Overview for Tour du Mont Blanc from Les Houches
Mont Blanc is by no doubt one of the most beautiful massifs of the Alps, and the Tour du Mont Blanc has become one of the most iconic walks in the world. On our Tour du Mont Blanc from Les Houches itinerary you will walk almost the full tour (skipping the asphalt sections) in the standard counter-clockwise direction.
The majestic beauty of the scenery is best appreciated on foot as you walk point-to-point each day, staying in nice hotels and mountain huts at night. Your main baggage is transported for you, and using our comprehensive route notes you will follow the well-marked trails across the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. In the evenings, you will enjoy delicious French and Italian meals, paired with a hearty serving of Swiss hospitality in the traditional alpine villages you will stay in.
If you prefer to spend most nights in private rooms, most of them with en-suite facilities, you should consider our Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort itinerary.
Itinerary for Tour du Mont Blanc from Les HouchesGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival to Les Houches
Welcome to the charming village of Les Houches.
- Overnight at a nice 3-star hotel, half-board
Day 2: Les Houches – Les Contamines
Walk from Les Houches to the traditional village of Les Contamines. You take the cable car to Bellevue which makes for an easier first day, cutting out the first ascent. The TMB path contours through the forest high above the Bionnassay Valley while passing through pretty Alpine hamlets with excellent views of Mont Blanc and across the foothills of the Alps. The Dôme du Gouter and Aiguille de Bionnassay dominate the views with the impressive glacier between them. Then climb up the Col de Tricot and start the descent following a series of switchbacks to Chalet de Miage. Following a riverside path at the end of the day will make for a very pleasing approach into Les Contamines.
- Walking for the day: 4 to 5 hrs, ↑640m ↓1275m
- Overnight at a nice 2-star hotel, half-board
Day 3: Les Contamines – Les Chapieux
Optional short car transfer to Notre Dame de la Gorge. Climb over the Col du Bonhomme and the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme leading to the Chapieux valley. Over the Aiguille des Glaciers, you will enjoy some splendid sights.
- Walking for the day: 6-7h ↑1200m ↓900m (with transfer) / 8-9h without transfer
- Overnight in a dormitory room in La Nova mountain lodge or Les Chambres du Soleil, half-board
Day 4: Les Chapieux – Refuge Elisabetta
Walk over the Col de la Seigne to the Italian side of the border. On this walk, you will again take in some spectacular views. Descend enjoying great views of the Aiguilles of Peuterey and the Mont Blanc of Courmayeur.
Note: luggage transfer not possible on this day, your main luggage will be transported directly from Les Chapieux to Refuge Elena where you spend the next overnight.
- Walking for the day: 5h ↑730m ↓315m
- Overnight at Elisabetta refuge, dormitory rooms, half-board
Day 5: Refuge Elisabetta – Courmayeur; Val Ferret – Refuge Elena
Hike up on one the most beautiful balconies of the tour, until you reach the pass of Chécroui, then descend to
Courmayeur either by walking or with the cable car. In Courmayeur, take the bus to the Val Ferret. From here, it is 1 hour of walking to reach refuge Elena.
- Walking for the day: 6h ↑800m ↓980m
- Overnight at Elena refuge, dormitory rooms, half-board
Day 6: Refuge Elena – La Fouly
Cross the Grand Col Ferret and arrive at the quaint but beautiful village of La Fouly in Switzerland. Take in the exceptional views over the massif of Combins in the East and the Italian side of Mont Blanc.
- Walking for the day: 4-5h ↑475m ↓930m
- Overnight at La Fouly, dormitory rooms, half-board
Day 7: La Fouly – Champex (Val d’Arpette)
A bucolic hike through one of the most beautiful valleys of Valais. Admire the quaint villages and their typical
architecture. Hike up to the village of Champex and its lake and continue until you reach Val d’Arpette.
- Walking for the day: 5-6h ↑600m ↓500m
- Overnight at Val D’Arpette, dormitory rooms, half-board
Day 8: Champex (Val d’Arpette) – La Forclaz (or Trient)
The highest point of the walk is reached today as you climb over the Fenêtre d’Arpette (2750m). Take in the breath-taking views while you go down alongside the Trient glacier. There is an alternative, shorter itinerary via the Cold de Bovine pass.
- Walking for the day: 8-9h ↑1050m ↓1385m, or 5-6h ↑800m ↓1135m (shorter option via the Cold de Bovine pass, strongly recommended in case of bad weather)
- Overnight in a mountain hut in Col de La Forclaz or in Trient, dormitory rooms, half board
Day 9: La Forclaz (or Trient) – Le Tour
Walking over the Col de la Balme and back to France with fantastic views of the Mont Blanc and Aiguille Verte, you will have the option of two alternative routes for the descent to Le Tour.
- Walking for the day: 6-7h ↑1,000 m ↓1,050m
- Overnight in Caf de Tour refuge, dormitory rooms, half board
Day 10: Le Tour – Chamonix
Enjoy the wonderful Balcon des Aiguilles Rouges, before a climb to Lake Blanc. Take in all the beautiful scenery that follows: Aiguille Verte, Les Drus, La Mer de glace, Aiguilles de Chamonix, Mont Blanc du Tacul, Aiguille du Goûter, and last but not least, Mont Blanc iself! Descend to Chamonix by Le Praz. You can also opt to take the cable car at La Flégère or the local bus (transfers not included in the price).
