Mont Blanc is one of the highest mountains in Europe (4,807m) and generous in its greatness, reaching into France, Italy and Switzerland. The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB), which circumnavigates the massif, is also one of Europe’s greatest long-distance trails. This Tour du Mont Blanc from Martigny route starts and ends in Switzerland, takes you in an anti-clockwise direction. Accommodation is in 3-star hotels and guesthouses, in double or twin private en-suite rooms, with just one night in a mountain hut, and only if the hotels are booked out. Luggage transfers throughout. This holiday is open to solo travellers.
If you prefer to spend most nights in dormitories, take a look at our Tour du Mont Blanc Hut to Hut itinerary from Les Houches. You can also consider our In Comfort itinerary from Les Houches.
- Les Contamines
- Mont Blanc Massif
- Val Ferret
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Day 1: Arrival Martigny
The small of Martigny lies in an idyllic spot close to the River Rhône. Go for a walk and visit the castle La Batiaz or enjoy some of the fine local restaurants.
- Accommodation: Hotel Vatel or similar
Day 2: Trient – Argentière | 15km
Early in the morning, by bus or private transfer (depending on the season), you get toTrient. Your first hiking day starts by climbing the Col de Balme (2,191m), where you can have a short rest at a traditional mountain lodge. It offers fantastic views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley. You then descend into the grassy Sattel, where you can see grazing livestock and mountain pastures. Continue along the impressive Kammweg (ridgeway) over the summit of Aiguillette des Posettes, with a panoramic view of the surrounding glaciers. Then there is a steep descent down to a mountain stream to Argentière.
- Walking for the day: 15km, 5-6h ↑1,100m ↓1,000m
- Accommodation: Hotel Le Dahu or similar
Day 3: Argentière – Chamonix | 14km
This is the most spectacular leg of this Tour du Mont Blanc. Using well-secured ladders, climb steep rocks to reach Lac Blanc. In the afternoon, follow the path across the Grand Balcon, a tremendous alpine route, to Planpraz, which has a café at an altitude of 2,000m. Here you can take the cable car and glide down to the legendary mountaineering hub of Chamonix.
- Walking for the day: 14km, 5-6h ↑1,050m ↓3,500m (easier option by cable cars/funicular: ↑350m ↓600m)
- Accommodation: Hotel Oustalet or similar
Day 4: Chamonix – Les Houches | 12km
Take the cable car up to 2,000m and you are not very far from Col du Brévent (2,368m), from where you climb to the peak of Brévent. From the viewing platform, considered to be one of the best lookout posts on Mont Blanc, take in the amazing views of glaciers and peaks. A beautiful hiking trail passes Lac du Brévent and descends to Bel-Lachat’s shelter. You can take some rest here before resuming the steep climb, which takes you past the Parc de Merlet’s forest and into the valley to Les Houches.
- Walking for the day: 12km, 5h, ↑500m ↓1,500m
- Accommodation: Hotel du Bois or similar
Day 5: Les Houches – Les Contamines | 10-18km
Experience the famous Mont Blanc tram from close quarters, walking alongside its tracks for a stretch of the hike. An alpine path guides you to an impressive suspension bridge which takes you over a glacial river. You then hike through mountain meadows to Col de Tricot (2,120m) and climb down to the Miage huts. After a further ascent, you reach a perfect rest stop at Truc-Alpe. Grab a bite while listening to the bells of grazing cows. Your goal, Les Contamines, is in the Montjoie valley, which is famous for its delicious cheeses from the surrounding alpine pastures. Do visit one of the cheese dairies if you get a chance.
- Walking for the day: 18km, 7-8h ↑1,350m ↓1,150m (easier option by cable cars/funicular: 10km, 4-5h ↑550m ↓1,150m)
- Chalet-Hôtel La Chemenaz or similar
Day 6: Les Contamines – Les Chapieux – Bourg-Saint-Maurice | 17km
Today’s trek takes you along a former Roman path, over gurgling ravines, past glacial lakes and with ascents to two cols. The trail passes the southernmost point of the Mont Blanc massif, with great views again. You start the day walking leisurely along the river to the Baroque Notre Dame de la Gorge church, where you start a long ascent to Col du Bonhomme (2,329m) and Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2,450m). Take a rest at Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme. The last descent takes you to Vallée des Glaciers and the small hamlet of Les Chapieux. A short transfer form Les Chapieux brings you to Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
- Walking for the day: 17km, 7-8h ↑1,300m ↓900m
- Accommodation: Hotel Arolla or similar
Day 7: Bourg-Saint-Maurice – Courmayeur | 15km
A short transfer takes you up to the Vallée des Glaciers. From there you climb up to Col de la Seigne, where you cross the border from France into Italy. You then hike through fields studded with flowers to Rifugio Elisabetta for a break. A short diversion to Lago di Miage is worth it before you take the bus or transfer (depending on the season) to Courmayeur, the home of great mountain guides and mountaineers.
