Coffee & Cake break at Alp Bovine with views of the Swiss Alps | Ryan Graham
Walk the Tour du Mont Blanc
Three reasons why the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the world's best treks
The Tour du Mont Blanc [TMB] is consistently ranked as one of the best treks in the world, and for good reason too. There surely are many contenders with some fantastic treks all around the world, but at UTracks we believe that none strike such a perfect balance as the circumnavigation around Mont Blanc. Read on to find three reasons why the Mont Blanc walk ranks so high.
#1 The Route Makes It One of the Best Treks in the World
Lush green valleys and snow-capped peaks dotted with gorgeous wooden chalets; the Alps are picture perfect. The Mont Blanc trek takes you through three countries, which offer variety in culture and cuisine that is difficult to beat… Swiss chocolate, French cheese & Italian wines are all to be experienced.
The circumnavigation of Mont Blanc takes you through the Val Ferret, which on a clear sunny day is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The potential downside is that the circumnavigation of Mont Blanc is a popular trekking route. There are plenty of people on the trail but by no means is it overcrowded. It can’t be due to limited accommodation on the route. The TMB is traditionally trekked anti-clockwise, which 90% of people do. However, the majority of UTracks departures trek the route clockwise against the flow of traffic. This means that in the mornings and late afternoons you will have the trail virtually to yourself with a rush of traffic around midday when you pass the trekkers heading in the opposite direction.
#2 The Level of Walking
Some treks around the world are extremely difficult and require months of intensive training to prepare for. Other treks can feel like a leisurely stroll and do not offer much of a challenge. The trek around Mont Blanc hits a sweet spot where a reasonably fit person with adequate training and the right attitude can complete the trek. Having said that, the trek will for most of us still be out of our comfort zone and there can be a great sense of achievement when completing this Mont Blanc walk.
The days are not too dissimilar to a 9-5 working day. Starting around 8-9am, an hour for lunch around midday, and finishing around 5 or 6pm every day. At the end of a hard day’s trekking, you are happy to put your feet up and enjoy a hard-earned glass of wine. The well-known TMB takes around eleven days to complete, our Mont Blanc guided walk covers a section of the TMB in seven days - or you can join the longer, guided Mont Blanc Encompassed over 10 days. Exactly the right amount of time to take up a week’s holiday and escape to some of the most stunning mountains in the world.
#3 Infrastructure on the Tour du Mont Blanc Is Incomparable
Patagonia or the Himalayas may be superior trekking regions in the opinions of many, but they are remote areas that can take some considerable time and effort just to get to. The Mont Blanc region on the other hand, with three nearby airports, is easy to reach for most people.
The TMB takes you through three developed countries with excellent infrastructures that few trekking regions in the world can compete with. Chamonix, where most of our Mont Blanc walks typically start and end, is a charming resort town with world-class facilities and is just over a one-hour drive/bus ride from Geneva International Airport.
The accommodation on the Mont Blanc walk, whilst not five-star, are comfortable and have everything you could ask for; warm showers, great food, and well stocked bars, not to mention incredible views. There are a couple of towns you will visit along the route which have ATMs, outdoor stores, and supermarkets so you can pick up any essentials if necessary. One of our group went to buy a new pair of hiking boots in Courmayeur whilst the rest of the group enjoyed some Italian gelato and WiFi.
There is no such thing as the best trek in the world. Each trek has its own strengths and weaknesses, and what one person may judge to be a strength, another may deem a weakness. We all have personal reasons why we might choose to trek, for some it might be to escape the city and connect with nature, for others it may be to challenge ourselves physically and mentally, whilst some may simply want to soak up the stunning nature and take some cool pictures to bring back home.
There may be a trek that better serves each of these needs than walking around Mont Blanc, but in my opinion perhaps no other trek in the world serves them all better than the Mont Blanc guided walk.
This article was contributed by Ryan from our UK office. He joined the Mont Blanc Guided Walk in August 2019.