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Trekking in Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc Highlights

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Trip code: 
TWN
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Hiking
Group size:
4–14
Min age:
16

Beautiful alpine walking on the best of the Mont Blanc Circuit

The circuit of Mont Blanc is one of the finest walking routes in the Alps. It is in reality a series of paths linking the seven valleys that surround the highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc. It normally takes a fortnight to complete the whole circuit, but for those with less time this one-week Exodus tour takes in the most outstanding sections with beautiful mountain highlights each day. Throughout this walking holiday we are based in the delightful chalet with dramatic views of Mont Blanc, and use a mix of private  bus and local trains and buses to travel out each day to re-join the next stage of our walk covering beautiful sections of the famous circuit. At the end of each day we return home for afternoon tea, or for those who wish, a dip in the chalet’s bubbling Jacuzzi.

Highlights

  • Walk surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery
  • Stay in a comfortable chalet with outdoor hot tub
  • Walk with IML qualified Mountain Leader

Key information

  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Travel by minibus, local train and cable car
  • Altitude maximum 2352m, average 1525m
  • Group normally 4 to 14, plus UK leader
  • 7 nights in comfortable chalet, all rooms with private bathrooms
  • Countries visited: France, Italy, Switzerland

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 6 home cooked dinners
  • Afternoon tea and cake on walking days
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single accommodation (not available)
Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 5-7 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 29.0km/6.0miles
Day 311.0km/7.0miles
Day 411.0km/6.0miles
Day 615.0km/9.0miles
Day 79.0km/6.0miles

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we spend the week in a traditional alpine style chalet that is in close proximity to the centre of Chamonix, reducing our carbon footprint as travel to the start point of the walks is reduced. The chalet staff recycle waste as appropriate and use local produce where possible for food and cleaning products.

As a walking holiday, we actively encourage clients to visit local mountain huts, cafes and bars. Additionally, walking trips like this have very little detrimental impact on the environment and the locals as it is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Unlike other trekking sites which have National Park status and regulations to protect it, Mont Blanc does not have such regulations. Therefore, it is our responsibility to keep our impact neutral and ensure that our staff are trained on environmental stewardship and protective guidelines to be passed on during briefings on the trip.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Chalet Chamonix or Chocolat.

    Your holiday begins at your comfortable alpine chalet. Those making their own way to the chalet should aim to arrive early afternoon for introductions. There is plenty of time to walk into Chamonix in the afternoon before a pre-dinner briefing from the walking leader.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Drive to the head of the Chamonix Valley; walking towards Switzerland via the trekking peak L'Aiguillette des Posettes and onto Col du Possettes and then descend back towards La Tour.

    Our first walk of the week is on the slopes of the Col du Balme from where we will have stunning views back to Mont Blanc as well as into Switzerland. From the small hamlet of Montroc (1380m – 4400ft) we have a short warm-up walk before the trail turns uphill on a steady zigzag path. As the trees thin out, the views get ever better and by late morning we reach Aiguilette des Possettes (2200m – 7220 ft). This is a stunning peak from where we are rewarded with a superb panoramic view over the Chamonix Valley, the Aiguille Rouge national park and around to Switzerland. The path continues down to the Col du Possettes and then on a steady trail becoming ever more winding and finally down to La Tour. (1450m – 4750ft).

    6 hours walking. 820m - 2700ft up, 730m – 2400ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Transfer above Les Houches; ascend to the Bel Lachat Refuge, before crossing the Carlaveyron Natural Reserve and summiting the Aiguillette des Houches and the Aiguillette du Brevent.

    Today we have a spectacular walk from (1370m – 4450ft) up to the Bel Lachat refuge on the classic TMB and GR5 routes. Crossing the beautiful Carlaveyron Natural Reserve, we summit the Aiguillette des Houches (2285m – 7500ft) for one of the finest views in the Alps - looking directly across the Chamonix Valley to the Mont Blanc summit. Passing through alpine meadows we descend by a different route to La Flatière (1370m – 4500ft).

    7 hours walking. 900m – 2950ft up, 930m – 3050ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Starting from the Les Contamines. Valley we cross the Col de Voza and continue towards Les Houches.

