Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc
Classic Tour du Mont Blanc

Classic Tour du Mont Blanc


Walking the Tour du Mont Blanc

Highlights

  • The Classic Panoramic Tour of Mont Blanc
  • High quality hotel accommodation
  • 10 Days trekking through 3 Alpine countries - France, Italy and Switzerland
  • Hike to Lac des Cheserys & the Grand Balcon Sud
  • Experience a night in the unforgettable Bonatti Refuge
  • Luggage transfers provided
  • Cross the Fenêtre d'Arpette & reach the Brevent Summit
  • International Mountain Leader.

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the world's classic trekking journeys, covering 166km (104 miles) and around 10,000 metres (32,800 feet) of up and down. At the heart of the European Alps, the massif of Mont Blanc straddles the borders of France, Italy and Switzerland and includes some spectacular mountain scenery.

With its rich mountaineering history and unsurpassed cultural diversity, this corner of Europe has been an irresistible attraction for the world’s adventurers, climbers and hikers. Mont Blanc itself, at 4810 metres (15,781 feet), is the high point of the range and the highest peak in Western Europe. When viewed from the French town of Chamonix, the capital of world mountaineering, the snowy bulk of this commanding peak exerts a strange fascination.

Streams of cloud trailing from its summit bear witness to the fact that Mont Blanc stands high above the surrounding, and in some respects more dramatic, rocky peaks. The trekker and mountain walker is spoiled for choice in this part of the world, but one obvious challenge is to complete a circuit of the Mont Blanc massif. The well-known long distance walk (or Grand Randonée) known as the Tour du Mont Blanc does just that.


Wonderful hike, fantastic weather. Views to die for. We also caught a great show of wildflowers. Good cross section of accommodations which we had requested.

The trip was truly memorable! I loved every aspect of it! The views were spectacular, the guide was exceptional in her leadership and knowledge of the area and the physical challenge was just right. I felt safe and in good hands throughout! I have nothing but rave reviews about the whole experience. Thank you very much, "Tracks and Trails"

Thank you so very much for putting together such a wonderful trip! Hiking in the Alps was truly an unforgettable experience. I liked all accommodations...And our guide Nicole was the true highlight of the trip - just an extraordinary person: passionate about her work, patient, knowledgeable, attentive and kind, very funny, and so strong! 

Just want to say what happy memories I have our holiday at the beginning of the year, then to my surprise, Moya said that she has been in touch to say what a positive experience it was for her. Well, there was me feeling guilty for dragging her out on the snow!! I am of course delighted. It was a fantastic holiday and I feel privileged to been in the position of being able to learn so much from you. It will be interesting for me to see how I get on in the snowy wastes of northern Canada.

Many thanks for a wonderful time. Our guide was knowledgeable, caring, safety conscious and fun to be with - in short a great leader. Having assessed the weather conditions she was able to find the sun and the best snowshoeing for each day. This was our first snowshoeing experience. We had a fabulous three days around Chamonix and would highly recommend Tracks and Trails. We will be back. Many thanks until the next time.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our trip, you are an excellent guide and teacher, and made it feel more like a bespoke trip rather than a group package. We intend to come back to do more, both skiing and possibly snow shoeing, we'll be back in touch when we do. 

I just wanted to say thank you again for such a brilliant week in Chamonix. In a way I'd say the holiday was exactly as I expected - there's loads of details on the Tracks & Trails website, and the week panned out pretty much as described. But it also totally exceeded my expectations - the quality of coaching/expertise from all of you guys, the motivation gained from meeting and chatting to some truly inspirational people, plus everyone was just so friendly and nice.

I just wanted to thank you again for a very memorable tour. It was certainly the toughest I have done but left me with a real sense of achievement. This would not have been possible without your leadership and guidance.

We had a wonderful trip with you and hope to return soon. You were an excellent guide and I do not think that our family would have been able to complete the trek without your help. Thanks for all of the memories that will last a lifetime! 

It was such a nice trip organized by your company and it was a wonderful experience for all of us. The personal touch given by you and the way you handled all of us for the 6 days was amazing. I was touched by your compassion and generosity along with professionalism. Once again thank you for this lovely experience.

​Fran, our guide, was great!  Tammi and the kids would've re-thought this 'walk' if she weren't there.  Will is a more seasoned hiker and wouldn't have needed a guide, but she helped pull the family in when the walk was tough.  Absolutely no complaints about accommodations, or meals.  Was nice there was always vegetarian options, and wine for dinner was priced fair. A great trip!

