Tour du Mont Blanc Demi Tour South
The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the world’s great walks. On this demi tour of five days trekking you can enjoy half of the Tour du Mont Blanc’s classic itinerary from Chamonix to Courmayeur.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is famous as one of the world’s great walks and justifiably so. It is a magnificent circuit around the Mont Blanc massif which includes of course Mont Blanc itself, the highest peak in Western Europe at 4810m. On this demi tour of five days trekking you can enjoy the first half of the Tour du Mont Blanc’s classic itinerary.
On good quality paths you will trek through a varied landscape with breathtaking scenery traversing high, rugged cols such as the Col du Bonhomme (2329m) then in contrast there are the alpine meadows with their rich abundance of alpine plant life. You will visit France and Italy on the tour with their distinctive architecture, culture, local food and delicious wines. The average distance walked each day is 15km and the average height gain is about 810m per day with a bigger day over the Col du Bomhomme . Expect to be walking for between 5-7 hours per day. Most clients find that the days can be taken at a comfortable pace with breaks and time to take photos.
This half Tour du Mont Blanc gives you the opportunity to enjoy a mixture of social alpine nights in a mountain refuge, a family run hotel in Les Contamines and the buzz of Chamonix.
For a visual impression of the Mountain Balance experience on this trek, take a look at the Tour du Mont Blanc photo gallery>
Number of days trekking: five days trekking, at the demanding grade
Dates: from the end of June to the end of September so plese get in touch if you have specific dates in mind. To see the greatest variety of alpine flowers the end of June and July are the best times to walk the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Group size: up to a maximum of eight, for groups larger than eight a second International Mountain Leader can be engaged.
Trip Grade: the demi Tour du Mont Blanc trek is graded as demanding. Click here for information on our trip gradings.
Start point: Chamonix, France
Price: I offer independent guided trekking. The price for my services as an International Mountain Leader per person for five days trekking (and help organising your trip) is 287.50€ per person plus expenses, based on a group of four.
Accommodation choices: I realise that the choice of your accommodation is important for your enjoyment of your holiday so this is flexible: you choose your accommodation and the level of comfort you would like to suit your budget. Because you pay the provider directly for the accommodation there is complete clarity regarding these costs. I am happy to give information, an honest opinion and assistance to make bookings so that your accommodation is right for you.
There are different standards of accommodation available from mountain refuges (which often have small twin rooms available rather than dorms) and gites to four star hotels in places. Therefore it is possible to adapt the itinerary to suit your preferences and budget, for example it is possible to walk the TMB without staying in any refuges. When we discuss the specifics of your trip I will be able to give you accurate costings for the accommodation and any other expenses depending on your chosen itinerary.
You can expect to pay something in the order of 38-46€ per person per night for half board in a mountain refuge dormitory and approximately 55€ per person per night for bed and breakfast in a three star family run hotel, based on two people sharing a twin room, this does vary throughout the Tour.
Additional days or a shorter holiday
Many variations on the classic tour itinerary are easily arranged to suit the time you have available and your interests. As an alternative six day trip, starting from Les Houches you could continue on the classic TMB for two more days to La Fouly (see the full Tour du Mont Blanc itinerary) from where it is possible to travel back to Geneva on public transport.
The mountain refuges are well equipped with bedding and duvets and picnics can be purchased en route so it is not necessary to carry a large rucsac on this tour. However, if you would prefer to hike on most days with only a day pack baggage transfers can be arranged, at an additional cost, between the overnight accommodation, except the Bonatti hut, or the itinerary adapted accordingly.
Terms and Conditions: please read the Terms and Conditions on our Small Print page carefully before booking your trek.
Kit list: please read the full list of items you'll need to enjoy our trek on our Kit list page.
The Tour du Mont Blanc - Demi Tour South - is from Chamonix to Courmayeur.
The evening before your trek starts we will meet in Chamonix to chat about the trip and check your gear.
Day 1.Chamonix to Les Houches via Le Brévent summit
We will start this trek with a day walking above the dramatic scenery of the Chamonix Valley. Taking the cable car to Planpraz 1999m we then climb to the Col de Brevent. The path traverses a wild-feeling rocky valley before the final climb, using some sections of ladder and metal rungs, to the Brevent summit 2526m. The summit of Le Brévent is traditionally considered to be the finest viewpoint for the summit of Mont Blanc. Our route continues its wild feel as we descend past the Bel Achat refuge then into the forest and down to Les Houches.
Day 2. Les Houches to Les Contamines via the Col de Tricot and the Chalets des Trucs
Walking from Les Houches to take the Bellevue cable car onto the ridge above Les Houches. We ascend the Col de Tricot (2120m) then down to the Chalets de Miage with its cafe and possibly the finest blueberry tart in the Alps. There is then a short ascent to the Chalets de Truc before a steady descent into Les Contamines.
Day 3. Les Contamines to Refuge Croix de la Bonhomme
From Les Contamines we walk to the end of the valley and ascend first through alpine meadows and then on more mountainous terrain to the Col du Bonhomme 2329m. A rocky traverse takes us around to the Col de la Croix de Bonhomme. A warm welcome at the refuge du Col de la Croix de Bonhomme (2443m, yet again with delicious cake) is a few metres away.
Day 4. Refuge du Col de la Croix de Bonhomme to Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini
There are two options for today:
- The high route, for good weather only, takes us via the Col des Fours (2665m) with the descent to Ville des Glaciers before climbing to the Italian border and the Col de la Seigne 2516m. On the descent from the Col de la Seigne there are fabulous views along the almost perfect U shaped glaciated valleys of Val Veny and Val Ferret to the Swiss border at the Grand Col Ferret. This will be our next two days walking but before that we have another mountain night at the Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini 2300m.
- The alternative route is to descend to the attractive hamlet of Les Chapieux then up to Ville des Glaciers before climbing to the Italian border at the Col de la Seigne 2516m. The path leads down to the Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini.
Day 5. Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini to Courmayeur
Today provides a superb panorama of the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif. From the Elisabetta hut we follow the old military road for few kilometres past the Lac du Combal 1975m before climbing and then traversing to the Col de Checrouit. We now make our descent to the attractive old village of Dolonne and into Courmayeur from where we will catch a bus back to Chamonix.
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