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Tour du Mont Blanc

Highlights

  • Iconic, world-class trekking routes
  • Cozy mountain lodges in charming European villages
  • Wonderful European cuisine
  • Unique Alps wildlife
  • Amazing views of stunning mountains

Description

This trip is a must-do for all mountain hiking enthusiasts! Faithful to the myth, Mont Blanc is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and impressive ranges in the world. This hiking tour will lead you from France to Italy to Switzerland in order to experience the towering Mont Blanc range from a variety of perspectives. Our route takes us over high passes, through deep valleys, and in and out of quaint European mountain villages. The views are breath-taking with innumerable alpine peaks and stunning glaciers surrounding the impressive Mont Blanc range constantly in the background. This hike is quite demanding, however guests only carry a light daypack each day. In the evenings, you will enjoy French and Italian cooking, paired with a hearty serving of Swiss hospitality in the traditional alpine villages we stay in!
Give us a call at 888-966-TREK (8735) to learn more or start planning your trip today!
Click here to ask us a question about this trip, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 888-966-TREK.

This trip is officially operated by Wildland International, a partner company of Wildland Trekking.
Click here to read more about Wildland International.
 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

On this Alps hiking tour, we welcome you at the Geneva International Airport (landing before 2 pm) and transport you directly to the charming, traditional village of Les Contamines. During the transfer, your guide will present the tour and the logistics. We check into the hotel and get settled in our rooms. Surrounded by a wonderful nature preserve, the village's architecture is traditional from the Savoie region. A first walk is possible for those interested depending on your arrival time. We will have dinner at our very nice hotel and get a good night's rest in preparation for the next day's hike.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 9 mi (15 km)
Elevation Gain: 3937 ft (1200 m)
Elevation Loss: 2952 ft (900 m)
Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours


After breakfast and a short transfer to the Notre Dame de la Gorge baroque chapel we start our trek. We immediately enter a nature preserve which includes 2800 meters of elevation difference (about 9000 ft), making it the highest in France. Due to this signficant range of elevation, the area covers several different biogeographic zones and offers an incredible diversity of plant and animal species.

We will ascend to the Col du Bonhomme "guy saddle," an ancient trading and trafficing route which remains a mythical hiking route. The Col de la Croix du Bonhomme ("saddle of the cross of the guy") leads us to the Chapieux Valley. Surrounded by alpine meadows, this valley offers some of the most stunning alpines views, with the majestic Glacier Needle (3816m) in the distance. Beyond the Needle, you will get your first great views over some of the Alps famous peaks and ranges. Tonight's accommodations are in a wonderful mountain lodge.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 10 mi (16 km)
Elevation Gain: 2296 ft (700 m)
Elevation Loss: 3280 ft (1000 m)
Trekking Duration: 6 hours


Today we venture over the Col de la Seigne into Italy! This saddle has been a common traveling route since the Roman era and throughout the Middle Ages when it got its name. Historically the climate was milder which made travelling these mountain passes feasible during over a longer season that it is in modern times. More recently in the 1930s this saddle was at the heart of cross-border conflicts, and old fortifications stand as relics from those turbulent times.

Our views today are absolutely stunning, including our first views of Mont Blanc! We descend into Val Ferret and take a short bus ride from La Cantine de la Visaille to Courmayeur. A great panoramic view upon the Grandes Jorasses awaits us. The Grandes Jorasses are some of the famous mountaineering peaks within the Mont Blanc range. You can expect some mountaineering stories along the way. You will also remember Courmayeur for the delicious specialties you will have a chance to taste this evening! Our accommodations are at a wonderful 3-star hotel.


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 8 mi (13 km)
Elevation Gain: 2788 ft (850 m)
Elevation Loss: 3280 ft (1000 m)
Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours


This morning we will ascend the Grand Col Ferret and arrive in Swizerland, in the quaint village of La Fouly. The exceptional views over the massif of Combins in the east and on the Italian side of Mont Blanc will accompany us along the way. We may enjoy a short stop at the Chalet de la Peule to see and learn about local cheese and butter making if enough guests are interested. We will transfer by postal bus to Champex, a Swiss village on the shores of a beautiful lake. The village is famous for its warm welcoming tradition and is nicknamed the Little Swiss Canada, due to its forests, lakes and wood chalets. The village has 3 chapels: one private, one catholic and one protestant which often hosts classic music concerts. Tonight's accommodations are dormitory style in a cozy, simple hotel.


