The historic Tour du Mont Blanc is easily one of the most spectacular walks of the world. Brimming with incredible vistas from high mountain passes, lush valleys and highway sized glaciers, alpine scenery does not get much better than this. Joining an international group led by a bilingual mountain guide, the emphasis is on full immersion into the sublime mountain culture, with overnights in cosy mountain refuges or charming village gîtes. Carrying only a day pack, our mules transport your luggage leaving you free to enjoy the days walk. Commencing from the Chamonix Valley in France, the route takes you through Italy and Switzerland during a horseshoe circuit around the Mont Blanc massif. There is plenty of time to enjoy the small villages along the way, including the delightful hamlets of La Fouly and Trient.
MODERATE to CHALLENGING – GRADE 4 - 5
The walking is moderate to advanced (4 - 5) grade with daily guided walks of around 5 to 9 hours, between 8 and 15 km and maximum ascents of 1400 metres per day. There are some challenging stages during the walk with steep uphills, descents, and many sections of the trail which require care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good to excellent level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. It is considered suitable for experienced walkers only. Early in the season (June) you may encounter snow on the passes which may be quite deep and alter the grading of the trip to challenging. At any time during summer, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong sun and extreme winds.
Leaving from the village of Le Tour or Chamonix you take the scenic high mountain path of Balme heading towards Switzerland. Weather permitting you will be able to take some wonderful photos of the Mont Blanc chain including the impressive “La Verte”, the Drus and the Needles of Chamonix. You will cross the border between France and Switzerland before making your way down to the village of Trient for overnight accommodation.
There are two alternative routes between Trient and Champex. The first is via the Mountain of Bovine which involves crossing the Forclaz Pass (1527m) where there are beautiful lake views. The other, is The “Fenêtre d'Arpette” (2665m) route, which is a variant on the Tour du Mont Blanc and is quite challenging. In adverse weather conditions this pass is not recommended. The trail is not as well defined as the lower route but as with many pass crossings, the rewards on a good weather day are the extraordinary views to the Trient Glacier. The descent to Champex is steep though you will have the opportunity to have a hot shower at your lodge.
This morning you take a bus transfer to the small village of Ferret (1705m) and commence walking. The route takes you out of Switzerland and into Italy by the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) pass. It’s a steady climb and at the Col you will be awe inspired by the sweeping views of the Pre de Bar glacier. After some time drinking in the panorama you can amble down the steep track to your overnight accommodation at the Refuge Elena which is located at the base of the glacier and a great place to view the changing light on the alps.
This mornings walk takes you through the Val Ferret and along a balcony path with impressive views of the Grand Jorasses, Mont Blanc and in the distance the Col de la Seigne marking the border between France and Italy. On reaching Refugio Bonatti there are two options to reach Berthone. The newly rerouted TMB trail takes you traverses the north flank of Monte de la Saxe, whilst the former official TMB route takes you along the crest of Monte de la Saxe. Both are high trails with fabulous views of the Brenva face of Mont Blanc and the dramatic Aiguille Noire. Overnight Rifugio (1989m).
Descend from the refuge to Courmayeur (900m or around 2 hours). Nestled at the end of Italy's Aosta Valley it is an atmospheric town which is worthy of some light exploration and a good place to taste the renowned and delicious Italian gelato. If the weather is good, we continue on foot from Courmayeur towards Elisabetta Refuge by crossing the Checroui Pass (2185m), following which a magnificent balcony trail offers expansive views of glaciers tumbling from the heights of Mont Blanc. In the event of bad weather a short bus ride on from Courmayeur takes us to La Visaille from where we ascend the enchanting valley where the enormous Miage glacier flows down into Lake Combal. On the Italian side of Mont Blanc, one gains a completely different perspective of the highest peak in the European Alps.
You make your way over the Col de La Seigne mountain path, which is overhung by limestone pyramids and the Estelette Glacier, until you reach France. The trail then descends across the high mountain pastures to the City of the Glaciers. Today also provides an excellent opportunity to buy Beaufort cheese from the local farmers. A big ascent (940m) takes us to our overnight refuge just below the pass of Col de la Croix.
