Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc

Classic Tour du Mont Blanc


Walking the Tour du Mont Blanc

Highlights

  • The Classic Panoramic Tour of Mont Blanc
  • High quality hotel accommodation
  • 10 Days trekking through 3 Alpine countries - France, Italy and Switzerland
  • Hike to Lac Blanc for views of Mont Blanc
  • Experience a night in the unforgettable Bonatti Refuge
  • Luggage transfers provided
  • Cross the Fenêtre d'Arpette & reach the Brevent Summit
  • International Mountain Leader.

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the world's classic trekking journeys, covering 166km (104 miles) and around 10,000 metres (32,800 feet) of up and down. At the heart of the European Alps, the massif of Mont Blanc straddles the borders of France, Italy and Switzerland and includes some spectacular mountain scenery.

With its rich mountaineering history and unsurpassed cultural diversity, this corner of Europe has been an irresistible attraction for the world’s adventurers, climbers and hikers. Mont Blanc itself, at 4810 metres (15,781 feet), is the high point of the range and the highest peak in Western Europe. When viewed from the French town of Chamonix, the capital of world mountaineering, the snowy bulk of this commanding peak exerts a strange fascination.

Streams of cloud trailing from its summit bear witness to the fact that Mont Blanc stands high above the surrounding, and in some respects more dramatic, rocky peaks. The trekker and mountain walker is spoiled for choice in this part of the world, but one obvious challenge is to complete a circuit of the Mont Blanc massif. The well-known long distance walk (or Grand Randonée) known as the Tour du Mont Blanc does just that.


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! 

Just want to say what happy memories I have our holiday at the beginning of the year, then to my surprise, Moya said that she has been in touch to say what a positive experience it was for her. Well, there was me feeling guilty for dragging her out on the snow!! I am of course delighted. It was a fantastic holiday and I feel privileged to been in the position of being able to learn so much from you. It will be interesting for me to see how I get on in the snowy wastes of northern Canada.

Many thanks for a wonderful time. Our guide was knowledgeable, caring, safety conscious and fun to be with - in short a great leader. Having assessed the weather conditions she was able to find the sun and the best snowshoeing for each day. This was our first snowshoeing experience. We had a fabulous three days around Chamonix and would highly recommend Tracks and Trails. We will be back. Many thanks until the next time.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our trip, you are an excellent guide and teacher, and made it feel more like a bespoke trip rather than a group package. We intend to come back to do more, both skiing and possibly snow shoeing, we'll be back in touch when we do. 

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.

I just wanted to thank you again for a very memorable tour. It was certainly the toughest I have done but left me with a real sense of achievement. This would not have been possible without your leadership and guidance.

We had a wonderful trip with you and hope to return soon. You were an excellent guide and I do not think that our family would have been able to complete the trek without your help. Thanks for all of the memories that will last a lifetime! 

It was such a nice trip organized by your company and it was a wonderful experience for all of us. The personal touch given by you and the way you handled all of us for the 6 days was amazing. I was touched by your compassion and generosity along with professionalism. Once again thank you for this lovely experience.

​Fran, our guide, was great!  Tammi and the kids would've re-thought this 'walk' if she weren't there.  Will is a more seasoned hiker and wouldn't have needed a guide, but she helped pull the family in when the walk was tough.  Absolutely no complaints about accommodations, or meals.  Was nice there was always vegetarian options, and wine for dinner was priced fair. A great trip!

A HUGE thank you for the most BRILLIANT holiday. We just loved it. We weren’t quite sure what we were letting ourselves in for, but it surpassed all expectations. We really felt we achieved something. Thank you Julia for making it all a success – we were so lucky to have you as our guide and we really appreciated your skills and expertise – and knowing when to stop for ice creams or hot chocolates.

Thank you Lindsay and Kathy for such a special holiday. Rob and I loved it and cannot thank you enough for all the great effort and organization you put in, without you both it would not have been so memorable.  As a group we all had so much fun and hopefully will come on another trip soon. Missing you both and wish you all the best in the future.

Itinerary

  • airport
  • meet in
  • accommodation
  • route
  • trek
  • Your trip starts in the famous mountain town of Chamonix, France. Hotel rooms are usually available from approximately 1600 hrs, but if you arrive early you will be able to leave your bags at the hotel and perhaps enjoy exploring the town. Your guide will meet you at your hotel this evening to brief you on the days ahead and to answer any questions you might have about the trip. Your accommodation is in a 3* hotel in the heart of the town. 

