The Alps

Tour du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek

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15 days
from
$3,715 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 41 reviews >
Trip code: 
TWO
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Multi-country
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–14

Admire spectacular views of Mont Blanc from the iconic surrounding trails

For those who like to enjoy the comfort of a bed every night we offer the Mont Blanc circuit as a fully accommodated walking holiday, with all nights spent in a variety of lodgings from family run 2 and 3-star hotels to basic inns or pensions. Again keeping to the ideal duration to complete the full route, we include 10 walking days and 3 rest days, in which time we cross the borders of Switzerland, Italy and France and enjoy unrivalled views of the Alps and Mont Blanc itself. The itinerary is essentially the same as on the camping version (trip code TWB); with your qualified International Mountain Leader (IML) guiding the way you still complete the famous circuit, and your baggage is transported for you by our support vehicle, but we offer the comfort of a bed in quaint, picturesque accommodations on route so you can enjoy your walking holiday in comfort. In most places we use a hotel for just one night, before moving on the next day, occasionally we settle in for a few nights and use local transport to take us to the next point of the circuit.

Highlights

  • Stay in a variety of small, friendly hotels and pensions
  • Walk in the shadow of Western Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc
  • Enjoy the spectacular scenery of this world-famous route
  • No camping

Key information

  • 14 nights hotels/pensions/village inns
  • 10 days point-to-point walking with baggage transfers
  • 8 days challenging and 2 days moderate walking
  • Altitude maximum 2537m, average 1525m

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 10 picnic lunches, 12 hotel/restaurant dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
1 844 227 9087
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.

10

Pace:

Approximately 5-9hrs walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 210.0km/6.0miles
Day 317.0km/11.0miles
Day 415.0km/9.0miles
Day 515.0km/9.0miles
Day 614.0km/8.0miles
Day 813.0km/8.0miles
Day 920.0km/12.0miles
Day 1017.0km/11.0miles
Day 1216.0km/10.0miles
Day 1313.0km/8.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Chamonix.

    In the evening there is an introductory briefing by your leader.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Follow Grand Balcon Sud, excellent views of Mont Blanc; return to Chamonix.

    From Chamonix we walk to Les Praz and take the cable car to La Flégère (1900m – 6230ft). The trail today is named the 'Grand Balcon' and is on the opposite side of the valley from Mont Blanc, affording excellent views of the whole massif lying to our south. Initially we contour and then climb to reach the high point of the day, Lac Blanc (2352m - 7715ft). The trail descends and then contours high above the valley before a final climb down to the hamlet of Montroc (1371m - 4500ft) from where we take a short scenic train journey back to Chamonix. In the afternoon there is a very short section of ladders/steep steps with handrails to descend.

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 500m - 1670ft up, 1000m – 3280ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Over Col de Balme into Switzerland; night at Col de la Forclaz.

    We travel back to Montroc at the top of the Chamonix valley where we begin our ascent to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2201m – 7200ft), descend a little and then climb towards the Col de Balme (2191m – 7190ft) from where we follow one of the paths across the border from France to Switzerland. Excellent views all morning of Aiguille d'Argentière and Aiguille du Tour and its glacier. After lunch we walk through to the small Swiss hamlet of Trient (1296m – 4250ft). Good views of the Trient Glacier. A sting in the tail today as we finish with a steep climb from Trient to our hotel at the Col de la Forclaz (1527m – 5010ft).

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 1190m/3900ft up, 1060m/3466ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Follow Bovine Route to Champex.

    We leave the Col de la Forclaz, where we can look directly down into the Rhône valley and the Swiss town of Martigny and follow an historic path used to take the cows to high pasture, the 'Bovine route' (2049m – 6720ft). Our trail takes us through meadows and high alpine pastures before we descend to the charming town of Champex (1486m – 4880ft) set beside a picturesque alpine lake.

    7.5 hours walking, 680m – 2230ft up, 720m – 2360ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Head up the Val Ferret to La Fouly.

