Trekking in Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc Highlights

8 days
from
$1,735 NZD
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 145 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
TWN
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–14

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. To complete the whole circuit normally takes a fortnight, but for those with less time this one-week Exodus tour takes in the most outstanding sections with beautiful mountain highlights each day. Throughout the holiday we are based in the delightful Chalet Chamonix with dramatic views of Mont Blanc and use private 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

  • Dramatic mountain scenery
  • High alpine lake Lac Blanc
  • Comfortable chalet with outdoor hot tub

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 en suite

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 6 dinners
  • 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 us on
0800 643 997
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

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

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 Chalet Chamonix.

    Our holiday begins at the Chalet Chamonix. Those making their own way to the chalet should aim to arrive late morning to 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 path 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.

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

    A short transfer takes us through picturesque hamlets and quaint Savoy farmhouses to Maison Neuve, our start point above the village of Les Houches. From here we begin our climb to the Col de Voza (1653m – 5360ft) from where we enjoy sweeping views of the Chamonix Valley and Aravis mountains. Crossing the lines of the Tramway du Mont Blanc, the highest rack railway in France, we head into the Bionnassay Valley, dominated by the spectacular Aiguille de Bionnassay and its glacier. We continue via the little village of Le Champel towards Les Contamines commune (1015m – 3330ft). Many of our walking leaders choose to run this day in reverse which is equally excellent.

    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.

    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 is only 15 minutes’ walk away and 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.

    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

    Drive to Col de Montets; walk via Lac Blanc to La Flegere then descend by cable car.

    We drive to les Praz and then take the cable car to La Flégère (1877m - 3900ft). From here it is a mostly steady, but at times a steep and rough path to the beautiful Lac Blanc. This is the highest point of the week (2352m - 7715ft) and a spectacular setting with dramatic, panoramic vistas. If we are lucky we will be able to see a majestic ibex grazing on the mountainside. We then descend via a second path, making a circular route, and continue back to La Flégère, from where we take the cable car back down to the valley floor.

    7 hours walking. 520m – 1690ft up, 520m – 1690ft down

    If the Flégère lift is closed (Spring and Autumn departures), or there is low lying snow and it is not possible to walk to Lac Blanc then we will instead walk to the beautiful Lacs des Cheserys and then onwards to Flégère before descending past the charming Chalet Floria (there will be time for a cup of tea) and onwards to Chamonix. This will make a total climb of 746m – 2445 ft and descent of 1184m - 3880ft. This is a stunning and beautiful day that equals the original. We only anticipate this happening on the spring and autumn departures.

    7 hours walking.  8km - 5miles - 890m – 2920ft up, 500m – 1640ft down (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Chalet Chamonix.

    Following breakfast depart Chalet Chamonix.

    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.

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: 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. The route throughout is non-technical, although there is a short section with a fixed sloping ladder and metal footsteps help traverse what would be a steeper section.

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 10th 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 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.

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
0800 643 997
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

Our comfortable and modern chalet has en suite rooms throughout and a pleasant open plan lounge with south facing panoramic windows and balcony overlooking Mont Blanc. Surrounded by a private garden with Jacuzzi and just 15 minutes walk into Chamonix, the chalet is 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 narrow balcony. 2 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. Please note: these two rooms will be allocated to the last 4 people to book. Single rooms are not available.

There is free Wi-Fi in the communal areas.

Call us on
0800 643 997
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
0800 643 997
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
    Pam Douglass

    Mont Blanc Highlites

    hiking was wonderful and loved every moment - even the hard parts

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyday hiking was inspirational for me

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jim our guide was good but Sarah and Rich were our hosts at the chalet and they made our trip. Sarah was always full of stories and her dinner meals were fabulous

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring snacks as most of us felt that breakfast and lunches were not that great. Something hot for breakfast would have been nice and some fresh fruit - not days old fruit for lunches. It would be better if they could provide clean towels throughout the week - we had them all week. No place to wash or dry clothes - we were lucky we had room 4 so we had the balcony so we could dry clothes as hiking clothes needed to be washed out daily.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    see above - great trip I would recommend but a few improvements as mentioned would be great
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Dave Collins