- Walking for the day: 6 hrs, ↑900 m, ↓1,100 m
- Overnight at a nice 3-star hotel in Chamonix, en-suite rooms, bed & breakfast
Day 11: Chamonix – Les Houches
If the weather is good and it is not the beginning of the season (because of the risk of snow), you can take the cable car from Chamonix to Planpraz and walk to les Houches by the Col du Brevent. Or (possible only after 23 June) take a cable car from Plan Praz to le Brevent and then go down to Les Houches. Then take train or bus from Les Houches back to Chamonix. Or you can call it a rest day and stroll the streets of Chamonix.
- Walking for the day: 6-7h ↑515 m ↓1540m
- Overnight at a nice 3-star hotel in Chamonix, en-suite rooms, bed & breakfast
Day 12: Departure, Extra Nights or Onward Travel
Chamonix is a great base to spend a couple of days, and we would recommend that you add some extra nights here. You can enjoy some fabulous walking in the Aiguilles Rouge Park, take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi at 3795m or the train to the Montenvers on the Mer de Glace.
Hotels for Tour du Mont Blanc from Les HouchesGo to top of page
Accommodation on 7 nights is in mountain lodges in dormitories with shared facilities (showers and toilets). You have also 4 nights in hotels: the first night is in a hotel in Les Houches***, the second night is in a hotel in Les Contamines** and the last two nights in Chamonix***. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Half board with breakfast and dinner is included in every accommodation except Chamonix (B&B). Lunch packs for next day can be pre-ordered at each accommodation.
Travel for Tour du Mont Blanc from Les HouchesGo to top of page
Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Geneva.
Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
- By own / rental car
Very easy access to Les Houches and Praz de Chamonix via Highway A40 to St Gervais-Le Fayet and express way (4 lanes) to Servoz and Les Houches.
- By train
St Gervais-Le Fayet TGV station is at 7km from Servoz and at 17km from Les Houches. Then bus from St Gervais le Fayet to les Houches http://www.sat-montblanc.com or St Gervais / Les Houches by train https://www.oui.sncf
- By Bus
SAT Mont Blanc, www.sat-montlblanc.com; Tel +33 (0) 4 50 78 05 33; about 45 min. Taxi Besson www.taxi-montblanc.com; Tel +33 (04) 50 93 61 47 (Mini-buses with 8 or 6 seats are also available), about € 70 / transfer 1-4 perons (Le Fayet – Contamines or Chamonix – Contamines).
Return via Chamonix Mont Blanc Railway Station.
From Chamonix to Le Fayet : by train, about 40 min.
- By taxi
From Geneva airport to Les Houches about €250 per car one way; on Sunday, bank holidays or after 6pm: around €300 per car one way.
Airport transfers by public transport are recommended for this trip.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included, except on Day 4 – your main luggage will be transferred directly from the Day 3 to the Day 5 accommodation (maximum one piece of 15 kg per person).
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
- Up-to-date travel advice on Switzerland is available here.
- Up-to-date travel advice on Italy is available here.
- Up-to-date travel advice on France is available here.
Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
Trip Info for Tour du Mont Blanc from Les HouchesGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
This holiday is appropriate for experienced walkers and requires an excellent level of fitness; you will walk 5-7 hours a day (up to 9 hours on some days if you do not use the shorter alternatives) – read more about difficulty grades.
We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available on any date from 15 June (first starting date) till 15 September (last starting date). The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking. Please note that availability may be limited during big events such as the UTMB trail running event at the end of August.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 15 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots with ankle-support
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket / Goretex jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
- A sheet or a sleeping bag sheet / liner to use in dormitories
Included for Tour du Mont Blanc from Les HouchesGo to top of page
- Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps (IGN TOP 25 maps 1:25 000, N° 3630 OT Chamonix and 3531 OT St Gervais-Les Bains)
- 3 nights in 3-star hotels, 1 night in a 2-star hotel (private en-suite rooms) and 7 nights in mountain huts (dormitory rooms with shared facilities)
- 11 breakfasts
- 9 dinners
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days except on Day 4
- Private transfer on Day 3
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office / representative
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Single room supplement: available only on first and last night
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; as transfer and luggage transfer costs are not shared, there is a solo traveller supplement added to the standard price (this includes single rooms on hotel nights)
Please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options, extras and supplements for your desired dates
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
- Eventual bus transfers and cable cars to shorten the walks (Courmayeur, Champex, Chamonix)
- Flights and airport transfers
- Luggage transfer on Day 4
- Optional bus and cable car transfers as listed in the itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
Extensions, Upgrades and Optional Extras
- Extra night in a 3-star hotel in Les Houches before the holiday, half-board accommodation.
- Extra night in a 3-star hotel in Chamonix after the holiday, half-board accommodation.
- Luggage Transfers Opt-Out – if you prefer to carry all your luggage rather than have it transferred by us, this will reduce your price by £120 per person.
- Hotel Upgrade – if you prefer to spend most nights in private double/twin rooms, most of them with en-suite facilities – please consider this itinerary.