For intrepid hikers, the Tour du Mont Blanc (circuit) is a bucket list trip that may be Europe’s most indulgent trek. Perhaps it’s because this trip encompasses three countries (France, Italy and Switzerland) and circumnavigates majestic Mont Blanc, with well-marked trails dotted with mountain refuges & chalets that ply walkers with sumptuous meals and camaraderie to gather with other hikers along the way. With your luggage moved daily, you can walk with a day-pack and enjoy the hike without burden. Our guides accompany you on all hikes, providing insightful information and assisting in every way to make your hike enjoyable. Stay in charming inns in quaint villages and luxurious hotels withs spas and amazing restaurants in Chamonix, Courmayeur and Argentière.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences
  • Alpinists talk in Chamonix
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks
  • Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises!

Location

Chamonix

Chamonix, France

Day 1+10

Les Contamines-Montjoie

Les Contamines-Montjoie, France

Day 2

Les Chapieux

Les Chapieux, Bourg-Saint-Maurice, France

Day 3

La Visaille

La Visaille, Aosta Valley, Italy

Day 4

Courmayeur

Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy

Day 4+5+6

Grand Col Ferret

Grand Col Ferret, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy

Day 6

Col de la Forclaz

Col de la Forclaz, Trient, Switzerland

Day 7

Argentière

Argentière, Chamonix, France

Day 8+9

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guide(s)
9 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 7 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed maps and GPS instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off

Specifics

TRIP DATES

2022

Your trip can start any date between June 15 and September 15.

2023

Your trip can start any date between June 15 and September 15.

Self-guided and custom trips also available. Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

4-12 participants

TOTAL DAYS

10 days / 9 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Chamonix (France)

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate.
10km daily average (6mi.) with gains averaging 750m (2250’).
Opportunities to shorten the hiking distance through alternate routes or transfers.

TERRAIN

This is mountainous terrain and the trails range from wide and easy-going to hilly and rocky paths. Surefootness is important.

COST

Land Cost:
US $4,850 pp
Includes 10B/7L/9D

Single Supplement:
US $1,200 pp

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services.
Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All our trips outside Canada are quoted in U.S. Dollars (USD) but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars (CAD) also.
If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604 730 1247 | +1 800 242 1825.

1

Day 1

Chamonix

You will want to fly into Genève. You can reach Chamonix by bus direct from the airport in 1 hour or private transfers are available if you would like to be met on arrival. In Chamonix, settle in, stroll through the town and get your bearings. We will meet for a wine reception and dinner at 7pm.

2

Day 2

La Villette (or Col Voza) to Les Contamines-Montjoie

We will transfer to the village of La Villette to start our first hike up trail to an enchanting chalet where we will enjoy lunch of fresh salad, omelette, cheese board and chocolate mousse. At the lovely Refuge de Mirage, fields of wildflowers cover the fields and horses roam freely. We will make our way down to the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie which boasts the highest nature reserve in France and the only protected area on the Mont Blanc range; marmot, ibex, chamois and ptarmigan are found in the hills above town.

Hiking Distance: 9.1km, +700/-600m (5.6mi, +2100’/-1800’).

3

Day 3

Les Contamines-Montjoie to Les Chapieux

Walk along an old Roman road that follows Le Bon Nant river into the alpine. Enjoy a morning coffee or hot chocolate at the Refuge La Balme. Fields of wildflowers and dramatic views mark your way to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme where another rustic chalet awaits – an ideal lunch venue with an outstanding view. Our destination is Les Chapieux, a lovely Savoyard village from where we’ll take a short shuttle to Bourg Saint Maurice.

Hiking Distance: 14.3km, +1240/-9140m (8.8mi, +3720’/-2730’); or 17.5km, +1311/-910m (10.8mi, +3900’/-2730’).

4

Day 4

La Ville des Glaciers to La Visaille and Courmayeur

We will take a short shuttle from the hotel to the trail head in La Ville des Glaciers. We walk into Italy today, climbing up to the Col de la Seigne and then descend along an easy going trail to the Elisabetta Refuge for lunch. This chalet boasts a spectacular setting and great food. From here, we continue on to La Visaille at the base of the Glacier Miage, the largest glacier in Europe. A short transfer will take us into the centre of Courmayeur, one of the most beautiful alpine villages in Italy.

Hiking Distance: 14.8km, +760/-800m (9mi, +2280’/-2400’); or 19.8km, +850/-1130m (12mi, +2550’/-3990’)

5

Day 5

Free day in Courmayeur

Take a day to rest in this alpine resort town. For those interested in a local day hike, we’ll hike up to Refugio Bertone for lunch and locally produced wines; it’s a moderate hike with views of glaciers rolling down from the high peaks near Mont Blanc. Or if you prefer a day off, consider taking the SkyWay Monte Bianco cable car offering views of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. Take time to also visit the Duca degli Abruzzi Alpine museum that documents the history of mountain guides. This is a free night for dinner and we’ll provide recommendations of our favourites.