A HUGE thank you for the most BRILLIANT holiday. We just loved it. We weren’t quite sure what we were letting ourselves in for, but it surpassed all expectations. We really felt we achieved something. Thank you Julia for making it all a success – we were so lucky to have you as our guide and we really appreciated your skills and expertise – and knowing when to stop for ice creams or hot chocolates.

Thank you Lindsay and Kathy for such a special holiday. Rob and I loved it and cannot thank you enough for all the great effort and organization you put in, without you both it would not have been so memorable.  As a group we all had so much fun and hopefully will come on another trip soon. Missing you both and wish you all the best in the future.

Itinerary

  • airport
  • meet in
  • accommodation
  • route
  • route
  • Your trip starts in the world famous mountain town of Chamonix, in France. Chamonix has a rich history as a climbing and hiking destination having attracted mountain lovers for many centuries. It is perhaps most famous for its incredible mountain views of glaciers and summits which are dominated by the highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc which today sits at 4810m (15,777ft). Ever since Mont Blanc was first climbed in August 1786 it has inspired the climbers who come to Chamonix throughout the summer months with their dreams of ascending the 'mighty Blanc'.

    Hotel rooms are usually available from approximately 1600 hrs, but if you arrive early you will be able to leave your bags at the hotel and perhaps enjoy exploring the town. Your guide will meet you at your hotel this evening to brief you on the days ahead and to answer any questions you might have about the trip. 

  • You begin this world famous hike in the village of Les Houches, where we ease into the trip with a cable car ride to reach Bellevue. The cable car arrives at a wonderful view point high above Chamonix Valley where you can pause for a few minutes to take those essential photos of this magnificent mountain valley. We then begin our walk by dropping down to a trail which traverses the mountainside bringing us under the impressive Bionnassay Glacier with the Aiguille de Bionnassay towering above. Crossing the torrent via a suspension bridge, we climb steadily to reach our first ‘Col’ or mountain pass - the Col de Tricot at 2120m (6954ft). At the Col we have stunning views of the snow covered peak of the mighty Dômes de Miage, while below us is the idyllic hamlet of the Refuge de Miage. In the summer months this valley is home to herds of cows, flocks of sheep and usually quite a few horses. We will stop at the historic Refuge de Miage for a welcome drink. The Refuge has been in the Orset family for several generations, and family members played a major part in the French Resistance movement. To complete our day we make a short climb, followed by an easy descent into the traditional alpine village of Les Contamines where we will spend the night.

    Ascent: 837m (2735ft) Descent: 1520m (4985ft) Distance: 15.6km (9.7 miles) Duration: 6h00

  • We begin today with an easy riverside trail to the impressive Notre Dame de la Gorge chapel. Leaving the river, our route then climbs steeply for a short section following the ancient ‘paved’ road to reach a bridge which was constructed in Roman times. You can definitely feel the history under your feet today as we make our way towards the Beaufortain region following these old trade routes. After a while our trail eases as we pass through meadows and pastures of grazing cows to reach the refuge at La Balme, perfectly located for a morning coffee stop before the ascent to the Col du Bonhomme. This long, steady climb often has snow patches early in the season, but they present little difficulty. At 2469m (8098ft), this pass is considerably higher than yesterdays Col de Tricot, and offers wonderful views to distant mountains such as those of the Vanoise National Park. With the main climb complete we can enjoy traversing around and just slightly further up to our second col for today, the Croix du Bonhomme. We then descend steadily to the sleepy settlement of Les Chapieux at 1553m (5093ft), where we stay in a characterful family run auberge.

