Chamonix Family Adventure
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc - enjoying views from the head of the Chamonix valley
Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights
Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights
Chamonix Classic Walks
Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights
Chamonix Classic Walks
Chamonix Classic Walks
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc - more exquisite single track above the treeline.

Chamonix Classic Walks


Chamonix Mont Blanc Walking Holiday

Spectacular scenery of snowy peaks, glaciers and granite spires. We meet in Chamonix, the mountaineering capital of the world, and home to Mont Blanc Western Europes highest peak. Experience a journey of discovery on foot which takes in the history, culture, folklore and wildlife of the mountains. From remote farms and refuges, to ancient Roman towns and beautiful lakeside mountain villages - it's all here! At the end of each day relax and soak up the Alpine environment in our mountain chalet perfectly situated at the foot of the famous Argentiere Glacier.

Highlights

  • Explore Chamonix in this perfect first alpine walking holiday
  • 5 guided day walks all on good paths and tracks
  • Enjoy mountain cafes with views of Mont Blanc
  • Led by a locally based English speaking International Mountain Leader
  • Walk sections of the famous ‘Tour of Mont Blanc’
  • Lac du Brevent and the Aiguillette des Houches
  • Aiguilles du Midi and Montenvers railway
  • Easy transfer from Geneva Airport

Our 5 day Chamonix walking break is designed for those wishing to explore those 'must do' Chamonix classic trails but at a pace that means you can also explore along the way. Situated in the heart of the French Alps, sharing borders with both Italy and Switzerland, Chamonix has walking trails for every level. The walks start within easy access of your accommodation visiting a different part of the valley each day.


Itinerary

  • meet in
  • accommodation
  • airport
  • route
  • cable
  • train
  • Our group accommodation for this trip is Yeti Lodge in the village of Argentiere. Situated at the foot of the Argentiere glacier with excellent views of Mont Blanc your guide will meet you at your accommodation this evening to answers and questions and to brief you on the days ahead.

  • We we start our week exploring the lower balcony trails along the Petit Balcon Nord & Sud. Facing each side of the valley these paths wind there way through the pine forests and hamlets along the River Arve making only short climbs and descents on route. Enjoy excellent views of the Mont Blanc Massif from the sleepy village of Les Lavancher as we make our way towards Chamonix town centre. You will soon feel the grandure of the surrounding peaks as you pass the mighty Aiguilles Verte, Drus and Aiguilles Rouge as they line either side of the valley. We decend on easy trails through the pine forests and old village of the Bois du Bouchet to meet a wide riverside trail leading us into the historic town of Chamonix. Lunch today will be in one of the many street cafes which offer fine views of Mont Blanc. Learn from your guide about the history of this famous Alpine town from the first ‘tourists’ who visitied the mountains and glaciers for science to the Golden Age of Mountaineering and the famous figures conquered the summits. We return back to the chalet along the River and the Petit Balcon Sud and then the use of the delightful Mont Blanc Express train.

    Distance: 15km (9.3 miles). Ascent: 350m (1148ft). Descent: 400m (1312ft). Walking time: 3-4 hours.

  • Our second classic trail starts from Chamonix town centre. We first ride the two stage cable car to visit the famous rocky spire of the Aiguilles du Midi. This amazing feet of engineering is not only one of the longest and highest single cable ways in the world but also offers unsurpassable 360 degree panoramic views of Mont Blanc. the Chamonix Valley, Switzerland and into Italy. If conditions allow we can reach the dizzy height of 3842m (12604ft). Your guide will lead you around exhibitions, view the Vallee Blanche glacier and highlight some of the famous surrounding peaks. On a clear day its possible to see the Matterhorn from this amazing location. When we are ready to leave one of the cable cars will take us back down to the Refuge Plan d'Aiguilles at 2200m (7217ft) where we will have our lunch offering excellent of the Chamonix Valley.