6

Day 6

Courmayeur (Arnouva) to Ferret (Champex)

We start the day with a shuttle to Arnouva and the start of today’s hike. We’ll climb along winding footpaths to the lovely Rifugio Elena (where your morning coffee or hot chocolate awaits) and over the pass of Grand Col Ferret which marks the border between Switzerland and Italy. On the descent, we will hear Swiss cowbells and enjoy wildflowers in abundance, passing picture-perfect chalets into the village of Ferret, where we transfer into Champex-Lac.

Hiking Distance: 12km, +790/-880m (7.4mi, +2370’/-2640’).

7

Day 7

Champex to Col de la Forclaz

Walk on quiet paths and then trail that climbs up to the alpine. Enjoy lunch at a rustic chalet near the summit and then stroll down to the valley to the Col Forclaz, where we’ll stay at a comfortable inn that has been in the same family for six generations. The unspoiled wilderness makes this a special location to overnight.

Hiking Distance: 13.7km, +740/-680m (8.5mi, +2200’/-2040’).

8

Day 8

Trient to Argentière

Leaving Switzerland, we transfer to the trail head and climb gradually from the valley into the alpine to the Col de Balme in France. From the col, the entire Mont Blanc Massif stretches ahead: the Chamonix Valley, the summit of Mont Blanc, the Aiguilles, the Mer de Glace and the Argentière glaciers. On the descent, enjoy a lift via gondola to the village of Tour and then continue hiking along the valley to Argentière to our comfortable hotel in the center.

Hiking Distance: 7km, +860/-340m (4.3mi, +2580’/-1020’).
Add-on: 4.1km, +50/-270m (2.5mi, +150’/-810’).

9

Day 9

Argentière (Col de Montets) to Chamonix

A short taxi transfer takes us from the hotel to the trail head at Col de Montets, where we will begin today’s hike passing hanging mountain tarns including Chéserys Lakes and spectacular Lac Blanc. If you would like to shorten the hike, take the La Flégère cable car down to the Chamonix valley. From the base of the lift, there is a lovely riverside walk to Chamonix and the completion of our hike.

Hiking Distance: 8.4km, +890/-470m (5.2mi, +2670’/-1410’).
Add-on: 3.2km valley floor walk (2mi).

10

Day 10

Departure Day

Our trip ends after breakfast on this day. If you have time, consider taking the famed cable car up to the top of the Aiguille du Midi where you can browse exhibits on the history of mountaineering and the geology of the Mont Blanc massif and of course, take in the view.

Hotel Mont-Blanc, Chamonix

This 5-star hotel sits in the center of Chamonix. There’s an elegant French restaurant with an alpine-chic lounge bar and garden seating. Other amenities include a heated outdoor pool, a gym, a hot tub and a spa.


Hotel La Chemenaz, Les Contamines-Montjoie

This 4-star traditional Savoyard-style inn boast a seasonal heated pool, sauna and jaccuzi. The restaurant La Trabla, a charming restaurant with open fireplace offers gourmet cuisine in a convivial setting with Haute-Savoie specialities.


Hotel L’Autantic, Bourg Saint-Maurice

Located on the outskirts of town, this 3-star modest inn has comfortable rooms and peaceful setting. Friendly owners. There is an indoor swimming pool. No restaurant at the hotel.


Auberge de La Maison, Courmayeur

This luxurious 4-star hotel has been in the same family for three generations with outstanding hospitality. There is a restaurant that features Valle d’Aosta cuisine, a convivial bar, two lounges, spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools.


Hotel du Glacier, Champex-Lac

Set in an amphitheater of mountains, this relaxed hotel features bright rooms, some with balconies and lake views. There are tennis courts a fitness center and a great restaurant on site.


Hotel du Col de la Forclaz, Trient

First built in 1830, this hotel has been in the same family for six generations and is the gateway to the Haute Vallee du Trient, a vast and unspoilt wilderness and alpine hiking paradise.


Hotel les Grands Montets, Argentière

This 4-star chalet-style hotel is Argentière’s best with a prime location boasting superb views of Mont Blanc. The hotel has a traditional alpine décor with contemporary touches.


Hotel Mont-Blanc, Chamonix

This 5-star hotel sits in the center of Chamonix. There’s an elegant French restaurant with an alpine-chic lounge bar and garden seating. Other amenities include a heated outdoor pool, a gym, a hot tub and a spa.