On our Tour du Mont Blanc Eastern Section seven-day itinerary you will walk in the clockwise direction the eastern part of the complete tour from Martigny to Bourg Saint-Maurice and stay in comfortable private en-suite rooms on all nights, all luggage transfers included.
The trip starts in the beautiful village of Martigny in Switzerland. From here, you follow the Tour Mont Blanc route via the alpine hotspot of Courmayeur. You conquer countless mountain passes, enjoy the views on sparkling glacial lakes and will be enchanted by the views of the vast mountain valleys.
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Day 1: Arrival Martigny
The little town of Martigny lies in an idyllic spot close to the river Rhône. Go for a walk and visit the castle La Batiaz or indulge yourself in one of the many local restaurants.
- Accommodation: Hotel Vatel or similar
Day 2: Martigny – Champex | 15 km
Early in the morning by bus or by transfer to Trient. Your first hiking day starts by climbing the legendary old pass trail to Col de la Forclaz, an important junction between Rhônetal and Chamonix. From the top of the pass, a beautiful forest trail guides you up and over the Collet Portalo peak to the mountaineer station Alp Bovine. Take rest on the alpine pasture before starting heading on a spectacular descent along high cliffs and across rustling mountain brooks. A typical farmhouse with homemade products awaits you in the valley. You can stop here to take a break. A gentle climb through small villages and woods takes you to the Lac de Champex lake with its crystal clear water.
- Walking for the day: 15 km, 5h ↑900 m ↓700 m
- Accommodation: Hôtel du Glacier or similar
Day 3: Champex – La Fouly | 15 km
Good forest roads will take you down to the valley of the Dranse river; you will now follow its course through the quaint mountain villages of Valais. A beautiful path soon takes you further up, above the ravine of the mountain brook, till you reach the upper end of Swiss Val Ferret at La Fouly. You will be amazed by the sanded cliffs and massive glacier flanks that you will see all around you. A cable car ride to the panorama viewpoint is a tempting option in the afternoon, or you can enjoy total relaxation in the dreamlike alpine surroundings.
- Walking for the day: 15 km, 4-5h ↑600 m ↓450 m
- Accommodation: Hôtel Edelweiss or similar
Day 4: La Fouly – Val Ferret | 14 km
The first high pass awaits you here! After climbing the Alpe Peule, where you can stock up on supplies, you will hike on good forest roads till you reach Grand Col Ferret (2537 m). You can enjoy fascinating views of the Italian Val Ferret, which is flanked by greenery on one side and has rock edges and glaciated walls on the other. When you climb down, you will directly reach Refuge Elena, where you can sip an original espresso while enjoying the overwhelming view of the glacier from the terrace. A beautiful hiking trail along the stream will finally guide you to the valley. You will spend the night in a small chalet hotel directly at the valley head – a dreamlike, idyllic spot.
- Walking for the day: 14 km, 5-6h ↑1000 m ↓800 m
- Accommodation: Chalet Val Ferret or similar
Day 5: Val Ferret – Courmayeur | 16-19 km
Your first climb in the morning will bring you to a tremendous alpine path, which offers a beautiful mountain view and leads to Refuge Bonatti. You must not miss the halt at this legendary alpine hut! At this point, you have to make a choice: you can take the shorter and more levelled route along the mountain flank, or you can cross two more passes and hike on the alpine path across the summits. Both offer a great alpine experience! Both routes meet in the cosy Rifugio Bertone, where cappuccino and cakes await the hikers. You will reach the pretty Italian town of Courmayeur in the afternoon. It is famous for its great alpine history and its panoramic views of Mont Blanc. The beautiful pedestrian area, well-kept bars and cafés attract people to visit this place.
- Walking for the day: 19 km, 7-8h ↑1100 m ↓1600 m (easier alternative route: 16 km, 4-5h ↑550 m ↓1100 m)
- Accommodation: Hotel Berthod or similar
Day 6: Courmayeur – Ville des Glaciers – Bourg Saint-Maurice | 15 km
In the morning, transfer/by bus (depending on the season) to Chalet du Miage. On the sixth day, you will hike through the Veny valley, where you will discover impressive lateral moraines, bizarre limestone formations and hidden glacial lakes. Through the wide valley floor, you will hike to the alpine club hut called Rifugio Elisabetta. You can enjoy delicious Italian cottage specialities on its terrace. Via the Col de la Seigne (2516 m) pass, you will now reach the region of Hoch-Savoyen in France! Your destination is Vallée des Glaciers (valley of glaciers), formerly an alpine pasture, where you can grab a quick bite surrounded by numerous herds of cows. In the afternoon, you will be transported from Ville des Glaciers to Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
- Walking for the day: 15 km, 5h ↑850 m ↓750 m
- Accommodation: Hotel Arolla or similar
Day 7: Departure
Departure or extra nights in Bourg Saint-Maurice. We recommend a walk through the typically French Alps location, a ride on the funicular into the hiking region of Arcs and a visit to the Isère river before heading back home.
What to Expect
Accommodation is in 3-star hotels and guesthouses in private en-suite double/twin rooms. 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.
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*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.
All breakfasts are included as well as one dinner in Val Ferret. 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 a la carte menu in your accommodation.
Difficulty & terrain
This holiday is appropriate for experienced walkers and requires an excellent level of fitness; you will walk 5-6 hours a day (up to 8 hours on some days if you do not use the shorter alternatives). Though there are almost no exposed sites, one needs to be sure-footed for the treks across the high mountain passes (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 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.
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Our recommended airport for this holiday is Geneva (GVA).
By train or bus
- The direct train journey takes 1.5 hours from Geneva. From Zurich, it is approximately 2.5–3 hours via Visp. Limited amount of parking spaces close to the railway station in Martigny are available, CHF 10.- per day.
- Martigny is easily reachable from London by train, journey time is about 8.5 hours – see more details or use the Omio planner above).
- 6 nights in a mix of 3-star hotels and comfortable guesthouses (private en-suite rooms)
- 6 breakfasts and 1 dinner (Val Ferret)
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days
- Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps (1 set per room)
- 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 & supplements
- A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
- Extra nights in Martigny and Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Regarding the TMB, it is spectacular experience for anyone who enjoys hiking and gorgeous scenery.
Our experiences with The Natural Adventure Company were great. They provided a number for emergencies, and while we called for 2 small things, they were quick to resolve any issues. We found the GPS maps very helpful and the advance information about travel restrictions related to COVID helpful (even if they were rapidly evolving).
The hotels were generally quite good and the bag transfer day to day was smooth.
Our only small suggestions would be:
1) the package of materials with our luggage tags and a waterproof pouch with maps arrived by mail to our first hotel, but they didn’t give it to us at check-in. We had to call the emergency number and then we asked a hotel employee and she was able to locate it. I think the whole process would be easier if the packet was mailed to the travelers instead.
2) provide good local links for weather reports. We nearly skipped a day of hiking because one forecast we saw called for possible thunderstorms, but others didn’t. It would be great to have a few resources for really local weather, because the Chamonix website can’t really accurately tell you what’s going on in Courmayeur on the opposite side of the mountains.