  • You begin this world famous hike in the village of Les Houches, where we ease into the trip with a cable car ride to reach Bellevue. The cable car arrives at a wonderful view point high above Chamonix Valley where you can pause for a few minutes to take those essential photos of this magnificent mountain valley. We then begin our walk by dropping down to a trail which traverses the mountainside bringing us under the impressive Bionnassay Glacier with the Aiguille de Bionnassay towering above. Crossing the torrent via a suspension bridge, we climb steadily to reach our first ‘Col’ or mountain pass - the Col de Tricot at 2120m (6954ft). At the Col we have stunning views of the snow covered peak of the mighty Dômes de Miage, while below us is the idyllic hamlet of the Refuge de Miage. In the summer months this valley is home to herds of cows, flocks of sheep and usually quite a few horses. We will stop at the historic Refuge de Miage for a welcome drink. The Refuge has been in the Orset family for several generations, and family members played a major part in the French Resistance movement. To complete our day we make a short climb, followed by an easy descent into the traditional alpine village of Les Contamines where we will spend the night.

    Ascent: 840m (2755ft) Descent: 1517m (4975ft) Distance: 15.6km (9.7 miles) Duration: 6h00

  • We begin today with an easy riverside trail to the impressive Notre Dame de la Gorge chapel. Leaving the river, our route then climbs steeply for a short section following the ‘paved’ Roman road to reach a Roman bridge. Our trail then eases as we pass through meadows and pastures of grazing cows to reach the refuge at La Balme, perfectly located for refreshments before the climb to the col du Bonhomme. This long, steady climb often has snow patches early in the season. At 2469m, this is considerably higher than the Col de Tricot, and offers wonderful views further into France including the Vanoise National Park. With the main climb complete we can enjoy traversing around and just slightly further up to our second col for today, the Croix du Bonhomme. We then descend steadily to the sleepy settlement of Les Chapieux (1553m), where we stay in a charming family run auberge.

    Distance 19km. Total Ascent 1350m. Total Descent 960m. Approx walking time 7-8 hours.

  • Today starts with a short bus transfer along the tarmacked road to reach the ‘Ville des Glaciers’. In winter, this entire valley is cut off by snow, but in the summer offers some of the finest grazing ground for cows to produce delightful mountain cheeses. The trail then takes us towards the refuge Les Mottets, which doubles as a donkey and mule sanctuary. Many of these animals earn their keep by transporting baggage to our next high point, at the col de la Seigne (2516m). This is a significant col as we take our first steps into Italy! The panoramic views from the col are unforgettable as we can see not only the impressive Brenva face of Mont Blanc, but all the way to Switzerland and the next white peak of the Grand Combin. We enjoy an easy descent past the Elizabetta Refuge under the awesome ridge of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey. After lunch we walk down the Val Veny valley to reach La Visaille, where we can take a bus down to the vibrant town and mountaineering centre of Courmayeur. We stay in a family run hotel in the town centre.

    Distance 17.2km. Total Ascent 870m. Total Descent 1015m. Approx walking time 5-6 hours.

  • Leaving Courmayeur, we climb a fairly steep but steady track to reach the Bertone hut. Here we make time for a morning cappuccino and soak up the views back down to Courmayeur, before commencing the next part of our climb - up to the Mont de la Saxe ridge. This exceptional trail is a highlight in anyone’s walking career, but should only be considered in good weather and when the trails are snow free. Once up on the ridge we are rewarded with first-class views of many famous peaks of the Mont Blanc massif; the Grandes Jorasses, Dent du Geant, Mont Dolent and of course the mighty Mont Blanc or ‘Monte Bianco’! Our trail leads us over the Tête de la Tronche and then steeply down to the Col Sapin. We then have a short descent, followed by yet another climb to the Col Entre Deux Sauts, before reaching the delightful Rifugio Bonatti for our overnight in the mountains. We can enjoy an ‘apero’ whilst watching the beautiful sunset behind Mont Blanc. Tonight is the only night of the trip without access to your luggage.

    Distance 17km. Total Ascent 1585m. Total Descent 940m. Approx walking time 7 hours.