    Approximately a 35-minute transfer from our chalet brings us to the les Contamines valley which is where we start our walk back towards the Chamonix Valley. The day starts on a valley path that narrows and steepens as we climb up towards the Passerelle de Bionnassay, a dramatic suspension bridge spanning a white-water stream that tumbles from the Bionnassay glacier a few 100 meters higher up. The route then brings us round to the Col de Voza (1653m – 5360ft) with an expansive view up the Chamonix Valley. During the afternoon we trek down to the valley floor although there is a cable car option (payable locally) for those with tired legs.


    7 hours walking, 11km – 7 miles, 560m –1840ft up, 610m – 2000ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day for optional walks, activities or sightseeing.

    Today is a free day for optional walks or sightseeing. Your leader will be able to advise you of possible walking routes or you may choose to visit the bustling alpine resort town of Chamonix, which has numerous shops, bars, restaurants and cafés. There are several cablecar excursions you can make from Chamonix, of which the most spectacular is the ascent to the Aiguille du Midi (3842m - 12600ft), offering fantastic views of Mont Blanc and surrounding peaks. It should also be possible to take the mountain train up to Montenvers for close up views of the glacier, Mer de Glace or if you are feeling adventurous you could enjoy a tandem Paragliding flight. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy; climb to Bonatti refuge and traverse high above the spectacular Ferret Valley to Courmayeur.

    We drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy for a chance to soak up some Italian atmosphere! From Arp Nouva (1770m – 5805ft) we climb up and along to the Bonatti refuge. At just over (2000m – 6560ft), the view from here is one of the finest on the tour. Mont Blanc itself, the towering rocky peak of Grandes Jorasses and the glaciers that crowd the northern flank of Val Ferret are there to be admired. Following a dramatic traversing path we contour high above the valley before descending towards the valley floor. Time allowing, we head off to Courmayeur, the perfect spot for a well-deserved Italian ice-cream.

    7 hours walking. 450m – 1500ft up, 550m – 1804ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Starting from Argentiere; walk up to and along the Grand Balcon Sud to Plan Praz then descend by cable car.

    From Argentiere (1250m – 4100ft) we start our day following the petit Balcon Sud before changing tack and climbing to the Grand Balcon Sud that contours the Chamonix valley to Plan Praz (2000m – 6560ft) from where we descend by cable car back to Chamonix. The Grand Balcon Sud is a stunning must do walk in the valley and looks over to Mont Blanc and the Mont Blanc massif.  The views of snowy peaks, soaring cliffs, fractured glaciers and lush green forests ensures this trek is not just a highlight in the valley but the whole of the Alps.

    (Due to maintenance on the Flegere cablecar this walk has been amended from our previously advertised walk to Lac Blanc. This trek is a little longer than the original and is equally beautiful).

    7 hours walking. 800m – 1690ft up, 100m – 330ft down 

    Spring and Autumn departures - The Plan Praz cablecar is open for trips starting between 15th June and 7th Sep. Outside of this time the cablecar is due to be closed and its cost is no longer included in the price of the holiday. If the timetable changes, and the lift is open, then the cable cost will be paid locally. Approx 20 euro. Alternatively we will follow a Spring and Autumn itinerary which is the same as above but instead of walking from Flegere to Plan Praz we will walk off the mountain from Flegere via the charming Chalet Floria where we will have time for a cup of tea. Due to the added decent this is a little harder that the summer itinerary but the views are equally stunning.

    8 hours walking. 740 m – 2430ft up, 950m – 3120ft down  - Distance covered: 12 km / 7.5 miles

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Chalet Chamonix or Chocolat.

    Following breakfast we say our goodbyes.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

No visa required for British passport holders.

For further Brexit travel advice please visit www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/brexit-advice-for-travellers

Vaccinations

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners are included in the price of the trip. All food is home cooked in the chalet using local ingredients.

Typical Meals:

Breakfast: Buffet style breakfast will usually consist of cereal, eggs, orange juice, croissant, fresh French bread, butter, jam, tea or coffee.

Lunch: Picnic style lunches will normally include bread, fresh salad vegetables, cold meats or tinned fish, cheese and fresh fruit.

