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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in mountain refuges/gîte-hostels
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1590USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: MBT

Trip highlights


  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery around the highest peak in Western Europe
  • Experience the exhilaration of trekking through three countries in the European Alps
  • Enjoying the culinary specialties such as Raclette
  • Participating in the camaraderie on the trail and at night in the refuges

A trek around the highest peak in the European Alps where spectacular alpine scenery combines with the charm of French, Swiss and Italian mountain villages. This historic itinerary takes you across passes, around enormous glaciers and via stunning lakes to take in some of the best viewpoints in the Alps. Meadows crossed by clear melt water streams lead you downwards to green pastures where shepherds will sell their Beaufort cheese to you fresh! Mountain refuges and hotels provide a relaxing respite at the end of your day's trek. This journey is for experienced alpine walkers - providing an enthralling alpine experience with unsurpassed views around each bend.

Trip Grading

moderate to challenging

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Leaving from the village of Le Tour you take the scenic high mountain path of Balme heading towards Switzerland. Weather permitting you will be able to take some wonderful photos of the Mont Blanc chain including the impressive “La Verte”, the Drus and the Needles of Chamonix. You will cross the border between France and Switzerland before making your way down to the village of Trient for overnight accommodation. (9km, +700m/2297ft, -900m/2953ft)

Meals:  D

The trail continues through impressive forests with a strong ascent to the high mountain pastures of the Bovine Alps. The route takes you past shepherds huts and small farms always with views of impressive peaks such as Grand Combin to the south and later to the dramatic depths of the Rhone Valley. The Bovine hut is a great place to stop for lunch where you can spot Marmots playing in the slopes nearby. Descend along a forest trail to the pretty town of Champex located by the lake of the same name. An alternative route is via the “Fenêtre d'Arpette” (2665m), however due to the instability of this trail we do not recommend this route. (+900m/2953ft, -650m/2132ft)

Meals:  B,D

This morning you take a public bus (fare not included - 15 Swiss Francs) to the small village of Ferret (1705m) and commence walking. The route takes you out of Switzerland and into Italy by the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) pass. It’s a steady climb and at the Col you will be awe inspired by the sweeping views of the Pre de Bar glacier. After some time drinking in the Refuge Elena which is located at the base of the glacier and a great place to view the changing light on the alps. Continue to roadhead and take a local bus to Courmayeur. (13km, +900m/2953ft, -500m/1640ft)

Meals:  B,D

This morning you will need to pack your overnight requirements for the next two nights in your daypack. Your main luggage will be waiting for you in Les Contamines on the afternoon of day 7. From the centre of Courmayeur the walk heads steeply up a switchback trail to the Col Checroui. From here you continue the ascent to a steep spur at the top of the valley Veni where the views are spectacular. This balcony trail has some of the most dramatic views of the entire TMB trail. The descent is quite steep to the relatively flat valley floor. Skirting Lake Combal, the trail ascends at the head of the valley to the refuge. (18km, +1560m, -460m) Note: There are options to shorten by taking a bus in the event of poor weather or from around mid July to the end of August you can take a chairlift from Courmayeur (cutting out 700m of the ascent).

Meals:  B,D

From the refuge Elisabetta, the trail takes you to the border of Italy and France at the Col de la Seigne (2518m) in time for an early morning view which, in good weather, will be extraordinary with sweeping views of the Mont Blanc massif and surrounding glaciers and valleys. Descend via a switchback trail to the Vallee des Glaciers, passing by a cheese maker where you have opportunities (if open) to sample Beaufort cheese. A big ascent (949m) leads to your overnight refuge just below the pass of Col de la Croix. (20km,+1147m, -1004m)

Meals:  B,D

This morning the trail traverses mountain pastures to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2433m) where there are brilliant views southeast to the peaks of the Vanoise. The trail continues down to the Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and crosses the Contamines Natural Reserve. A sharp descent through a pine forest fringed gorge takes us to an ancient Roman Road and the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge, and further on to Les Contamines. where there is a bus or taxi service (payable locally) to Le Fayet and Chamonix. Walking: approx 13km, +40m/131ft, -1316m/4317ft Note: Your main luggage will be waiting for you in your accommodation in Les Contamines.