    Great walks - outstanding chalet team

    We got lucky with the weather and had 5 great walks showing off the stunning scenery in the Mont Blanc region. Chamonix itself is a beautiful town. Don't miss the craft brewery and definitely do the parapenting!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every time we looked up and saw another aspect of Mont Blanc and its glaciers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marks knowledge of the region and his obvious passion for the outdoors made each walk more than just a scenery fest. Great sense of humour too!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cable car to the Aguille Du Midi is an absolute must but listen to the advice from Rich about pre-booking. Apart from the craft beer, the food at the brewery is pretty good, cheap and plentiful - worth a try on your free day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Chalet hosts Rich and Sarah - what else is left to say of this amazing team except to agree with everything previously written here. Thank you both for some amazing meals and your seemingly endless patience.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Brigitte Hease

    Fantastic Mont Blanc Highlights.

    One of our most memorable holidays. We were lucky to have fantastic weather (mountain weather can be unpredictable), and we enjoyed the usual mix of friendly and interesting people that we've come to expect on Exodus holidays. When not enjoying spectacular alpine views on the walks, Chamonix provided ample opportunities to do some shopping, experience local bars, just a stroll away from Chamonix Chalet where we could read a book in the garden with views of Mont Blanc, whilst relaxing in the hot tub and wait for a fabulous dinner prepared by our hosts Sara and Richard. This holiday provided the perfect mix of beautiful walks, fantastic food and great company. We highly recommend it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking in the Alps with fabulous views of the mountains and glaciers. Our chalet hosts' warm welcome and fabulous food as well as our mountain guide's professionalism.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our walking leader Mark was excellent, giving a brief explanation of the next days walk before dinner. He provided regular opportunities for rest and photo breaks whilst sharing his knowledge of the area.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are not very sporty, it is useful to do some training to strengthen your knee muscles. Most people found the descents harder than the ascents ! Don't expect to loose any weight during this trip as you fully enjoy the fabulous food provided by Sarah!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sara and Rich who run the chalet are amazing. The 3 course evening dinners prepared by Sarah, a qualified chef, are of top restaurant standards, and Rich bakes a cake everyday for afternoon tea. Their dedication and enthusiasm have made this holiday special.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Janet Shepherd

    Mont Blanc Highlights

    This was our first trip with Exodus and it definitely won't be our last. We knew the location was going to be outstanding, but the service from our initial phone call to book the trip, right through to the staff in resort was faultless. Our chalet hosts at Chalet Chamonix, Rich and Sarah, quite simply were phenomenal. Their knowledge and service was second to none and I just can't speak highly enough about the food. No basic comfort food here! It was like dining out at a fabulous restaurant every night! Our mountain guide Peter was a true gent, who in his understated manner, shared his incredible knowledge of the area and ensured our safety and enjoyment was paramount at all times. I'm already looking forward to browsing through the brochure and finding our next adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The awesome scenery just blew us away!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Peter, was inspirational. One of those true gents that you look up to and respect. He was knowledgeable about the area but it was his mountain experience that filled us with confidence and made us feel that we couldn't be in safer hands. Throw in his mischievous sense of him out and we had the perfect combination for some great days in the mountains.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Alison Houlker

    Mont Blanc Highlights

    This trip is definitely one not to be missed! The scenery and walks are breathtakingly beautiful and the Chamonix the perfect setting. The chalet was a real haven to come back to each night with home made cakes and a stunning three course meal which would not be out of place at any top restaurant. The chalet hosts, Richard and Sarah, were outstanding. Sarah's passion and love for hosting were a joy to behold and the positive, upbeat attitude of them both really helped to make our group feel at home.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing everyone in the group, despite different abilities, successfully conquer each walk and to be able to celebrate these individual achievements.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Nick, was very knowledgeable and knew the area very well. I enjoyed learning about the local wildlife, flora and fauna as we went along our walks. Nick was also very good at respecting the groups different abilities and gave just the right amount of encouragement to help everyone get through the challenges of each day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes and bring appropriate clothing. Despite being graded as moderate the walks involve quite steep ascents so be prepared tough sections however once conquered the views are beyond your wildest dreams and well worth the effort.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    christley jones

    cricket

    Thank-you both for the welcome, and the a 'la carte food, and afternoon tea.... and the creative foods to try. sarah has a passion for cooking... thank-you also for getting the red wine out of my top. rich and sarah.. work beautiful together.. making everyone's holiday a pleasure... both very helpful.. the chalet was lovely with great views of mount blanc.. hope u guys make chalet leader's... have a fab time in Everest....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    everything

    What did you think of your group leader?

    both , friendly.... and welcoming...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    to taste sarah a'la carte, ... home cooking... afternoon..cake and tea

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    . best of luck in becoming the chalet leaders...
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Zoe Diamond

    All round excellent!

