Family Tour Du Mont Blanc
Family Mont Blanc Tour
Family Mont Blanc Tour
Family Tour Du Mont Blanc
Family Mont Blanc Tour
Family Mont Blanc Tour

Family Tour du Mont Blanc


Trip Overview

A perfect introduction to multi-day walking for families with children aged from 10 years old. Travel through three countries and three cultures on our mini-Tour du Mont Blanc. We meet in Chamonix in France, the mountaineering capital of the world to begin a journey of discovery which takes in the history, culture, folklore and wildlife of the mountains. We cross high passes, visit remote farms, a beautiful lakeside mountain village, and sleep in a mountain hut - it's all there on the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Highlights

  • Stunning mountain views of glaciers and summits
  • Mini-tour of the biggest mountain in the Alps, Mont Blanc
  • Walk in three countries; France, Switzerland and Italy
  • Sleep in a gorgeous mountain, hut the Rifugio Bonatti
  • Walk with a professional International Mountain Leader
  • Learn all about the flora and fauna, and folklore
  • All meals included, breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

This excellent family adventure is for families who love to walk. During the week, you will make a half circuit of the Mont Blanc massive following the classic Tour du Mont Blanc trail. This excellent introduction to multi-day walking is designed for families that are already used to full days out but now want to make a journey. With comfortable hotel and chalet accommodation and luggage transfers provided, this itinerary enables the whole family to walk the most beautiful section of the famous Mont Blanc circuit.


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 so much for being an amazing guide we learnt so much! We all really enjoyed ourselves and will never forget the experience. You have been an inspiration and helped us when we needed it most. We will certainly be staying in touch to plan a winter trip next.

Itinerary

  • house
  • cable
  • cable car
  • trek
  • This evening your guide will meet you at your accommodation at the Yeti Lodge, in the village of Argentière, just outside Chamonix. The views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding range from this picturesque mountain village provide a taste of things to come! Before dinner, you will meet your guide to have an informal chat about the days ahead. There's also time for a clothing and kit check to see if anything else is needed before setting out in the morning.

  • Today’s walk provides spectacular views across to the main Mont Blanc range. We begin with a ride in the Flégère cable car to reach the start of our ridge walk which will lead us upwards to the world famous Lac Blanc. En route we often see mountain animals, such as ibex, chamois, and marmots, which range freely throughout the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve. The Reserve was set up in 1974 and covers some 3,279 hectares (8,100 acres) in a bid to protect the flora and fauna of this beautiful alpine landscape. Once we reach Lac Blanc, which sits at an altitude of 2352m (7714ft) there is an opportunity to indulge in some coffee and homemade goodies in the Refuge. We then walk down to the cable car mid-station at La Flégère, and then descend to Chamonix valley by cable car. 

    Ascent: 500m (1640ft) Descent: 500m (1640ft) Distance: 7.5km (4.7 miles) Duration: 3h00-4h00

  • After breakfast we walk straight out the front door and along the Petit Balcon Nord, to the hamlet of Le Tour at the top end of the valley. On the way we wander through larch forest and the cow-bells of the grazing animals can often be heard in the meadows below us. We pass some beautiful old wooden chalets that seem trapped in a time warp! Once at Le Tour we save our legs by taking the cable car up the mountain. We then head across the mountainside and over our high point for the day, which lies below the peak of the Croix de Fer. From here we head to the alpine cow meadows at Les Tseppes, and then zig-zag down through the larch forest to the tiny village of Trient. Depending on the availability of accommodation, we either overnight in Trient or walk a little further to the historic coaching hotel at the Col de la Forclaz.

    Ascent 600m (1968ft) Descent: 1000m (3280ft) Distance: 14km (8.7 miles) Duration: 4h00-5h00

  • Depending on where you stayed last night the day will either begin with a climb to the Col de la Forclaz, or you will begin from the Col and head straight along the lovely Bovine trail. Either way you are soon wandering through the larch forests, and on your way to Champex. The Bovine is famous for its high pastures which are home to the famous Swiss fighting cows during the summer months, hence the name the 'Bovine'. The fighting cows are just brilliant, they are cheeky and with a lot of attitude! The 'fight' is the equivalent of Sumo wrestling for cows, and no one gets hurt, well, apart from damaged pride! We stop for lunch at the farm, where we might be able to chat with Nathalie, the farmer, whilst enjoying views right along the Rhône Valley of some of the major Swiss peaks. In the afternoon we walk down to the idyllic lakeside village of Champex where we overnight.