Evening meal: This will normally consist of a first course of soup, salad or charcuterie, a main course of meat or fish with rice, potatoes or pasta and vegetables, followed by dessert or fruit and tea or coffee. The price of the evening meal does not include wine, beer, bottled water or soft drinks.

Vegetarians and Gluten-free diets: We happily cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please inform us at the time of booking.

Weather

From late May to late October fair weather is to be expected, but all mountain ranges create their own weather patterns and the Alps are no exception. It can and does rain and especially at higher altitudes can be surprisingly cold at times. Expected daytime temperatures are in the range of 15 to 25ºC in the valleys (although it can sometimes reach 30ºC in July/August), 5 to 20ºC at altitude (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and 5 to 15ºC in the valley at night; possibly a little lower early and late in the season. There is always the possibility of snow, even in August.

Chamonix

Chamonix

Is this trip for you?

This itinerary includes 5 days hill walking with transport to and from start/end points of walks. The maximum altitude is 2350m, with an average of 1525m. Some of the days are quite long, sometimes involving an ascent of 900/950m (3000/3120ft) followed by a similar descent. This will mean steadily walking uphill for 2 to 4 hours and then the same down again. The paths are rocky and steep in sections but generally well maintained. Due to the quality of the trails, the general 'civilisation' of the area and the relative shortness of the trek, we rate it as an Activity level 3, Moderate. That said for those new to hill walking or not walking fit the trekking may feel quite tough.

Walking hours stated are given as approximates only and include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. However, in general, days average about six to seven hours and up to nine miles in distance. The trek should be within the capabilities of anyone good health and is reasonably fit. We will be walking mountain paths throughout however and this trip is not advised for severe vertigo sufferers.

Spring and Autumn departures: Late spring and early autumn is a great time to visit Chamonix and walk in the mountains. The air is clear, the views are stunning and paths are quiet and tranquil. Chamonix itself is still open for business but the bustle of the high season is replaced by a more laid back vibe. Although the itinerary will be similar and we will continue to walk spectacular sections of the TMB, we will need to alter some of the days. This will be due to the cable car not running, (pre the 15th of June and post 17th September) or (especially in spring time) to snow on the paths or due to river crossings not being possible. Cafes on the mountain may well be closed for some departures too. We try to make sure that any alterations stay within the grading and overall theme of the trip but some days may be a little longer and a little harder. We will always make sure that all walks still show off the best this area has to offer. The lift schedule can occasionally change which means they may actually be running for the spring/autumn on the last/first departures. If this is the case the may be lift costs that are payable locally.

The itinerary for all departures may also be altered or modified from time to time depending on the weather, the conditions of the route, the abilities and/or wishes of the group, or other local factors. The leader will discuss these changes with you if and when they occur.

Due to the popularity of this tour, on some weeks we may use more than one chalet. If we do, the groups will be completely separate (although will share the airport bus transfer). Please note we may adjust your itinerary order to ensure the groups are following different walks each day.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Please note: On this trip it is essential to have helicopter evacuation cover within your travel insurance.

 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Chalet Chamonix or Chocolat

These delightful alpine chalets both have 7 rooms with private bathrooms and are surrounded by large gardens with a Jacuzzi and Mont Blanc views. Both have comfortable lounges and dining rooms with a large table where delicious home cooked  meals will be served and scrumptious cakes will be provided daily for afternoon tea. Located between 15-25 minutes from the heart of Chamonix they provide the perfect base for walking the best of the Tour du Mont Blanc and a relaxing week in the Alps. Due to the natural layout of a chalet build, bedrooms vary in size and shape and some, but not all, have access to a balcony. In Chalet Chocolat one bedroom on the top floor has a Velux window as opposed to a wall mounted window and a large private bathroom on the floor below.  This room will usually be allocated to the last 2 people to book *. In Chalet Chamonix, two bedrooms on the top floor have Velux windows set into a gradually sloping roof. Half the room has a full height ceiling while the beds are positioned under the sloping section these two rooms will usually be allocated to the last 4 people to book *. Both chalets offer complementary Wi-Fi in the communal areas.

 

*Very occasionally these rooms may need to be allocated to those other than the last 6 people to book to enable us to match up independent travellers with a same sex roommate. On weeks where we are not full we will allocate these rooms to the first independent travellers as single rooms. 

