This is the traditional 12 day, anti-clockwise Tour du Mont Blanc circuit in comfort, starting and ending at Les Houches in the Chamonix Valley. Walk 11-18km per day, with some strenuous stretches but all sublimely beautiful ones, with a few options to transfer by cable car for a cool shortcut. Highlights along the way include crossing Col de la Seigne from France into Italy, the tour’s highest point at Fenêtre d’Arpette (2,665m), followed by a descent alongside the Trient Glacier. Accommodation is mostly in small, comfortable mountain hotels with one night in a mountain hut with mixed gender dorms. Luggage transfers are included on this trip, however, on day four, you need to take an overnight bag as Rifugio Elisabetta isn’t reachable for transfers.
If you prefer to spend most nights in traditional TMB mountain huts, take a look at our other Tour du Mont Blanc Circuit itinerary.
- Col de la Croix du Bonhomme
- Col de la Seigne
- Glacier de Miage
- Alpine towns of Chamonix and Courmayeur
- Lac Champex
- Grand Col Ferret
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrival Les Houches
Welcome to the village of Les Houches, which sits on the banks for the river l’Arve just 6km from Chamonix.
- Accommodation: Hotel du Bois, 3-star (or similar), half-board
Day 2: Les Houches – Les Contamines | 4-5h
Take the cable car to Bellevue, making for an easier first day, cutting out the first ascent. The TMB path contours through the forest high above Bionnassay Valley while passing through pretty hamlets in the foothills of the Alps, with excellent views of Mont Blanc. The Dôme du Gouter and Aiguille de Bionnassay dominate today’s views with the impressive Bionnassay Glacier between them. Climb up Col de Tricot and start your descent following a series of switchbacks to Chalet de Miage. Following a riverside path, this is a beautiful approach into Les Contamines at the end of the day.
- Walking for the day: 4-5h, approx. 12.9km, ↑380m ↓1,010m
- Accommodation: Hôtel La Gélinotte, 2-star (or similar), half-board
Day 3: Les Contamines – Les Chapieux | 7-8h
Begin with a short transfer to Notre Dame de la Gorge, before traversing Col du Bonhomme and Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, then descending into Chapieux Valley. Today is also one for remarkable panoramas of Aiguille des Glaciers.
- Walking for the day: 7-8h, approx. 15.3km ↑1,380m ↓980m (with transfer) / 8-9h without transfer
- Accommodation: Private room at mountain lodge Auberge de la Nova (or similar), half-board
PLEASE NOTE: If accommodation in Les Chapieux isn’t available, we will book you into a hotel in Bourg-Saint-Maurice at a supplemental cost. Depending on availability, the hotel would be either a 2-star or a 3-star with breakfast only. If this is the case, you can take the bus from Les Chapieux to Bourg-Saint-Maurice and return in the morning. In low season a private transfer may be required.
Day 4: Les Chapieux – Rifugio Elisabetta | 5-6h
During the high season, take advantage of the local shuttle to Ville des Glaciers, shortening the day. From there, embark on a hike over Col de la Seigne, crossing into the Italian side of the border. Throughout your descent, there are some fantastic vistas of Aiguilles of Peuterey.
PLEASE NOTE: luggage transfer to your next accommodation is not possible today. Instead, it transported directly from Les Chapieux to Courmayeur where you stay on day/night five.
- Walking for the day: 5-6h, approx. 14km, ↑1030m ↓390m / 10km with transfer
- Accommodation: Rifugio Elisabetta (mixed gender dormitory rooms), half-board. There is no option for private rooms here.
Day 5: Rifugio Elisabetta – Courmayeur | 4-5h
Hike along one the most magnificent balconies of the TMB, until you reach Chécrouit Pass, where you have the choice to descend to Courmayeur either by walking or a convenient cable car shortcut. Courmayeur is a vibrant mountain town and a great place to book an extra day.
- Walking for the day: 4-5h approx. 15.5km ↑520m ↓1500m
- Accommodation: Hotel Bouton d’Or, 3-star (or similar) in Courmayeur, bed and breakfast
Day 6: Val Ferret – La Fouly | 5-6h
Take a bus to Val Ferret (Arp Nouvaz) and cross Grand Col Ferret to arrive at the quaint but beautiful village of La Fouly in Switzerland. Take in exceptional views over Combins massif in the east and the Italian side of Mont Blanc.
- Walking for the day: 5-6h approx. 14.5km ↑810m ↓975m
- Accommodation: Hôtel Edelweiss, 3-star (or similar) in La Fouly, half-board
Day 7: La Fouly – Champex-Lac | 5-6h
A tranquil hike through one of the most beautiful valleys of Switzerland’s Valais. Ascend towards the village of Champex (1,470m) , home to a spectacular glacial lake that shares the village’s name.