    Ascent: 700m (2296ft) Descent: 700m (2296ft) Distance: 15km (9.4 miles) Duration: 6h00-8h00

  • Champex has a beautiful 'blue-green' lake which is totally natural and a remnant from the days this high valley was covered by a glacier. After walking around the lake, we descend through pine trees and the begin the ‘mushroom trail’ towards the Praz de Fort meadows. Along the way there are information boards where you can learn about mushrooms. There are also fantastic wooden sculptures of animals placed at intervals along our route. Keeping to the valley floor and the river edge, we start a gradual climb towards the Italian border and Mont Dolent: a truly international summit stradling France, Switzerland and Italy. We spend the night in the small Swiss village of La Fouly. Optionally, this can be a rest day to enjoy relaxing in Champex with ‘pedalo’ hire available on the lake. You can then easily transfer to our accommodation in La Fouly by bus, a journey of approximately 90 minutes. Please note that if you choose to take the bus your ticket is not included in the trip price.

    Ascent: 550m (1804ft) Descent: 430m (1410ft) Distance: 15km (9.4 miles) Duration: 5h00

  • Today is our big day as we head to the hills to spend the night at one of the most beautiful Italian Rifugios. A Rifugio is accommodation high in the mountains, usually only accessible on foot or by helicopter! In France they are called Refuges, and in Switzerland either Cabane or Hütte. They are literally a refuge in the mountains for hikers and climbers. So we set off on a long, steady climb to the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) and the Italian border. En route we stop at La Peule, a perfectly situated farm and refuge, to refuel with coffee and homemade cake. The farming family at La Peule spend the summer months making cheese. 

    The climb is well worth the effort, with views into Switzerland of the mighty snow-capped Grand Combin (4090m) and of the French frontier ahead of us in the distance. We descend into Val Ferret to the cafe at Arnuva and refuel, before our last uphill push to reach the Rifugio Bonatti at 2056m (6743ft). The Rifugio has stunning views of the Mont Blanc massif and provides a true night in the mountains. This is a new mountain hut which pays homage to the world renowned Italian mountaineer and photographer Walter Bonatti. Showers are available and the food is excellent! Please note there is no luggage transfer to your accommodation today. You will be carrying just a few extra items in your rucksack for your overnight. 

    Ascent: 1270m (4165ft) Descent: 770m (2526ft) Distance: 19km (11.8 miles) Duration: 6h00-8h00

  • We rise to views of the mountains and enjoy a good Italian hut breakfast before we begin our day on what is a really superb trail. We leave the Rifugio Bonatti and walk along a balcony trail without losing any of our height. Depending on how we feel, there are several options for completing our journey. A classic option is to walk over the Col du Sapin which sits at 2436m (7990ft) and the summit of the Tête de la Tronche  at 2584m( 8475ft), before traversing the stunning Mont de la Saxe Ridge to the Rifugio Bertone. The Rifugio is an ideal spot to enjoy refreshments and the views of the ‘Italian’ side of Mont Blanc, or Monte Bianco in Italian! Then it's a descent through the pine and larch forests into the old quarter of the town of Courmayeur where we complete our journey. We have time to soak up the Italian sunshine, eat gelato, and enjoy some cafe culture before meeting our transfer back to Chamonix Valley. 

    Ascent: 300m (984ft) Descent: 900m (2952ft) Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) Duration: 5h00

  • Today is departure day, and the end of the trip 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

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In most cases we have known the management for many years. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured hotel/chalet and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of similar standard. 

