Walking and Cycling tours in France France - Alps - Tour du Mont Blanc Circuit - Self-guided

France - Alps - Tour du Mont Blanc Circuit - Self-guided

The Tour du Mont Blanc is undoubtedly the most renowned walking trail in the Alps that runs 180km (112 miles) around the  Mont Blanc, starting and finishing in Les Houches near Chamonix. This is the highest peak of Europe rising at 4807 m and a must do for all mountain hikers.

This famous and mythical Alpine trek takes place in surroundings of outstanding beauty close to the glaciers and offers a real adventure for trekking lovers in 3 countries : France, Italy and Switzerland.

You are likely to see marmots, ibex and other wild life and be delighted by the fairy-tale like hamlets.

OUR LOCAL EXPERT located in Savoy was a pioneer in  the so called TMB as a self-guided tour nearly 20 years ago.

This is a self-guided hike which means you are your own guide, with a precise road book and detailed map.

Your luggage is carried from stage to stage: you only have to carry a small day backpack. The accommodation both in hotels and huts have been tested for many years and carefully chosen. You will sleep in “2 or 4 bed mini dormitory” in huts, with breakfasts and dinners  included.

This route is a large circle around the Mont Blanc which starts by the Val Montjoie  and the Glacier Valley which are home to a strong pastoralism economy. The Col de la Seigne marks the entrance to Italy, in front of the breathtaking Brenva slope of Mont Blanc towering over the Val Veni and Courmayer. After ascending the Val Ferret in Italy, at the foot of the Grandes Jaurasses, you reach the peaceful Val Ferret in Switzerland. The trekking ends by the amazing landscapes of the Red Needles Balcony and Chamonix Valley 

Day 1

Meeting point at 9:30 sharp at the train station of Chamonix. You are ready to hike with a backpack including the things of the day, a water bottle and your trekking shoes. The taxi will be there to take your luggage and you start the walk to the Petit Balcon Sud. In front of the famous needles of the Mont Blanc that you can now identify, walk to the Houches to take the Bellevue cable-car. A hillside path leads you to the frontal tongue of Bionassay Glacier. Night in Bionassay, above the Contamines Montjoie valley. Elevation gain : +630/-1160 Length : 15 km/9.30 miles Walking time : 5h30 Elevation gain : +630/-1160 Length : 15 km/9.30 miles Walking time : 5h30

Day 2

The hiking day starts gently but then climbs up through forests and clearings on the steep mountain sides above the Gruvaz Gorges. The V valley cut by the creek turns into the U glacier valley of the Pastures of Miage (1559m). A real paradise at the foot of the Domes de Miage. Another effort to reach the peaceful Plateau du Truc (1740) before starting the descent to the Contamines Montjoie and then walk up the Val Montjoie passing the splendid baroque 17th century church of Notre Dame de la Gorge. Cross over the rumbling Bon Nant torrent by the antique passage, falsely called “Voie Romaine” and reach the “Pont Romain” and the Chalet (hut) where you spend the night in a 8 bed dormitory. You are in the Natural reserve of the Contamines Montjoie. Elevation gain : +970m/ -830 m Length : 18km/11.18 miles Walking time : 6h15

Day 3

An alpine stage with the ascent of two passes throughout the day. The peaceful pastures of Balme lead to the Col du Bonhomme Pass (2329m), entrance into the Beaufortain. Your hard work is done since the next crossing rises gently up to the Croix du Bonhomme Pass (2479). The path dives into the pastures of the Glaciers Valley and finally reaches the village of Chapieux, end of the stage. You can also spend the night in Ville des Glaciers by crossing the pass, Col des Fours (2665 m) which is the highest point of the hike (+200, +1h) This will shorten the stage of the next day. Elevation gain : +1020m/ -930 m Length : 12km/9 miles Walking time : 5h30

Day 4

The Col de la Seigne (2516 m) is the entrance to Val d’Aoste in Italy. Here is the wildest side of the Mont Blanc. Go down to Val Veni until you come to the moraine of Miage glacier which closes the whole valley. A short side track leads you to Miage Lake, caught between the moraine and the glacier. As you walk through the bottom of the valley, you discover the Mont Blanc iconic ridges called “les Arêtes du Brouillard” (or Fog ridges), the Innominata or Peuterey.Night in the Hut Monte Bianco. Elevation gain : +180/-990 m Length : 19km Walking time : 6h