    Ascent: 1348m (4421ft) Descent: 960m (3148ft) Distance: 19km (11.8 miles) Duration: 7h00-8h00

  • Today starts with a short minibus transfer along the road to reach the ‘Ville des Glaciers’, a tiny farming community. In winter, this entire valley is cut off by snow, but in the summer it offers some of the finest grazing for the chestnut coloured Tarine cows which provide the milk for the world-famous Beaufort cheese. We will often stop to chat to Bernard, the diary farmer, who has a large herd of Tarines and take the chance to buy some Beaufort direct from the producer! The trail then takes us towards the Refuge Les Mottets, where donkeys and horses are often to be found grazing on the lush mountainside. No stopping at the Refuge though as we still have a long steady climb ahead to our next hight point at the Col de la Seigne at 2516m (8252ft). This is a significant col as we take our first steps into Italy! The panoramic views from the col are unforgettable as we see not only the impressive Brenva face of Mont Blanc, but all the way to Switzerland and the massive white peak of the Grand Combin. We can then enjoy an easy descent past the Elizabetta Refuge under the impressive ridge of the infamous Aiguille Noire de Peuterey. After lunch we walk down Val Veny to reach La Visaille, where we take a bus down to the vibrant town and mountaineering centre of Courmayeur

    Ascent: 867m (2843ft) Descent: 1015m (3329ft) Distance: 17.2km (10.7 miles) Duration: 5h00-6h00

  • Leaving Courmayeur we wander past ancient chalets until we reach a steep but steady forest trail which takes us to the stunningly positioned Rifugio Bertone. Here we take time to enjoy excellent coffee and cake while we soak up the views to Mont Blanc, or Monte Bianco as we should be calling the mountain given that we are now in Italy. Today is without doubt a wonderful high level alpine walk, through flower meadows, amongst wildlife such as marmots, and with a lovely summit for our lunch spot. Once we gain our goal, the Monte de la Saxe ridge, we are rewarded with first-class views of many famous peaks of the Mont Blanc massif; the Grandes Jorasses, Dent du Geant, and Mont Dolent where Italy, France and Switzerland all meet on the summit! After lunch our trail leads us down from the Tête de la Tronche to the Col Sapin where we make our way down to the Armina valley, before our final section through the flower meadows to the famous Rifugio Bonatti where we can enjoy an ‘apero’ whilst watching the beautiful sunset behind Mont Blanc. The Rifugio is dedicated to Walter Bonatti, one of our most famous alpine climbers and photographers. Tonight is the only night of the trip without access to your luggage.

    Ascent: 1584m (5195ft) Descent: 940m (3083ft) Distance: 17km (10.6 miles) Duration: 7h00

  • Leaving the Rifugio Bonatti, we start along an easy balcony trail enjoying views both back to France and on towards our next destination, Switzerland. An early morning spent strolling along this beautiful path is without doubt one of the best experiences on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Amazing views, stunning flowers, and often local cow herds guarding their cattle as they graze on the slopes amidst the brilliant pink of the Alpenrose bushes. We descend to the tiny community of Arnuva and then climb up to the Rifugio Elena for our final Italian coffee, and any refreshments needed before our big climb of the day to the Grand Col Ferret. The is one of the highest cols on the trip at 2537m (8321ft) and is  on the border of Italy and Switzerland. Here we are rewarded with stunning views of the Val Ferret, the Grand Combin and Mont Dolent, the summit of which is the only one bordering France, Switzerland and Italy. If we’re doing well for time we might stop for second refreshments at the farm at La Peule where the farmers spend the summer making cheese. Here we leave the signposted 'TMB' and head to La Fouly via a gorgeous balcony path used by the farmers. La Fouly is an alpine village with traditional Swiss “chocolate box” chalets. We are reunited with our bags as we check into a hotel in the village centre.

    Ascent: 1128m (3699ft) Descent: 1580m (5182ft) Distance: 20.3km (12.6 miles) Duration: 7h00

  • By this time in the trek we are usually happy to have a gentler day, and our walk to the high alpine village of Champex is exactly right in terms of a relaxed wander along the valley through some truly ancient settlements. We will leave La Fouly and start off with a walk that makes its way gently downhill through woodland, and meadows by the riverside. This is a great day for enjoying the typical Swiss mountain villages with their extraordinary architecture dating back centuries. The wood used to build some of the chalets is so ancient it has become almost 'black' in colour, a true sense of walking through history. We usually stop at a local cafe for refreshments before the climb to Champex. The climb itself is very enjoyable as we make our way along the ‘Sentier de Champignons’ which means the 'mushroom trail'. There are also many wooden sculptures of animals and flowers by the side of the trail which add to the experience. Eventually we gain Champex where we leave the forest behind us and enter a high lakeside valley where we will spend the night in a traditional hotel. 

    Ascent: 711m (2332ft) Descent: 855m (2804ft) Distance: 17.2km (10.7 miles) Duration: 5h00

  • Today we have the choice of two routes which can be taken from Champex to reach the village of Trient, and your guide will decide which is the best for the group. 