    From the refuge we join the Grand Balcon Nord (a high balcony trail) to start todays hike. The walk is an undulating path beneath the awesome granite rock spires. This trail traverses for 6.5 kilometres (4 miles) to reach Signal Forbes a viewpoint at 2198m (7211ft) of the iconic Aiguille du Drus and the largest glacier in France, the Mer de Glace. To descend we use the historic rack and pinion Montenvers Train. Taking about 20 minutes the train follows the route of the old mule track 1000m to reach the valley floor.

    Distance: 10km. (6.2 miles) Ascent: 300m (984ft). Descent: 250m (820ft). Walking time: approximately 3 hours.

  • We begin today by heading towards the Swiss / French border on the delightful Mont Blanc Express - one of the world's most picturesque mountain train journeys. We alight in le Buet where we pick up the 'Chemin des Diligences' – an ancient stage coach route – featured on the famous walk the 'Tour du Mont Blanc. Passing through ancient hamlets and alpine pastures strewn with cows ‘at work’ producing milk for locally produced cheese. We gain height with the help of a cable car up above the tree line and walk again. After about 20 minutes of easy angled ascent we reach the Col des Possettes at 1997m (6551ft) and alpage coffee stop for wonderful views of the Le Tour glacier and across to Swiss frontier which is our next stop. A longer but steadier climb for about an hour gains the Swiss border and the Tete de Balme at 2312m (7585ft) where we will have our picnic lunch. You can literally stand with a leg in each country high up in the mountains! From the Col de Balme at 2191m (7188ft) we have a fun descent as we first use the chair lift then a bubble cable car to return to the valley floor and the village of Le Tour. It's possible to either return to your accommodation on foot or by bus from here.

    Distance: 14km (8.6 miles). Ascent: 400m (1312ft). Descent: 350m (1148ft). Walking time: approximately 3-5 hours.

    Tonight we will eat out in Argentiere at a French restaurant, the Petit Vert.

  • This walk visits the Aiguilles Rouge Nature Reserve with a landscape of granite cliffs, wildlife, glacial lakes and often old snow left over from the winter. We visit the Aiguilles Rouge Nature Reserve with a landscape of granite cliffs, wildlife, glacial lakes and often old snow left over from the winter. Our route begins at the Brevent cable car where we take advantage of another two stage ride up to our trail start, the Brevent Summit itself at 2525m (8284ft). Our walk starts off on a good but rocky path along a balcony trail which gives us impressive views high above the treeline on the opposite side of the valley of the '3 monts' Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc du Tacul and Mont Maudit. After a short way we reach the high glacial lake Lac du Brevent at 2125m (6971ft). The trail under foot gets easier from here as we reach the Bellachat Refuge where we can stop for refreshments. From here the views of the glaciers and mountains are simply incredible. If we continue along the ridgeline we reach the Aiguillette des Houches summit. There are a number of ways we can take to descend back to the valley and your guide will decide the best option on the day.

    Distance: 10-15km (6.2-9.3 miles). Ascent: 500m (1640ft) Descent: 500m (1640ft). Walking time: approximately 5hrs.

  • The destination of our last walk is Refuge Loriaz a summer alpage situated at 2020m (6627ft). A collection of ancient farm buildings offering overnight stays and delicious traditional cuisine. From Argentiere we first head by train a few stops to the village of Vallorcine and the 'valley of bears'. Sadly there are no longer any bears in the region but it's here that we start our hike up to Refuge Loriaz and alpage, a 'middle mountain' meadow where animals graze in the summer months.

    This circular route climbs and decends all on good trails, never feeling too steep. Starting through the pine forest gaps in the trees offer glimpses of the Aiguilles du Possettes opposite. As we reach the treeline the trail opens up to the high pastures where the spring flowers, bees and butterflies are in abundance. A cross leads the way and signals that we are close to the chalet farm buildings. Our hosts welcome us for a fabulous lunch on the terrace. This peaceful alpine setting is the perfect place reflect on this excellent week of walking in the Chamonix Valley.

    Distance: 7.5km (4.6miles). Ascent: 600m (1968ft) Descent: 600m (1968ft). Walking time: 3h30-4hrs.