    Now on the east side of the main Mont Blanc Massif we walk south, descending through woods to the Val Ferret and on to Issert (1055m – 3460ft) and other small, pretty, alpine farming villages. This is quite a good day for flowers, including orchids. We continue up the valley to the remote village La Fouly (1600m - 5250ft). This is at the foot of Mont Dolent, whose summit is at the meeting point of France, Switzerland and Italy.

    6 hours walking, 440m – 1450ft down, 540m – 1780ft up

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Follow river La Drance; climb to the highest point of the tour at Grand Col Ferret and into Italy. Overnight at La Palud.

    Still following the same valley and the river 'La Drance', we climb to the 'Grand Col Ferret' (2537m – 8320ft), the highest pass of the tour. Now in Italy, the valley is also called 'Val Ferret'. The mountain views from the Col are stunning with the Grandes Jorasses dominating the scene. We walk down the valley to Arp Nouva (1770m – 5800ft) then travel by bus to our hotel in La Palud near Courmayeur. (BLD)

    7 hours walking, 970m - 3180ft up, 800m – 2600ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Rest day.

    The nearby ex-spa towns of Courmayeur and Entrèves have picturesque older sections, which are worth a visit, especially for the keen photographer. There is a cable car from Entrèves to Point Helbronner (3461m – 11350ft) and on across the glacier to Aiguille du Midi (and in fact on down to Chamonix). This is a splendid (optional) excursion, which gives close-up views of all the big peaks. Alternatively you might wish to relax and recover in the Spa bathes at Pre Saint Didier a short bus ride from Courmayeur.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Climb to Bonatti refuge and traverse high above the spectacular Ferret Valley around Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur.

    We start with a short bus ride to pick up the TMB and from the road (1675m – 5500ft) climb up to the Bonatti refuge (2025m – 6640ft). Today we follow beautiful contouring path around Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur. The views of the south Mont Blanc massif are exceptional as are those of the towering, cliffy peak of the 'Grandes Jorasses' and the glaciers which crowd the northern flank of the Val Ferret. In the afternoon we have a long, steep descent to Courmayeur (1230m – 4030m) where we can enjoy a delicious ice cream before taking a short bus ride back to our hotel.

    8 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc.  500m – 1640ft up, 900m 4400ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Cross the Col de la Seigne back to France, descend through la Ville des Glaciers to Les Chapieux.

    Today we are heading for the Val Veny and the start of our walk at La Vissaille (1660m – 5450ft). We’ll reach this by bus to then start climb gently along good paths beneath the massive glacier de Miage and pass Lac Combal before the gradient becomes steeper as we follow the old Roman road and head for today's pass: the 'Col de la Seigne' (2516m – 8250ft), which marks our re-entry into France. A fairly steep descent brings us through la Ville des Glaciers (1789m – 5870ft) and finally after quite a long walking day to Les Chapieux (1553m – 5090ft), a small remote hamlet inhabited only during the summer months.

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 870m – 2840ft up, 970m – 3180ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Ascend to Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, then contour across to the Col du Bonhomme.

    We have now reached the southwest corner of the circuit and turn north to climb once again. First we make a steep sustained climb to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2478m – 8130ft) and then contour around to the Col du Bonhomme (2328m – 7640ft). We then start the proper descent on a steep path, through meadows and over a Roman bridge and finally to the village of Les Contamines (1180m - 5900ft). A short bus ride down the valley takes us to the pretty village of St Gervais, the perfect place for a day off.

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 930m – 3050ft up, 1340m – 4400ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Free Day

    A well-earned rest day. There are many options to fill your day including taking the cog railway to Le Nid d’aigle – the Eagles Nest - a popular start point to climb Mont Blanc, or browsing around the local market of Les Contamines. There are plenty of optional walks in the area or one can simply relax around the pleasant town of St Gervais or even treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 12

    Over Col de Tricot to the Chamonix Valley; overnight at Les Houches.

    Today is a challenging day with plenty of ups and downs. From St Gervais we have a 10 min transfer to re-join our route before ascending to the Chalets de Miage (1560m – 5120ft). From here we take a trail that climbs steeply to the Col de Tricot (2119m – 6950ft) before descending very close to the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay. Good views of the north side of the Mont Blanc Massif. Eventually we make another ascent to reach the Col de Voza (1652m – 5418ft) where we re-enter the Chamonix Valley and make our final descent to the village of Les Houches (993m - 3225ft).