 

If you are booking and not on the same booking reference as a friend/s that you wish to share a chalet with please let your sales consultant know at the time of booking. Equally if you have a preference for one chalet over the other, please let us know at the time of booking and we will do our best to fulfil your request. Otherwise we will select a chalet for you automatically. The walking itinerary will be the same for both chalets however the order of the walks may differ slightly.

Please note: on booking your confirmation documents will name Chalet Chamonix however you may be allocated to Chalet Chocolat. This will be confirmed on your Final Joining Instructions sent 4 weeks before your departure date.

A Chalet is different from a hotel and provides open and social spaces ideal for group holidays. The atmosphere is homely and welcoming and we hope you will enjoy the chalet as much as the stunning local walks. Outside of the bedrooms both chalets have living rooms with sofas and comfortable chairs and a client kitchen which is not for preparing food but has unlimited tea and coffee making facilities and a honesty bar. Outside there is a large and scenic decking area with more seating, a grassy garden which we encourage you to go out and enjoy as well as an outdoor hot tub. In the dining room meals are taken together around a communal table and are prepared by your two resident chalet hosts. There is no reception in the chalet. Chalet hosts live on site and can be contacted in an emergency.

Generally we don’t enter your rooms at all during the week to make beds or clean, however, if you feel your room needs to be serviced mid-week then please ask your chalet hosts and they will be happy to help. None of the rooms have air-conditioning but we do provide electric fans. A hair dryer is also available to borrow but we suggest you bring your own.

Towels: In order to look after the environment we only change towels mid-week on request. If you feel that you need a change mid-week please just ask your chalet host.

Laundry: Unfortunately there are no client laundry facilities in the chalet.

 

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2019

    Mont Blanc Highlights is 10/10!!!

    The Mont Blanc Highlights tour has been the best holiday experience! I was looking around other companies' websites, and I'm glad we went with Exodus. The website's ease of use and overall fantastic customer experience throughout the holiday was a blessing. Our two young-adult chalet hosts, Zoe and Ben, welcomed everyone as family! They took out all the hard work with planning a holidays, from driving us to each trail head, informing us of the town and things to do during the free day, providing us with world-class meals everyday, and sharing with the group their positive vibes and energy. The group that shared the same chalet with me was such a lovely treat as well. It feels like I've made so many friends from so many backgrounds. Everyone I stayed with was so kind and thoughtful, that they soon were a source of inspiration when it came to the challenging bits of the hiking. Seeing my fellow chalet-mates give their absolute best and motivate myself and each other was such a beautiful experience. 10/10 would do again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are so many inspirational moments, that it's very hard to point at just one and say this is THE MOST inspirational one of them all. I can mention the many beautiful views around charmonix or even just simply waking up each morning and opening the windows to the fresh mountain air and scenic views of the sunrise hitting the mountain summits. I can recall the many delicious meals provided at the chalet as well as the fancy restaurant with the 3 course dinner that our group went to together during our free day. I can remember the challenging bits during our hikes and the quietness of the moment when our group sat around to eat lunch. Everything, from the start to especially the finish of the trip was inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I feel absolutely #blessed to have Adelene as our group leader. What makes her a great lead is her passion and enthusiasm! She loves what she's doing and absolutely doesn't mind sharing that joy with the group. Adelene is also perceptive on people's strengths and weaknesses. She takes special care to make sure that everyone in the party is enjoying themselves, whether it was those close to the head of the pack and those holding strong at the rear. She is also in tune with the difficult bits of the trails. Adelene offered a helping hand whenever the trail got tricky. At no point did i feel in any danger during the hikes. Adelene was also a teacher in a past life! It was awesome to ask a question about the local geography and receive a well thought out and immersive discussion of the topic. Adelene, thank you for being you!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My only criticism is that I can't give more stars for this review. I kid, in seriousness, I can see why previous reviewers mentioned that this felt a bit more than a 3/5 difficulty. It's not enough to grant a 4/5, but taxing enough where a good pair of hiking shoes and trekking poles are highly suggested. It's also good to have excellent situational awareness when hiking, as there are moments with very narrow trails, slippery stones, scrambling up rocks, and tree roots that can snag your feets. It's nothing new for those that hike occasionally, but is useful information to have if you are considering this tour. Make sure to pre and post stretch your legs, and to take full advantage of the jacuzzi at the end of each hike or the local spa center on the off day. It will help your knees and legs tremendously the day after. My fiance and myself came from US, and we used Mountain Dropoffs as our van service from Geneva airports to the chalet. I recommend going through them as the entire experience was smooth as silk at a very good cost. One last thing, just be aware not to overindulge with the hot water when you shower, as you wouldn't want other chalet roomies to miss out on a warm shower.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book this trip for ease of mind and comfort whilst partaking on the TMB hikes. If the hikes get too taxing through the week, know that it's ok to take a zero day. There is so much to do around the beautiful Charmonix town =D. Ben, Zoe, and Adelene are all well versed with the area to provide anyone with a great personalized itinerary for the day! Special shout out to the young couple Ben and Zoe, as they truly are the bestest chalet hosts ever as well as a great tag-team chef duo that provides an excellent EXCELLENT dining experience. To future travelers for this tour, you will not regret it. To Exodus Travel, you've struck gold with the Adelene, Zoe, and Ben trio.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Nicola Cullen

