Ultimate Guide To Your Mont Blanc Hike

Magnificent views on Mont Blanc | Dana Garofani
Magnificent views on Mont Blanc | Dana Garofani

Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Mont Blanc Hike

Want to walk the Tour du Mont Blanc but unsure where to start? Here are your answers. 

The highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc, 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 a walking tour of Mont Blanc is without a doubt one of the world’s premier walking experiences. 
In our Ultimate Guide to Choosing your Mont Blanc Hike, we answer the most common questions we get from travellers with a Mont Blanc hike high up on their travel bucket list. These answers will help you explore Mont Blanc your way.
Views of the Trient Glacier |  <i>Ryan Graham</i>

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. Read a hiker's personal account of walking the Mont Blanc Guided Walking tour.
Having said that, we do have a comprehensive range of Mont Blanc tours that suit different fitness levels and desires, so be sure to view all our Mont Blanc walking tours. You can also read real UTracks Traveller reviews on our Mont Blanc tour review page.

Walking at Mont Blanc |  <i>Ryan Graham</i>

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 friendly

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.
At the Col du Bonhomme on the Tour du Mont Blanc |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

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. Consult our honest Trip Grading System for more information about how we grade our different tours.
Happy group having reached one of the high passes on the Tour du Mont Blanc |  <i>Tim Charody</i>

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.
UTracks staff member on balcony trail overlooking Mont Blanc and glaciers Italy |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

What's the most comfortable accommodation option?

The Tour du Mont Blanc trip has hotel accommodation instead of mountain refuges, so it is the most comfortable option. On this tour there are 3-star hotel accommodation throughout. 
Mountain refuge in Mont Blanc region

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.
Common area at Refuge Elena |  <i>Ryan Graham</i>

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.
Yet another stunning vista on the Tour du Mont Blanc.  C'est Magnifique! |  <i>Mar Knox</i>

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.
Staying in traditional mountain huts or refuges are a highlight for many when walking in the Mont Blanc region

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 Blanc

Are there signposts 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.
Local signs and our directions will make walking comfortable for self guided travellers |  <i>Tim Charody</i>

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.
Chamonix in the French Alps |  <i>Phil Wyndham</i>

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.
Mont Blanc 7 day Walk, France |  <i>Jennifer Shewan</i>

Mont Blanc Walking Tours

>> 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
Which Mont Blanc tour is the right trip for you? Let us know in the comments, plus feel free to ask any other questions you may have and our team of active travel specialists will answer you.
alpine walking, Alps, Family Holidays, France, Mont Blanc, walking, walking holidays, Tour du Mont Blanc, Switzerland, Italy, Europe, hiking

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