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 1200m – 3980ft up, 1370m – 4500ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Best views of Mont Blanc today; long ascent to the Brevent, descend to Chamonix.

    We cross to the north side of the Chamonix Valley and climb steeply through pine forest and then on open mountainsides to reach the high point of the day at Brevent (2525m – 8290ft). This is a long walking day but will probably afford the best views of the French side of Mont Blanc and its neighbouring peaks that we shall have on the whole trek. We descend to Plan Praz (1970m - 6460ft) and take the cable car to Chamonix (1061m) for a well-deserved beer.

    7.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 1500m – 4921ft up, 520m – 1690ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Free day in Chamonix.

    Free day in and around Chamonix. There are several good walks in the Chamonix valley. Chamonix itself is also a great place to spend a day. The most popular excursions, weather depending, would be the spectacular ascent by cable car to the Aiguille du Midi or the Montenvers cog railway.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    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.

Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Eating and Drinking

Included in the trip are all breakfasts, 10 picnic lunches and 12 hotel/restaurant dinners. On free days 7, 11, 14 and both transfer days lunch is not provided. On the free days 7 and 14 dinner is also not included and needs to be bought locally. We take our evening meals in the hotel in which we are staying or in a nearby restaurant. These meals are usually arranged as a 'menu' for the whole group and as they are based on special negotiations made by us represent better value than eating independently. Please note that should the times of flights change to arrive earlier, or depart later, additional meals will not be included. Please also note that no refund will be given for meals not taken or taken other than where designated.

Typical Meals

Continental Breakfast: Will normally include coffee, tea, hot chocolate, French bread, croissant and conserves.

Picnic-Style Lunch: Generally include bread, cold meat, cheese, tinned fish, fresh salad vegetables and fresh fruit.

Evening meal: A first course of soup, salad or charcuterie, a main course of meat with one or two vegetables or rice or pasta, a dessert course. Beer, wine, bottled water, other drinks, coffee or tea are not included in the price of evening meals taken in restaurants.

Vegetarians: We happily cater for vegetarians but please inform us at the time of booking.

If you take a vegan diet you should expect that variety of food may be limited whilst on this trip. As this kind of diet is relatively uncommon in this region we cannot guarantee that the hotels and restaurants will provide meals that have the necessary variety to be considered satisfying when on a more restricted diet.

Drinks: Please note that drinks are not included and you will be expected to pay directly for any wine/tea/coffee taken at dinner.

Weather

From late June to early 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 on the high passes it 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 15ºC on the passes (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and 5 to 15ºC in the valleys at night; possibly a little lower early and late in the season. There is always the possibility of lying snow, especially in the early season, and snowfall even in August and September when we may find new snow on the passes. Please note that on late season treks (September) the days are shorter and we will need to make early starts to make the most of the available daylight hours.

Is this trip for you?

Most of the days are long, quite often involving an ascent of 900-1200m (3000-4000 feet), equivalent to 3 to 4 hours walking uphill, followed by a similar descent. Although the paths are well maintained there are sections that are rough underfoot. As this is a group holiday you need to be confident that your fitness will allow you to enjoyably walk at a consistent and steady pace that matches the group average, therefore allowing the group to finish the day at a reasonable time. You will also enjoy the trek a great deal more if your fitness allows you to walk the route in relative ease. On day 2 there are 2 metal ladders to descend en route from Lac Blanc, these are secured against the rock, consist of approximately 12 steps and are not difficult to climb.

This trek is graded Challenging/Moderate as it has 8 challenging graded days and 2 easier moderate graded days. A Challenging graded day would be equivalent to walking up Scafell Pike or Ben Nevis in the UK and take between 3 to 5 hours of walking up hill and up to 9 hours in total depending on the pace. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in good physical condition for the trip. 

Please note on day 8 we take 2 short bus journeys to avoid trekking on busy roads.