  • Leaving the Rifugio, we start along an easy balcony trail enjoying views both back to France and on towards our next destination, Switzerland. We descend down to Arnuva and climb up to the Refugio Elena for our final Italian coffee, before embarking on the Grand Col Ferret (one of the highest cols on the trip at 2537m) and the border of Italy and Switzerland. Here we are rewarded with stunning views of the Val Ferret, the Grand Combin and Mont Dolent (the summit of which is the only one bordering France, Switzerland and Italy). If we’re doing well for time we might stop for second refreshments at La Peule. Here we leave the signposted TMB and head to La Fouly via a higher balcony path used by the farmers. La Fouly is an alpine village with traditional Swiss “chocolate box” chalets. We are reunited with our bags as we check into a hotel in the village centre.

    Distance 20.3km. Total Ascent 1128m. Total Descent 1580m. Approx walking time 6 hours.

  • An easier day today, but still with charming views. We start off with a gentle walk downhill through woodland, meadows and along the riverside. We pass through typical Swiss mountain villages and farm buildings before making a climb up and along the ‘Sentier de Champignons’ (mushroom trail) to make an early arrival to the delightful lakeside village of Champex. Here we stay in a traditional hotel, with simple rooms and wonderful food.

    Distance 17.2km. Total Ascent 710m. Total Descent 855m. Approx walking time 5 hours.

  • There are 2 routes between Champex and Trient. If we are going well and the weather/ conditions allow we can climb to the pass known as the Fenêtre d’Arpette – the highest col on the Tour of Mont Blanc. At 2670m, the Fenêtre d’Arpette is perhaps one of the most demanding days of the tour, but there are compensations. On reaching the rocky col, the spectacular view across the Trient Glacier is quite breath taking. We take our time here to fully appreciate this unique position, looking down towards a veritable sea of seracs and crevasses. We then descend into the Trient valley and stay either at the Col de la Forclaz or Trient itself.

    Distance 15.4km. Ascent 1480m. Descent 1760m. Approx walking time 6-7 hours.

    Please note that in summer 2015 there was a landslide which affected this route, and it is not always possible. If we want to be a little more relaxed, or if the weather dictates, we can take the normal TMB route via the Alpage known as the Bovine – a gem of a route with different views but looking along the Rhone valley. The highlight of this route is stopping to visit Nathalie and family at the alpage to sample her homemade cakes! Both routes then continue down to the Trient valley, our Swiss base for the night.

    Distance 15km. Ascent 570m. Descent 570m. Approx walking time 5-6 hours. The leader will decide which route we take.

  • Leaving Trient, we have two options to reach our next high point at the Col de Balme. We prefer to go via the quieter trail of Les Grands, since this allows us to savour views of the Trient Glacier and better appreciate the exposed position of the Fenêtre d’Arpette from the previous day. On reaching the Col de Balme (2191m), we cross the border back into France and see the Chamonix valley below us, dominated by the Aiguille Verte at one end and Mont Blanc at the other. We descend from the Col de Balme to Argentière via the hamlet of Tré-le -Champ to our accommodation for the night.

    Distance 18 km. Total Ascent 1200m. Total Descent 1500m. Approx walking time 6 hours.

  • We start our hike from the middle of Argentiere village, heading towards the Cheserys climbing area. This is one of the most stunning walks in the Chamonix valley! Your guide will choose which is the best route to take, but if conditions allow, we plan to use a series of easy, short ladders and handrails to skirt the rocky landscape. This is straightforward and nothing to worry about, and is in fact often a highlight of the tour for many. We then make our way to the Lac des Cheserys, which is a truly beautiful spot for our picnic lunch. Then it's a short climb to the fabulous Lac Blanc with some of the most famous views in the world. We then make our way down the path to the Flégère cable car where we descend to Les Praz, and stroll into town along the riverbank. A lovely end to another stunning day.

    Distance 12km. Total Ascent 1260m. Total Descent 650m. Approx walking time 6-7 hours.

  • A fabulous finale to our trip today: saving some of the best to last! We complete our Tour du Mont Blanc by taking the cable car up to the mid station of Planpraz, before climbing all the way up to the Col du Brévent, where ibex can often be seen playing on the rocks. Then it's up to the Brévent summit and the perfect photo opportunity for shots of Mont Blanc and all its glaciers and jagged rock spires. The walk along the ridge provides a stunning panorama of the Mont Blanc glaciers, more so than at any other time on the trip. You will feel as though you can almost 'touch' the ice! After enjoying the skyline ridge, we descend via the spectacularly located Refuge Belachat to the Merlet animal park before reaching the valley floor at Les Houches, the starting point of our trip. We take a transfer back to our Chamonix hotel for a second night, and enjoy a celebratory meal to mark the completion of our tour.

