Experience some of the most magnificent scenery in the Alps as you hike around Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and culturally rich hiking tours in the world, our Tour Du Mont Blanc is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Set in the heart of the Alps, you will travel around Mont Blanc through France, Italy, and Switzerland. You will visit a number of cities and villages including Geneva, Chamonix, Courmayeur and Champex just to name a few. Combined with a European guide, your Backwoods Adventures host will be with you every step of the way.
You will travel by mini bus, chair lifts, and the power of your own two legs. From the abundance of wilderness to the rich history and culture of three separate European nations, it’s easy to see why this has become a Backwoods Adventures favorite. You will spend evenings at inns and lodges along the route. You will have breakfast and dinner at local eateries. Lunches will either be in small villages that we pass through or you will picnic with the Alps as your scenery.
Day 1: Travel from place of origin to Geneva, Switzerland. Transfer to Chamonix by mini-bus and meet with local guides for a welcome dinner and orientation.
Day 2: We have a short transfer to the trailhead before going up to the Col de Voza (5,500) where we’ll enjoy panoramic views of the Mont Blanc range. Continue hiking down below the tumbling Bionnassay Glacier, and then detour for a scenic lunch at the Chalets de Miage (5,115). After lunch, a short climb takes us up to Truc (5,942), then down through the thickly wooded hillside to the charming small town of Les Contamines (3,829).
Day 3: After a short drive, we hike up an old Roman road to the Plan des Dames, then make a long ascent to the Col du Bonhomme (7,641) and Croix du Bonhomme (8,100) for lunch. In the afternoon, we hike downhill on a grassy trail to Les Chapieux (5,500). Along the way we may see some chamois and lots of marmots and beautiful wildflowers. (6.5 hours hiking.)
Day 4: We transfer to the end of the Vallee des Glaciers, then enjoy a hike over the Col de la Seigne (8,245) and down into Italy to Lac Combal and Visaille. We then hike up the trail following Arp Sup Vielle (7,550) to the Col Checrouit (6,415), with scenic views in front of the Italian side of Mont Blanc. (6-8 hours hiking)
Day 5: We hike down to the town of Courmayeur (4,014) and spend the day exploring this quaint, Italian resort town (good opportunity to shop for souvenirs!). Courmayeur is spectacularly situated beneath the Grand Jorasses and Brenva Glacier. Here the views of Mont Blanc are Himalayan in scale. The mountain rises in a breathtaking abruptness from the Veny Valley to the summit 10,000 feet above. (2 hours hiking)
Day 6: We walk up a beautiful trail past the spectacular Glacier de Pre-de-Bar; cross the Grand Col Ferret (8,300) to enter Switzerland, and descend to the scenic village of La Fouly (5,280), located beneath the Glacier de l’A Neuve. (4 hours hiking)
Day 7: We hike up to Bovine and experience a very Swiss “cow day”… Down below the pastures the upper Rhone valley reveals its surrounded ranges, with the wildstrubel and further in the distance the Oberland range. (5 hours hiking)
Day 8: We return to France over Col de Balme, a.k.a “Smugglers pass”. At the top the view is purely outstanding: the Chamonix Aiguilles rise high above the eponymous valley, while Mont Blanc, crowns up the view magnificently! (5 hours hiking)
Day 9: Enjoy Chamonix, or go for a hike with your guide. Farewell dinner.
Day 10: Travel back through Geneva, Switzerland and on to the U.S. to your final destination.Note: Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather, trail and course conditions, travel, health and wellbeing of the trip participants, and interests of the group.
|The best way to stay comfortable on any active adventure is going lightweight. Wearing the right versatile layers will insure a system with great ventilation and maximum protection in any conditions. The items on this list are just suggestions, however traveling with these items will give you the best chance for comfort and protection while in the Alps against any and all conditions. Your local Backwoods employee would be glad to help determine which product is right for you!
As with many high altitude mountain trips, the weather can change very quickly. During the daytime temperatures range between 60-80+ degrees, with cool evenings. Most days will be clear and enjoyable, however, cool and misty conditions are possible. Mountain passes can also bring the occasional snow or rain shower!
- 8 days/7 nights trekking through France, Italy, and Switzerland around Mont Blanc
- 11-nights accommodations in hotels, B&B’s, and mountain huts along the way
- All meals from dinner on Day 0 through breakfast on Day 11
- 1 Sea kayaking/cultural day in the medieval town of Annecy, France
- 1 Rest/Spa day in Courmayeur, Italy
- Entrance to the Pre Saint Didier Thermal Spa in Courmayeur
- Transfers to and from Geneva International Airport (2:00pm incoming transfer on Day 0, 7:30am outgoing transfer on Day 11)
- Expert Local Mountain Guides and Backwoods Adventures Trip Host
- Luggage transfer services
- 3 group conference calls with BWA Trip Host to help prepare you for the trip
At Backwoods Adventures we know that well fed travelers are happy travelers. We aim to please your palate. Since we will be staying at huts or lodges on the entire trip we will have our breakfast and dinner at local restaurants or cafes. Lunches will either be in small towns or villages that we pass through or we will grab some light fare to take with us and enjoy our lunch picnic-style with the Alps to gaze at while we eat.
Our accommodations will vary based on our location. However, all hotels and lodges are among the highest rated in the country both for location and amenities. Most hotels will provide single rooms (double occupancy), however there is the possibility of dormitory arrangements in a couple of locations along the circuit, depending on availability.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is commonly referred to as the most luxurious trek in the world, which sometimes gives people a false sense of security. While it is true that you do not have to camp in a tent and you get to have nice meals and enjoy delicious wine each evening, do not forget that this is a strenuous trek – each hiking day covers more than 10 miles. There will be long days with steep descents and ascents, so physical preparation is very important.
Some of the activities that you may choose to participate in while on the Tour Du Mont Blanc are strenuous and should not be undertaken if you have any health conditions which may put you at risk. You will be required to consult your physician for a thorough medical check-up and clearance before attempting the trip. Any medical conditions must be disclosed on your registration forms. If you are over 50 years old, talk to your doctor about doing a “stress EKG”. Should you require any medication whatsoever, you must provide your own and be able to administer it yourself.
No Visa is required for travel while in Europe. You should carry a photocopy of your passport, insurance information and emergency contact numbers with you at all times. You should leave a copy of this information with a friend or relative at home.
FROM OUR TRAVELERS
“Overall this one of the best adventure trips I’ve ever been part of and I believe it was primarily do to the outstanding work of BWA. Even during tough stretches BWA remained calm and control and very accommodating to everyone’s needs “
“What a fabulous experience! Beautiful scenery, loved the fellow hikers, the guides were great, the BWA staff was helpful and made sure we had a great time, and the food was terrific!”
“The Guides were fantastic!!!! I hope to see them again on another trip!”