Chamonix Family Adventure
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc - enjoying views from the head of the Chamonix valley
Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights
Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights
Chamonix Classic Walks
Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights
Chamonix Classic Walks
Chamonix Classic Walks
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc - more exquisite single track above the treeline.

Chamonix Classic Walks


Chamonix Mont Blanc Walking Holiday

Spectacular scenery of snowy peaks, glaciers and granite spires. We meet in Chamonix, the mountaineering capital of the world, and home to Mont Blanc Western Europes highest peak. Experience a journey of discovery on foot which takes in the history, culture, folklore and wildlife of the mountains. From remote farms and refuges, to ancient Roman towns and beautiful lakeside mountain villages - it's all here! At the end of each day relax and soak up the Alpine environment in our mountain chalet perfectly situated at the foot of the famous Argentiere Glacier.

Highlights

  • Explore Chamonix in this perfect first alpine walking holiday
  • 5 guided day walks all on good paths and tracks
  • Enjoy mountain cafes with views of Mont Blanc
  • Led by a locally based English speaking International Mountain Leader
  • Walk sections of the famous ‘Tour of Mont Blanc’
  • Hike one of the best short walks in the world to Lac Blanc
  • Aiguilles du Midi Cablecar and Montenvers railway
  • Easy transfer from Geneva Airport

Our 5 day Chamonix walking break is designed for those wishing to explore those 'must do' Chamonix classic trails but at a pace that means you can also explore along the way. Situated in the heart of the French Alps, sharing borders with both Italy and Switzerland, Chamonix has walking trails for every level. The walks start within easy access of your accommodation visiting a different part of the valley each day.


Absolutely fabulous trip. Always bagging a peak has to be one of my highlights but the sheer quality of the organisation is second to none.

I just wanted to say thank you again for such a brilliant week in Chamonix. In a way I'd say the holiday was exactly as I expected - there's loads of details on the Tracks & Trails website, and the week panned out pretty much as described. But it also totally exceeded my expectations - the quality of coaching/expertise from all of you guys, the motivation gained from meeting and chatting to some truly inspirational people, plus everyone was just so friendly and nice.

The trip was truly memorable! I loved every aspect of it! The views were spectacular, the guide was exceptional in her leadership and knowledge of the area and the physical challenge was just right. I felt safe and in good hands throughout! I have nothing but rave reviews about the whole experience. Thank you very much, "Tracks and Trails"

Thank you so very much for putting together such a wonderful trip! Hiking in the Alps was truly an unforgettable experience. I liked all accommodations...And our guide Nicole was the true highlight of the trip - just an extraordinary person: passionate about her work, patient, knowledgeable, attentive and kind, very funny, and so strong! 

Itinerary

  • meet in
  • accommodation
  • airport
  • route
  • cable
  • train
  • Our group accommodation for this trip is Yeti Lodge in the village of Argentiere. Situated at the foot of the Argentiere glacier with excellent views of Mont Blanc your guide will meet you at your accommodation this evening to answers and questions and to brief you on the days ahead.

  • Our second classic trail starts from Chamonix town centre. We first ride the two stage cable car to visit the famous rocky spire of the Aiguilles du Midi. This amazing feet of engineering is not only one of the longest and highest single cable ways in the world but also offers unsurpassable 360 degree panoramic views of Mont Blanc. the Chamonix Valley, Switzerland and into Italy. If conditions allow we can reach the dizzy height of 3842m (12604ft). Your guide will lead you around exhibitions, view the Vallee Blanche glacier and highlight some of the famous surrounding peaks. On a clear day its possible to see the Matterhorn from this amazing location. When we are ready to leave one of the cable cars will take us back down to the Refuge Plan d'Aiguilles at 2200m (7217ft) where we will have our lunch offering excellent of the Chamonix Valley.

    From the refuge we join the Grand Balcon Nord (a high balcony trail) to start todays hike. The walk is an undulating path beneath the awesome granite rock spires. This trail traverses for 6.5 kilometres (4 miles) to reach Signal Forbes a viewpoint at 2198m (7211ft) of the iconic Aiguille du Drus and the largest glacier in France, the Mer de Glace. To descend we use the historic rack and pinion Montenvers Train. Taking about 20 minutes the train follows the route of the old mule track 1000m to reach the valley floor.

    Distance: 10km. (6.2 miles) Ascent: 300m (984ft). Descent: 250m (820ft). Walking time: approximately 3 hours.

  • We begin today by heading towards the Swiss / French border on the delightful Mont Blanc Express - one of the world's most picturesque mountain train journeys. We alight in le Buet where we pick up the 'Chemin des Diligences' – an ancient stage coach route – featured on the famous walk the 'Tour du Mont Blanc. Passing through ancient hamlets and alpine pastures strewn with cows ‘at work’ producing milk for locally produced cheese. We gain height with the help of a cable car up above the tree line and walk again. After about 20 minutes of easy angled ascent we reach the Col des Possettes at 1997m (6551ft) and alpage coffee stop for wonderful views of the Le Tour glacier and across to Swiss frontier which is our next stop. A longer but steadier climb for about an hour gains the Swiss border and the Tete de Balme at 2312m (7585ft) where we will have our picnic lunch. You can literally stand with a leg in each country high up in the mountains! From the Col de Balme at 2191m (7188ft) we have a fun descent as we first use the chair lift then a bubble cable car to return to the valley floor and the village of Le Tour. It's possible to either return to your accommodation on foot or by bus from here.