    Distance 14.8km. Total Ascent 870m. Total Descent 1776m. Approx walking time 7-8 hours.

  • The holiday package ends after breakfast. Please contact us if you’d like any extra days added to your trip.

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

On all our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. We are painstaking in our research to give you the best option possible and one that is good value. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. However, on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee.

Due to the nature of the accommodation on this trip; we use small hotels, in often tiny villages and one remote mountain hut. If you are booking as a couple you can expect to be in a twin or double room, normally with en suite facilities. In some smaller hotels it's possible we may need to share the bathrooms. Depending on availability we may have to use larger rooms for one night at Les Chapieux where accommodation is very limited. At the Rifugio Bonatti we may be able to book bedrooms, rather than dormitory rooms, but this relies on early booking on the trip. Those guests who book first will be allocated rooms when they are available. If you are a solo traveller and would like to book a single room in the hotels this may be possible for a supplement. However, it will not be possible to have a single room at the Rifugio Bonatti.

Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons, Chamonix

Hotel

Chamonix is a vibrant bustling town and offers a range of hotels. For our trips we aim to book the Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons, but this does require early booking. Otherwise we consider staying at the Hotel Aiguille du Midi, or the Hotel Pointe Isabelle. All these hotels have en suite facilities, and are welcoming and comfortable. 

 

 

 

Hotel Gai Soleil, Les Contamines

Hotel

Les Contamines is in a lovely valley, and is a typical market town. We aim to stay at the Hotel Gai Soleil which is a traditional style chalet-hotel. It has a large garden with seating, and on a summer evening it is a lovely place to spend some time. Rooms are en suite, and dinner is usually local Savoyard dishes. 

Chambres du Soleil, Les Chapieux

Auberge

The Chambres du Soleil guest house is located in the heart of the Les Chapieux and is without doubt one of our favourite overnights. A warm welcome and memorable stay is assured here thanks to Céline and Pierre, who offer comfortable rooms and excellent homemade food. Please note that at Les Chapieux it is always difficult to secure accommodation, and for that reason you might find yourself staying at the Refuge de la Nova next door, or indeed the Refuge des Mottets along the valley. We aim to book bedrooms, but larger rooms may be necessary as spaces are always at a premium in this tiny hamlet. 

Hotel Edelweiss, Courmayeur

Hotel

The Hotel Edelweiss is right in the heart of Courmayeur with easy access to the town centre, while being tucked away in a quiet street where you will not be disturbed by the crowds. The hotel has a lovely sunny garden area at the front, and a spacious lounge bar to enjoy a drink. All the rooms are en suite and dinner is very Italian with local dishes and plenty of pasta. Didi who runs the hotel with her family always gives us a warm welcome. 

Rifugio Bonatti, Italy

Refuge

This wonderful mountain hut was built in memory of the world renowned Italian mountaineer and photographer, Walter Bonatti. The Rifugio Bonatti is run by Mara who always gives us a warm welcome. It is positioned above the picturesque Italian Val Ferret with stunning views of the Mont Blanc massif. There are hot showers and the food is very good!

When possible we aim to book either twin bedrooms, or small dormitories just for our group. A private room depends on early booking and is not always possible. 

Hotel Edelweiss, La Fouly

Hotel

In La Fouly we spend our overnight at the Hotel Edelweiss, like all our other hotels it is family run, cosy and comfortable. There is a bar with a terrace where you can enjoy a drink in the afternoon sun. All the bedrooms are traditional in style with lots of 'wood', and they have en suite facilities. There is a dining room with lovely views, and breakfast is served buffet style.

Hotel Splendide, Champex

Hotel

The Hotel Splendide sits high in the mountains with great views from the terrace down to the valley below. This historic hotel was built between 1934 and 1938 by the grand-father of the owner. All the bedrooms have en suite facilities, and there are various family rooms available. We eat dinner in the lovely old-fashioned dining room, a real touch of history to be found in this family run hotel. 

 

During the Second World War the army from the nearby artillery fort were stationed at the hotel. Those perfect views down the valley were appreciated by more than just the tourists! It gave the army an excellent position of strength for protecting the route through to Italy. 