All accommodation is in twin or family rooms, these may have en suite facilities or if in a chalet they may be with shared bathrooms. We have one night in dormitory style accommodation in the Rifugio Bonatti.  This is normal in a mountain hut and you will find that there are often families staying the night. We aim to try and secure a small dormitory just for our group. Twin rooms are available at the Rifugio, but are subject to a supplementary charge. Due to the nature of the accommodation on this trip; small hotels, in often tiny villages and remote mountain huts, we cannot offer single rooms. If you have any questions about the accommodation please contact us.

Yeti Lodge, Family TMB

Chalet

The chalet has a sauna, hot tub and views of Mont Blanc. The bedrooms are twins, but with family groups there are also sometimes rooms available for three. These will be either en suite or shared bathrooms depending on availability. All meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and three-course dinner) are included. One of the evenings you will eat out in the village of Argentière - this is included in the price. Chalets are limited in terms of the number of bedrooms and for this reason single rooms are not 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.

 

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.

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 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.

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. 


  • Chamonix, in France, is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane.  Geneva is the closest international airport, only 1h15 by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements

  • Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be travelling in the mountains, you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you to take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip for whatever reason. NB: The insurance referred to below should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed that your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    For ease of reference the clause relating to Insurance as set out in our Terms and Conditions is given 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 event 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, except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m. 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.

  • This trip will run once a minimum number of 8 guests have booked, and we will take a maximum of 10 guests. Our trips all have a limited group size, for reasons of safety and enjoyment. We advise you not to make your travel arrangements until the trip is guaranteed to run.

  • If you consider yourselves a ‘hill-walking’ family then this is for you.  These trips involve longer days at an altitude of up to 2800m (9184ft) on good paths and tracks. A good level of fitness is required as these treks can involve considerable amounts of ascent and descent and the occasional difficult day on rougher paths. There may be an occasional day with ascents/descents of up to 1250m (4100ft). We would expect you to have previous experience of walking on consecutive days in the mountains, and have experience of hiking in bad weather. Expect to walk 5-7 hours per day. 

    You should be confident that everyone in the family is comfortable with these daily distances and ascents, especially the younger members of the family. 

  • On each walking day, there will be vehicle support to carry your luggage to the next overnight stop. To make things efficient during the luggage transfer process, and to prevent any losses, please keep luggage to a minimum. We would suggest one bag of no more than 15 kgs (33lbs). We will supply you with a label to ensure your bag can be easily identified by our transfer drivers. Please make sure you can carry your own bag as many hotels do not have 'lifts'.

    Please note that on the night we walk to the Rifugio Bonatti there is no access to your luggage. On this occasion we will each carry a few extra overnight items in our rucksack, for example a small wash kit, a few extra items of clothing, a head torch, and sheet sleeping bag liner. Your guide will help you with our decisions when packing for the Rifugio. 

  • Summer mountain weather can vary considerably. It is generally good in the Alps with lovely days, 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 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.

  • 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. You can read our full policy here.

  • Due to the specialised nature of many of our holidays, we co-sell a number of our trips with 'partner' companies. Our partners are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our own ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer to our guests. By encouraging our partners 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 to 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 our partners. 

    We guarantee that any partners with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails. The price will be the same, though occasionally our partners 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

Sat 06 Jul - Sat 13 Jul
Code: FMB1
Price: £1075 Book
Sat 03 Aug - Sat 10 Aug
Code: FMB2
Price: £1075 Book

What's Included

  • Full board for six nights in a 2** hotel or similar based on twin/family rooms
  • Full board for one night in a mountain hut in dormitory-style accommodation
  • The guiding services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader
  • Transfers as part of the itinerary
  • Transfer of your luggage between hotels
  • Cable car ticket from Le Tour
  • All meals: breakfast, picnic lunch and three-course evening meal
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Drinks and snacks

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 so much for being an amazing guide we learnt so much! We all really enjoyed ourselves and will never forget the experience. You have been an inspiration and helped us when we needed it most. We will certainly be staying in touch to plan a winter trip next.

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At a Glance

From Price £1075
Holiday Type Family
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 10
Maximum Altitude 2537m (8321ft)
Countries Visited Italy, France, Switzerland
Meet In Chamonix Valley, France
View all Family Holidays

Family Tour du Mont Blanc