Mont Blanc is by no doubt one of the most beautiful massifs of the Alps, and the Tour du Mont Blanc has become one of the most iconic walks in the world. On our Tour du Mont Blanc from Martigny itinerary you will walk the complete tour 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 in the classic counter-clockwise direction the Tour Mont Blanc route via the alpine hotspots Chamonix and 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: Trient – Argentière | 15 km
Early in the morning, by bus or private transfer (depending on the season), you reach Trient. Your first hiking day starts by climbing the Col de Balme (2191 m) pass, where you can have a short rest in a quaint mountain lodge. It offers fantastic views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix valley. You will then descend into the grassy Sattel, where you can see grazing livestock and mountain pastures. The impressive Kammweg (ridgeway) over the summit of Aiguillette des Posettes will now take you through rocky terrain with a panoramic view of the surrounding glaciers. You will cope with the descent on a steep trail, which later takes you along the mountain stream to your destination.
- Walking for the day: 15 km, 5-6 h ↑1100 m ↓1000 m
- Accommodation: Hotel Le Dahu or similar
Day 3: Argentière – Chamonix | 14 km
Day 3 is the most spectacular leg of the Mont Blanc tour: on well-secured ladders, you will climb steep rocks to reach the light-blue shining mountain lake called Lac Blanc. In the afternoon, the path across the “Grand Balcon”, a tremendous alpine route, will take you along the mountain slope and through blueberry fields to Plan Praz, which has a café at an altitude of 2000 m! Here you can take the cable car and glide down to the legendary mountaineering hub of Chamonix. A stroll through the magnificent pedestrian area with colourfully decorated houses is a treat for the eyes!
- Walking for the day: 14 km, 5-6 h ↑1050 m ↓3500 m (easier option by cable cars/funicular: ↑350 m ↓600 m)
- Accommodation: Hotel Oustalet or similar
Day 4: Chamonix – Les Houches | 12 km
On day 4, you will ride the cable car to climb up to 2000 m. You are not very far from pass Col du Brévent (2368 m), from where you will climb the impressive boulders of the panoramic peak of Brévent. From the viewing platform, which is known as the “best lookout post on Mont Blanc”, you can take in amazing views of the glaciers and the peaks. A beautiful hiking trail passes the bizarre shaped mountain lake of Lac du Brévent and descends into Bel-Lachat’s shelter. You can take some rest here before resuming the steep climb, which will take you past the Alpine Wildpark Merlet through the forest and into the valley. You will stay the night in one of the many small hamlets in the municipality of Les Houches situated in the valley of the river Arve, which gets its water from the glaciers.
- Walking for the day: 12 km, 5 h ↑500 m ↓1500 m
- Accommodation: Hotel du Bois or similar
Day 5: Les Houches – Les Contamines | 10-18 km
Experience the famous “Mont Blanc tram” from close quarters and walk along its tracks for a stretch of the hike. From Bellevue, you can view the imposing end station of the daringly constructed rack railway next to the ice field. An alpine path guides you to an adventurous suspension bridge that you need to cross to walk over a rustling glacial stream. You will then hike through mountain meadows to the Col de Tricot (2120 m) pass and climb down to the Miage huts. After a further climb, you will reach the cosy resting destination of Truc-Alpe. Grab a bite while listening to the bells of grazing cows. Your goal, Les Contamines, is situated in the Montjoie valley, which is famous for its delicious cheeses from the numerous surrounding alpine pastures. Don’t forget to visit one of the cheese dairies and taste the Savoy cheese with red wine and a fresh baguette.