This mornings walk takes you up mountain pastures to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2483m) where there are brilliant views southeast to the peaks of the Vanoise. The trail continues down to the Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and crosses the Contamines Natural Reserve. A sharp descent through a pine forest fringed gorge takes you to an ancient Roman Road and the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge, where there is a bus or taxi service to Le Fayet and Chamonix.
Leaving from Chamonix, we take a balcony path 2000m above Chamonix town. Heading up the valley the trail takes in the huge expanse of the Mont Blanc Massif, the Argentiere glacier and the Aiguille du Tour (3542m). It is an exhilarating walk and a fabulous start to the week. Overnight Montroc.
From Montroc village we head towards Switzerland. Weather permitting you will be able to take some wonderful photos of the Mont Blanc chain including the impressive “La Verte”, the Drus and the Needles of Chamonix. You will cross the border between France and Switzerland before making your way down to the village of Trient for overnight accommodation.
If there is no snow we will take the “Fenêtre d'Arpette” (2665m) route, which is a variant on the Tour du Mont Blanc and is quite challenging. In adverse weather conditions this pass is not recommended. The trail is not as well defined as the lower route but as with many pass crossings, the rewards on a good weather day are the extraordinary views to the Trient Glacier. Alternatively we will walk via the Mountain of Bovine which involves crossing the Forclaz Pass (1527m) where there are beautiful lake views. The descent to Champex is steep though you will have the opportunity to have a hot shower at your lodge.
Although this is most definitely an easier day, it is also one that highlights some amazing natural beauty. Dry meadows, pools of fresh water, herds of cows and wonderful chalets surrounded by flower filled gardens abound. Swiss village life is all around and the lower valleys at the base of the Mont Blanc Massif provide a contrast to the high alpine meadows of the previous and following days. A further highlight of the day is the wonderful “Valais des Hommes” and the beautiful mountain views at La Fouly. Overnight in La Fouly.
The route takes you out of Switzerland and into Italy by the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) pass. It’s a steady climb and at the Col you will be awe inspired by the sweeping views of the Pre de Bar glacier. After some time drinking in the panorama you can amble down the steep track to your overnight refuge accommodation which is located at the base of the glacier and thus provides a great opportunity to witness it under changing light. Descend to the roadhead. Transfer by bus to the Italian ski resort town of Courmayeur. Nestled at the end of Italy's Aosta Valley it is an atmospheric town which is worthy of some light exploration and a good place to taste the renowned and delicious Italian gelato.
From Courmayeur we head towards France. You make your way over the Col de La Seigne mountain path, which is overhung by limestone pyramids and the Estelette Glacier, until you reach the border. The trail then descends across the high mountain pastures to the City of the Glaciers. Today also provides an excellent opportunity to buy Beaufort cheese from the local farmers. Note: depending on the weather conditions, part of the route may be travelled by bus, shortening the walking distance to around 5 hours.
Today begins by meeting the rest of the group and your guide at the little church of Notre Dame de la Gorge next to the river Bon Nant. You will be advised of the meeting point with your tour confirmation. There will be a short briefing where you will pack gear in the kit bags provided (to be loaded onto the mule) and begin walking. The route follows the classic anti clockwise direction, with the first day of walking one long ascent to the Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and a short time later to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2483m). Enroute there is ample opportunity to take in the stunning views and appreciate the historic nature of this route from France to Italy. First encounters with Marmots are likely, although being quite shy they disappear quickly. Along the route you are likely to encounter snow, particularly earlier in the season, so boots are essential. The refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme is the highest we stay at on this section of the trail and one of the few where vehicle access is not possible. In early or late season departures where the mule's are unable to cross the Col du Bonhomme, you may need to carry your overnight requirements. From the refuge the views are expansive and impressive and there is also the opportunity to view wildlife such as Ibex and Marmot. Overnight refuge with shower.
Descend steeply through alpine pastures brimming with wildflowers to the small hamlet of Chapieux. Today there will be opportunities to visit cheese farmers and purchase Beaufort Cheese if the dairy is open. A gentle ascent takes you up the Valley of Glaciers before a steeper and more sustained ascent to the Italian border. The ascent to the Col de la Seigne (2516m) is via a series of steep switchbacks which open out to a wide trail when you reach the pass. The view across to the Glacier des Glaciers is superb from this pass. On a cold and windy day, the new information centre is a welcome respite in addition to offering a wealth of facts about the region. Continue to Rifugio Elisabetta which has a prime location, excellent view of the glacier and surrounding peaks and superb Italian mountain cuisine. Overnight refuge with shower.
