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Our top Tour du Mont Blanc alternatives

Tour du Mont Blanc alternatives

The Tour du Mont Blanc, or TMB, can sometimes feel more like a TBC during peak season when, if you don’t get your booking in early, may mean that it’s a non-starter. It really is one of the most spectacular long-distance walks in Europe, which is why people come from all over the world to explore and also clearly adore it. There are many other colossal long-distance treks to be explored in Europe, albeit not through three countries, but most of them through the Alps. Because, when it comes to Tour du Mont Blanc alternatives, we reckon you can never have TMI. 

High Trails of the Aosta Valley, Italy

Starting in the handsome Roman town of Aosta, the capital of the Aosta Valley (Val D’Aosta), you not only get a view of Monte Bianco, but also Monte Rosa, Grand Combin, Gran Paradiso and the Matterhorn. And that’s just day one. For the remaining eight days of this High Trails of the Aosta Valley holiday, hikes range from strenuous to sumptuous, including the trek up to Lago Fallere (2,415m), the 2,000m high ridge of Valle d’Aosta and up Punta Oilletta (2,616 m). Similar to the TMB, this trip is available between June and September, and it’s still one fine TMB – if it’s a Tour Molto Bene you’re after. 

Tour du Mont Blanc alternatives
The Valle d’Aosta is our second best TMB – Tour Molto Bene!

High Passes of Valais, Switzerland 

The Valais region, in the south of the country, encapsulates every Swiss cliché you could think of and will stop you in your trekking tracks. With 41 mountains over 4,000m, in winter it looks like the peaks on a perfect Christmas cake. But between July and September, when these mountain landscapes between the Simplon and Grand St Bernard passes do their big reveal of flower-rich meadows, larch forests, emerald lakes and panoramic views, the Valais is verging on velvety. For a moderate to strenuous walking holiday, trek the complete section between Brig and Grimenz in ten days, covering between 11-21km per day. Or divide it up into either the east section in six days or west section in seven days. 

Picos de Europa circuit, Spain

The Picos, as they are known for short, are one of Spain’s sixteen national parks and their limestone spires, twisting trails and wildlife habitats are peppered across the provinces of Asturias, Cantabria and León. As well as being part of the Camino de Santiago, the Picos have a tapas style menu of trails to suit all walkers. However, if you are looking for an alternative circuit to the TMB, you can take on the Picos circuit in twelve days, between May and October, covering its three massifs: Central (Urrieles), Eastern (Ándara) and Western (Picos de Cornión). You can also enjoy the range’s highlights in a week, with ever-present views of the iconic Picu Urriellu, and the range’s highest summit Torre de Cerredo (2,650m) between April and October. 

Tour du Mont Blanc alternatives
The iconic Naranjo de Bulnes (also known as Picu Urriellu) in the Picos de Europa.

Hiking in the Albanian Alps 

The Accursed Mountains are also called the Albanian Alps and, if you really want to escape the crowds, this moderate-level walking holiday will have you on cloud nine. Not just because you hike through both Theth and Valbona National Parks, but also because you trek to the Fields of Denelli, also known as the meadows above the clouds. Another stunning element of this walking holiday is the Grand Crossing across Valbona Pass (1,811m), with views across to Mount Arapi (2,217m). It’s also accessible for longer than TMB tours, between June and October sometimes as early as May, but this depends on Valbona Pass snow conditions. In some cases, if there is severe snow, our policy is that you are supported by a local guide. 

Pyrenees High Trails, France

This is an ideal step-up if you are looking for another challenge after the Tour du Mont Blanc. This Pyrenees High Trails tour takes place in the iconic glacial valleys, or cirques of Gavarnie, Estaubé and Troumouse. These are part of the Mont Perdu Pyrenees, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Victor Hugo described the Cirque de Gavarnie as a “colosseum of nature” and it is certainly colossal, Highlights include trekking to the top of Pic du Piméné (2,801m) where you are rewarded with views of all three cirques. This is a hut-to-hut tour over eight days, between June and September and, like the Tour du Mont Blanc, is reachable by train.

Tour du Mont Blanc alternatives
The Cirque de Gavarnie in the Pyrenees is one shining cirque du soleil.

Dachstein Alpine Circuit, Austria

A walker’s wunderland, the Dachstein massif is a limestone range in the Austrian Alps with karst landscapes, peaks, caves and glacial lakes covering a length of over 50km. Yet, it’s little known, despite its non-technical trekking trails to the likes of Hallstättersee, Donnerkogel and Hochmühleck. As well as the UNESCO village of Hallstadt. Stay the night in a mountain hut in the shadow of Mount Stoderzinken or in a hotel in the idyllic lakeside town of Gosau, as well as at other traditional mountain inns. This is a moderate to strenuous walking holiday over eight days and is available between June and September.

Corsica’s GR20, France

Corsica is, in many ways, like a natural kingdom all of its own, its colossal peaks towering over the Mediterranean, 170km from the French mainland. Its crowning glory for hikers is the GR20 trail, which takes both training and a good head for heights. GR stands for Grandes Randonnées walking trails, a network covering over 35,000km of waymarked ways in France. The GR20 is considered one of the toughest, but you are rewarded with some of France’s most exquisite elevated landscapes, such as the route between Vizzavona to Calvi on the north coast where you have to really work out to bliss out. Most of our GR20 tours are self-guided, with the exception of this guided one, which is also open to solo travellers, and all of these tours are available between June and September. 

Bastani Lake on the GR20 in Corsica, France.

For more monts and massifs, glaciers and Grandes Randonnées, check out all our walking holidays. If you are a summit seeker, here are some of our trips that take you to the top. You may also enjoy our blogs on How to prepare for a hiking tripStaying in mountain huts and Everything you need to know about the Mont Blanc hike.