    If we are all going well and the weather and conditions allow we could climb to the pass known as the Fenêtre d’Arpette, which sits at 2670m (8757ft).  The Fenêtre d’Arpette is perhaps one of the most demanding days of the tour, but there are compensations. On reaching the rocky col we will have earned the spectacular view across the Trient Glacier lying below. We often have lunch here as we take our time to fully appreciate this unique position, looking down towards a veritable sea of seracs and crevasses. We then make the long descent into the Trient valley and stay either at the Col de la Forclaz or Trient itself. 

    Ascent: 1480m (4854ft) Descent: 1760m (5772ft) Distance: 15.4km (9.6 miles) Duration: 7h00-8h00 

    Please note that in summer 2015 and agin in 2018 there was a landslide which has affected this route, and it is not always possible or advisable. If we want to be a little more relaxed, or if the weather dictates, we can take the normal TMB route via the alpage known as the Bovine. An alpage is the name given to the summer grazing grounds and the Bovine provides one of the highlights of the trek taking us through the pastures of the Race d'Hérens. This particular breed of cow is famous as the Swiss Fighting Cow! The females have been used for centuries for the cow-fights which we would describe as resembling 'sumo wrestling' for cows. The two cows in the ring push and shove each other until the loser is the one who runs away first! They are rarely hurt, and the fights have been part of farming life in these mountains for hundreds of years. On our way we will stop to visit the farmer, Nathalie and her family, to sample her homemade cakes! Both routes then continue down to the Trient valley, our Swiss base for the night.

    Ascent: 570m (1869ft) Descent: 570m (1869ft) Distance: 15km (9.4 miles) Duration: 5h00-6h00

  • Leaving our overnight stop in the hamlet of Trient, or the Col de la Forclaz if we have spent the night there, we have two options to reach our next high point at the Col de Balme. We prefer to go via the quieter trail of Les Grands, or Les Tseppes since this allows us to savour views of the Trient Glacier and better appreciate the exposed position of the Fenêtre d’Arpette from the previous day. This is quite a climb today and although the forest trail rises steeply and at times can seem daunting it is very efficient and we gain height quickly. Both routes ensure flower strewn meadows and stunning mountain views before we reach our high point on the frontier between France and Switzerland. It was on this frontier in the year 1845 that English writer Charles Dickens penned a wonderful description of the views down to Chamonix Valley and Mont Blanc. "...Gothic pinnacles, deserts of ice and snow, forests of firs on mountain sides..waterfalls, avalanches, pyramids and towers of ice, torrents, bridges, mountain upon mountain." You too can have the same experience as Dickens on the Tour du Mont Blanc! Once we have enjoyed the views we descend to Argentière via the hamlet of Tré-le -Champ to our accommodation for the night. The village of Argentière takes its name from the French word for 'silver', as in past times there was a small silver mine here. 

    Ascent: 1200m (3936ft) Descent: 1500m (4920ft) Distance: 18km (11.3 miles) Duration: 07h00

  • We start our hike from the middle of Argentière village as we head towards the Cheserys rock climbing area where we can marvel at the tiny figures clinging to the rock faces. First we make our way through the larch forests before we arrive under the cliffs of the Cheserys where ibex are often to be found seeking shade from the sun. These mountain animals are incredibly well adapted to their environment and are without doubt natures own rock climbers performing amazing moves on the cliffs and crags of the alps. Today's walk is truly stunning and your guide will decide which route to take to gain the high ground. If conditions allow, we plan to use a series of easy, short ladders with handrails to skirt the rocky landscape. This is a straightforward ascent without difficulty, and is in fact often a highlight of the tour for many. We then make our way to the Lac des Cheserys where the brave have been known to strip off and dive in, and then it's a short climb to Lac Blanc with some of the most famous views in the world. After a picnic lunch by the lake we descend on rock ground to reach the Flégère cable car and make a quicker descent to Les Praz. We finish today with a stroll into town along the riverbank. A lovely end to another stunning day.