Meals:  B,D

The trail takes you along the river valley and heads slowly to La Gruvaz before continuing to Le Champel and a fairly steep ascent via Bionnassay to the Col de Voza. A longer route can be taken following a combination of tracks and trails above Contamines before you ascend to cross a shoulder of Mont Truc followed by an ascent of the Col du Tricot (2120m) which forms the divide between the Miage and Bionnasay Valleys. From here you have some spectacular views of limestone cliffs and the pistes below. The descent follows a combination of gravel roads and tracks past some settlements to reach Les Houches. Alternate route via the Col de Voza (4.5hrs, +633m, -646m) (20km, +1318m/4324ft, -1478m/4849ft)

Meals:  B,D

This is a big day. Its possible to shorten the walk by descending the lift from Brevent instead of going all the way to Flegere. If you have the stamina the longer walk is well worth it. Cross the L’Arve River to continue up to the “Grand Balcon Sud” offering seriously good balcony trail views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley. The trail takes you all the way to the top of Flegere Lift. From here you can descend to Les Praz then continue along the River to reach the centre of Chamonix. Your luggage will be awaiting collection at your pre tour hotel from around 4.00pm.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. Dinner will consist of 2 or 3 courses which may include regional specialities.
  • 7 nights accommodation in mountain refuges / gîte hostels on a dormitory share basis. It is possible to upgrade to a double room on 4 out of 7 nights – additional cost applies (only possible for 2 people travelling together).
  • Luggage transfer except days 5-6 (max 15kgs - soft duffel style luggage only). You will need to carry your overnight requirements on three consecutive days - 5 to 7. Your main luggage will meet you at the accommodation in the Contamines Valley on day 7.
  • Information pack including Navigational App and TMB hiking map (1:50,000) per group of 1-4 people* – the route is waymarked.
  • *A group is the people in your booking party who you are travelling with, staying in the same accommodation.

  • Travel to Le Tour and from Les Houches
  • Lunch and drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Storage of luggage - please ensure your pre tour hotel can store luggage before you book
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Public transport including cable cars

Accommodation


Grading

moderate to challenging  

MODERATE to CHALLENGING – GRADE 4 The walking is moderate to challenging (4) grade with daily walks of around 5-7 hours, between 8 and 20km and maximum ascents of 1320 metres per day. The timing provided in the itinerary is a guide only and is for the walking components only – rest breaks are not included. There are some challenging stages during the walk with steep uphills, descents, and many sections of the trail which require care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good to excellent level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. It is considered suitable for experienced walkers only. You should also be able to navigate in alpine regions using a map. Whilst the route is very well marked and well trodden, adverse weather conditions may make navigation difficult without reference to a map and our navigational App. Early in the season (June) you may encounter snow on the passes which may be quite deep and alter the grading of the trip to advanced. At any time during summer, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong sun and extreme winds.


Departure dates

Daily except Sunday and Monday from 18 Jun to 12 Sep

Notes

DN1
A minimum of 2 people travelling together is required when booking the room option. Contact our team for more details. Room upgrade is possible on 4 out of 7 nights and is always subject to availability. Please ensure you read the downloadable trip notes before booking this trip.
DN2
This itinerary is indicative only and will depend on accommodation booked. Hours indicated do not include rest stops. This itinerary may operate in reverse, beginning in the Contamines valley. Local bus in Switzerland and cable car fees extra.
DN3
Note: you will need to carry your overnight requirements on days 5 and 6. Your main luggage will meet you at the accommodation in the Contamines Valley. Please ensure you read the downloadable trip notes prior to booking.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$1590USD

Options & Supplements*
  • discount for 7 day trip ending in Les ContaminesUSD$-85
  • 7 day trip double room supplement - 3 nights dorm / 3 nights double roomUSD$190
  • double room supplement - 3 nights dorm / 4 nights double roomUSD$220
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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