The Tour du Mont Blanc is a prominent European hiking path that spans 170 kilometres (106 miles) and passes through France, Italy, and Switzerland. The Mont Blanc Trek winds through one of the world’s most stunning and scenic mountain ranges. And it’s a pretty easy trail for someone in decent condition. The trek is also a foodie’s dream since it enables you to try various delicacies in towns and hamlets across three nations. Hiking Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail Blanc is a must-do for many hikers, and with cause.
Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail Route & Itinerary
This is a 10-stage plan in which you will travel to three countries and trek around 170 kilometres. You will pass through the valleys of Chamonix, Miage, and Les Contamines on your journey. You will also explore Lac Blanc and pass the Bonhomme Pass. This itinerary follows the traditional path and ensures that you do not miss any of the attractions of this fantastic journey.
Getting a place to stay on the Tour du Mont Blanc Trail
On Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail, there are many places to stay. All the countries on the route have cosy mountain huts or refuges that you can visit the night. Most of these huts have cheaper options, like sleeping in a shared dormitory with other trekkers, and more expensive options, like having a room. If you want something fancier, you can stay in a hotel in one of the towns along the way.
Why should you walk the Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail?
The Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail is maximum of beautiful glaciers, mountains, rivers, lakes, meadows, and animals. The TMB is not only hard on your body, but it is also a living, breathing history lesson. You’ll see churches from the 18th century still standing and walking the same paths that Roman soldiers used 2,000 years ago.
And if you get tired of walking, which you will, the TMB has an extensive network of huts with food, water, and many other comforts. There are 17 towns and many smaller villages along the route. So there are many places to get help with your car and sleep at night. Also, you can circumnavigate the Mont Blanc massif with or without a guide if you want.
But arguably, the most intriguing aspect of the TMB is the cultural melting pot you’ll encounter as you go from nation to country. Instead of utilizing highways, you cross countries over mountain passes, and each nation brings an entirely different atmosphere.
Tour Du Mont Blanc Cost
With trails going through small towns, ski resorts, and the wild, hilly backyards of three countries, it’s easy to find different places to stay along the way. Here are some prices that are about average:
Tour Du Mont Blanc Cost: Camping
From 0 to 29 EUR per night for a single camper, but when it comes to camping in the wild. There are a few rules to follow. Remember that when you camp for free, there are no facilities. The price also increases slightly at each place, almost doubling for two campers.
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Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail Cost: Refuges
Most refugees include half-board, considering the average cost per night. Expect to pay between 40 and 70 EUR per person per night.
Tour Du Mont Blanc Cost: Private rooms
Not interested in falling asleep as snores, shuffles, and fading music rhythms blare through headphones? We understand. Unfortunately, comfort costs a lot: 150 EUR per couple.
You camp for ten nights at Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail. The most you could pay for lodging is 290 EUR, but the average cost of camping is about 10.5 EUR per night, so the least you could pay is 105 EUR per night.
Tour Du Mont Blanc Cost Food
Think about going to a cute coffee shop in a narrow alley with cobblestone streets to eat raclette, fondue, tartiflette, pastries, bread, sausages, and fresh fruit. Now, think about eating this food during or after a day of hiking. It sounds good. If you ask us, that sounds like the best food for hiking.
So, if we don’t count the fact that some refugees offer half-board, food costs around 30 to 55 EUR per day.
At the low end of this calculation, a daily snack, breakfast and lunch from a store or bakery, and a cheaper dinner are considered.
On the other hand, if you spend more, you can enjoy an appetizer at dinner, a packed lunch from the refuge, a fancier breakfast, maybe at a hotel, and snacks.
On top of that, there’s alcohol. Most refugees charge between 3 and 5 EUR for beer or wine. You could always buy something at the store if you have room in your bag and don’t mind the extra weight. That way, it would cost less at Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail.
Tour Du Mont Blanc Cost: Public Transportation
It’s hard to say what the average daily cost of public transportation on the Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail is because it depends on your situation. You might take public transport almost daily, or you might only do it once or twice. On the other hand, average cable cars and chairlifts cost between 10 and 25 EUR per person. While you can usually take a bus or shuttle for less than 10 EUR, and some are as cheap as 2 EUR. Remember that public transportation may be hard to find outside of the summer. So if you want to hike with kids or need help getting around, you might want to plan your trip.
Best Time to Ride the Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail
Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail is best completed in July and August when the route has less snow. And the weather is typically pleasant. The logistics get more challenging outside these months since many of the hostels. And mountain lodges along the route are closed. If we were to choose a date, it would be in the second part of August. The number of trekkers and mountaineers is smaller over these two weeks, and the weather is typically good.
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Best Places to Visit on the Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail
The TMB is a multi-country trip through alpine beauty, attractive communities, and mountain tranquillity. It’s a lot to take in, so here are some important sites you’ll likely see throughout your Mont Blanc massif tour.
- 1. Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail in France: Chamonix
- 2. Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In France: Les Contamines
- 3. Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In France: Les Chapieux France
- 4. Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In Italy: Courmayeur
- 5. Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In Switzerland: Champex-Lac
- 6. Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In Switzerland: La Fouly
Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail in France: Chamonix
Chamonix is known worldwide as a great place to ski and climb mountains. It is also one of the best stops along the Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail. For many people, this is where their adventure begins. Chamonix is a place to go for outdoor adventures all year, like Whistler, British Columbia and Jackson, Wyoming.
Chamonix Valley has ten ski resorts that skiers and snowboarders can use in the winter. Backcountry skiers, riders, and mountaineers also use the lifts to reach the French Alps’ more enormous peaks and deeper alpine zones.