    Ascent: 1000m (3280ft) Descent: 650m (2132ft) Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) Duration: 7h00-8h00

  • A fabulous finale to our trip today as we save some of the best views to last! We complete our Tour du Mont Blanc by taking a cable car up to the mid-station of Planpraz where it will deposit us high above the town of Chamonix with incredible views to the massif of Mont Blanc offering a window on a world of tumbling ice, sparking glaciers, and jagged summits. After taking in the spectacle we begin our hike with steep climb on a rocky trail all the way up to the Col du Brévent at 2368m, (7767ft) where ibex can often be seen playing on the rocks. Then it's up to the Brévent summit at 2525m (8282ft) and the perfect photo opportunity for shots of Mont Blanc in all its glory. The walk along the ridge provides a stunning panorama of the Mont Blanc glaciers, more so than at any other time on the trip. You will feel as though you can almost 'touch' the ice! After enjoying the skyline ridge, we descend steeply via the spectacularly located Refuge Belachat and the Merlet animal park before reaching the valley floor at Les Houches, the starting point of our trip. We will take a transfer back to our Chamonix hotel for a second night, and enjoy a celebratory meal to mark the completion of our tour.

    Ascent: 870m (2853ft) Descent: 1770m (5805ft) Distance: 14.8km (9.3 miles) Duration: 7h00-8h00

  • The holiday package ends after breakfast. Please contact us if you’d like any extra days added to your trip.

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

On all of our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, comfortable, characterful, family run accommodation. 

We take time to research, update and view the best options available to us on every trip. Detailed below are examples of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable at the time of booking we will use alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

The trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. However on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee.

Due to the nature of the accommodation on this trip; we use small hotels, in often tiny villages and one remote mountain hut. If you are booking as a couple you can expect to be in a twin or double room, normally with en suite facilities. In some smaller hotels it's possible we may need to share the bathrooms. Depending on availability we may have to use larger rooms for one night at Les Chapieux where accommodation is very limited. At the Rifugio Bonatti we may be able to book bedrooms, rather than dormitory rooms, but this relies on early booking on the trip. Those guests who book first will be allocated rooms when they are available. If you are a solo traveller and would like to book a single room in the hotels this may be possible for a supplement. However, it will not be possible to have a single room at the Rifugio Bonatti.

Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons, Chamonix

Hotel

Chamonix is a vibrant bustling town and offers a range of hotels. For our trips we aim to book the Hotel Le Refuge des Aiglons, but this does require early booking. Otherwise we consider staying at the Hotel Aiguille du Midi, or the Hotel Pointe Isabelle. All these hotels have en suite facilities, and are welcoming and comfortable. 

 

Hotel Gai Soleil, Les Contamines

Hotel

Les Contamines is in a lovely valley, and is a typical market town. We aim to stay at the Hotel Gai Soleil which is a traditional style chalet-hotel. It has a large garden with seating, and on a summer evening it is a lovely place to spend some time. Rooms are en suite, and dinner is usually local Savoyard dishes. 

Chambres du Soleil, Les Chapieux

Auberge

The Chambres du Soleil guest house is located in the heart of the Les Chapieux and is without doubt one of our favourite overnights. A warm welcome and memorable stay is assured here thanks to Céline and Pierre, who offer comfortable rooms and excellent homemade food. Please note that at Les Chapieux it is always difficult to secure accommodation, and for that reason you might find yourself staying at the Refuge de la Nova next door, or indeed the Refuge des Mottets along the valley. We aim to book bedrooms, but larger rooms may be necessary as spaces are always at a premium in this tiny hamlet. 

Hotel Edelweiss, Courmayeur

Hotel

The Hotel Edelweiss is right in the heart of Courmayeur with easy access to the town centre, while being tucked away in a quiet street where you will not be disturbed by the crowds. The hotel has a lovely sunny garden area at the front, and a spacious lounge bar to enjoy a drink. All the rooms are en suite and dinner is very Italian with local dishes and plenty of pasta. Other hotels which we use in Courmayeur include the Hotel Bouton d'Or, and the Hotel Walser

Rifugio Bonatti, Italy

Refuge

This wonderful mountain hut was built in memory of the world renowned Italian mountaineer and photographer, Walter Bonatti. The Rifugio Bonatti is run by Mara who always gives us a warm welcome. It is positioned above the picturesque Italian Val Ferret with stunning views of the Mont Blanc massif. There are hot showers and the food is very good!

When possible we aim to book either twin bedrooms, or small dormitories just for our group. A private room depends on early booking and is not always possible. 