    Outstanding Week in Chamonix Environs

    What a week! I have already completed the TMB with Exodus but decided to come back with a friend and was not disappointed. The walks, whilst in the same area as the TMB route, were varied so that I didn't feel that I was repeating the routes and saw different areas of the mountain range.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was fabulous - the walks were varied and interesting and the views stunning. We all made the most of the day off in Chamonix - going up the Aguille Du Midi and watching people ascend Mont Blanc, or having an afternoon with adreline activities such as paragliding or relaxing in the new spa. I have come away with 11 new friends and amazing memories of another great week in Chamonix and with Exodus.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Adelene, was outstanding - she flexed the days to make best use of the changing autumnal weather and with 'mizzle' days still ensured that we had fulfilling walks. She was aware of everyone's strengths and weaknesses, and was in tune with the dynamics of the group. She had the honesty to advise less able walkers on the routes and recommend alternative activities for these walkers - this ensured that they weren't pushed out of their comfort zones and still had an enjoyable time during the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Whether you have never been to Chamonix or have done walks in the region before, you should still have a great time walking and relaxing!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our chalet hosts Ben and Zoeh were excellent too - the cuisine was scrummy, with delicious afternoon cakes waiting for us after our hikes. They were very safe drivers too, ferrying us to various points in the valleys including through the Mont Blanc tunnel.....they also had some interesting fact about the tunnel!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Lucy Wiggins

    Excellent trip, Excellent Leader and Excellent Chalet Hosts

    I went walking the first week of September 2019 and had an amazing week. I was very lucky in that the group I walked with were all lovely. The leader, Adelene was extremely enthusiastic, gave brilliant briefings for each daily walk and adjusted in accordance with weather and forecasts and was extremely knowledgable for the area we were walking. From start to finish the Chalet Chocolat was an incredible experience, the two hosts Ben and Zohi went above and beyond to make us all feel incredibly welcomed and the food was brilliant and we could not have been looked after better. The team leader and chalet hosts are a real credit to Exodus and I could not recommend them enough in making our trip such a memorable one. Thank you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people I met during the trip and beautiful scenery of the Mont Blanc region

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A lot of the group used walking poles. On your day off get up early and visit the L’Aiguille du Midi and then head to the Spa which is incredible and an experience like no other I have visited

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For returning customers it may be good if you could vary the routes to offer something new as the area is vast and I would love to see more of the area doing a similar chalet experience in a week
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Amit Bhutani

    Excellent [email protected] Mount Blanc by Group Leader & Hosts at Chalet Chamonix !