In the enchanted valley of Veni, the enormous Miage glacier flows down into the beautiful Lake Combal. This is the Italian side of Mont Blanc that is offered to you from a truly beautiful standpoint and is perhaps the most enjoyable on the route. The trail continues along the flat valley floor overlooked by the serrated rock pinnacle of Aiguille Noire de Peuterey (3773m). There are some steep climbs, rewarded by magnificent alpine views, before we arrive in the town of Courmayeur, where you should definitely make the most of the amazingly delicious Italian Gelato (ice cream). Ascend to refuge Bertone high above Courmayeur.
In the enchanted valley of Veni, the enormous Miage glacier flows down into the beautiful Lake Combal. This is the Italian side of Mont Blanc that is offered to you from a truly beautiful standpoint and is perhaps the most enjoyable on the route. The trail continues along the flat valley floor overlooked by the serrated rock pinnacle of Aiguille Noire de Peuterey (3773m). There are some steep climbs, rewarded by magnificent alpine views, before we arrive in the town of Courmayeur, where you should definitely make the most of the amazingly delicious Italian Gelato (ice cream). A short bus transfer takes us to the next stage of the walk where we then climb up to Elena refuge with its excellent views to the glacier and mountains beyond. Overnight refuge with shower.
The sight of the Pré de Bar glacier, (a glacier that boasts a perfect tongue formation), is with us all the way as we make our way to the Grand Col Ferret (2537m), and the whole atmosphere is out of this world, and despite the climb is a very rewarding section of the walk. The col marks the border of Switzerland and Italy and the trail becomes wider and more defined on reaching the border. The descent from the pass takes you to the valley floor and eventually the charming village of La Fouly. Overnight Hotel with shower.
Transfer by local bus to Champex. Our aim is to take the “Fenêtre d'Arpette” (2665m) route, which is a variant on the Tour du Mont Blanc and quite a challenge*. The morning’s hike is almost completely uphill and the trail is not as well defined as on previous days but as with many pass crossings on this route, the rewards on a good weather day are extraordinary views, this time across to the Trient Glacier. This ascent will be one of the most memorable moments of the trek! From the pass there is an initially steep ascent before the gradient levels out to the Trient Valley. This evening will be spent in a gîte in Trient with shower. Note: * In the event of poor weather or dependant on groups ability we may take the standard route.
On our last days walk we make our way to the Balme mountain passage. Weather permitting we will be afforded wonderful views over the Mont Blanc chain. Our walk concludes in the Chamonix Valley at Le Tour.
The guide was an excellent guide, very professional, encouraging the group + slower walkers to complete each day. The person who assisted our guide was very patient with the slower walkers. The guide adapted the walk to the late snow conditions.
B Cummins, Barwon Heads, VIC
Overall a good trip through wonderful country. 2nd day was difficult for most because it was very steep walking on steep slopes & the condition of the track. Dorms were basic would have been better paying extra for own room.
I. Haase, VIC. Australia
All meals were excellent (we were surprised at how good!) Accommodation was very good at each stop.Our guide was highly experienced and had a vast knowledge of the track. He had an excellent sense of humor which helped the cohesiveness of the group, and made a point of interacting with everyone.
G Buttel, Albion Park, NSW
Delightful Trek, very civilized not at all like bushwalking in Tasmania. Guide provided valuable info each day (environment, culture & history).
M. Ling, Tasmania, Australia
The attitude and competency of the leader was very good. Thank you for organising my attendance at such short notice.
L. Collard, NSW, Australia
Susan and I had a fabulous time. We were fortunate to have such an experienced guide who made sure everything was running smoothly. He went out of his way to accommodate specific requests from others. The accommodation far exceeded our expectations for this type of trip, so was a bonus. Thank you for providing such a fantastic trip.
Elizabeth Grover., Nth Balwyn, VIC, Aust
Excellent value. The included food was plentiful and quality. No need to spend any extra. I took this on as a challenge and it certainly was that, but it felt amazing to do it and I highly recommend it to others.