 

 

Hotel La Grand Ourse, Trient

Auberge

In years gone by the Grande Ourse was a hotel, then it was home to the Swiss Youth Movement camps. It has been entirely renovated and has returned to offering accommodation for hikers. The new owner is Jasiqi Azem and his family who have put a lot of love into the renovation project which was completed 10 years ago. Our accommodation here is in bedrooms when available, and on some occasions it will be necessary to use dormitories. 

The showers, and toilets are on each floor with separate facilities for males, and females. There is a cosy cafe/bar in the old pavilion building which is immediately next to the main building.


  • Chamonix, in France is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. For suggested travel links, please refer to our FAQs for further details. Geneva is the closest international airport being only 75 minutes away by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. Please contact us if you need further advise on your specific travel requirements.

    More information on how to reach Chamonix can be found at www.chamonix.com Please do not hesitate to get in touch to chat through the details. Once you have booked we will send you a list of suggested equipment and clothing for the trek. Group transfers are available from around 25 Euros per person each way. We recommend ChamExpress and Mountain Drop Offs. Please note that transfers are subject to availability and your flight details are required a minimum of 72 hours before your arrival in Geneva. 

  • You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    The insurance clause set out in our 'Terms and Conditions' is below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses, not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc, shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd, or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd, to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres (9840ft), except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m (10,877ft). You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    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. 

  • For each of our trips there is a minimum number of guests required to book before we can 'guarantee' your trip will run. This is normally 4, and on some occasions 5. 

    In the 'Dates and Prices' section you can hover over the 'Status' button to see how many more bookings are required for your trip to be confirmed. 

    The maximum number of guests that we take on any given trip is indicated in the 'At a Glance' box on the right hand side of the trip page. 

    We will, on occasion, run trips that have not reached the minimum number because our guests have agreed to pay a supplement to allow the trip to go ahead, enabling them to book their travel. If the trip then reaches its minimum number we refund the difference. Do contact us if you wish to discuss this option. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • After we have processed your booking we will send you a comprehensive clothing and equipment list that is appropriate to your trip and activity. There will be some items on this list that we strongly recommend and others which are suggested. Our list is based on our experience of what is needed for any particular trip, but it is not the definitive article! If you have items you like to use then do bring them, but be aware of over-loading your 'day' rucksack with items that are heavy and therefore making the trip more challenging.

    Please contact us if in any doubt about what to bring.

  • 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. 

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and simply a case of sharing out a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. On a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    On many of our cross country ski trips to remote areas there will also be a few additional items to share such as the grip waxes/klisters, spare pole, and snow shovel. These items are shared in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

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

    Please note your guide/instructor 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. 

    For our walking, family, and snowshoeing trips your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. For our running trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader, and an experienced mountain 'trail runner'.

    If you have booked on a cross country ski trip you will be with a fully qualified professional BASI Nordic Ski Instructor or equivalent. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors. 

  • This classic walking route is all on good trails. The average daily distance covered each day is 15 kilometres (9.5 miles) with approximately 1000m of ascent and descent so this trip is suitable for regular hikers or those with a good level of fitness. Your luggage will be transferred between hotels, except to the Bonatti Refuge, which means that you need carry no more than a small daypack. Carrying only a daypack and staying in comfortable valley hotels, makes this trip quite relaxed for its DEMANDING grade.

  • This is a general statement with regard to luggage and is not specific to your trip. Please read on.

    Point to Point

    The majority of our point-to-point trips have luggage support which means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need to wear a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. 

    On some trips which feature a night in a refuge/rifugio/hut your main luggage may not be available that evening due to lack of vehicle access. Your rucksack should be of sufficient capacity to carry a few extra items required for this overnight. Your trip itinerary will indicate on which nights you do not have access to your main luggage. If in any doubt please contact us

    Centre Based

    For our centre based trips, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, do refer to the note below with regard to 'size' and the lack of elevators in some hotels. 

    Size of Luggage

    Please note that many hotels do not have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom. 

    On our point-to-point trips where your luggage is moved along the route by taxi we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Many of the taxi companies who move your bags impose a 15kg (33lbs) limit and restrict the number because they have to unload and reload the vehicle each day. If you take more than one bag you may be asked to pay a supplement. 