    The Mont Blanc highlights trip is a real treat! The chalet is quaint and comfortable, especially when you have Rich and Sarah as hosts. The meals are exquisite, and each made with love which you can taste in Sarah's food. The walks are all certainly 'highlights', choosing the best parts of Chamonix snd Mont Blanc to experience in the short stay. I would highly recommend this tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking to the top of Lac Blanc on a clear, warm sunny day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Nick was excellent. He knew the area back to front and was friendly and fun to be around.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Wear in your hiking shoes before you otherwise you will get blisters! Weather can be unpredictable so make sure you bring waterproof clothing, although you are bound to have mostly rain-free days in Summer.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Maurice Naftal

    Mont Blanc Highlights

    An overall wonderful experience with magnificent scenery and food for such a reasonably priced tour. The walking was a bit harder than the moderate rating given to it The accommodation although basic chalet style was adequate but was more than made up for by the charm and efficiency of our hosts, Sara and Rich. The gourmet evening meals provided by Sara were consistently amazing. I would highly recommend the tour based on Sara and Rich being your hosts at the chalet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moments, and totally unexpected based on the tour price, were the variety, gourmet quality and deliciousness of the evening meals provided by Sara. She is an absolute star! I must also add that the amazing scenery ran a very close second. Every vista is a picture postcard.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I thought that our tour leader was probably the weakest part of the tour even though he was a very nice and friendly person and tried his best. He appeared inexperienced in the role even though he seemed to know the area we were walking in. His communication skills were lacking and us such did not convey the type of walks we would be doing each day very well. He seemed to keep changing his mind on various aspects of each walk. as they progressed. When I fell behind on the long downhill sections due to knee soreness he did not come back to see how I was progressing even though the group did wait for me further down.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even though it has a moderate rating I would suggest more training beforehand. Also, if someone has knee issues it would be best to avoid this trip due to the very long downhill sections of about 2.5 to 3 hours at the end of every day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having been on other walks with different companies around the world the one issue that concerned me that there was only one guide for 13 people of different ages and walking abilities. On all the the other tours there have been 2 guides so that one would always bring up the rear and look after the slower walkers. I realize this would add to the cost but would provide for a safer experience especially for older walkers. Finally do everything you can to keep Sara and Rich at Exodus as they are worth 5 stars themselves,
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Melissa Goodwin

    Stunning views. Fabulous food

    We had a wonderful 5 days walking parts of the TMB with exodus. Our guide Mark was extremely experienced and knowledgeable. As a slower walker I found some aspects of the walks a little bit challenging but Mark was accommodating and encouraging as were other members of the group. Back at the chalet our wonderful hosts Sarah and Rich made our stay most comfortable. Sarah is a brilliant chef and her 3 course dinners were up there with the best restaurants we've been to.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's just too hard to decide. The views are outstanding but the flowers were delightful too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Terrific. Knowledgeable and experienced (and amazingly fit).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some training (there us a recommended training guide) as better fitness will make your walk more enjoyable. And be prepared for some long up and down hills.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our chalet hosts deserve a special recommendation. They provided a wonderful atmosphere off the track and helped enormously to build a cohesive group.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Malcolm Adamson

    Mont Blanc High Lights

    Really enjoyed this trip ,lots of good point's - here's a few Firstly we had brilliant weather the whole week so we did all the walks and saw all the sights in glorious sunshine. Secondly the chalet and our hosts were superb ,the food was delicious and plentiful all week. Thirdly our walk leader was very capable and gave a sense of security and safety throughout the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably achieving all the walks without too many aches and pains .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As previously stated he was very capable and made sure the group were safe at all times. He explained the routes/plan on an evening for the next day so we all knew what was ahead of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Early October when i went was pretty quiet in Chamonix on a night but this was compensated for by having great weather during the day which i've heard is not unusual.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great weeks walking holiday - want to go on another Alp's based trip next year now.

Dates & Prices

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Call us on 0800 643 997