- Walking for the day: 18 km, 7-8 h ↑1350 m ↓1150 m (easier option by cable cars/funicular: 10 km, 4-5 h ↑550 m ↓1150 m)
- Chalet-Hôtel La Chemenaz or similar
Day 6: Les Contamines – Les Chapieux – Bourg Saint-Maurice | 17 km
Today you will hike on the paths tread by Romans over gurgling ravines, see stone types of varied colours, get views of glacial lakes and climb two high pass crossings. The trail passes the southernmost point of the Mont Blanc massif, where you can enjoy unending vistas of the southern part of the mountain massif of the French Alps. You will first walk leisurely along the river to the baroque pilgrimage church Notre Dame de la Gorge, from where you can start with the long climb to the top of the passes: on a rocky alpine path from Col du Bonhomme (2329 m) to pass Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2450 m). Replenish yourself at Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme, a traditional shelter of the French Alpine Club. The last descent across alpine pastures with mountain brooks flowing through them leads you to Vallée des Glaciers (valley of glaciers) to the small hamlet of Les Chapieux. A short transfer form Les Chapieux will bring you down to your overnight accommodation location – Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
- Walking for the day: 17 km, 7-8 h ↑1300 m ↓900 m
- Accommodation: Hotel Arolla or similar
Day 7: Bourg Saint Maurice – Courmayeur | 15 km
A short transfer takes you up to the Vallée des Glaciers, the valley of the glacier. From there you climb up to the Col de la Seigne pass, where you cross the border from France to Italy and enjoy fantastic panoramic views. You then hike through fields studded with flowers to the Rifugio Elisabetta, a traditional Italian mountaineering lodge. A side trip to the turquoise glacier lake Lacs de Miage is enticing 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: 15 km, 4-5 h ↑750 m ↓850 m
- Accommodation: Hotel Berthod or similar
Day 8: Courmayeur – Val Ferret | 16 km
Passing by Rifugio Bertone, you walk on a scenic mountain path along the mountain flank. The Rifugio Bonatti mountain lodge will welcome you for a short rest on the terrace, directly opposite the massif of Mont-Blanc. The path takes you further over bridges and brooks to Arnouva, located at the height of 1800m in the valley head of the idyllic Val Ferret.
- Walking for the day: 16 km, 5-6h ↑1000m ↓550m
- Accommodation: Chalet Val Ferret or similar
Day 9: Val Ferret – La Fouly | 14 km
Today, you will hike over the 2500m high Col Ferret pass in Switzerland and reach beautiful Wallis. Rest in one of the mountain lodges and enjoy fresh milk products and the ringing cowbells on your way further towards your destination of La Fouly.
- Walking for the day: 14 km, 4-5 h ↑800 m ↓1000 m
- Accommodation: Hôtel Edelweiss or similar
Day 10: La Fouly – Champex | 15 km
The blue alpine river of Dranse accompanies you on your hike past high mountain walls towards the valley through forests and meadows. Small traditional mountain villages with their typical stone houses and cornfields are a feast for the eyes on the relaxed hike through the valley. In the end, Murmeltierweg (ground-hog route) takes you up to Champex, a mountain location famous for its expansive forests and crystal clear lake.
- Walking for the day: 15 km, 4-5 h ↑450 m ↓600 m
- Accommodation: Hôtel du Glacier or similar
Day 11: Champex – Martigny | 15 km
Beautiful forest and meadow paths take you down to Alpe am Plan de l’Au, where a long ascent begins to the higher pastures. You 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. Now you walk to Trient, famous for its rose-pink church and impressive glaciers on the surrounding mountain peaks. By bus or transfer (depending on the season) down to Martigny.
- Walking for the day: 15 km, 5 h ↑700 m ↓900 m
- Accommodation: Hotel Vatel or similar
Day 12: Departure
Departure or extra nights in Martigny.
What to Expect
Accommodation is in nice 3-star hotels and guesthouses, in double or twin private en-suite 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. 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). 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.
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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).
- 11 nights in a mix of 3-star hotels and comfortable guesthouses (private en-suite rooms)
- 11 breakfasts
- 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
- Private transfers as listed in the itinerary
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, 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; solo travellers, however, can book the hut to hut version of the tour
- Extra nights in Martigny
We had a wonderful time on this adventure. It was well organized for a challenging but doable amount of physical effort. Each day had beautiful views of the different aspects of the Mont Blanc Massif. We were given all the maps and directions we needed to stay on track, and the check-ins at hotels and luggage transfers were seamless. We especially appreciated the fact that all this was arranged for us with less than a month of notice. We would highly recommend this walk for those who prefer hotel stays rather than mountain huts - although we were booked one night in a private room at the Refugio Elena, which gave us a taste of that version of trekking stay. Thank you, Natural Adventure Company!