- Walking for the day: 15km, 4-5h ↑750m ↓850m
- Accommodation: Hotel Berthod or similar
Day 8: Courmayeur – Val Ferret | 16km
Walk on a scenic mountain path to Rifugio Bertone, another great place for a rest with splendid views of the massif. The path takes you further over bridges and brooks to Arnouva, located at an elevation of 1,800m at the top of Val Ferret.
- Walking for the day: 16km, 5-6h ↑1,000m ↓550m
- Accommodation (depending on the availability): Chalet Val Ferret; Refuge Elena (dormitory room with shared facilities) or Hotel Courmayeur (with bus transfer down to the valley)
Day 9: Val Ferret – La Fouly | 14km
Today you hike over Col Ferret (2,500m) to Wallis. Rest in one of the mountain lodges before continuing on through idyllic mountain pastures to La Fouly.
- Walking for the day: 14km, 4-5h ↑800m ↓1,000m
- Accommodation: Hôtel Edelweiss or similar
Day 10: La Fouly – Champex | 15km
The glacial blue Dranse River accompanies you on your hike past high mountains towards the valley through forests, meadows and traditional mountain villages. At the end of the hike, the Murmeltierweg takes you up to Champex, a mountain location famous for its expansive forests and crystal clear lake.
- Walking for the day: 15km, 4-5h ↑450m ↓600m
- Accommodation: Hôtel du Glacier or similar
Day 11: Champex – Martigny | 15km
Beautiful forest and meadow paths take you down to Alpe am Plan de l’Au, where a long ascent begins to the higher pastures. Climb up to the Bovine lodge with panoramic views of the Rhone valley and bizarre shaped rocky peaks, where you can rest among gentians and alpine roses. Then continue on to Trient, famous for its impressive glaciers on the surrounding mountain peaks. Take a bus or private transfer (depending on the season) down to Martigny.
- Walking for the day: 15km, 5h ↑700m ↓900m
- Accommodation: Hotel Vatel or similar
Day 12: Departure
Departure or extra nights in Martigny.
What to expect
Accommodation is in 3-star hotels and guesthouses, in double or twin private en-suite rooms. One overnight in a mixed gender dormitory with shared bathroom facilities (Val Ferret). They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism.
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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.
All breakfasts are included. Lunch packs for the next day can be pre-ordered at each accommodation. For dinner, you can visit one of the restaurants in the villages or order from the à la carte menu in your accommodation. Dinner in Val Ferret is included.
Difficulty and terrain
This holiday is appropriate for experienced walkers and requires an excellent level of fitness; you will walk 5-6h a day (up to 8h on some days). There are some exposed sections – enduring sure-footedness, and head for heights are a must! The first part of this tour is more difficult, and things get easier past Bourg-Saint-Maurice (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 early July till the beginning of September. 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.
Regularly updated weather forecasts for the area are available here and here. Detailed month-by-month climate info is available here.
FCO up-to-date travel advice on Switzerland, France and Italy.
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Our recommended airport for this holiday is Geneva (GVA).
By train or bus
- The direct train journey takes 1.5h from Geneva. From Zurich, it is approximately 2.5–3h via Visp. Limited amount of parking spaces close to the railway station in Martigny are available, CHF10 per day.
- Martigny is easily reachable from London by train, journey time is about 8.5h – see more details or use the Omio planner above).
- 10 nights in a mix of 3-star hotels and comfortable guesthouses (private en-suite rooms), 1 night in a dormitory with shared facilities (Val Ferret)
- 11 breakfasts and 1 dinner (Val Ferret)
- Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps (1 set per room)
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (1 piece of luggage per person, max 15kg)
- Private transfers as listed in the itinerary
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners (except in Val Ferret), drinks and snacks
- Eventual bus transfers and cable cars to shorten the walks
- 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
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.
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights in Martigny