- Walking for the day: 5-6h approx. 15km ↑535m ↓670m
- Accommodation: Hotel du Glacier, half-board
Day 8: Champex-Lac – Trient (or La Forclaz) | 8-9h
Today’s journey leads to the highest point of your TMB adventure as you traverse Fenêtre d’Arpette (2,665m). Enjoy breathtaking panoramas as you continue along Trient glacier. In the event of inclement weather, an alternative route via Col de Bovine is highly recommended and offers a shorter yet equally rewarding day’s walk.
- Walking for the day: 8-9h, approx. 15km, ↑1,195m ↓1,350m, or 5-6h ↑770m ↓945m (shorter option via Col de Bovine, especially during bad weather).
- Accommodation: La Grande Ourse (or similar), private rooms, half-board
Day 9: La Forclaz (or Trient) – Argentière | 7-8h
Hike over Col de la Balme and be treated to spectacular views of the Mont Blanc and Aiguille Verte. Descend back into France along the scenic crest of the Aiguillette des Posettes, or in inclement weather take the lower direct route via le Tour.
- Walking for the day: 7-8h approx 15.8km ↑1,170m ↓1,230m
- Accommodation: Hotel Le Dahu, 2-star (or similar) in Argentière, bed and breakfast
Day 10: Argentière – Chamonix | 7-8h
Take in the beauty of Balcon des Aiguilles Rouges, followed by a trek up to Lac Blanc. The journey today is adorned with natural highlights, including Aiguille Verte, Les Drus, Mer de Glace, Aiguilles de Chamonix, Mont Blanc du Tacul, Aiguille du Goûter, and, of course, the magnificent Mont Blanc itself. Descend to Chamonix on foot, or enjoy an easy ride down by cable car from Planpraz. You can opt to shorten the day by taking the cable car at La Flégère and a local bus (transfers not included).
- Walking for the day: 7-8h approx. 15.5km, ↑1,435m, ↓685m
- Accommodation: Hotel Vallée Blanche, 3-star (or similar), bed and breakfast
Day 11: Chamonix – Les Houches | 6-7h
f the weather is good and it’s not the beginning of the season (when there is more of a risk of snow), you can take the cable car from Chamonix to Planpraz and walk to Les Houches via Col du Brevent. Or take a cable car from Planpraz to Le Brevent down to Les Houches (only after end of June). Take a the train or bus from Les Houches back to Chamonix. Another option is just to call this a rest day and enjoy strolling around Chamonix.
- Walking for the day: 6-7h ↑515m ↓1,540m
- Accommodation: Hotel Vallée Blanche, 3-star (or similar), bed and breakfast
Day 12: Departure or extra nights
Chamonix is a great place to spend a couple of days, and we recommend that you add some extra nights here. There is superb walking in Aiguilles Rouges National Nature Reserve, take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi (3,795m) or the train to the Montenvers on the Mer de Glace.
What to expect
Accommodation in double en-suite rooms in 3-star hotels in Les Houches, Courmayeur, La Fouly, Argentières and Chamonix and 2-star hotel in Les Contamines. Accommodation in double rooms in lodges in Les Chapieux, Arpette (or Trient), with an en-suite bathroom (en-suite bathrooms in the lodges, however, cannot be guaranteed and the price will not be reduced in case there is no en-suite available). One night in a mixed gender dormitory at Rifugio Elisabetta with shared facilities. Accommodation has been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism.
Click to view default hotels
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen 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 Argentière, Chamonix and Courmayeur which are booked on a B&B basis. Lunch packs for next day can be pre-ordered at each accommodation.
Difficulty and terrain
This holiday is appropriate for experienced walkers and requires an excellent level of fitness; you will walk 5-7h a day (up to 9h 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 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 mid-June till mid-September. Regularly updated weather forecasts for the area are available here and here. Detailed month-by-month climate info is available here. 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.
Click to view travel options
Our recommended airport for this holiday is Geneva (GVA).
By train or bus
By shuttle: Our recommendation is to take a shuttle with Mountain Drop-offs from Geneva airport, our Adventure Specialist can help you arrange this.
By car: Take Highway A40, exit to St-Gervais-le Fayet and expressway (4 lanes) to Les Houches.
By train: From Geneva, take a train to Saint-Gervais-Le Fayet TGV station. From here it’s 17km to Les Houches and the journey on a local train takes around half an hour.
- 5 nights in 3-star hotels, 1 night in a 2-star hotel (private en-suite rooms), 3 nights in private rooms in mountain huts (with or without en suite facilities), 1 night in a dormitory room with shared facilities
- 11 breakfasts
- 7 dinners
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (one piece of luggage per person, max 15kg) except on day four – your main luggage will be transferred directly from the day three to the day five accommodation
- Private transfer on day three
- Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- All lunches, and dinners not mentioned as included, drinks and snacks
- Luggage transfer on day four
- Eventual bus transfers and cable cars to shorten the walks (Courmayeur, Champex, Chamonix)
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
- If staying in Bourg-Saint-Maurice on day two before 25 June and after 27 August, private return transfer will be required with a supplement.
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own. – only possible for hotel accommodation.
- This holiday is not available for solo travellers
- Extra nights in Les Houches, Courmayeur or Chamonix
- Printed pre-departure materials