Hotel Edelweiss, La Fouly

Hotel

In La Fouly we spend our overnight at the Hotel Edelweiss, like all our other hotels it is family run, cosy and comfortable. There is a bar with a terrace where you can enjoy a drink in the afternoon sun. All the bedrooms are traditional in style with lots of 'wood', and they have en suite facilities. There is a dining room with lovely views, and breakfast is served buffet style.

Hotel Splendide, Champex

Hotel

The Hotel Splendide sits high in the mountains with great views from the terrace down to the valley below. This historic hotel was built between 1934 and 1938 by the grand-father of the owner. All the bedrooms have en suite facilities, and there are various family rooms available. We eat dinner in the lovely old-fashioned dining room, a real touch of history to be found in this family run hotel. 

 

During the Second World War the army from the nearby artillery fort were stationed at the hotel. Those perfect views down the valley were appreciated by more than just the tourists! It gave the army an excellent position of strength for protecting the route through to Italy. 

 

 

Hotel La Grand Ourse, Trient

Auberge

In years gone by the Grande Ourse was a hotel, then it was home to the Swiss Youth Movement camps. It has been entirely renovated and has returned to offering accommodation for hikers. The new owner is Jasiqi Azem and his family who have put a lot of love into the renovation project which was completed 10 years ago. Our accommodation here is in bedrooms when available, and on some occasions it will be necessary to use dormitories. 

The showers, and toilets are on each floor with separate facilities for males, and females. There is a cosy cafe/bar in the old pavilion building which is immediately next to the main building.

Hotel de la Couronne, Argentière

Hotel

Our hotel in Argentière is the most historic in the village build in 1865 when there was an influx of mountaineers and therefore a demand for accommodation. With the first ever Winter Olympics held in the valley in 1924 tourism continued to grow and the Hotel de la Couronne has played its part ever since. In the 1930's the hotel was one of the first to install central heating, and it has continued its modernisation every since.

The Hotel de la Couronne is the only hotel of the nineteenth century in the Chamonix valley that has not changed activity since its construction. Right in the heart of the village it is ideal for exploring the characterful bars and shops, and for the start of our hike the next morning. 


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

    Geneva is the closest international airport, only 1h15 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 emergency 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. 

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    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.

    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. 

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • 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.

  • For each of our trips there is a minimum number of guests required to book before we can 'guarantee' your trip will run. It depends on the particular trip in question, but it is normally 4. The maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • 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, insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    Please note your guide/instructor 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. For our running trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader, and an experienced mountain 'trail runner'.

    If you have booked on a cross country ski trip you will be with a fully qualified professional BASI Nordic Ski Instructor or equivalent. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors.

  • This classic walking route is all on good trails. The average daily distance covered each day is 15 kilometres (9.5 miles) with approximately 1000m of ascent and descent so this trip is suitable for regular hikers or those with a good level of fitness. Your luggage will be transferred between hotels, except to the Bonatti Refuge, which means that you need carry no more than a small daypack. Carrying only a daypack and staying in comfortable valley hotels, makes this trip quite relaxed for its DEMANDING grade.

  • On this point-to-point trip you will have luggage support on all but 1 of the nights, which means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need to carry a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. Please refer to the kit list for this trip for guidance on the size of rucksack required. On the nights you are in the mountain hut, the Rifugio Bonatti, you will need to carry just a few extra items in your rucksack.

    As your luggage will be moved along the route by taxi we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Many of the taxi companies who move your bags impose a 15kg (33lbs) limit and restrict the number of bags simply because they have to unload and reload the vehicle many times each day. If you take more than one bag you may be asked to pay a supplement. Also with regard to weight be aware that you may have to carry your luggage to your bedroom, which may involve climbing several flights of stairs as not all hotels have elevators. Luggage on wheels is generally a good idea.

    Your trip begins and ends at the same hotel and it is possible to leave any unwanted luggage at the hotel for your return.

     

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons. We have found our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you choose and buy what you require. Buying supplies and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with the local people and to practise your language skills. 

    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. 

    Each evening you can choose to order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market and whether you need to purchase items in the evening or if the shop/market is open early enough the next morning not to delay your start. In all cases we would always ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks in the evening before you depart, and not on the morning of your last day when there may be a queue.

