms and cable television. The hotel benefits from free Wi-Fi, a sauna, and private tennis courts.
Hotel Astoria (Day 6 & 7)
Strada La Palud, 23; 11013 Courmayeur (AO). Tel: +39 0165 86 9730 / 40. www.hotelastoriacourmayeur.com
The Astoria Hotel is located in La Palud, a few meters from the entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel and 3km from Courmayeur town. The hotel has 34 rooms furnished in wood with typical mountain taste; all equipped with telephone, private bathroom, satellite TV and hairdryers. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby.
Auberge de la Nova (Day 8)
73700 Bourg Saint Maurice ; Les Chapieux. Tel: +33 (0)479 89 07 15. www.refugelanova.com
Auberge de la Nova is a small hostel nestled in the mountains. The hostel consists of 15 rooms and 4 dormitories with hot showers, hand basins and toilets. A drying room is available for clothes and shoes (slippers can be borrowed). There is no internet access.
Chalet Hôtel La Chemenaz (Day 9)
BP 17 Hameaux du Lay ; F 74170 Les Contamines-Montjoie ; France. Tel: +33 (0)4 50 47 02 44
This family-owned chalet style hotel is located in a peaceful spot, just ten minutes walk from Les Contamines. It has 27 spacious, soundproof rooms that have separate bathrooms with bathtub or shower, hair dryer, satellite TV, direct telephone, safety deposit box & free WiFi. This hotel also features a sauna, hot tub and heated swimming pool.
On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.
Day 1: Arrival in Geneva
Transfer to our hotel in Argentiere in the Chamonix Valley in 1 hour 30 mins. Argentiere is a small village 7km from Chamonix and has a few restaurants, bars and outdoor equipment shops. If you want to visit Chamonix town, it takes 20 minutes by public bus or train.
Day 2: Chamonix – Lac Blanc – Argentiere
After breakfast we begin our journey. We take the short bus ride to Chamonix (20 minutes) and then walk along the river to the pretty village of Les Praz. We take the Flegere cable car and continue our walk to Lac Blanc. We walk through open countryside with incredible views of the whole Mont Blanc range and may hear the occasional whistle from a marmot. Our decent follows a beautiful path, through the forest, descending to Argentiere and back to our hotel for a second night. 12 miles (19km), with 1460 feet (450m) of ascent, and 4,264 feet (1,300m) of descent.
Day 3: Argentiere – Col de Balme – Col de la Forlcaz (Switzerland)
From the hotel we hike through old Argentiere and up to the Col des Posettes for superb views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley. From here, we traverse to the Col de Balme and look directly into Switzerland. We descend through open country with views of glaciers to Trient and then a short climb to the Col de la Forclaz where we spend the night. 11 miles (17.5km), with 3,820 feet (1,180m) of ascent, and 2,932 feet (894m) of descent.
Day 4: Trient – Bovine Route – Champex
From Forclaz we hike along the ‘Bovine Route’ to Champex. The route winds its way through meadows, forests and open country with views of the mountains of Verbier and the great Sion Valley. There are no great ascents today and we arrive at the hotel located in central Champex overlooking the beautiful lake. 9 miles (14km), with 1,512 feet (461m) of ascent, and 1,781 feet (543m) of descent.
Day 5: Champex – La Fouly
From Champex it is a gentle 6-7 hour trek to La Fouly along the Val Ferret. We start our walk from Champex Lac and then descend to the valley floor and follow the river through forests and meadows to Praz-de-Fort. We then ascend in similar surroundings with wonderful views of Mt Dolent and the South Face of the Mont Blanc range. 12½ miles (20km), with 1,804 feet (550m) of ascent, and 1,443 feet (440m) of descent.
please be prepared to carry overnight clothing with you in your day sack on Day 5 (La Fouly) and Day 8 (Les Chapieux), when you will not have access to your luggage. The remainder of your luggage will be transferred on to the next evening’s accommodation.
Day 6: La Fouly – Grand Col Ferret – La Palud, Courmayeur (Italy)
We continue from La Fouly along the Val Ferret and cross into Italy via the impressive Grand Col Ferret. From here, the descent is slightly steeper but rewards us with outstanding views of two of the Alps most iconic mountains – Les Grandes Jorasses and Mont Blanc. Our hotel is in La Palud - a small hamlet 3km outside of the centre of Courmayeur (45mins walk / 10mins bus ride).
This is a long day if the entire walk is done, and many choose to take the bus from Arnuva to the hotel. You will have the choice of both options. If you take the bus the total distance for the day is 14 miles/ 22km. 18 miles (29km) or 14 miles (22km) if you take a bus ride, with 3,181 feet (970m) of ascent, and 3,837 feet (1,170m) of descent.
Day 7: Rest day in La Palud, Courmayeur
Courmayeur is one of Italy’s premier ski resorts and is full of pretty shops, cafés and restaurants. Close by, there is the new Skyway cable car, the spa at Pre St Didier and lots of walking options.
Day 8: Courmayeur – Val Veny – Col de la Seigne – Les Chapieux
We travel to Val Veny under the spectacular South Face and ridges of Mont Blanc. We trek along a wide glacial valley surrounded by glaciers and high peaks to the Col de la Seigne which marks the border between France and Italy. We then descend to Les Chapieux. Today is quite a long day, although it is not steep.13 miles (24km), with 2,829 feet (860m) of ascent, and 3,171 feet (967m) of descent.