- Elevation: 3,402 feet
- Best for Year-round adventure
- Road Access: One hour from the Geneva airport, bus, shuttle, or rail.
Chamonix is a great place to hike, bike, and rock climb when the snow melts. It is also well-known for trail running, and every year it hosts the famous 106-mile Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc race and is also a popular place for paragliding, hang gliding, base jumping, and other extreme sports. On clear days, the sky is often filled with colorful parachutes from happy pilots taking an afternoon flight.
Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In France: Les Contamines
The little community of Les Contamines-Montjoie is a lively ski town from December to April. It also offers cross-country skiing, tobogganing, ice climbing, and dog-sledge rides.
In the summer, visitors of all ages and hobbies may enjoy the 100-acre: Patrice Dominguez Park, the Mont-Blanc region’s most significant leisure park, where they can swim, play tennis or mini golf, go horseback riding, peddle boats, climb, or practice archery.
Explore the neighbouring 13,590-acre Les Contamines Nature Reserve, France’s highest-elevation nature reserve and the isolated protected area in the Mont-Blanc Range.
- Elevation: 3,819 feet
- Best for: A game of tennis
- Road Access: From Geneva: bus, shuttle, train or car
Les Contamines has remained faithful to its original origins throughout the years, with its farms, chalets, and alpine traditions being maintained by the town’s 1,200 people. There are still Swiss-style farmhouses and baroque churches, such as the church of Notre-Dame de la Gorge, which was completed in 1699 and served as a place of prayer for hikers passing via the Col du Bonhomme mountain pass.
Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In France: Les Chapieux France
Les Chapieux, surrounded by mountains, is a little hamlet that comes alive in the spring and summer. Les Chapieux’s roads aren’t ploughed in the winter. But in the spring, the town changes from a few inherent snow-covered houses to a basecamp for backcountry skiers and a popular rest and resupply point for TMB hikers.
- Elevation: 5,085 feet
- Best for: Unplugging
- Road Access: During the summer, you may take the shuttle between Les Contamines and Les Chapieux daily.
There are a few modest stores, a tourist office, a campsite, and two inns in Les Chapieux. The Auberges de la Nova, which opened its doors in the late 1800s, is more of a hostel with modest facilities. The Chambres Du Soleil, just down the road from the Nova, has given sanctuary to people from many walks of life during its 150-year history, including soldiers, skiers, hunters, and hikers.
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Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In Italy: Courmayeur
Courmayeur is in the northwest of Italy. If you’re hiking the standard circuit, it’s the halfway point on the Tour du Mont Blanc, and it’s a popular place to take a day off. There are no cars in the town centre, which is made of cobblestones. You can find everything from high-end Italian labels like Balenciaga, Lanvin, Fendi, Balmain, and Prada to small local shops and many family-run restaurants.
- Elevation: 4,016 feet
- Best for: Skiing, spa days, heli-skiing, high-end shopping
- Road Access: Turin, Geneva and Milan airports are all options
If shopping isn’t your top priority, check out the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car, which goes 6,500 feet up to the Punta Helbronner station and turns 360 degrees. Or, you could visit the Duca Degli Abruzzi Alpine Museum, which tells the story of the area’s mountain guides and their incredible adventures.
Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In Switzerland: Champex-Lac
Champex Lac is in the Canton of Valais, the largest of these states and known for having some of the most suitable food and wine in Switzerland.
- Elevation: 4,921 feet
- Best for: Swimming, Fishing, playing in the sun by the lake
- Road Access: Trains travel from Geneva to Martigny, from whence you may take a bus or cab to Champex-Lac.
The small village is next to an alpine lake and has hotels, small shops, and convenience stores. Champex has a ski hill with 15.5 miles of downhill trails, but the summer is when Champex-Lac comes to life.
You can lease a boat and fish for trout, jump into the icy water, or walk around the lake. In the larger town of Martigny, which is only 12 miles away, you can see the world-famous Musee de La Fondation Pierre Gianadda, an old Roman theatre, and more.
Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail In Switzerland: La Fouly
La Fouly, like many of the alpine settlements mentioned, has a ski area, a few places to stay, and a few cafés and stores. The community is located at the base of well-known mountains such as Tour Noir, Aguille and Dolent, a 12,533-foot monolith that dominates the horizon.
- Elevation: 5,250
- Best for: Cheese and peak-bagging
- Road Access: When you get to Martigny, take the train to Orsières, changing trains at Sembrancher. Take the bus from Orsières to La Fouly/Val Ferret.
Four mountain farms still manufacture cheese in the classic Swiss method at La Fouly, so experiencing raclette or fondue here is strongly recommended (or maybe buying a few blocks for the trail).
Eat at the Auberge des Glaciers or the Café-Restaurant du Dolen, where the proprietors point out sourcing products from nearby suppliers.
Getting Ready For The Hike
To qualify for the Tour Du Mont Blanc Trail, you should work on your strength and endurance. To schedule your body for the journey, condition it to maintain a steady pace for many hours every day. If you’ve never hiked before or it’s been a while, you should arrange a physical with your doctor to ensure you’re in good enough form for the adventure.
If possible, hike for many hours or days at a time with significant elevation increases and declines. Always consider the pack’s weight. To acclimate your body, wear a pack with comparable weight to the one you’ll be carrying on the trail. Concentrate on cardio and weight training if you reside in a flat location. Running, swimming, and biking are excellent methods to strengthen your legs, core, shoulders, and back.
You may come upon a set of ladders throughout your journey. While this is an optional component of the trek, many people try to climb them without the necessary training or expertise. Climbing vertical ladders may be difficult for even the fittest hikers, particularly after a long trip. Try adding an upper torso exercise after a heavy aerobic session to prepare for this.