Mont Blanc Circuit

Mont Blanc Circuit information and booking

from
$1460
  • Duration
    11 days
    Days
  • Difficulty
    moderate - challenging
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 10 nights mountain refuges / gîte hostels
Equipment Required
Wet weather gear, sunscreen, walking boots, warm clothes, day pack and sun hat – walking sticks are recommended. (A comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Highlights

  • Circumnavigation of Mont Blanc
  • Experiencing the exhilaration of trekking in the European Alps
  • Traversing high passes and walking through three countries
  • Enjoying the culinary specialties such as Raclette
  • Sharing stories with other hikers in the gîtes and mountain refuges

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

This itinerary circumnavigates Mont Blanc and explores the surrounding alpine region. Faced with picture postcard vistas from every vantage point, the scenery and landscapes that unfold before you are simply remarkable. This trek affords unsurpassed views of the different faces of the Mont Blanc massif along routes that traverse the Balme mountain passage and the highest point on the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Grand Col Ferret at 2537m. You may see Ibex, chamois and other wildlife as you descend through alpine meadows towards charming fairy tale-like villages. Crossing the foothills of the Alps through France, Italy and Switzerland provides an opportunity to encounter the alpine cultures and cuisine unique to these areas and staying in hotels, gîtes and refuges is a great way to soak up the warm hospitality for which this region is renowned.

What's included

  • 10 breakfasts, 10 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. dinner will consist of 2 or 3 courses which include regional specialties
  • 10 nights accommodation in mountain refuges / gîte hostels on a dormitory share basis. it is possible to spend 7 nights in a double room – additional cost applies.
  • Transfer of luggage between accommodation (maximum 10 kgs)
  • Provision of two ign maps per group* – route is waymarked. brief route description is provided. note: if you wish to purchase extra sets of maps (if you plan to walk separately) please let us know. a set costs eur18 (subject to change). *a group is the people in your booking party who you are travelling with, staying in the same accommodation.

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Le Tour, begin walk to Trient (6-7 hours /+700m, -900m)
Leaving from Le Tour in the Chamonix valley, you take the scenic high mountain path of Balme heading towards Switzerland. Weather permitting you will be able to take some wonderful photos of the Mont Blanc chain including the impressive “La Verte”, the Drus and the Needles of Chamonix. You will cross the border between France and Switzerland before making your way down to the village of Trient for overnight accommodation with shower.
Day 2 Walk to Champex (6-7 hours/ 1400m, -100m or +900m, -650m (Bovine Trail))
The “Fenêtre d'Arpette” (2665m) route, which is a variant on the Tour du Mont Blanc is quite challenging. The trail is not as well defined as others but as with many pass crossings, the rewards on a good weather day are the extraordinary views to the Trient Glacier. The descent to Champex is steep though you will have the opportunity to have a hot shower at your gîte. (Alternate route available via the Bovine Trail)
Day 3 To La Fouly (5-6 hours/ +500m, -600m)
Although this is most definitely an easier day, it is also one that highlights some amazing natural beauty. Dry meadows, pools of fresh water, herds of cows and wonderful chalets surrounded by flower filled gardens greet us. Swiss village life is all around and whilst the dramatic scenery of previous days is not as apparent, it is a chance to experience the wonderful “Valais des homes”. Overnight in La Fouly.
Day 4 To Elena (6-7 hours/ +900m, -900m)
The route takes you out of Switzerland and into Italy by the Grand Col Ferret path. The sight of the Pre de Bar glacier is with you all the way as you make your way from the Col to your overnight refuge accommodation with shower.
Day 5 To Courmayeur (5-7 hours/ +800m, -1600m)
Today's walk is quite challenging and takes you into the beautiful Aosta Valley (Val d’Aosta). To begin the path descends to the Val Ferret, following which there are a number of steep ascents and descents before reaching the Refugio Bonatti. From here there are two options to reach Courmayeur – either by the Col Sapin or the main route. As you make your way to Courmayeur you will have the opportunity to taste the renowned and delicious Italian gelato.
Day 6 Walk to Refuge Elisabetha (5 hours/ +900m, -600m)
From Courmayeur you can take a chairlift on the initial ascent or walk the steep slope to the Col Checroui. From here you continue the ascent to a steep spur at the top of the valley Veni where the views are spectacular. The descent is quite steep to the relatively flat valley floor. There is a short ascent to the refuge and the end of the walking day. Note: this is the only day a double room is not available for hikers taking the double room option.
Day 7 Walk to Les Chapieux (7 hours/ +900m, -650m)
You make your way over the Seigne mountain path, which is overhung by limestone pyramids and the Estelette Glacier, until you reach France. The trail then descends across the high mountain pastures to the City of the Glaciers. Today also provides an excellent opportunity to buy Beaufort cheese from the local farmers.
Day 8 Walk to Notre Dame de la Gorge (6-7 hours/ +900m,-1500m)
This mornings walk takes you up mountain pastures to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2483m) where there are good views southeast to the peaks of the Vanoise. The trail continues down to the Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and crosses the Contamines Natural Reserve. A sharp descent through a pine forest fringed gorge takes you to an ancient Roman Road and the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge.
Day 9 Walk to Champel / Bionnassay (6 hours/ +400m, -200m)
An easier walk today following a combination of tracks and trails past Contamines before you ascend to cross a shoulder of Mont Truc to reach your overnight accommodation.
Day 10 Walk to Les Houches (6 hours/ +500m,-700m)
The morning begins with an ascent of the Col du Tricot (2120m) which forms the divide between the Miage and Bionnasay Valleys. From here you have some spectacular views of limestone cliffs and the pistes below. The descent follows a combination of gravel roads and tracks past some settlements to reach Les Houches.
Day 11 Walk to Chamonix, trip concludes (4-5 hours or 9hrs, +1500m, -1100m)
OPTION 1: If you are choosing to complete the walk in Chamonix, the walk today will be around 4-5 hours to the top of the Brevant cablecar. Return to Chamonix by cable car and continue by bus or on foot to your pre tour hotel where your bags will be waiting. OPTION 2: If you plan to complete the full circuit to Le Tour, an early start is necessary. Walk to Brevant and continue to the balcony trail high above the Chamonix Valley. This is a spectacular walk taking in some superb views of the range enroute to Le Tour. Return to your pre tour hotel and collect your luggage. Please note if you plan to do option 2 it is recommended that you do the section to Brevant on the afternoon of day 10, take the cablecar down and return by bus from Chamonix to Les Houches. You would return by bus to Chamonix, take the cablecar up Brevant and then continue along the trail to your starting point at Le Tour. From there you can return to your pre tour hotel. To do the full walk from Les Houches to Le Tour in one day is very challenging. If choosing between the walk from Les Houches to Brevant or Brevant to Le Tour, we recommend the walk to Le Tour for its outstanding scenery.