Self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc (Inn-to-inn hiking tour)
Length: 12 days, 11 nights
Hike Rating: Strenuous
The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the finest hiking tours in the world. On this self-guided tour, you'll hike through 3 countries - France, Italy, and Switzerland - stopping at beautiful inns and enjoying an unequaled variety of cultures, views, and hikes as you circumnavigate the Mont Blanc massif, featuring many of the highest peaks in the Alps. If you're an independent hiker, a self-guided TMB tour is the perfect way to hike around Mont Blanc at your own pace with assurance of knowing that every detail of your tour is well-planned. With optional luggage transfers and a numerous itinerary options, we'll help you choose the best way for you to hike Mont Blanc and experience one of the world's classic hikes.
On our standard, 11-night Mont Blanc tour, you'll have 7 nights in village hotels with private bathroom, and 4 nights in simpler mountain inns where private rooms are often available but not assured. Showers are available all nights. Starting and finishing in Chamonix, this tour includes airport pickup and dropoff in Geneva. We've included a couple of our favorite scenic detours to maximize your TMB experience, as well as a welcome rest day in Courmayeur in the middle of the tour. Private rooms are often available for 3 of the nights in remote huts and inns, but space is limited, and if private rooms are not available, there are somewhat larger communal sleeping rooms. They're wonderful places with a lively and convivial dining atmosphere and are the stops where you're most likely to meet other TMB hikers. There are many alternate versions of the Tour du Mont Blanc as well - longer or shorter tours are very possible, we can arrange more or fewer nights in huts and mountain inns, simpler hotels in the villages, or 4-star upgrades in Chamonix or Courmayeur with private rooms and luggage every night for a luxury TMB - so please ask if you're interested in varying this itinerary.
Luggage? This self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc does not automatically include luggage transport, but private luggage transfers are available by taxi. For 2 people, this adds $350/person for luggage transfers to all villages (you'll have it for 8 of the 11 nights), or your bags can be transferred from Chamonix to Courmayeur and back for $150/person for 2 people (giving you luggage for 5 of the 11 nights). You can hike around Mont Blanc with very little in your pack, and extra luggage can be stored at your hotel in Chamonix, but if you want your luggage more often, we can make that happen for you. Please ask for more info on these options.
Your typical day on the TMB starts with a continental buffet breakfast at your hotel or inn, giving you the energy needed for a big day of hiking. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Most of the hotels and mountain inns will sell picnic lunches if they are ordered the night before. Reminders will be included in your route notes. Soon, you'll be out on the trail for 6-8 hours. With a several passes to cross, Tour du Mont Blanc is often strenuous, but there will also be opportunities for easier days.
You should finish each daily hike around 4-5 pm, sometimes earlier on the shorter days, giving you time to wash up, relax, and gaze upon Mont Blanc and the surrounding scenery. After that, enjoy a delicious dinner at your inn or on your own in town. These are multi-course feasts, featuring delicious local French and Italian specialties. A hearty meal provides a satisfying end to your day. Our standard self-guided TMB includes dinner on 6 nights (dinners are not included in Chamonix or Courmayeur, where there are numerous great restaurants to choose from). We normally reserve top 3-star hotels in all the villages and private rooms whereever available in the remote inns. Upgrades to superb 4-star hotels are available in Chamonix and Courmayeur if you would prefer a more deluxe Mont Blanc experience.
With 3 countries worth of soaring, beautiful mountains, lofty passes, and gorgeous trails, the self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc is an exhilarating trek that lives up to its world-class reputation.
Day 1 For the Tour du Mont Blanc, it's best to fly to Geneva, and we'll arrange your transfer to Chamonix, the world-famous resort and mountaineering center at the foot of Mont Blanc. Enjoy the ambiance of this beautiful village with impressive views of Mont Blanc. Stay in a comfortable hotel in town. (Chamonix)
Prefer a guided group tour? Check out our guided Tour du Mont Blanc or our similar Hiker's Haute Route or Bernese Oberland Traverse inn-to-inn tours.
Read Josh Roberts in USA Today recap his guided Tour du Mont Blanc with Alpinehikers in 2003.
Self-guided TMB half-tour, South or North
Length: 6-7 days, 5-6 nights
Hike Rating: Moderate-Strenuous
For those without the time to devote to the full TMB, we can also arrange half the tour as a self-guided tour. The southern route starts in Chamonix and leads through remote landscapes on the way to Courmayeur over 5 nights. It's a beautiful route, and is a good choice for strong hikers who want a fairly strenuous experience. The northern route begins in Courmayeur and crosses through Switzerland before dropping down to Chamonix in 6 nights. This is a better choice for early-season hikes, families, and people who would like a more moderate inn-to-inn experience.
Luggage transfers can be arranged on request. Either half is a wonderful shorter tour with a good mix of villages and remote inns, plenty of variety and memorable mountain views. Please ask if you have questions about which is right for you. These trips can be customized in many different ways.
Self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc, 9 day Express tour
Length: 9 days, 8 nights
Hike Rating: Strenuous
On this express version of the TMB, we've dropped the extra nights in Chamonix and Courmayeur (nights 2 and 6 of the full tour), as well as the night in la Fouly (night 8 of the full tour). Instead you'll take a bus from la Fouly to Champex, skipping the easier valley walk there. Luggage transfers can be added for similar pricing to the full tour. If you don't have time for the full 12-day tour, this 9-day tour is a great option for hiking virtually the entire circuit.
Self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc, details:
Our self-guided prices are per person, based on two people sharing a standard double room, and include:
All self-guided tours include hiking maps, detailed route descriptions (including longer, shorter, and rainy day options), sightseeing suggestions, and lots of useful information to help ensure a successful trip. In the simpler inns, we book private rooms if at all possible, and dorms with waitlist for a room if they are not available. Nant Borrant (optional night 3) is dorms only, and la Nova, Bonatti and Col de la Forclaz all have limited space in private rooms.
Not included are lunches, dinners in Chamonix or Courmayeur, drinks with dinners, extras (such as laundry, phone calls from the room, etc), luggage transfers (if not added at additional cost), or ground transportation other than airport transfers.
If you'd like to lengthen or shorten your self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc, add destinations, or create a customized tour of the Mont Blanc region from scratch, let us know. We have extensive experience all over the Alps, and will be happy to work with you to build the hiking vacation that best suits your needs.
For info on the Tour du Mont Blanc and Switzerland,
call toll free: (888) 509-7810
or direct: (503) 459-3940
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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