V. Spitzer, Carina Heights, QLD
Could not praise the guide, food and accommodation enough. The guide went out of his way to make this a great holiday. Very considerate, safety conscious and good sense of humour. Right fitness essential.
R.Osei, WA, Australia
Very enjoyable, more than expected!
G Dauncey, Haberfield, NSW
Every day the scenery just kept getting better.
P Hastings, The Gap, QLD
I had a wonderful trip!Great people, beautiful scenery and active adventure.
J Weyler, Varsity lakes, QLD
Great trip - really good group. A true European holiday, most participants were from Europe.This is the type of holiday the Europeans go on.Fantastic cultural experience.
J Funnell, Brighton, VIC
Trip were well organised with interesting itinerary, I will travel again with UTracks.
N Jackson, Watson, ACT
The Mont Blanc Guided Walk was a wonderful experience with a much-experienced guide (Nicole) who, with great knowledge and humour, made sure that the group had the best possible experience. Whilst a challenging walk in some parts, everything was wonderfully organised to make sure that it wasn’t struggle to take in the spectacular scenery. The meals, accommodation, 7kg luggage allowance, generous rest breaks and transfers back to Chamonix gave a great sense of luxury in a tour that represented excellent value for money.
J. Maxwell., Sydney, NSW.
The whole trip was a wonderful experience - the guide, food, accommodation & fellow travellers.
C. Lumb., NSW. Australia
The mule 'Titus' was entertaining. Certainly had a personality - "stubborn as a mule" at times. Very well handled by our guide Yves. Great group of 12 people. Guide was very easy going - fantastic for holiday spirit, highly skilled, safe and most informative. Thank you for an excellent holiday! We will travel again with UTracks and have encouraged our adult sons to do an active trip.
L. Kelly & B. Margin., Daviston, NSW Australia
Our holiday was excellent. The guide [Phillippe] was knowledgeable and great company. The food, accommodation, and communication with the guide were all good.
M. Clune., Thornton, NSW Australia
My Tour Mont Blanc was stunning. A year off sixty, this walk was a challenge in more than the physical sense. Stopping to pause at the beauty and wonder of the Alps gave me time to think. Our guide was sensitive to my needs. She was great fun to be with and an excellent leader..... planning to do the Dolomites Walk next year with UTracks.
A. Wregg., Port Melbourne, VIC. Australia
This was a great walk. The scenery was incredible. We had a great group of people including some French speaking people. The walk is not easy. Each day there are some very steep elevations to walk. Preparation is essential.
J. Woodyatt., Carindale, QLD. Australia
Beautiful scenery, lovely experience with the mule, things didn't always go to plan with the mule but it added to the enjoyment and amusement. I found the hike challenging but in saying that you need to go to heights to see such magnificent scenery. The second day was quite hard, but I felt great the next day to tackle the third day. Two excellent guides, Eric & Sandra, who both were very fit and good senses of humour and knowledge
M. McNeil., Heatherton, VIC, Australia
I did the mont blanc tour with utracks, it was my first trekking tour and I loved it. I totally recommend this company, very organized and delivered everything they promissed !
J. Macieira., Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Our pre-trip information and liaison with the Sydney office was excellent and we felt really well supported. The trip itself (Tour du Mont Blanc) was brilliant and really good value for money. We would highly recommend Utracks and valued their professionalism and personal attention to detail and follow up.
L. Hurst., Attadale, WA. Australia.
Great trip with a great group of people. Scenery was spectacular from day one.
B. Smales., Mount Colliery, QLD. Australia
I booked this trek to escape the daily grind and it was exactly what I needed. Stunning scenery complimented by our attentive and friendly guide Maxime made for the best outdoor holiday I am likely to ever have! This trek is a must for anyone looking to explore the outdoors with like minded people.
J. Liddell., Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
A very good week altogether, the food was excellent although the accommodation was mixed as it was end of season. Our most memorable moment was meeting like-minded fellow travellers, however I have to thank the guide and mule who were very good leaders.