    Distance: 14km (8.6 miles). Ascent: 400m (1312ft). Descent: 350m (1148ft). Walking time: approximately 3-5 hours.

    Tonight we will eat out in Argentiere at a French restaurant, the Petit Vert.

  • This walk visits the Aiguilles Rouge Nature Reserve with a landscape of granite cliffs, wildlife, glacial lakes and often old snow left over from the winter. Our route begins at the Flégère cable car where we take advantage of another two stage ride up to our trail start. Our route is along a pleasant balcony trail which gives us impressive views of along the Chamonix Valley high above the treeline. After about 2.5 hours we reach the Lac Blanc at 2352m. Voted on numerous occasions as one of the top 10 hikes in the world and there is no wonder why! From here the views of the glaciers and mountains are simply incredible. We plan to have our picnic lunch here and there is even a mountain restaurant where you can try the local myrtille berry tart! There are a number of ways we can take to descend back to the Flégère cable car but here we save our knees as we accept the ride back to the valley floor to save our knees!

    Distance: 10-12km Ascent: 310m Descent: 400m. Walking time: 4-5hrs.

  • The destination of our last walk is Refuge Loriaz a summer alpage situated at 2020m (6627ft). A collection of ancient farm buildings offering overnight stays and delicious traditional cuisine. From Argentiere we first head by train a few stops to the village of Vallorcine and the 'valley of bears'. Sadly there are no longer any bears in the region but it's here that we start our hike up to Refuge Loriaz and alpage, a 'middle mountain' meadow where animals graze in the summer months.

    This circular route climbs and decends all on good trails, never feeling too steep. Starting through the pine forest gaps in the trees offer glimpses of the Aiguilles du Possettes opposite. As we reach the treeline the trail opens up to the high pastures where the spring flowers, bees and butterflies are in abundance. A cross leads the way and signals that we are close to the chalet farm buildings. Our hosts welcome us for a fabulous lunch on the terrace. This peaceful alpine setting is the perfect place reflect on this excellent week of walking in the Chamonix Valley.

    Distance: 7.5km (4.6miles). Ascent: 600m (1968ft) Descent: 600m (1968ft). Walking time: 3h30-4hrs.

  • Today is departure day. Your package finishes after breakfast. If your flight is not too early then there will still be time to do some sightseeing and souvenir shopping before your transfer to the airport. The package finishes after breakfast.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

Yeti Lodge, Summer

Chalet

This gorgeous chalet which has recently been renovated has a sauna, hot tub and views of Mont Blanc. The bedrooms are twins, and these will either be with en suite facilities or shared bathrooms depending on availability. Chalets are limited in terms of the number of bedrooms and for this reason single rooms are not always available. 

The chalet is approximately 8km (5 miles) from the centre of Chamonix town. There is free bus and train travel up and down the valley. To take advantage of the free travel you should request a Guest Card from the chalet staff. You also have the use of the comfortable lounge area which has satellite TV & DVD and free WIFI.


  • Any holiday taken during the Covid-19 pandemic may be subject to change and with little or no notice of that change. As the past months have proven no-one can predict the situation from one week to the next, however, we will do our very best to gauge the best response to any new developments. New restrictions or guidelines might affect where we eat out, which accommodation we can stay in, and potentially transport arrangements if the numbers in vehicles are restricted. 

    Itineraries may not be exactly as advertised due to new regulations or restrictions, for example, we may not be able to stop and have lunch at a mountain farm as stated in the itinerary, because the farm has had to react to new rules with regard to serving food and drinks. We imagine that there will be many scenarios which might lead to a change or adaptation in the itinerary.

    When booking a trip during the pandemic we ask that you keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and be flexible.

  • Chamonix, France is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane.

    Geneva, in Switzerland is the closest international airport, only 1h15 by road which makes shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange.

    A range of travel options to reach the Chamonix valley can be found on the Chamonix Tourist Office website.

    If arriving via Geneva we recommend that you book a seat on a shared transfer which is a door-to-door service to reach your accommodation in Chamonix. We recommend Mountain Drop Offs, Chamexpress and Haute Pursuit for this service. Easybus also runs a service from Geneva airport to Chamonix Bus Station. This service runs throughout the day, but does not drop you at your hotel.

    Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Summer mountain weather in the European Alps can vary considerably, and in this respect it is no different to any mountain environment where the terrain influences the weather and it can change from valley to valley. 

    However, in the summer months it is generally good in the Alps, but it can deliver everything from glorious sunshine, to rain, fog, high winds and even snow. Temperatures can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) in July and August, but can drop to 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high passes, or 'Cols' as they are known in the Alps. Essentially, as with all mountain journeys, you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°Celsius (59-77°F) in the valleys and 5-15°Celsius (41-59°F) on the passes.