Day 9: Les Chapieux – Col du Bonhomme – Les Contamines
We make a steep ascent above Les Chapieux through marmot country and on through open meadows to more barren scenery. We cross two cols in wild surroundings with fabulous Alpine flowers and marmots, weasels and chamois. We then head down through open country and on to a narrowing valley. Our destination is Les Contamines – a pretty ski village with an interesting church. The hotel is located 1km outside of the centre of Les Contamines. 13 miles (21km), with 3,050 feet (930m) of ascent, and 4,329 feet (1,320m) of descent.
Day 10: Les Contamines – Les Houches
We follow the Bon Nant river for approximately 4km and then head into the hills near la Gruvaz. We pass the pretty villages of le Champel and Bionassay and then make our final climb of the holiday to the Col de Voza (1653m). This is a fitting end to our trek with the most outstanding views of the Chamonix Valley, the Chamonix Aiguilles and the Mont Blanc massif. We descend by cable car to Les Houches. From here you can elect to take the bus back to the hotel in Argentiere (40 minutes) or continue on foot to Chamonix town – a further 7km – to complete the circuit. From Chamonix it is 20 minutes by bus or train to our our hotel. 9 miles (14km), with 2,625 feet (800m) of ascent, and 650 feet (200m) of descent.
Day 11: Departure day, Les Houches – Geneva
Free leisure time until your transfer to the airport.
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors
A bustling Alpine town in a superb position beneath the Mont Blanc massif. Huge range of shops and other facilities including cable car access to the Aiguille du Midi and the Brevant. The Musee Alpin tells the story of Alpine climbing and other sports in the area, while the Musee des Cristeaux is all about the area’s rocks, minerals and geology - the Chamonix valley has always been a major centre for crystal hunters.
Mer de Glace
A popular rack and pinion railway winds a way up through the forests above Chamonix to reach Europe’s second longest glacier - the Mer de Glace. A coveted winter ski descent, the glacier has shrunk over the last couple of hundred years and the previous glacier levels are recorded on the steps that lead down to the Grotte de la Mer de Glace – an ice cave complete with sculptures that is carved out annually.
AIguille du Midi
A formidably steep rocky summit overlooking the town and a famous landmark. The cablecar journey in two stages to the summit is superb, and there is a huge development of tunnels and attractions in the summit area. Stunning views all round.
This attractive alpine town’s picturesque mountain scenery and healthy mountain air make it an attractive destination. It is one of Europe’s most famous ski locations.
Giardino Botanico Alpino Saussurea
Described as Europe's highest botanical garden.
Therme di Pré-Saint-Didier
Relax and unwind in the thermal waters of the Mont Blanc Massif. This architectural monument, with its spa, is well worth the trip if you choose to do so on your free day.
The Alpine Garden Flore Alpe is an enchanting place with paths winding through the rocks and across small bridges over mountain streams. Four thousand species flourish here, both species of local flora and those of mountain ranges in Europe and other continents. "Flore-Alpe" is one of the richest and most prestigious gardens of the Alps.
There are countless other attractions in this area and you could easily justify some extra holiday time to explore and enjoy this wonderful Alpine region.
A group transfer is included in the price for those who have booked the “with flight” option. If you are travelling independently but would like to use this transfer, please contact our Reservations team for details.
Start: For those who have booked our “with flight” holiday, a coach transfer from Geneva Airport direct to your first accommodation is automatically included. A representative of our partner agent will meet you upon arrival and direct you to your transfer.
Finish: Similar arrangements apply. A coach transfer to Geneva Airport will be arranged to connect with the HF Holidays flight.
Please note that these transfers will be timed to connect with the HF Holidays’ flights. We cannot make separate arrangements for guests arriving/departing at different times.
Arrival day - transfer departs from Geneva Airport (details to be confirmed )
Departure day - transfer arrives at Geneva Airport (details to be confirmed)
If you are travelling independently, please re-confirm these timings, 2 weeks prior to departure.
Susie is an International Mountain Leader who has loved journeys in the mountains since she did her first 'expedition' on the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, aged 14. Since then she has spent 30 years exploring on all five continents and has a taste for deserts as well as mountains. Susie speaks French and Spanish and enjoys learning about the local culture wherever she is, especially the food and drink of an area. In the winter she loves to continue journeying through the mountains on skis, seeking adventure in the back country. Susie has been leading trekking groups for the last 10 years, in India, Nepal and South America as well as in the Alps and Dolomites.
Luke is a qualified International Mountain Leader with 10 years' experience leading groups around the world, including the Alps, North Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East. With a background in Outdoor Education and Development Training, he enjoys teaching people about the natural environment and helping them to achieve their goals in the outdoors. Besides trekking, Luke enjoys any other adventures that can be had in the mountains. He is a keen trail and mountain runner and is always training for the next big race.
Dates & Prices
|9 Aug 2017||XMLDW - Tour du Mont Blanc - Without Flights||10||£1,725.00||Book Now|
- 10 nights’ Full Board* accommodation
- The services of an IML qualified and experienced walking leader
- Transport as required on walking days
- Group transfer to/from Geneva airport
- Luggage transport**
- Two cablecar journeys and two minibus transfers en route
*with the exception of the picnic lunch and evening meal on your free day in Courmayeur. On this day you can explore independently and choose where you wish eat in the resort.
**please be prepared to carry overnight clothing with you in your day sack on Day 5 (La Fouly) and Day 8 (Les Chapieux), when you will not have access to your luggage. The remainder of your luggage will be transferred on to the next evening’s accommodation.
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: please contact us for information
If at eight weeks prior to the start of the holiday a sharing partner is unavailable, a single room or room for single occupancy with associated supplement will be allocated to you instead.
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person