  • 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. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips 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 our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country 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 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 which 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. 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.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a 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

Spaces available Book
2 more to guarantee Book
Spaces available Book
Spaces available Book
Spaces available Book
1 more to guarantee Book
Spaces available Book

What's Included

  • Services of a professionally qualified, English-speaking International Mountain Leader
  • Quality hotel accommodation for 9 nights based on twin or double rooms including the first and last nights in Chamonix
  • 1 night at Les Chapieux in an "auberge" and 1 night at the Bonatti Refugio (traditional mountain style accommodation)
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • All transfers and cable cars as part of the itinerary
  • Baggage support every day, except the night in the Bonatti Refuge
  • Tracks and Trails souvenir

What's Not Included

  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Lunches
  • Transfers and cable cars not part of the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, alcohol, souvenirs etc.

Wonderful hike, fantastic weather. Views to die for. We also caught a great show of wildflowers. Good cross section of accommodations which we had requested.

The trip was truly memorable! I loved every aspect of it! The views were spectacular, the guide was exceptional in her leadership and knowledge of the area and the physical challenge was just right. I felt safe and in good hands throughout! I have nothing but rave reviews about the whole experience. Thank you very much, "Tracks and Trails"

Thank you so very much for putting together such a wonderful trip! Hiking in the Alps was truly an unforgettable experience. I liked all accommodations...And our guide Nicole was the true highlight of the trip - just an extraordinary person: passionate about her work, patient, knowledgeable, attentive and kind, very funny, and so strong! 

Just want to say what happy memories I have our holiday at the beginning of the year, then to my surprise, Moya said that she has been in touch to say what a positive experience it was for her. Well, there was me feeling guilty for dragging her out on the snow!! I am of course delighted. It was a fantastic holiday and I feel privileged to been in the position of being able to learn so much from you. It will be interesting for me to see how I get on in the snowy wastes of northern Canada.

Many thanks for a wonderful time. Our guide was knowledgeable, caring, safety conscious and fun to be with - in short a great leader. Having assessed the weather conditions she was able to find the sun and the best snowshoeing for each day. This was our first snowshoeing experience. We had a fabulous three days around Chamonix and would highly recommend Tracks and Trails. We will be back. Many thanks until the next time.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our trip, you are an excellent guide and teacher, and made it feel more like a bespoke trip rather than a group package. We intend to come back to do more, both skiing and possibly snow shoeing, we'll be back in touch when we do. 

I just wanted to say thank you again for such a brilliant week in Chamonix. In a way I'd say the holiday was exactly as I expected - there's loads of details on the Tracks & Trails website, and the week panned out pretty much as described. But it also totally exceeded my expectations - the quality of coaching/expertise from all of you guys, the motivation gained from meeting and chatting to some truly inspirational people, plus everyone was just so friendly and nice.

I just wanted to thank you again for a very memorable tour. It was certainly the toughest I have done but left me with a real sense of achievement. This would not have been possible without your leadership and guidance.

We had a wonderful trip with you and hope to return soon. You were an excellent guide and I do not think that our family would have been able to complete the trek without your help. Thanks for all of the memories that will last a lifetime! 

It was such a nice trip organized by your company and it was a wonderful experience for all of us. The personal touch given by you and the way you handled all of us for the 6 days was amazing. I was touched by your compassion and generosity along with professionalism. Once again thank you for this lovely experience.

​Fran, our guide, was great!  Tammi and the kids would've re-thought this 'walk' if she weren't there.  Will is a more seasoned hiker and wouldn't have needed a guide, but she helped pull the family in when the walk was tough.  Absolutely no complaints about accommodations, or meals.  Was nice there was always vegetarian options, and wine for dinner was priced fair. A great trip!

A HUGE thank you for the most BRILLIANT holiday. We just loved it. We weren’t quite sure what we were letting ourselves in for, but it surpassed all expectations. We really felt we achieved something. Thank you Julia for making it all a success – we were so lucky to have you as our guide and we really appreciated your skills and expertise – and knowing when to stop for ice creams or hot chocolates.

Thank you Lindsay and Kathy for such a special holiday. Rob and I loved it and cannot thank you enough for all the great effort and organization you put in, without you both it would not have been so memorable.  As a group we all had so much fun and hopefully will come on another trip soon. Missing you both and wish you all the best in the future.

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Grade: Advanced

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At a Glance

From Price £2295
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 12 Days
Group Size 10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2670m (8757ft)
Countries Visited Italy, France, Switzerland
Meet In Chamonix, France
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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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