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Breathtaking views, winding paths, green forests and rolling meadows are just a few of the majestic sights you will see on your 14-day trek. Of course, the big attraction is Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, with its snowfields and hanging glaciers. Once you see these, you’ll understand how the mountain got its name.
The TMB Circuit will take you through some intense valleys and mountain passes that cover all kinds of terrain. You’ll hike for at least 5-6 hours per day, taking in the pristine mountain views at every turn. The trip encompasses a trek around the mountain that includes visiting three different countries: Italy, Switzerland and France. You will get a look at the very best each has to offer, while experiencing the trip of a lifetime and getting to know people from all over the world. Each day of your trek begins and ends with great views, great food and great people.
Mont Blanc’s massif has seven valleys that flow into Italy, Switzerland and France, each with its own culture, architecture and landscapes. Together, along with your guide, we will explore each of these valleys, hiking up the ridges, and down into the valleys below. You will have plenty of time to explore the gems of nature, including the snow-capped peaks, green mountain meadows and beautiful glaciers. This trek will give you a new appreciation of nature and all it has to offer. The Mont Blanc circuit offers some of the most breathtaking views in the world. Perhaps that is why it remains one of the most popular treks among hikers and adventurers.
Your Mont-Blanc tour begins in Switzerland, where you will be transported by coach from Geneva to the lovely commune of Chamonix, one of the oldest Ski Resorts in France. From there we will have a couple of days to gather our bearings before we head off onto the TMB. Along the way the steep terrain will take you 1200 m up and down each day. You will have peace of mind, though, knowing that this is a supported trip. You will be accompanied by an experienced and accomplished tour guide. You will also be glad to know that all you have to carry with you throughout the day is a day pack. At the end of each day, your luggage and belongings will await you either at your hotel.
At the end of your 13-day trek around Mont-Blanc, you will be back at lovely Chamonix, where you will have some time to explore this unique and charming town. There are several activities to choose from, such as the Aguille de Midi cable car. Once you ascend to the top, you can enjoy a fabulous lunch in Europe’s highest restaurant (3842 m) and once again take in the breathtaking views of Mont-Blanc. Or, you can choose to take the train to Mer de Glace, where you can walk inside a glacier. Chamonix also offers other activities like mountain biking and paragliding.
From Chamonix, you will be transferred back to Geneva by coach where you can start the next leg of your adventure or choose to return home. Once you experience our Tour du Mont Blanc, we know you will want to come back every year.
Geneva International Airport
Check into hotel and meet other trekkers on the trip. Free time to yourself.
Today you will have time to explore Chamonix and its’ surrounds with a city tour! Chamonix is a wonderful place to explore and has some great options: take a cable car up to le Brevent with amazing views of Mont Blanc, wander around the cobbled streets taking a coffee in a street cafe or even a spot of last minute expedition shopping. Evening dinner and pre-trek briefing.
Transfer down the Chamonix valley to Les Houches, take the Bellevue cable car to the Col de Voza. Descend gently to cross the melt stream of giant Bionnassy Glacier before climbing to Col de Tricot (2120m), offering magnificent views. Continue to the homely Miage refuge in the Miage glacial valley before heading down into the charming hamlet of les Contamines, the last major settlement before Courmayeur in Italy.
Transfer to Notre Dame de la Gorge, pass Baroque church built in 1699. Continue along Chemin Romain, an old Roman road, before crossing river again over a Roman stone bridge. Continue to la Balme then up a steep section to Col du Bonhomme at 2329m and Col de la Croix de Bonhomme at 2450m. From here we start our descent continue to Les Chapieux and stay in the only remaining hotel that dates back to the late 19th century.
Start with 15 minute transfer to the Ville des Glaciers before ascending 750 meter to Col de la Seigne, on the French / Italian border. A long descent to a valley with Refugio Elisabetta at one end, an opportunity for your first Italian coffee. Views of some famous climbing routes including Peuterey Ridge and Brouillard Face and amazing valleys and waterfalls during the summer. Continue to our final destination of Courmayeur, a wonderful Italian town with great views of Monte Bianco.
Italy’s answer to Chamonix, Courmayeur during winter is one of Italy’s premier ski resorts. Charming cobbled streets open only to pedestrians create a relaxed village atmosphere with sophisticated bars, cafes and restaurants. The dark stone Mont Blanc massif with its snow peaks looms over Courmayeur forming an amazing backdrop to one of Europe’s most beautiful towns. This is a day to relax and explore and your guide can give you options of where to go and what to do.
Depart from Courmayeur climbing steeply through thick larch forests to the Refuge Bertone (1989m). If the weather is good we can take the high route ascending the Mont de la Saxe ridge, a wide grassy ridge with wildflowers and superb views of Mont Blanc and the South face of the Grandes Jorasses. Cross la Tete Bernarda (2534m) and la Tete de la Tronche (2584m) before continuing to Refuge Bonatti and down to the valley floor to Val Ferret.
Head up to the Grand Col Ferret, the frontier between Italy and Switzerland. Enroute we will stop at Refuge Elena and enjoy spectacular views towards Mont Dolent whose summit divides three countries, Italy, France and Switzerland. Continue to la Peule, enjoy a warm meal of local produce such as cheeses and breads before completing the final 2 hours through wildflower meadows along sinuous streams to the village of La Fouly.
Our path today meanders through pleasant pine forests and is notable for the beautiful old Alpine buildings that we pass. Trek along narrow streets between old chalets and grain stores in their original condition, through the villages of Praz de Fort and Issert. Branch off the main valley and climb gradually, traversing above pretty Champex with its deep blue lake. Continue along the lake shore and finally climb 200 metres to our hotel (1627m).
One of the best mountain days on the whole trek takes us across the Fenetre d’Arpette (2665m), one of the finest variants on the TMB circuit. Reaching the pass we are rewarded with fantastic views down to the Trient Glacier and across into the glacial bowl of the Plateau du Trient with the Aiguille du Tour (3544m) rising above. From Col de Forclaz we will transfer down to Martigny, a Swiss town with Roman roots in the Rhone Valley.
Transfer to Col de la Forclaz. The second last big climb of the TMB sees us ascending 900 metres to reach the Col de Balme (2200m). This ancient pass forms the border between Switzerland and France and as we descend down towards the village of Le Tour on the French side a spectacular panorama opens up across the entire Mont Blanc range and we find ourselves gazing down the valley towards Chamonix.
Transfer to the Col des Montets and ascend via Cheserys Lakes into the Aiguilles Rouge on a spectacular high level path known as the Grand Balcon Sud. Gaze across the valley towards huge Argentiere Glacier and the tremendous Aiguille Verte (4122m). At Cheserys detour to photogenic Lac Blanc (2352m), where the Chamonix Needles can sometimes be reflected in its still waters. Continue for another 3 hours to Plan Praz cable car transfer into Chamonix.
Return transfer this morning from Chamonix to Geneva (either the airport or your hotel).