     

     

  • Today is departure day. Your package finishes after breakfast. If your flight is not too early then there will still be time to do some sightseeing and souvenir shopping before your transfer to the airport. The package finishes after breakfast.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

Yeti Lodge, Summer

Chalet

This gorgeous chalet which has recently been renovated has a sauna, hot tub and views of Mont Blanc. The bedrooms are twins, and these will either be with en suite facilities or shared bathrooms depending on availability. The accommodation is half board; with breakfast and dinner. Chalets are limited in terms of the number of bedrooms and for this reason single rooms are not available. 

 

The chalet is approximately 8km (5 miles) from the centre of Chamonix town. There is free bus and train travel up and down the valley. To take advantage of the free travel you should request a Guest Card from the chalet staff.

You also have the use of the comfortable lounge area which has satellite TV & DVD and free WIFI.

 


  • Chamonix, France is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane.

    Geneva is the closest international airport, only 1 hour 15 by road which makes shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange.

    A range of travel options to reach the Chamonix valley can be found on the Chamonix Tourist Office website.

    If arriving via Geneva we recommend that you book a seat on a shared transfer which is a door-to-door service to reach your accommodation in Chamonix. We recommend Mountain Drop Offs, Chamexpress and Haute Pursuit for this service. Easybus also runs a service from Geneva airport to Chamonix Bus Station. This service runs throughout the day, but does not drop you at your hotel.

    Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.

  • You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    The insurance clause set out in our 'Terms and Conditions' is below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses, not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc, shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd, or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd, to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres (9840ft), except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m (10,877ft). You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

    You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    The insurance clause set out in our 'Terms and Conditions' is below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses, not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc, shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd, or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd, to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres (9840ft), except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m (10,877ft). You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Summer mountain weather in the European Alps can vary considerably, and in this respect it is no different to any mountain environment where the terrain influences the weather and it can change from valley to valley. 

    However, in the summer months it is generally good in the Alps, but it can deliver everything from glorious sunshine, to rain, fog, high winds and even snow. Temperatures can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) in July and August, but can drop to 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high passes, or 'Cols' as they are known in the Alps. Essentially, as with all mountain journeys, you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°Celsius (59-77°F) in the valleys and 5-15°Celsius (41-59°F) on the passes.

    Even in mid-summer we can be faced with overnight snow especially when we have spent the night in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut at higher altitude. 

  • After we have processed your booking we will send you a comprehensive clothing and equipment list that is appropriate to your trip and activity. There will be some items on this list that we strongly recommend and others which are suggested. Our list is based on our experience of what is needed for any particular trip, but it is not the definitive article! If you have items you like to use then do bring them, but be aware of over-loading your 'day' rucksack with items that are heavy and therefore making the trip more challenging.

    Please contact us if in any doubt about what to bring.

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible.

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, and insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    Please note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    For our walking, family, and snowshoeing trips your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader.

  • Each evening you can choose to order a picnic or a sandwich from the accommodation. Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout your day of activity. If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card.

    On many of our walks we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    On all our trips we prefer if you can experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country we are visiting and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. 

    If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet then please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness. 

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water that is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly. 

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway and Switzerland. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    UK residents should obtain and bring with them the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 

  • Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.

    There may be occasions when our partners have helped book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of one of our partners. 

    We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee, will also be the same. 

    We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2020

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What's Included

  • The guiding services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader
  • 3 Nights half board (breakfast and dinner) in hotel or chalet accommodation: based on two people sharing
  • 3 Nights bed and breakfast only in hotel or chalet accommodation: based on two people sharing
  • 3 Picnic lunches
  • 3 Cable cars rides to access the trails as part of your trip itinerary including the Aiguilles du Midi
  • Mountain railway and valley transport (not airport transfers)
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Drinks
  • 2 Lunches at mountain cafes and 3 evening meals
  • Transfers and cable cars which are not part of the itinerary
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses
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Grade: Moderate

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At a Glance

From Price £995
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 7 Days
Group Size 10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 3842m (12604ft)
Countries Visited France
Meet In Chamonix, France
View all Walking Holidays

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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