    Paul Our tour guide/leader was easy going, well versed with the hikes and always had a smile on his face. Paul was also very helpful, I left my phone behind in one of the refuge , he went out of his way to get the phone collected from a colleague which saved me half a day ! Thanks a ton Paul, really appreciate your help !! Claire/Liz, Again excellent hosts, well kept Chalet,clean and tidy rooms, three course dinner served at 730pm was fresh and delicious ! Both of them also gave brilliant suggestions on things to do on a off day! Thank you Claire/Liz, you both are very good hosts ! Regards, Amit Bhutani

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lunch break during the second day of hike with scenic views of Alps was out of the world experience. Will never forget sitting in peace, enjoying my music, having sandwiches while appreciating nature!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Laura C

    Amazing

    This trip was absolutely brilliant. Helped out with great weather in July, we had five stunning days of varied walks in this gorgeous part of the world. A privilege to see MB from so many different perspectives, and so much alpine botany etc. The whole experience from start to finish was fantastic, from airport pick up to drop off - aided largely from having brilliant chalet hosts, a heroic team leader and a lovely, lovely group of other travellers (a mixed bag of couples, friends travelling together and those who had arrived solo). Definitely on the classier side, with a comfortable chalet, spectacular food made and served by the lovely, fun and friendly Zohi and Ben, and access to all the amenities of fancy Chamonix. The trekking was no walk in the park, and you have to be prepared to feel very tired at the end of each day. But if you really wanted to cop out and stay put in town for the day, of course you could - but no one in our group did as the walking and banter was too good! The only negative was the fairly pants service by Swiss Air - I'd recommend just getting an Easyjet for half the price to be honest and meeting everyone at Geneva / saying bye bye there on way back.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyone making it through - pushed on by our fantastic guide Emma - each and every day of stunning walking - felt like such a cumulative and collective act of willpower and achievement, despite everyone feeling quite tired and achy! Zohi's meals in Chalet Chocolat were simply sensational and a culinary inspiration every evening. Truly amazing meals that made everyone realise how rubbish we are at cooking and how much more there is to learn!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    AMAZING! Emma was brilliant. She made us feel like a team from the get go, joined us for dinner every evening to recover from the day, was able to rally us all through five days of quite intense physical exercise, and was incredibly knowledgeable about the terrain too. Made for a much ricer experience than a thoughtless if pretty trudge up the mountains. We all felt we had come to understand a lot about the region, its flora, fauna and geology. Top marks, Prof. Emma! She tended to minor mishaps and injuries with calm and care, and kept an eye on all of us - but pushed us to completion and didn't let the pace slacken to a grinding halt when we were all a bit tired. She also made us do some interesting warm ups...but we'll forgive you! Emma had faith in all of us and kept us going. Her previous experience - from the Arctic to Siberia, as well as a thorough understanding of the MB area - meant we all felt in safe hands.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check your travel insurance for paragliding on the day off, if you want to book a session. We had to cancel last minute realising we weren't covered and this was rubbish for us and the company we let down. Be prepared to feel tired but in a good way! It isn't easy meandering, although a super pro might think so. But most of us, all in pretty reasonable nick, felt whacked out at the end of each day and slept deeply. Definitely recommend walking poles as descents could be pretty steep and sore on the knees. Consider flying by Easyjet instead as we were pretty underwhelmed by Swiss Air booking via Exodus - especially the long queue at Geneva airport on the way back as there was no way of checking in using the machines to avoid it. It was especially hot on our last day of trekking, so be prepared with tonnes of water! Obvious but important.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    FABULOUS trip that exceeded expectations (which were pretty high anyway given we were off to see Mont Blanc!) The 5 star factor came down to our amazing guide and chalet hosts - together they made it run seamlessly and feel so friendly. It would have been great anyway in such a beautiful setting, but the human factor is what makes the real difference. Exodus should be proud of these three legends.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    LESLEY CARD

    Great walks with stunning views

    Thoroughly enjoyed this trip. You will need to be reasonably fit as each day has some long steady ups and downs but the views from the high spots are well worth the effort. The walks were paced to suit the ability of the group and the food served each day, by Liz and Clare, was excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the high spots with time to sit and enjoying the views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Lotte was exceptional. Keeping us all together and pacing the walks to suit the ability of the group. She was well informed and knew a lot about the geography of local area. Her descriptions of the next days walks were accurate and informative. A very good leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you are fit enough to walk continually up hill for a couple of hours and be prepared for any weather.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Its just a great holiday but you must be able to enjoy being part of a group
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Ian Graham

