A quick guide to choosing your Mont Blanc hike

Trail markers along the Tour du Mont Blanc circuit | Annika Rautiola
Trail markers along the Tour du Mont Blanc circuit | Annika Rautiola
The highest mountain in Western Europe is home to a dramatic alpine landscape that can be experienced up close and personal or at a more ‘civilised’ altitude on a range of walking trips of varying lengths and difficulty levels. Staying in comfortable accommodation serving plenty of hearty mountain cheer and surrounded by uninterrupted views of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes and passes every step of the way, it’s not hard to see why the Tour du Mont Blanc is without a doubt one of the world’s premier walking experiences. 
We answer the most common questions we get from travellers with a Mont Blanc hike high up on their travel bucket list to help you do Mont Blanc your way.

What is the most popular walk?

Our most popular walks are the 7-day Mont Blanc Guided Walk and the 8-day self-guided Mont Blanc Classic. These routes showcase the highlights of the Mont Blanc region in just a week.

Is it possible to circumnavigate Mont Blanc?

Yes, and if you have the time, we highly recommend choosing one of our three walks that completely circle the Mont Blanc massif:
  1. Tour du Mont Blanc – a 14-day self-guided trip with two rest days built in, staying in 2 and 3-star accommodation most nights
  2. Mont Blanc Circuit – a 10-day self-guided walk staying in dorms in gîte-style accommodation
  3. Mont Blanc Encompassed – our 10-day guided version of the Mont Blanc Circuit
  Family walking in the Mont Blanc region can be family friendlyOur range of Mont Blanc walks can accommodate everyone from families to experienced alpine hikers

Is it safe for kids?

We offer alpine walking holidays for families and experienced mountain walkers alike. Our family friendly Mont Blanc walks have been specially designed so that the whole family can enjoy them. They are a wonderful way to introduce children to active holidays and the pleasures of hiking in the outdoors.

How fit do I need to be?

Our alpine walking holidays range from moderate to challenging, with 5-9 hours or 8-15 km of walking required each day. There are challenging stages in every alpine walk, with steep uphills, descents, and sections of the trail which require care. An excellent level of fitness is required for more challenging trips, while our moderate walks are more suitable for families and people with a reasonable level of fitness.

What's the most challenging walk?

There isn’t a straight forward answer to this question. As all the trips walk on the Tour du Mont Blanc trail, the level of challenge depends on the length of time you are on the trail, the time of year (early season departures will have snow on the passes which makes things a bit more challenging) and whether you take a harder variant route. Some of these variant routes will have you climbing ladders and traversing ridge-lines. Self-guided walkers will have the option of one or two routes each day, while guides will decide what route your group will take on a guided tour, depending on conditions.

What's the most comfortable accommodation option?

Our new Mont Blanc in Comfort trip is the most comfortable option, with 3-star hotel accommodation throughout (with the exception of one night in a more simple hotel). 
Mountain refuge in Mont Blanc regionStaying in traditional mountain huts or gîtes are a big part of any Alps walking experience

What is the accommodation like?

The accommodation on all of our Mont Blanc walking trips is in mountain huts. They are part of the experience, offering clean, warm beds, hearty food and the opportunity to share a drink with your new friends at the end of a long day of walking. Read our ‘Dorms or Private Rooms’ post to see which style of room is best for you.

Is there a chance I'll get altitude sickness?

The mildest forms of altitude sickness can occur above 2500m (which is the same height as many ski resorts), but given your slow ascent on foot it is very unlikely that you will feel any change. Generally, most of our alpine walks are between 1000m and 2500m.

How far in advance should I book?

In order to secure your place on your chosen Mont Blanc hike, we recommend that you book as soon as possible as the season for hiking in the Alps is relatively short and our Mont Blanc walking holidays often book out well in advance. Bookings open for the following year in mid-September.

When should I go?

The season for walking around Mont Blanc is from June to September. As with every destination, there are pros and cons to travelling at different times of the year. People hiking at the start of the season are likely to be affected by snow coverage, which looks great in your photos but presents more of a challenge for walking. There is also the possibility that passes will be closed during this early period, meaning you could be re-routed. The wildflowers are at their most splendid in June and July. August is the busiest month to embark on a Mont Blanc hike, because the weather conditions are generally the most favourable. Many towns and villages hold festivals to celebrate summer being in full swing in August. The temperature may be cooler in September, but there are fewer people walking the trails. 
Self Guided Trips for Beginners: Tour du Mont BlancThe trails on the Tour du Mont Blanc are well-marked and maintained for Self Guided walkers

Are there sign posts to help self-guided walkers?

The paths are easily identifiable and there are signs everywhere, making it easy for self-guided walkers to find their way. We also provide maps and detailed route instructions, so getting lost should not be an issue for anyone with reasonable navigation skills and who is comfortable with the outdoors.

How do I get there?

Geneva is the closest airport. To reach the Chamonix Valley from the airport, we recommend you take a shuttle transfer, which takes 1 hour. Alternatively there are scheduled bus services between Geneva Airport and Chamonix. Zurich has excellent train connections with a couple of changes, taking about 4 hours. Our trip notes provide detailed information advising how to get to the start of your chosen walking tour.

How do the luggage transfers work?

On our guided trips we use mules to transfer your luggage between your lodgings each day, which spares you from having to carry your luggage for long distances and through challenging terrain. We provide you with special bags and are strict in imposing a 7kg maximum per bag to ensure that mules’ loads are within the ethical pack carrying guidelines. For early or late season departures, and for all of our self-guided trips, we use vehicles to transfer your luggage.
>> Book your Mont Blanc Walk or contact us for help choosing your perfect Small Group or Self Guided tour 
>> Browse our full range of Alpine Walking Holidays in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps, the French and Spanish Pyrenees, Italy's Dolomites, the Bavarian Alps, the Balkans, Slovenia's Julian Alps and Austria's Dachstein Alps
alpine walking, Alps, Family Holidays, France, Mont Blanc, walking, walking holidays

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