    Even in mid-summer we can be faced with overnight snow especially when we have spent the night in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut at higher altitude. 

  • When packing for a hiking trip in the mountains it's important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. 

    Equipment 

    • Walking boots - waterproof & comfortable (walking shoes are acceptable, but might not be suitable if wet or snowy weather)
    • Walking Poles – optional, but highly recommended
    • Rucksack – 20-25 litres, ideally with a chest & waist strap 
    • Rucksack liner/cover - to keep contents dry 
    • Water container - bottle/hydration system 
    • Gaiters - useful, but not essential

    Clothing

    • Waterproof Jacket - essential
    • Waterproof Trousers - we reserve the right to ask you to purchase waterproof trousers if necessary, or to ask you to miss a day if you are not properly equipped for the weather
    • Trousers - walking trousers that allow free movement
    • Shorts/skort
    • Sun hat 
    • Warm hat 
    • Gloves 
    • Base layer - such as t-shirt/thermal tops 
    • Fleece jacket/top 
    • Socks - technical walking socks
    • Duvet jacket/warm second layer
    • Thermal leggings - optional, and only needed if a cold day

    Comfort

    • Sunscreen - this is essential and a total ‘bloc’ is useful
    • Lip salve 
    • Sunglasses – essential as the sun can be extremely strong in the mountains
    • Toilet/tissues - plus a few biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
    • Anti-bacterial hand wash
    • Swimwear - if your accommodation has a pool/sauna

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication 
    • Blister plasters 
    • Painkillers/Anti-inflammatories
    • Glucose tablets/Energy gel
    • 2 x Re-hydration sachets - eg Dioralyte
    • Throat lozenges
    • Antiseptic cream/spray

    Documentation

    • Mountain Rescue Insurance  - compulsory
    • Passport
    • Credit card
    • Cash - Euros

    Additional Items

    • Slippers for use at accommodation
    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • Camera/ Book/Music
    • Toiletries - soap/shower gel
    • Ear plugs - if room sharing
    • Small thermos for hot drinks
    • Head torch - plus spare batteries, useful if room sharing
    • 1x Medium size kit bag/holdall/suitcase

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit 

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. The single supplement for summer 2021 will be £300.

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class guides who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    Please note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    Your hiking guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page. 

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons. We have found our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you choose and buy what you require. Buying supplies and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with the local people and to practise your language skills. 

    Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout your day of activity. If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this. 

    Each evening you can choose to order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market and whether you need to purchase items in the evening or if the shop/market is open early enough the next morning not to delay your start. In all cases we would always ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks in the evening before you depart, and not on the morning of your last day when there may be a queue.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have maps of the itinerary you will find that those listed below cover your itinerary: 

    IGN 3630 OT: Chamonix Massif du Mont Blanc 1:25,000

    Or

    IGN 89025: Tour du Mont Blanc 1:50,000

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card.

    On many of our walks we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    On all our trips we prefer if you can experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country we are visiting and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. 

    If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet then please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness. 

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water that is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly. 

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway and Switzerland. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera.

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 

  • Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.

    There may be occasions when our partners have helped book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of one of our partners. 

    We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee, will also be the same. 

    We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2021

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What's Included

  • The guiding services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader
  • 5 Nights half board (breakfast and dinner) in hotel or chalet accommodation: based on two people sharing
  • 1 Night bed and breakfast only in hotel or chalet accommodation: based on two people sharing
  • 3 Cable cars rides to access the trails as part of your trip itinerary including the Aiguilles du Midi
  • Mountain railway and valley transport (not airport transfers)
  • Entry to the Chamonix Museum
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Drinks
  • Lunches 
  • Transfers and cable cars which are not part of the itinerary
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses

Absolutely fabulous trip. Always bagging a peak has to be one of my highlights but the sheer quality of the organisation is second to none.

I just wanted to say thank you again for such a brilliant week in Chamonix. In a way I'd say the holiday was exactly as I expected - there's loads of details on the Tracks & Trails website, and the week panned out pretty much as described. But it also totally exceeded my expectations - the quality of coaching/expertise from all of you guys, the motivation gained from meeting and chatting to some truly inspirational people, plus everyone was just so friendly and nice.

The trip was truly memorable! I loved every aspect of it! The views were spectacular, the guide was exceptional in her leadership and knowledge of the area and the physical challenge was just right. I felt safe and in good hands throughout! I have nothing but rave reviews about the whole experience. Thank you very much, "Tracks and Trails"

Thank you so very much for putting together such a wonderful trip! Hiking in the Alps was truly an unforgettable experience. I liked all accommodations...And our guide Nicole was the true highlight of the trip - just an extraordinary person: passionate about her work, patient, knowledgeable, attentive and kind, very funny, and so strong! 

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Grade: Moderate

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At a Glance

From Price £1095
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 7 Days
Group Size 4-10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 3842m (12604ft)
Countries Visited France
Meet In Chamonix, France
View all Walking Holidays

Hiking in Chamonix

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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