All ascents, descents and walking distances listed below are approximates. We have decided the most accurate method is to map the routes carefully using google earth. That said it is impossible to obtain a completely true figure of the distances walked. Regarding GPS - due to the inherent inaccuracies of defining an exact waypoint with a GPS and the cumulative overall inaccuracy this causes, you may find that our distances and GPS distances you obtain on trek with your personal GPS/phone, may differ by quite a margin.

Walking hours stated are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops
and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Your main luggage will be transported for you between accommodations but please note that you will be expected to carry this to your room.

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

Call us on
1 844 227 9087
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

Hotels, Pensions, Inns & Auberges

Throughout the trek we use long-established family run 2 or 3-star hotels, except for 3 nights where we use local auberges. One of the hotels has a Jacuzzi and sauna for guests. Most of the hotels have stunning locations often with panoramic vistas over the mountains and culturally represent the countries and environment they are in. These hotels are a vital source of income to the local community. All are clean and well run and set up with the needs of the trekker in mind.

Please be aware that room sizes (twin, double or triple rooms) and facilities will vary from hotel to hotel and sometimes from room to room within one hotel. On 11 of the nights facilities are en suite whilst the others have the possibility, depending on availability and group size, of shared bathroom and toilet facilities 'on the landing'. Couples will always have their own room but we cannot say whether this will be twin or double. Very occasionally a room will have bunk beds. Single clients must be prepared to share with one or occasionally two other members of the same sex. We are unable to accept bookings for single rooms due to the small size of the hotels used and the fact that we are usually staying only one night in each hotel. The Auberge does not provide soap and you may wish to bring a towel, as those provided by continental hotels are sometimes small. On rare occasions the group may be split over two different accommodations but these will be of the same standard and within walking distance.

Call us on
1 844 227 9087
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 us on
1 844 227 9087
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 2017
    Larry Meyers

    An Amazing Trip From Start To Finish

    I knew from the moment I arrived in Chamonix and saw the mountains and its glaciers that I had found the right adventure. Here was a chance to do one of the most acclaimed walks and the trip lived up to its billing. One can read about the walk and its vistas but nothing really prepares you for actually being part of it. I enjoyed the challenge of the walk, my fellow travelers and the quality of the lodging (OK, maybe not walking down the hall to the w/c in the middle of the night at our auberge stays--but a heck of a lot better than tenting). I enjoyed the evening meals and the variety of the cuisine. Overall the food was good and the huts offered a nice supplement to our sandwich lunch fare. The huts were a new experience and each one was unique from the food offered, to the hot chocolate to the w/c's.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the clouds part to reveal a new mountain with its glaciers. Experiencing a cloudless day in Chamonix at the end of the trip. Cheering on over 2000 participants in the UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc) as they pass you on the trail after having run through the night only to later realize that the leaders completed in hours which took us days. To be part of a group lead by Jeff.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have done dozens of trips that required a guide. I can only recall a few of their names. In my mind there will always be an association between the Tour du Mont Blanc and our guide Jeff. To quote a walker who did the trip with Jeff earlier this summer "..he was fantastic..professional, intelligent, engaging, fun, friendly, safety conscious and very caring towards his clients." It is not easy leading a group of 14 hikers with various skill levels and insuring they stay together.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    First and foremost this is a group hike. You are part of a team whose goal is for all to complete the Tour and to enjoy their experience on the trail. Do not underestimate the need to do a good amount of walking before the trip. Focus on distance yes, an of course climbing. Include going down steep hills and plenty of steps. Insure your feet are in good shape. Figure out the right weight and sock combination before the trip. The trail conditions vary and it is important to have plenty of tread on your hiking boots. Things I found helpful: my own bar of soap; spare bootlaces; a travel clothesline for in room washing; lotions for the feet after the day's walk; good pair of sandals as your hiking boots are not allowed in the auberges and in some hotels and finally--earplugs. (Laundromats could be found near the Hotel Richemond in Chamonix and the Hotel Val Joly in St Gervais {Day 10 & 11}).
  • Reviewed September 2017
    John Sprout