    Stunning Trip

    This trip was excellent, a great way to see Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley without doing the 2 week TMB. The comfort of having a shower and a bed to sleep in at the end of each day makes it all the more appealing. The walks are excellent and varied with fantastic views each day. A couple of the walks start with cheeky climbs in the morning but the rewards are worthwhile. Zohi and Ben our Hosts at Chalet Chocolat were excellent and the food was outstanding and one of the highlights of the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting a new group of people, and of cause the great view of Mont Blanc

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lotte Stuer was an excellent group leader, her knowledge of the area and walks was outstanding. Her interaction with a the walking group (Age 25 to 60+) was brilliant, had many interesting discussions during and after each days walk.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure your equipment, especially your boots are of good quality and well broken in, having blisters will put a dampener on your trip.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Jenny Aitchison

    Wonderful!

    The trip provided a great introduction to Mont Blanc for those who were there for the first time, as well as providing new experiences for anyone who had visited before. My husband and I already knew the Mont Blanc area, having walked there on many occasions, but this excellent holiday took us on some routes that were new to us and gave us fresh perspectives on the fabulous scenery of the region.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views of the massif - white snow against the deep blue sky - with the mountainsides covered with a myriad of colourful wildflowers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emma Linford was an excellent leader. She quickly learned which, if any, aspects of the routes made individuals uncomfortable and was on hand to offer advice and assistance. She has an extensive knowledge of the geology, flora and fauna of the region and was able to explain things well to the group. First rate!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the fact that the trip is described as 'moderate', but some felt that it was a little harder than that - more 'moderate plus'. The distances are not particularly great, but there is obviously, given the area, a lot of steep up and equally steep down, in July at least, with high temperatures. There are, of course, low level options available if people don't feel able to complete the higher walks, but these would need to be completed under their own steam.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The accommodation was very comfortable. Both our chalet hosts were excellent - friendly and efficient, helpful and good drivers too. Zohe is a fantastic chef - all her meals (and cakes) were absolutely delicious. Everyday she cooked up a storm from a tiny little kitchen - and still had time to chat.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Paula Rowbotham

    A fantastic experience!

    Initially a tad nervous as a first time trekker - now I’m hooked! Awe inspiring peaks, glaciers and stunning scenery in every direction every day, coupled with a real sense of achievement when you finish those ascents - What’s not to love! Emma our guide/leader instilled us with confidence and briefed us each night about the next day’s route giving lots of useful advice about things such as what to pack in our rucksack, how much water to take and the best way to tie our boots. Late afternoon it was back to the comfortable and cosy Chalet Chocolate, slickly run by hosts Zohi and Ben who made us all feel so at home. Delicious food and cakes to die for made for a very happy group and we had lots of fun and loads of laughs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention - every view that made us say “wow”. Realising the true scale of Mt Blanc and the way the mountains make us contemplate our own insignificance!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were in very safe hands. Emma had a wealth of expertise and knowledge but on top of that she had a genuine interest in the people in the group and she made sure that the week was both challenging and fun. Very supportive and encouraging, she managed the group really well, keeping us together and really helping the group to bond and so get greater enjoyment from each day. A great leader!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to be fit enough to be able to cope with some long and pretty steep ascents in order to really enjoy this trip to the full. I would say that poles are a must. I had never used them before but borrowed some from Chalet Chocolat and found them really useful on the descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    La Mer de Glace and Aiguille du Midi are well worth a visit on your day off but definitely book your ticket up the cable car a few days in advance and for as early in the day as possible (first one is about 6.30 am) in order to fit it all in and make the most of your day. You could even fit in paragliding too if you put your mind to it!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Rory MacLeod

    27 July to 3 August

    An excellent walking trip enhanced by fine weather most of the time. Stunning scenery and a great location to explore the area. We were also blessed by wonderful food prepared by Zoe and Ben in Chalet Chocolate.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views from Aiguille Du Midi over the clouds towards Mont Blanc. The day in Italy provided a contrast of views and a very pleasant walk with gelato at the end!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adelin was an excellent leader, considerate to all in the mixed ability group, and knowledgeable about the area, flora and fauna..

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weathers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this trip. The hospitality provided by Ben & Zoe was excellent. It was great after a day's walking to come back to the hot tub and a freshly baked cake. Zoe's cuisine was a very pleasant surprise.

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