Day 5

Hiking Mileage: 10 mi (16 km)
Elevation Gain: 3445 ft (1050 m)
Elevation Loss: 4544 ft (1385 m)
Trekking Duration: 7-9 hours


We reach the highest point of our trek today as we climb over Fenêtre d’Arpette (2,750 m). We'll enjoy breath-taking views while we hike down alongside the Trient glacier. We will soon see the "Bisse du Trient", a canal designed to bring water from streams to pastures and agriculture. This one is 4 km long (2.5 miles) and has 7 locks.

In case of uncertain weather, your guides will propose a shorter itinerary by the Col de Bovine pass. In this case, you can expect 5 and a half hours of hiking. Tonight's accommodations are at a lodge in either Trient or in Col de La Forclaz, both very nice accommodations with fantastic cuisine.


Day 6

Hiking Mileage: 8 mi (13 km)
Elevation Gain: 3280 ft (1000 m)
Elevation Loss: 3445 ft (1050 m)
Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours


Today we ascend steep alpine meadows covered with wildflowers to reach the Col de la Balme saddle and arrive back in France with amazing views of Mont Blanc and the Aiguille Verte (Green Needle). Here there is a small mountain hut where we can stop for a drink and take in the amazing views from the Red Needles to the Mont Blanc. We will have the option of two alternative routes for our descent into Tour or into the village of Argentières. Tonight's accommodations are in a wonderful 3-star hotel in Argentières.


Day 7

Hiking Mileage: 6 mi (10 km)
Elevation Gain: 2952 ft (900 m)
Elevation Loss: 3608 ft (1100 m)
Trekking Duration: 6 hours


On our final day of hiking we enjoy the wonderful Balcon des Aiguilles Rouges, before a climb to Lac Blanc. Take in all the beautiful surrounding scenery: peaks, needles, snow covered domes, the horizon is a succession of famous mountaineering routes. This is where mountaineerig was born and grew, and you will understand why. All those jagged peaks have triggered the imagination of the locals for centuries, until the reputation crossed the borders, and adventurers from all over Europe started to travel to Chamonix to attempt ascents on their treacherous slopes. Aiguille Verte, Les Drus, La Mer de glace, (the famous glacier that used to almost reach the valley floor, named the "sea of ice" as it looks like a frozen river when you see it from the ridges around it) Aiguilles de Chamonix, Mont Blanc du Tacul, Aiguille du Goûter, and last but not least, Mont Blanc! Each of those names could be an entire chapter of mountaineering stories. We will descend to Chamonix by Le Praz. You can also choose to take the cableway of La Flégère or bus (the latter two options are not included in the trip cost). Tonight's accommodations are in a celebratory 4-star hotel in Chamonix.


Day 8

This morning we meet for one last breakfast before saying our goodbyes and transferring to Geneva Airport. Please schedule flights to depart after 4 pm. What a week it's been!


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureacratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Hand-picked 3- and 4-star lodging for the duration of the tour
  • Vehicle transport of luggage between inns
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on the last day
  • Professional, knowledgeable, certified Alps hiking guides (U.S.-based guides)
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Geneva, Switzerland
  • Beverages and personal expenses
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This Alps hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. Most lunches and some breakfasts are prepared on the trail by your guides.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

We will meet you at Marseille Airport on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included), where we'll conduct an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM (your flight needs to arrive before 3PM). Your guide will be in contact approximately 4 weeks before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. This trek is led by professional hiking guides (U.S.-based) along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


Guides

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals (U.S.-based, click here to learn more) with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 10 guests and 2-3 guides, with a minimum of 4 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Alps

The location of the Alps and their tremendous elevation variations, lead to significant and sometimes unpredictable temperatures and weather patterns, both in different ranges and in a particular range itself. Due to the Alps' location in central Europe, they are influenced by moist air off the Atlantic, cold polar air from northern Europe, fluctuating air masses; and warm Mediterranean air flows northward.

Due to these extraordinary forces acting on the Alps' weather, we recommend following our clothing list closely, as guests are best served by being prepared for a broad range of possible temperatures and weather conditions.

The average temperatures and precipitation in Alps are:

Average Alps Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month Hi Low Wet Days
May 45° F 55° F 6 days
June 50° F 61° F 6 days
July 55° F 66° F 5 days
August 54° F 66° F 5 days
September 50° F 61° F 6 days