    Luggage on wheels is a good idea, and as stated you need to be able to carry your luggage to your bedroom which may involve climbing several flights of stairs.  

  • 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 and not in the morning 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. 

  • 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. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips 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. 

    On our walking and running trips which take in the route of the 'Tour du Mont Blanc' you will find that Euros will also be accepted in Switzerland as we are never far from the frontier, but the exchange rate will be poor.

    Below is a list of the currency and the currency symbol for each of the countries where we run trips:

    Italy = Euro/€

    Germany = Euro/€

    Sweden = Krona/SEK

    Norway = Kroner/NOK

    Bulgaria = Lev/BGN

    Switzerland = Swiss Franc/CHF

    Finland, including Lapland = Euro/€

    Spain, including Mallorca = Euro/€

    France, including Corsica = Euro/€ 

    Poland = Zloty/PLN = Euros will be accepted, but some local currency is advisable

    Czech Republic = Koruna/CZK - Euros will be accepted, but some local currency is advisable

  • 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. 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.

    UK residents should obtain and bring with them the 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. 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.

2019

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What's Included

  • Services of a professionally qualified, English-speaking International Mountain Leader
  • Quality hotel accommodation for 9 nights based on twin or double rooms including the first and last nights in Chamonix
  • 1 night at Les Chapieux in an "auberge" and 1 night at the Bonatti Refugio (traditional mountain style accommodation)
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • All transfers and cable cars as part of the itinerary
  • Baggage support every day, except the night in the Bonatti Refuge
  • Tracks and Trails souvenir

What's Not Included

  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Lunches
  • Transfers and cable cars not part of the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, alcohol, souvenirs etc.

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! 

Just want to say what happy memories I have our holiday at the beginning of the year, then to my surprise, Moya said that she has been in touch to say what a positive experience it was for her. Well, there was me feeling guilty for dragging her out on the snow!! I am of course delighted. It was a fantastic holiday and I feel privileged to been in the position of being able to learn so much from you. It will be interesting for me to see how I get on in the snowy wastes of northern Canada.

Many thanks for a wonderful time. Our guide was knowledgeable, caring, safety conscious and fun to be with - in short a great leader. Having assessed the weather conditions she was able to find the sun and the best snowshoeing for each day. This was our first snowshoeing experience. We had a fabulous three days around Chamonix and would highly recommend Tracks and Trails. We will be back. Many thanks until the next time.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our trip, you are an excellent guide and teacher, and made it feel more like a bespoke trip rather than a group package. We intend to come back to do more, both skiing and possibly snow shoeing, we'll be back in touch when we do. 

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.

I just wanted to thank you again for a very memorable tour. It was certainly the toughest I have done but left me with a real sense of achievement. This would not have been possible without your leadership and guidance.

We had a wonderful trip with you and hope to return soon. You were an excellent guide and I do not think that our family would have been able to complete the trek without your help. Thanks for all of the memories that will last a lifetime! 

It was such a nice trip organized by your company and it was a wonderful experience for all of us. The personal touch given by you and the way you handled all of us for the 6 days was amazing. I was touched by your compassion and generosity along with professionalism. Once again thank you for this lovely experience.

​Fran, our guide, was great!  Tammi and the kids would've re-thought this 'walk' if she weren't there.  Will is a more seasoned hiker and wouldn't have needed a guide, but she helped pull the family in when the walk was tough.  Absolutely no complaints about accommodations, or meals.  Was nice there was always vegetarian options, and wine for dinner was priced fair. A great trip!

A HUGE thank you for the most BRILLIANT holiday. We just loved it. We weren’t quite sure what we were letting ourselves in for, but it surpassed all expectations. We really felt we achieved something. Thank you Julia for making it all a success – we were so lucky to have you as our guide and we really appreciated your skills and expertise – and knowing when to stop for ice creams or hot chocolates.

Thank you Lindsay and Kathy for such a special holiday. Rob and I loved it and cannot thank you enough for all the great effort and organization you put in, without you both it would not have been so memorable.  As a group we all had so much fun and hopefully will come on another trip soon. Missing you both and wish you all the best in the future.

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Grade: Demanding

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At a Glance

From Price £2195
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 12 Days
Group Size 10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2670m
Countries Visited Italy, France, Switzerland
Meet In Chamonix, France
View all Walking Holidays

Tour du Mont Blanc history

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