    Trek of Treks

    I did this exact same trip with Exodus in 2010. I loved it so much, I did it again in 2017! And again, the Alps were stunning, exhilarating and life-affirming. Every day brings you a new view of green-carpeted mountains and clangy-bell cows (or goats), snow-capped peaks, massive winding glaciers, fresh-scented larch forests, and breathtaking views up and down. The hotel and restaurant people were friendly and generous with their servings and their service. I could do this again.. and again... I've hiked hundreds of miles in the Colorado Rockies and 800 miles of the Appalachian Trail, but this is my favorite trail in the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the Grand Col Ferret, from Switzerland into Italy, at the highest point of the trip, reaching that amazing view, feeling the wind in my face, hearing the gush of glacial melt all those miles away across the valley...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ian was 100% dedicated to our group's well-being and success. Full of stories, he kept us engaged and fascinated with our beautiful surroundings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Train for this. I prefer not to wear the heavier ankle-covering boots, just the lighter ones and mine were fine for this trip.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Alan Thom

    Tour Du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek

    This was an excellent walking holiday, well paced, interesting interaction with fellow travellers & informative interludes from Ian our guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The excellent weather giving us spectacular views of Mont Blanc

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ian was excellent , informative, interested in the individuals within the group & led well giving the group the appropriate amount of time to walk & have breaks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are undertaking this trip the cable car from Italy op & then over to the Aiguille du midi was well worth the expense with a reduced rate for people over 65 if they ask.It is cheaper over all to go from this side & the travel across the massif was truly spectacular.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Sandra Martin

    My Magical Tour du Mt Blanc Adventure!

    I did this trip in July 2017. It was the most magical, memorable and rewarding adventure trip I have ever done.! This trip is not about rushing from A to B. This trip is all about the journey. It is about having fun, it is about the magical scenery, it is about the culture of the people who live in the alps and most importantly it is about the people you meet along the way. You get out of this trip what you put in to it. Our guide Jeff was fantastic. He was professional, intelligent, engaging, fun, friendly, safety conscious, and most importantly very caring towards his customers. Jeff is the most inspiring guide I have ever met! The accommodation was great. We stayed in a variety of hotels, hostels and auberges. They were all of a high standard, clean, hygienic and all the staff were friendly. The staff at the Richemond Hotel in Chamonix were outstanding. They were very friendly and helped me practice my French which I greatly appreciated. Our meals were great, with plenty of choice. You must try the cakes at the Bovine Refugio! The hiking pace each day was good. It was steady, however you could stop and take photos whenever you liked or even just stop for a few minutes to ' soak up nature'. I liked our exercise session every morning after breakfast. It was a great way to get our muscles ready for our long day of hiking. It also helped with team bonding as we always had lots of laughs during this time, watching each other trying to balance on one leg and hopping about. If you want to be inspired, have fun, and go on an epic adventure, go with Exodus!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The eldest person in our group ( not sure of his age), but he would be over 70, had a fall just before the water crossing and injured himself. He did not cry or complain. After our guide ' bandaged' him up, the man completed the days hike, with a smile on his face, and more importantly, finished the whole trip. He is an absolute inspiration.! Our guide Jeff was equally inspiring during this time as he was calm, confident and reassuring to this man, even though it must have scared him also, not just the customer.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Jeff, was fantastic. He was professional, intelligent, engaging, fun, friendly, safety conscious and most importantly very caring towards his customers. Jeff is the most inspiring guide I have ever met.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it! But remember, this trip is all about having fun! Don't rush, don't show off pretending you are the fastest and most fit person in the group. Get with the program and be a team member. Pace yourself up the steep hills and remember to hydrate frequently. Water, water, water! I did regular hill training 6 months prior to this trip and this definitely helped. I also did a basic 'French for fun and travel' course prior to the trip and it was extremely useful. Most importantly, go with the flow, get to know your fellow team mates, laugh often and be happy!
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Rebecca Jones

    I would not recommend this trip if ...