J. Campbell., Oban, UK
This hike was one of the most amazing travel experiences I've been lucky enough to be a part of. Our guide was exceptional, as was the food and the accommodation for the entire week! I was unsure if the quality of the hike would be high or not, considering its low cost, but it completely exceeded my expectations. Being in a group was a lot of fun and it was great meeting and getting to know people from all over the world. The only downside to doing this hike is that I'll have to wait to next season to do another...and if it weren't for the off-season I'd be on another right now!
O. Trigger., Indooroopilly, QLD, Australia.
Great experience. Trek had wonderful scenery, was well organised with a great guide named Vincent who looked after us for the whole 7 days.
R. Mitchell., Leura, NSW, Australia
I was looking at multiple sites to book for Mont Blanc hike but decided to go with UTrack, best decision ever. The hike was adventurous and the view spectacular. We had a good mix of young people with different background, all full of energy. The trip would not be the same if it wasn't for our guide Maxime. Had one of the best moments of my life. Will definitely deal with Utrack again in future.
R. Chengappa., United Kingdom
Absolutely a wonderful week, enjoyed pretty much every moment. Fabulous scenery goes without saying, but also met interesting fellow travellers from other parts of the world, enjoyed food and accommodation which surpassed expectations, topped off with a first rate guide (Nichole).I deliberately went early season to see snow on the tops and avoid high season numbers of fellow ramblers, but beware, mid June snow and ice can be a little challenging - although pretty much everyone in our group would testify it adds to the fun (you can slide down the mountains!).
S. Hague,, UK
The trip was amazing. Astounding views, excellent organization and accommodations, good food, great company and excellent guide. We were challenged, but rewarded with stunning landscape at every turn. For anyone looking for a challenging, beautiful, memorable vacation, this is an excellent choice. Truly an amazing experience.
R. Diemer,, UK
We were really happy with the itinerary, the group leader and we were pretty lucky with the weather, so the views were spectacular.
N. Brennan., Point Piper, NSW. Australia
The Tour du Mont Blanc was an amazing experience. We traversed through seven valleys and essentially hiked up and down six mountains with breathtaking views. The group size was good, and our guide, Elodie was a vibrant, informative and amazing person to spend a week with, and provided us with a wealth of knowledge, support and many laughs.
T. Ohanessian., North Melbourne, VIC. Australia
This is an amazing experience. Astounding views, excellent organization and accommodations, good food, great company and excellent guide. For anyone looking for a challenging, beautiful, memorable vacation, this is an excellent choice.
R. Diemar., Australia
wonderful trip! had an amazing 7-days trekking tour. splendid view, lot of snow patches in the last 3 days and totally a foodie tour! would highly recommend to anyone who loves nature and hiking!
M. Zhang., Shanghai, CHINA.
I would recommend this trip to anyone, standing on a high pass seeing where we had been and where we were going was awe inspiring.
J. Van Workum., Daylesford, VIC. Australia
This was a great tour, fantastic views, good paths and accommodation. We all got on very well and it was good to mix with others on the walk. The guide was great and looked after us well. I really can't find any fault with the tour and can highly recommend it to anyone.
D. Atkinson, Glasgow, UK, 24 Sep 2016
I went on a tour du Mont Blanc this September and it was absolutely great!
The trip was very well organised, the guides were experienced and very friendly, hostels were clean, all had showers and we had a proper meals in the evenings! Super happy with my experience and definitely highly recommend UTracks!
O. Pavlovska, London, UK, 21 Sep 2016
One of the best holidays I have ever been on. Excellent value for money and a real challenge make this an outstanding holiday for experienced hill walkers.
N. Hall, Newquay, Cornwall, UK, 13 Sep 2016
The most memorable part of the trip were the views. Some wonderful memories, I would not hesitate to recommend it to a friend.
A. Wingfield, St. Austell, UK, 02 Sep 2016
The Tour du Mont Blanc hike was an excellent way to see the beautiful Alps and experience the culture, cuisine, and natural beauty of the region. We were fortunate to have an excellent guide named Christophe who has done many treks and has a degree in Biology, so we learned much about the nature, plants, and animals we saw on the trek. While it was a bit more physically challenging than at first anticipated, we had the best time and wouldn't have skipped this opportunity if we had the chance!
M. Ford,, Alexandria, VA. USA, 20 Jul 2016
Per Person, Twin Share