Day 5

After visiting Notre Dame de la Guérison chapel (Our Lady of recovery), you walk down to Courmayer (which can also be linked by bus) to enjoy a Cappuccino. If the weather is hot, the tough ascent through the scarce larches will be rewarded at the Pré de Saxe point (2000 m) by a breathtaking view over the Grandes Jorasses and the Giant Teeth. A short nap is ideal here before starting the descent to the Italian Val Ferret and Lavachey where you stay for the night. Elevation gain : +880m/-880 m Length : 17km Walking time : 5h45

Day 6

Today the hike starts in the peaceful Italian Val Ferret up to the Glacier du Pré du Bar, that figures in a number of geography books. It is high time to face the tough ascent leading to the Grand Col Ferret (2537m), the door to Switzerland. You are in front of the symbolic Mont Dolent where the 3 Italian, French and Swiss borders converge. Night in La Fouly (1600 m). Elevation gain : +920/-860 Length : 17 km Walking time : 6h

Day 7

This long gentle stage is an immersion in the mild Swiss Valais.. You walk down the Swiss Val Ferret through the charming villages of La Fouly, Praz de Fort, les Arlaches and Issert. The traditional architecture is well preserved and the way is dotted with houses, barn and wooden attics on stilts called “raccard”. Walk through the forest and this maintained landscape up to the climatic station of Champex (1473m). Walk along the lake, take a nap and then reach the Val d’Arpette to spend the night. Elevation gain : +630/-700m Length : 19 km Walking time : 5h15

Day 8

A slight descent before the ascent which starts gently and ends steeper towards the Alpages de Bovine (1987m). This is a balcony above the Rhone Valley offering wide open spaces and horizons over Martigny, the Valais and the Dents Blanches (White Teeth). The climb ends in Collet Portalo (2049m) before the descent through the forest of larch trees.Enjoy the night at the Col de la Forclaz (1526m) Elevation gain : +760/-860m Length : 13 km Walking time : 4h45

Day 9

After walking alongside the Bisse de Trient (canal dug into the rock), you climb up the path leading to the Bergeries des Grands (Sheep fold) (2113 m) above the Glacier du Trient. Follow the footpath balcony to the Col de Balme (2191m) where you are back in France and the Chamonix Valley. Here is the Mont Blanc side which you discovered 9 days ago. Enjoy the splendid views on the Glacier du Tour and the Aiguille Verte (Green Needle). Night at the foot of the glacier in Tour. Elevation gain : +900/-1050m Length : 17 km Walking time : 6h15

Day 10

Climb up the ladders of the Argentière Aiguillete and reach the Balcon des Aiguilles Rouges (the Red Needles Balcony). Later on appreciate an ultimate nap on the shores of one of the Lakes of Cheresy (2133 m). End your hiking trip in a magnificent environment, in front of the Green Needle and the Drus. The arrival is scheduled around 6:00 pm at the station of Chamonix where you can pick up your baggage. Elevation gain : +830/-1160m Length : 15 km Walking time : 6h15

titre 1

Self guided WALKING
Level
THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC - TMB
Duration :
10 Days
From :
868 €

Included : (see details in Dates and Prices section)

3 types of accommodation options :

Mountain Hut accommodation

Or mini dorm accommodation

OR room with private bathroom

Half Board (dinners + breakfasts)

Luggage transfer

An English road book and a map.

English speaking assistance

 

CONVERT INTO YOUR CURRENCY


Starts in : Chamonix/Les Houches.

Ends in : Chamonix/Les Houches

Access : Chamonix train station/ Geneve international airport

 

 

 

Information : click on "ask for more information"

cecile@icietlanature.com

Phone Cecile : +33 5 58 48 71 65

 

The technical details : click here 

 

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Highlights

French pioneer in self-guided TMB

A mythical trail for mountain lovers !

Accommodation carefully chosen.