This Tour du Mont Blanc highlights walking tour takes you on an eight day adventure along the world-famous trail that circumnavigates Europe’s iconic mountain (4,807m). As well as through France, Italy and Switzerland, all home to the massif. By trekking the highlights, you skip some of the tougher treks, making it a moderate walking holiday without the more strenuous stretches. Walk in an anti-clockwise direction, starting in Les Contamines and finishing in Chamonix, experiencing all the main highs en route. Accommodation is mostly in mixed gender dormitories in mountain huts, except for the first and last nights.
Private rooms in hotels and huts, with en-suite facilities, are available on our Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights in Comfort itinerary.
- Col du Bonhomme
- Grand Col Ferret
- Lac Blanc
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Day 1: Arrival to Les Contamines-Montjoie
Welcome to the traditional alpine village of Les Contamines-Montjoie. A short warm-up walk is possible depending on your arrival time.
- Accommodation: Hôtel La Gélinotte or similar in Contamines-Montjoie
Day 2: Les Contamines-Montjoie – Les Chapieux | 7-8h
Today begins with a transfer to Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge. The route then climbs over Col du Bonhomme and Col de la Croix du Bonhomme providing views over Aiguille des Glaciers, before descending into Les Chapieux.
- Walking for the day: 7-8h, ↑1,380m, ↓980m
- Accommodation: Auberge La Nova or similar in Les Chapieux
If accommodation in Les Chapieux isn’t available, we will book you into a hotel in Bourg-Saint-Maurice (supplemental cost). Depending on availability, the hotel is 2-3-star with breakfast included. Take the bus between Les Chapieux and Bourg-Saint-Maurice and return via the same route the next morning. In low season a private transfer may be required.
Day 3: Les Chapieux – Val Ferret | 7-8h
Today begins with an optional shuttle journey to shorten the morning walk. The route then heads over Col de la Seigne into Italy, providing views of Mont Blanc and Aiguille Noire de Peuterey. Descend into Val Ferret and take the bus from La Visaille to Courmayeur. Enjoy some lunch in this iconic mountain town, before catching a bus to Arp Nouvaz, close to the Pré de Bar glacier.
- Walking for the day: 7-8h, ↑1,277m, ↓875m
- Accommodation: Rifugio Elena or similar in Val Ferret
Day 4: Val Ferret – Champex-Lac | 5-6h
Leaving Italy behind, cross Grand Col Ferret, admiring the view over to Grand Combine in the east, before entering Switzerland and the village of La Fouly. A short transfer by local bus brings you to Champex-Lac and from here, a short walk (45mins) takes you to your accommodation.
- Walking for the day: 5-6h, ↑1,009m, ↓945m
- Accommodation: Le Relais Arpette or similar in Champex-Lac
Day 5: Champex-Lac – Vallée du Trient | 7-8h
Today’s route ascends to the highest point of the trip, Fenêtre d’Arpette (2,665m), before continuing along the Trient glacier. There is an alternative, shorter itinerary today, which is recommended if the weather is inclement.
- Walking for the day: 7-8h, ↑1,193m, ↓1,351m (full version) or 5-6h, ↑772m, ↓945m (shorter option)
- Accommodation: La Forclaz or similar in Vallée du Trient
Day 6: Vallée du Trient – Le Tour | 5-6h
Return to France via Col de la Balme and enjoy views of Mont Blanc and Aiguille Verte. From here, there are two paths to choose from for the descent into Le Tour.
- Walking for the day: 5-6h, ↑975m, ↓811m
- Accommodation: Chalet de Tour or similar in Le Tour
Day 7: Le Tour – Chamonix | 7-8h
Take in the beauty of Balcon des Aiguilles Rouges, before trekking up to Lac Blanc. Natural highlights today include Aiguille Verte, Aiguilles du Dru, Mer de Glace, Aiguilles de Chamonix, Mont Blanc du Tacul, Aiguille du Goûter and of course, Mont Blanc itself. Descend to Chamonix via Le Praz. There is also the option of taking the cable car at La Flégère or the local bus (transfers not included).
- Walking for the day: 7-8h, ↑1,449, ↓ 917
- Accommodation: Vallée Blanche or similar in Chamonix
Day 8: Departure
Chamonix is a great base to spend a couple of days and we would recommend adding extra nights here. There are multiple walks in Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve or you can take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi (3,842m) or the train to Mer de Glace.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour is predominantly in lodges with mixed-gender dormitories and shared bathroom facilities, with the exception of the first and last nights which are in 2-3-star hotels. They have 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.
Breakfast is included on seven days, and dinner is included on six days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your accommodation the night before.
Difficulty and terrain
This holiday is for experienced walkers and requires a very good level of fitness. No high mountain experience is required (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to only follow marked trails and never shorten the path through unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed route notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed information on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available from 15 June-15 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. Please indicate your desired start date when booking. Please note that availability may be limited during big events such as the Marathon du Mont-Blanc at the end of June and the UTMB trail running event at the end of August.
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Our recommended airport for this holiday is Geneva (GVA).
By train or bus
Arrival in Les Contamines-Montjoie
Shuttle bus: Take the Mountain Drop-offs shuttle service from Geneva Airport. This can be arranged with your booking for an additional cost.
Car: Free but unguarded parking is available in Les Contamines-Montjoie. At the end of the tour, you will need to take either the SAT Mont Blanc bus or Taxi Besson from Chamonix back to Les Contamines-Montjoie.
Train: Take a train to Saint-Gervais-les-Bains railway station followed by a taxi or bus to Les Contamines-Montjoie.
Taxi: From Geneva airport, a taxi for one to eight people is approximately €300.
- 2 nights in 2-3-star hotels with private en-suite
- 5 nights in mountain huts (mixed gender dormitories with shared facilities)
- 7 breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- Luggage transfers from and to the hotel on all walking days (1 piece of luggage per person, max 15kg)
- Private transfer on day two
- Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS tracks, regularly updated route descriptions and maps with daily routes and optional hikes
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, drinks and snacks
- Dinner on day seven
- Bus fare on day three, Les Chapieux – Seloge
- Any transfers not listed as included
- 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 (only possible on the first and last nights)
- We regret that this holiday is not available for solo travellers
- Extra nights in Les Contamines-Montjoie or Chamonix
- Luggage transfers opt-out: if you prefer to carry your luggage, rather than have it transferred by us, this will reduce the price. Please note this option has to be selected for all travellers.