    I would not recommend this trip if you are planning on travelling alone, if you are a light sleeper, if you value a sense of freedom, or if you are hoping for any form of relaxation during your holiday. With one notable exception, Exodus seems to have chosen the cheapest and nastiest “hotels”. They were mostlly rather scuzzy and cramped, which is not very pleasant if you are sharing with one or more complete strangers. Several of them were also right next to busy roads and one just above the motorway leading to the Mont Blanc tunnel, making it all but impossible to sleep. I spent the whole trip sleep deprived, which was not helped by the early starts, in spite of the fact that, when I enquired prior to booking, Exodus had assured me that breakfast was normally at 8.00 am on the hotel trip. Because of the daily morning rush it wasn’t exactly a holiday. The leader was good, but could have dispensed with the unnecessary morning group exercises in favour of an extra 20 minutes in bed. The exercises were apparently supposed to alleviate the stress of the hectic morning starts, but in fact just increased stress levels by adding another item to the list of things to do in the morning before getting walking. The group members were lovely, but of very mixed ages and fitness levels, meaning that the pace was extremely slow. Personally, I did not feel at all challenged by the ascents because of this slow pace. I appreciate that, on a group trip, the overall pace has to be that of the slowest member, but I would have enjoyed the trip much more if the pace had been more flexible and I had been able to walk a little faster at least some of the time. It seems that the enjoyment of faster members of the group was sacrificed to that of the slower. Except for one challenging river crossing, owing to heavy rain over a couple of days, the walking is not at all difficult, so, if you are a reasonably experienced hill walker with some time to organise the trip yourself, I would recommend going it alone rather than through Exodus. I wish I had done so myself. The mountains are beautiful – it’s just a pity I couldn’t enjoy them to the full. Personally, I won’t be booking with Exodus again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The one day off when I went walking alone and could go at my own pace.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • Reviewed July 2017
    Mark Craven

    Tour du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek

    This trek coupled with excellent weather and brilliant company, ranks as one of the most enjoyable adventure tours we have undertaken in the past 10 years. It was challenging at times, and the days were usually long, but that first ice cold beer never tasted better. Constantly changing scenery, beautiful flowers and butterflies makes for a photographer’s paradise. Our advice if you love walking in stunning scenery is to do the trip while you can, the sense of achievement for us was as satisfying as completing Kilimanjaro.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final days walking to the high point at Brevent was long, but the culmination of two weeks of arduous trekking, realising you’ve achieved your goal, standing at the top taking in the spectacular views, with a bunch of strangers who had now become your best buddies, makes for a fabulous experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    You just couldn’t get a more knowledgeable, understanding or thoughtful guide than Peter. He was relaxed yet in full control, helping and encouraging where needed, nothing phased him at all. His lunchtime picnics were a culinary highlight of the day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Apprehensive of the walking grade at altitude we did train quite a bit, probably not as much as we should have done due to leading normal busy lives, but if you’re a regular walker and are used to putting the hours in, you will be fine. It goes without saying to get your kit sorted out and bedded in beforehand, there isn’t much time once you’re underway, but bring Compeed in any case, as even the most comfortable boots and socks can play up after 10hrs plus day after day. Also pack light as there are plenty of opportunities to rinse out and dry trekking gear.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The terrain was challenging at times, as described in the notes, with little flat walking, and the descents can be hard on the knees. Accommodation was always of a good standard, food was variable, with not a lot of choice for any special dietary requirements, but on the whole it’s was pretty decent. At the end of the day you undertake these types of trips to challenge yourself, so small hardships should be expected, just keep a smile on your face and everyone will oblige. In summary this is a well organised fantastic trip and we would recommend it to all.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Sue Philp

