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.
Day 1 ARRIVAL IN CHAMONIX
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
Lodge, private rooms, B & B
Day 2 LES HOUCHES TO REFUGE NANT BORRANT:
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!
Day 3 REFUGE NANT BORRANT TO REFUGE MOTTETS:
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: -900mAccommodation
Refuge, dormitory, evening meal & breakfastGuide 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.
Day 4 REFUGE MOTTETS TO REFUGE RANDONNEUR:
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: -880mAccommodation
Refuge, dormitory with evening meal & breakfastGuide 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!
Day 5 REFUGE RANDONNEUR TO LA FOULY:
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: -1600mAccommodation
Auberge, dormitory with evening meal & breakfastGuide 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.
Day 6 LA FOULY TO TRIENT:
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 & breakfastGuide 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.
Day 7 TRIENT TO CHAMONIX:
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: -1000mAccommodation
Refuge, dormitory with evening meal & breakfastGuide 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!
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.
"Take only memories, leave only footprints"