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Tour du Mont Blanc Best of Trek in Refuges Self Guided

Independent hiking on the TMB

Trek in Brief


7 nights

Suitability & grading:

GRADE 3 DIFFICULT See trek grading for further information.


3 x Auberge & 4 x Mountain Refuges


2 x B&B Chamonix, 5 x half board (B&B + 3 course evening meal) whilst on the tour

Bag transfer:

Available as a supplement on none refuge nights

Single rooms:

Available on hotel nights


Not possible

Dates 2024:

To suit you / No availability

Dates 2025:

To suit you / Available

View Dates & Prices

The Tour du Mont Blanc self guided best of in refuges trek is one of the most spectacular treks in the world circling the Mont Blanc massif and witnessing some of the most breathtaking mountain views. This Mont Blanc circuit best of in refuges tour allows you to see the highlights of the trek in a shorter period staying up high in the most remote parts of the trek. It combines trekking and the use of public transport, which allows you to achieve the circuit in 6 days.

suggested intinerary


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.


Lodge, private rooms, B & B


Your day starts with a 20 minute bus ride from Chamonix to Les Houches. The bus will drop you off opposite the cable car, from here you take a 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 Bellevue cable car

Via Bionnassay: Distance: 20k | Height gain: +845m | Descent: -1200m
Via Col du Tricot: Distance: 19k | Height gain: +950m| Descent: -1300m


Refuge, dormitory with evening meal & breakfast.

Guide notes:

Day two & you are probably feeling a little tiered from the first day. The terrain is very different today, less rugged & more green as you will be trekking though high altitude pastureland. If you are trekking via the Col du Trico check out the Blueberry pie at the Chalets des Miage, very memorable & delicious!


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

Option to alter the itinerary so you stay in Chapieux, please ask at the time of enquiry.

Daily stats:

Distance: 15k | Height gain: +1300m | Descent: -900m


Refuge, dormitory, evening meal & breakfast

Guide notes:

On paper this looks like one of the longest & 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 & allow plenty of time.


Leaving Refuge Mottets we climb steeply at times to the Col du Seigne passing over the French/Italian border. We descend through the Val Veny and make our final ascent via the Vielle d'Arp and on to the Refuge Randonneur.

Daily stats:

Distance: 23k | Height gain: +1300m | Descent: -880m


Refuge, dormitory with evening meal & breakfast

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 & take in the far-reaching views in to Italy & Switzerland, just wonderful!


The day starts by a descent to the beautiful Italian alpine village of Courmayeur. Spend a moment and enjoy a delicious Italian coffee before 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 & La Fouly. Auberge accommodation in La Fouly with breakfast & evening meal.

Daily stats:

Distance: 20.5k | Height gain: +800m | Descent: -1600m


Auberge, dormitory with evening meal & breakfast

Guide notes:

Take the earliest breakfast at the refuge as you have a big day ahead as you will need to take transport from Courmayeur to Arnurva. Once at the Col stare in wonder at the view looking back at your last few days of trekking towards the Col du Seigne & over the boarder into Switzerland. The descent is long but at an easy angle & the path is good. Plenty of opportunity to stop for refreshments at Courmayeur & La Peule.


An early bus from La Fouly to Champex Lac via Orsieres before you wind your 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.

Option to take the variant via the Fenetre d'Arpette.

Daily stats:

Via Bovine: Distance: 18k | Height gain: +750m | Descent: -950m
Via the Fenetre d'Arpette: Distance: 15k | Height gain: +1200m | Descent: -1350m


Auberge, dormitory with eveing meal & breakfast

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 & down the Rhone valley. Or perhaps try the challenging variant over the Fenetre d'Arpette with amazing views of the Trient Glacier once at the col.


You start the day by a climb through alpine woodland to the Alpage of Tseppes, Catogne and on to the Col du Balme 2191m and the Swiss/French border. Descending to the village of Le Tour you will then take the valley bus back to Chamonix and your B&B hotel accommodation.

Option to take the direct variant via Col du Balme.

Daily stats:

Direct via the Col du Balme: Distance: 13k | Height gain: +900m | Descent: -900m

Via Catogne & the Col du Balme: Distance: 15k | Height gain: +1000m | Descent: -1000m


Refuge, dormitory with evening meal & breakfast

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 & 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!


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.

"Take only memories, leave only footprints"
Chief Seattle

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