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The Tour du Mont Blanc is an iconic trek by anyone’s estimation. It’s a classic alpine route, taking you through the finest scenery the Mont Blanc massif has to offer, from dramatic passes to charming green valleys.

To enjoy it to the utmost, it is best to come prepared. Here are 5 things you need to know before you take on Europe’s most famous circuit.  

Trekking the Tour de Mont Blanc

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

Mont BlancMont Blanc

The cumulative ascent and descent of Mont Blanc is close to 9,000m – that’s equivalent to climbing Mount Everest (if you take out the altitude sickness!) So it’s a pretty impressive walking tour. The best way to prepare is to practice those ups and downs now, so your body is ready for the challenge ahead.

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Whatever the Weather 

Mist on Mont BlancMist on Mont Blanc

You need to expect all sorts of different weather on Mont Blanc. Whilst the altitudes are relatively modest (the highest point is 2537m) much of the trek is above the treeline, so you can get extremes at any time of year.

On the Mont Blanc ascent, you will be greeted by beautiful sunny days, sometimes you might find yourself in downpours, sometimes you’ll even have patches of snow. The mountains are full of surprises – making it a true adventure.

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Do Bottle It Up

Cafe in the AlpsCafe in the Alps

Staying hydrated on your trek is crucial, and in the Alps, it’s easy to do – if you come prepared. Bring a wide-necked water bottle with you, even if you use a hydration system like Camelbak, because you can often refill from the natural springs and huts along the way. There’s no need to drink bottled water in the Alps.

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Be Snack Happy

Snack stop in the AlpsSnack stop in the Alps

Even if you’re the person who is always prepared with a bag of trail mix and cereal bars, it’s worth budgeting for the snack stops along the way. Eating little and often will keep your energy levels up as you make your way around the circuit, and bringing your favourite snacks is a popular choice.

But don’t underestimate the choices on offer. Mountain huts on the circuit are stuffed to the high wooden beams with treats – even the ones where their stock has to be flown in by helicopter! Keep an eye out for fantastic coffee and great hot chocolate in Italy and the tarte aux myrtilles in France.

Don’t Miss: The Views from Aiguille du Midi

Views from Aiguille du MidiViews from Aiguille du Midi

The cable car to the Aiguille du Midi viewpoint is an optional extra, but it is definitely worth it. You have two opportunities on the circuit, so it’s best to go when the weather is on your side for those stellar views of Mont Blanc.

If the skies are clear in Courmayeur in northwest Italy (where you have a rest day on day seven) grab your chance – you’ll save 12 euros compared to the price in popular Chamonix. If the sun isn’t shining on you, wait until you get round to Chamonix. You won’t regret waiting for a clear weather day.

If you dream of scaling Mont Blanc, find more trips below.