    Tour de Mont Blanc Hotel Trek

    Absolutely fantastic trek. With only two exceptions we had beautiful weather for the whole trip even though the forecast had been varied. The grading of challenging / moderate was spot on and at times it felt tough but the spectacular scenery all around and the sense of achievement more than compensated for the harder parts. Loved every minute of it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the Col De Tricot! Cow bells clanging in flower filled meadows, Glaciers that felt that they were within in touching distance.. sunshine lighting up snow covered peaks... myrtle tarts at the refuges... Actually there were so many fantastic moments that it is hard to differentiate but getting to the top of the Col was pretty special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul kept us organised and safe, he made sure that all the group achieved their goals and we all learned a lot about wild flowers and trees!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do the trip.. Make sure that you have a reasonable level of fitness, it isn't easy walking but it is doable and the rewards are worth it. It's one of the best treks that I've done. Don't take too much clothing, there really isn't any need to 'dress up' in the evenings although you might want something clean for the free days unless you are planning on walking then too. Thermal Spa at St Gervais was a lovely distraction on one free day and good for soothing aching joints.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Really great trip.. up there with Everest Base Camp for me in terms of challenges (but for different reasons). If the weather is kind to you, the landscape is just stunning and you really won't be disappointed. The accommodation is really pretty good and the food at some of the auberges was great. Overall, it was excellent and I'd recommend it to anyone.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Tracey Patterson

    Tour de Mont Blanc Hotel Trek

    We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip even though the terrain could be hard work at times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being able to complete the Tour and feel proud of the accomplishment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nick Draper was an excellent leader. He looked after the group and made sure everyone was coping ok. He has an excellent knowledge of the flora and fauna and was happy to point things out.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do follow the advice in the trip notes and on the website to make sure that you have a reasonable state of fitness. Do make sure that you take walking poles as these are essential for manoeuvring up and down the trails.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a wonderful trip which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think that Exodus should ensure that couples that book holidays together are seated together on all flights.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Martin Patterson

    Tour Du Mont Blanc

    This is a fairly strenuous trek through the amazing setting of the Alps, but with a little bit of fitness preparation it's well within most peoples capability. Our group age ranged from early 50s to 70 and we all finished. Each days walking started at about 08.30 and finished between 16.00-17.00. There was plenty of oportunity to stop and admire the ever changing views and have rest breaks at the mountain refuges where food and drink was always available. At times ascents and descents were quite steep but these were to be expected, ( we were in the Alps after all). As a group we gelled together well which resulted in a couple of apres trek beers each day before dinner. The food and accomodation were first rate, don't expect to lose any weight on this trek the foods to good and there's plenty off it. Overall I can't recommend this trip highly enough if walking is your thing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ever changing views opening up in front of me were just amazing, resulting in no sooner did I put my camera away than it had to come out again. Also whilst I was there the UTMB was taking place, and to see people running the 170km mountain route I was wakling just left me with a feeling awe (this years winner did it in 22hours, I took 10 days)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Nick was an easy going guide, who set a pace to achieve the each days trek in a realistic time. He was knowledgeable about the area and regularly pointed out and named peaks, plants and local history. I'd be very happy to be led by Nick again on future treks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Being super fit is not necessary but improving fitness prior to doing this trek would just make it easier and more enjoyable With regards to kit, good comfortable shoes/boots are essential, and your knees and ankles will thank you for using walking poles. Drink plenty of water, a hydration bladder in your backpack encourages this.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you're considering this trip but not sure if you're up to it, I can honestly say the effort will be worth it.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Nishka Bhatia

    Trekking the TMB

    This was honestly one of my most incredible adventures yet, executed in a flawless and brilliant manner by Exodus. It fulfilled all of my expectations, from amazing diverse scenery (majestic mountains, valleys, forests and woodlands) to great food and company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several inspirational moments, but the best would have to be tackling the 1.5 km ascent on the last trekking day without breaking too much of a sweat. It really showed me how far I had come in terms of both mental strength and fitness, over the two weeks! Also, being constantly surrounded by mountains is itself a very humbling and spiritual experience, one that has driven me to pursue mountain hiking/trekking!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had the privilege of having both Frank and John as our tour guides. Both were excellent; I really appreciated John's helpful advice on walking techniques along with the extremely doable pace he employed during the most challenging trekking days.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would recommend a few weeks of hill walking/general fitness training prior to undertaking this trek. Almost every day is a challenge in its own right and prior training will ensure a more enjoyable experience. In saying that, I think that body learns to adapt to the increased load and you definitely shouldn't feel stressed if you're not the fittest during the first few days!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had many misgivings about doing this as my first proper trek. I'm glad I decided to ignore the negative thoughts and do it anyway! You definitely come out stronger (both mentally and physically) and a million times more inspired to live life a little more!

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