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Tour du Mont Blanc 'Best of' Self Guided Trek

Independent hiking on the TMB

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Arguably one of the most spectacular multi day treks in the world the Tour du Mont Blanc gives you the opportunity to get up close to the towering peaks and pristine glaciers of the Mont Blanc mountain range. This 'Best Of' Tour du Mont Blanc trek allows you to see the highlights of the trek in a shorter period of time by combining trekking and the use public transport to get you around the circuit.

7 night itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL IN LES HOUCHES

As we are based in Chamonix please ask if you wish to have a self guided trek briefing to go through any aspect of your trek before you start on your adventure.

If you require a briefing on your day of arrival please specify at the time of booking so we can make sure someone will be available.

Accommodation:

3* Hotel, private en-suite rooms, B & B

Day 2 CHAMONIX TO LES HOUCHES

Your day starts with a cable car ride to the Bellevue 1802m with stunning views of the Mont Blanc range from high above the westerly end of the Chamonix valley. You then have a choice of routes to Les Contamines via Bionnassay & Chapel or the Col du Tricot & Chalets des Miage.

Daily stats:

(using the cable car): Via Bionnassay: Distance: 15k | Height gain: +100m | Descent: -700m
Via Col du Tricot: Distance: 13k | Height gain: +800m| Descent: -1300m

Accommodation:

3* Hotel, private en-suite rooms, half board

Guide notes:

If you are trekking via the Col du Tricot check out the Blueberry pie at the Chalets des Miage, very memorable and delicious!

Day 3 LES CONTAMINES TO REFUGE MOTTETS:

A great day ahead awaits you, make your ascent through three cols, Col du Bonhomme, Col de la Croix du Bonhomme & the Col des Fours 2665m. Descending steeply through the wild and remote landscape to Ville des Glaciers and your rest stop for the night at the atmospheric Refuge Mottets.

Daily stats:

Distance: 20k | Height gain: +1500m | Descent: -900m

Accommodation:

Dormitory (upgrade possible), half board

Guide notes:

On paper this looks like one of the longest and toughest days on the trek but don’t worry its very doable. There is a fair amount of height gain but it is integrated with sections of gentle terrain, which make the day more manageable. The key is to start early and allow plenty of time.

Day 4 REFUGE MOTTETS TO COURMAYEUR:

If staying at the Refuge Mottets it gives us a great position below the Col du Seigne 2516m, although you climb steeply at times you soon find yourself over the col & across French/Italian border into Italy. You then make a descent into the stunning Val Veny with easy walking through the hanging valleys to Lac Combal. From here you have two options: Taking the route up & over the Vieille d'Arp and descending to Courmayeur or by taking the shuttle bus from the La Visaille reducing the distance height gain and descent.

Daily stats:

Distance: 14k | Height gain: +700m | Descent: -700m (with shuttle bus)

Distance: 24k | Height gain: +1100m | Descent: -1700m (full route)

Accommodation:

Accommodation: 3* Hotel, private en-suite rooms, B & B

Guide notes:

One of my favourite days on the Tour du Mont Blanc, the views from the Col du Seigne is second to none! Once you are at the col & if the weather is right rest for a while and take in the far-reaching views in to Italy & Switzerland, just wonderful!

Day 5 COURMAYEUR TO CHAMPEX

You will start the day by taking a bus or taxi from Courmayeur to Arnurva and then make your way past the Refugio Elena and on to the Col du Ferret on the Italian/Swiss border and descend to Ferret and La Fouly. You will then take a bus to Champex Lac via Orsieres. All transport details are given in the self-guided pack.

Daily stats:

Distance: 14k | Height gain: +800m | Descent: -800m

Accommodation:

3* Hotel, private en-suite rooms, B & B

Guide notes:

Again this day looks tough but the hard bits are nicely spaced with less challenging terrain and once at the Col stare in wonder at the view looking back at your last 3 days of trekking towards the Col du Seigne and over the boarder into Switzerland. The descent is long but at an easy angle and the path is good. Plenty of opportunity to stop for refreshments at Arnurva, Refuge Elena and La Peule.

Day 6 CHAMPEX-LAC TO TRIENT:

An initial easy start to the day is to be had as you wind our way on easy paths to Plan de l'Au. You then climb up steadily to the Alpage Bovine 1987m and enjoy fabulous views over Martigny and the Swiss Valais. You spend the rest of the day making your descent to the Col du Forclaz 1526m with a final descent to Trient.

Daily stats:

Distance: 18k | Height gain: +750m | Descent: -950m

Accommodation:

Auberge with private rooms & shared facilities, half board

Guide notes:

The Bovine route is a fabulous day not too tricky over lovely terrain. Lunch stop at the high alpine farm at Bovine is a must, you can purchase local food or even eat your own picnic on the terrace as long as you buy a drink. Amazing views across to Lac Leman and down the Rhone valley.

Day 7 TRIENT TO ARGENTIERE:

Again today you have two options as you can take the route directly to the Col du Balme from Trient or by following the variant up through alpine woodland to the Alpage of Tseppes, Catogne and on to the Col du Balme 2191m and the Swiss/French border. From the col you then make our descent to the hamlet of Le Tour where you will take the bus back to Chamonix. A fabuous end to this Mont Blanc trail.

Daily stats:

Direct via the Col du Balme:
Distance: 13k | Height gain: +900m | Descent: -900m
or Via Catogne & the Col du Balme: Distance: 15k | Height gain: +1000m | Descent: -1000m

Accommodation:

3* hotel private en-suite rooms, half board

Guide notes:

Personally unless the weather is bag take the route via Catogne, the views are far superior as one up high you take a lofty traverse with excellent views over towards Emossom dam and the Aiguille Rouges nature reserve Stop if you dare at the refuge at the Col du Balme. Service with a grimace rather than a smile!

Day 8 DEPART CHAMONIX

Breakfast is included however on the departure day you are free to leave at any time you wish.

Guide notes:

Once you have completed the trek I hope you will agree that the Tour du Mont Blanc is truly an exceptional trek & has a worthy place as of one of the worlds top 10 long distance walks.