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Duration
7 days
Activities
  • guided alpine walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights in mountain refuges/gîte-hostels
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

Price

Adult$1290USD

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Outdoor walking and cycling trails
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Overview

Trip Code: MFA

Trip highlights


  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery around the highest peak in Western Europe
  • Experience the exhilaration of trekking through two countries in the European Alps
  • Enjoying the culinary specialties
  • Sharing your walking day with other families and the donkeys which enrich your alpine experience

There are few walks in the world which offer the incredible views and high alpine vistas found on the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). To combine this walk with a family holiday ensures that all members of the family experience the spectacular trails and wonderful alpine spirit of the French and Italian Alps. Guided along mountain trails this relaxed itinerary starting in the Chamonix Valley provides awesome views of Mont Blanc with overnight stays in high mountain huts. Carrying only a day pack, our donkeys transport our bags and supplies. Staying in local refuges and gîtes we feast on French and Italian cuisine. This itinerary, suitable for active children from age 7 and up, provides an exhilarating alpine walk with unforgettable vistas around every bend.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

This morning you will meet the rest of the group and your guide in the Chamonix Valley town of Les Houches. You will be advised of the meeting point with your tour confirmation. There will be a short briefing where you will pack gear in the kit bags provided (to be loaded onto the donkeys) and begin walking. The route follows the classic anti clockwise direction. The first climb of the trip takes you to the Col de Voza (1653m) before crossing the tracks of the Tramway du Mont Blanc to reach Bionnassay. The evening will be spent at Bionnassay in a refuge with shower. 6km/3.8mi, +771m, -539m/+2530ft, -1768ft

Meals:  L,D

The walk today begins with the backdrop of the Domes de Miage and an exceptional view of Mont Joly and the Montjoie Valley. Continue to the pretty Notre Dame de la Gorge church and ascend an ancient Roman road towards the Col du Bonhomme. A steep narrow track takes you through the forest following a narrow gorge to Refuge de Nant Borant and the accommodation for the night (or alternatively you will continue a further 30 minutes to Refuge de la Balme). Overnight refuge with shower. 16km/10mi, +213m, -222m/+698ft, -728ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The walk today is one long ascent to the Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and a short time later to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2483m). En route there is ample opportunity to take in the stunning views and appreciate the historic nature of this route from France to Italy. First encounters with marmots are likely, although being quite shy they disappear quickly. Along the route you are likely to encounter snow, particularly earlier in the season, so boots are essential. The Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme is the highest we stay at on this section of the trail and one of the few where vehicle access is not possible. In early season departures where donkey's are unable to cross the Col du Bonhomme, you may need to carry your overnight requirements. From the refuge the views are expansive and impressive and there is also the opportunity to view wildlife such as Ibex and Marmot. There are a number of board games to occupy the kids whilst you relax in the company of your fellow hikers. Overnight refuge with shower. 7km/4.5mi, +1023m, -100m/+3356ft, -328ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Descend steeply through alpine pastures brimming with wildflowers to the small hamlet of Chapieux. Today there will be opportunities to visit cheese farmers and purchase Beaufort Cheese. Continue to the Refuge des Mottets (1870m) at the base of the Col de la Seigne. Overnight refuge with shower. 12.5km/8mi, +346m, -876m/+1135ft, -2874ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s walk takes you across the border into Italy. The ascent to the Col de la Seigne (2516m) is via a series of steep switchbacks which open out to a wide trail when you reach the pass. The view across to the Glacier des Glaciers is superb from this pass. On a cold and windy day, the new information centre is a welcome respite in addition to offering a wealth of facts about the region. Continue to Rifugio Elisabetta which has a prime location, excellent view of the glacier and surrounding peaks and superb Italian mountain cuisine. Overnight refuge with shower. 9.5km/6mi, +727m, -416m/+2385ft, -1365ft

Meals:  B,L,D

On a good weather day there are extraordinary views on this section of the trail – many believe this is the best walking day on the TMB! Like walking on a balcony with the lofty heights of the south face of Mont Blanc, the dramatic spire of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey and the tumbling Miage glacier with you throughout the walk which coupled with the profusion of alpine blooms and glacial streams will certainly take your breath away. A picnic stop anywhere along this balcony trail is essential to absorb this view before continuing to the Rifugio Maison Vieille. Overnight refuge with shower. 11.5km/7mi, +400m, -500m/+1312ft, -1640ft

Meals:  B,L,D

On our last days walk we descend steeply via a series of switchbacks and ski runs to Courmayeur where you can reward the family with a gelato to mark the end of the hike. After a final picnic we say goodbye to our donkeys, Gepato, Barnabas and Socrates. 6.5km/4mi, +0m, -728m/+0ft, -2388ft

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. Lunch is picnic style including salad, bread, cheese, meat, fruit and something sweet. Dinner will consist of 3 courses which usually include regional specialties.
  • 6 nights accommodation in mountain refuges / gîte hostels on a dormitory share basis.
  • Luggage transfer by donkey – max 7kgs (excesses are refused so please test the weight of your luggage before meeting the group, allowing 200g for the kit bag). It is possible early or late in the season that you may need to carry your overnight requirements for one or two days if the snow conditions on the trail are not suitable for donkeys.
  • Experienced mountain guide

  • Travel to and from the trail head
  • Drinks and items of a personal nature
  • Storage of luggage
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance - mandatory

Accommodation


Grading

moderate  

MODERATE– GRADE 3 The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily guided walks of around 3-6 hours. There are some more demanding 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 level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. It is considered suitable for active children from 7 years of age. Early in the season (June) you will encounter snow on the passes which may be quite deep and alter the grading of the trip to challenging. 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. The planned itinerary may be altered in the event of adverse weather conditions. As with all our moderate programs, we expect participants to be active and fit, enjoying aerobic sport around two to four times a week over some period of time. Preferably this has been a long term interest but if not, you have set a program of fitness preparation with at least three months lead in time to your trip. The fitter you are for your trip, the more of a holiday it will be. Activities as close to the actual activity on your trip are the best training; in this instance walking with and without a pack. This builds leg strength, aerobic capacity and confidence in your ability to travel comfortably with a pack for extended periods. At the same time, you are also comfortable with the layers you like to wear and footwear. Important note: good quality walking boots with ankle support are a pre-requisite for your participation. Runners or shoes without ankle support are not suitable for the conditions encountered on this walk.


Departure dates


Notes

DN1
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.

Total Priceper person from

Adult from$1290USD

Child from$1140USD** See below for further details.

Options & Supplements*
  • child (aged 7-14 years)USD$1140
*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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