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7 Day Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Trek Itinerary

7 Day Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Itinerary

If you are on this page, your plans to trek the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) must be in motion. Hold up; what? Need more information? Check out my guide on what you need to know before diving into the TMB planning process. It’ll cover topics ranging from the trekking season, what it’s like to stay in refuges, to weighing your options between doing a self-guided or company-led trek. Once you have all of your ducks in a row, I’ve also got a handy 7 day Tour du Mont Blanc packing list for you too! Although the full TMB trek typically lasts 10-12 days, I was unfortunately not able to do the entire thing due to time constraints I had on my travel dates (I had purchased my roundtrip ticket to Lyon, France first and then decided I wanted to do the TMB). If I had planned on doing the TMB from the beginning, I would have likely flown into Geneva, Switzerland to be closer to the starting point in Les Houches, France.

Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is an inspiring 170km trek around the Mont Blanc massif which begins in France and crosses through Italy and Switzerland. It’s no surprise that it is wildly popular in Europe; not all trails were created equal. The Tour du Mont Blanc takes the trekker through unbelievable landscapes via snowy mountain summits and gorgeous green pastures where happy cows slowly graze. Learn how to plan your own self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc trek at www.thepetiteadventurer.com.
These had to have been the happiest and chubbiest cows I had ever seen.

Day 0: Travel to Chamonix

  • Arrive to Lyon, France at the LYS airport
  • Take the RhoneExpress train for €15 from the airport to the Lyon Part Dieu station
  • Take the SNCF train line to Chamonix, about 4 hours total travel time for €61 booked through Rail Europe (prepaid)
  • Walk 8 minutes from the Chamonix train station and check into the Sport Hostel Chamonix, Chamonix (half-board), dormitory for €39
    Pick up free bus pass at the hostel desk to travel from Chamonix to Les Houches

Day 1: Les Houches – Les Contamines

  • 16-minute bus ride from Chamonix to Les Houches
  • Begin trail at 9:00am
  • TMB trek: 16km, 5.5 trek hours, 646m ascent and 633m descent
  • Stay at Club Alpin Francais Chalet Refuge Des Contamines with half-board for €45, wifi available, lunch bags available for purchase

Day 2: Les Contamines – Les Chapieux

  • Begin trail at 8:00am
  • TMB trek: 18km, 7.5 trek hours, 1316m ascent and 929m descent
  • Stay at Auberge de la Nova with half-board for €54, no wifi, lunch bags available for purchase
  • **Many people also take the alternative route and end their day at Ref Des Mottets to significantly reduce trekking time on day 3

Day 3: Les Chapieux – Rifugio Elisabetta

  • Begin trail at 8:00am
  • TMB trek: 15km, 5 trek hours, 1004m ascent and 258m descent
  • Cross from France to Italy at the Col de la Seigne (note the great view of Mont blanc and Aiguille noire from Col de la Seigne)
  • Stay at Rifugio Elisabetta with half-board for €50, wifi available, token showers, lunch bags available for purchase
Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is an inspiring 170km trek around the Mont Blanc massif which begins in France and crosses through Italy and Switzerland. It’s no surprise that it is wildly popular in Europe; not all trails were created equal. The Tour du Mont Blanc takes the trekker through unbelievable landscapes via snowy mountain summits and gorgeous green pastures where happy cows slowly graze. Learn how to plan your own self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc trek at www.thepetiteadventurer.com.
One of the highlights of my TMB trek was crossing from France to Italy on the third day. It was just beginning to snow and a fierce wind was starting to pick up. In this moment, I felt such a great sense of relief to see the Italian flag waving powerfully at the summit.

Day 4: Rifugio Elisabetta – Courmayeur

  • Begin trail at 8:30am
  • TMB trek: 18km, 5.5 trek hours, 460m ascent and 1560m descent
  • Stay at Maison Saint Jean Hotel for $79, breakfast included, wifi available, grocery store in town to purchase lunch supplies
  • There are plenty of eateries in Courmayeur; treat yourself
  • Carb-load dinner at a restaurant in Courmayeur

Day 5: Courmayeur – Rifugio Bonatti

  • Begin trail at 11:00am
  • TMB trek: 12km, 4.5 trek hours, 860m ascent and 101m descent
  • Stay at Rifugio Bonatti with half-board for €50, no wifi, token shower, lunch bags available for purchase

Day 6: Rifugio Bonatti – La Fouly

  • Begin trail at 7:30am
  • TMB trek: 20km, 6.5 trek hours, 895m ascent and 1410m descent
  • Cross from Italy to Switzerland at the Grand Col Ferret
  • Stay at Auberge des Glaciers for dorm-only for 32 CHF, wifi available, grocery store next door to purchase lunch supplies
  • Although La Fouly is small, it does have other restaurants available if you prefer to dine out
  • I would highly recommend staying at L’ Edelweiss instead (better ambiance and strong wifi), which is a hotel but also offers dormitories with half board
Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is an inspiring 170km trek around the Mont Blanc massif which begins in France and crosses through Italy and Switzerland. It’s no surprise that it is wildly popular in Europe; not all trails were created equal. The Tour du Mont Blanc takes the trekker through unbelievable landscapes via snowy mountain summits and gorgeous green pastures where happy cows slowly graze. Learn how to plan your own self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc trek at www.thepetiteadventurer.com.
Packed lunch bags can be purchased at many of the refuges for €10 or so. They often included sandwiches with cheese and meat, cookies, juices, and fruit.

Day 7: La Fouly – Champex – Geneva

  • Begin trail at 9:30am
  • TMB trek: 15km, 4.5 trek hours, 420m ascent and 656m descent
  • Bus from Champex to Orsieres train station and then train from Orsieres to Geneva (with connections) for 60 CHF via SBB (prepaid)
  • Dinner in Geneva
  • Train from Geneva to Nyon for 9 CHF
  • Stay at Nyon Hostel with dorm-only for 32 CHF, breakfast included, wifi available

Day 8: Geneva – Lyon (no longer TMB)

Day 9: Travel Home

  • Take  RhoneExpress from Lyon Part Dieu to LYS airport for €15

 

As you can see, you have plenty of options to consider if you plan on self-guiding Tour du Mont Blanc. I would advise to work in days of rest in your schedule in larger towns such as Courmayeur or Champex. To maximize your exposure to different places, you can also make a point to fly in and out of different countries too. France, Italy, and Switzerland all border each other in this region, so it is quite easy to get around by train. Lyon, France is well known to be a “foodie” city with plenty of fantastic restaurants. Switzerland has postcard-perfect images of the alps with cute towns lined along Lake Geneva. Whatever you decide to do, go forth and have a grand adventure!   

 

**Please note this post has been created from my personal recommendations and may contain affiliate links. Your purchase helps to produce thoughtful content on The Petite Adventurer at no additional cost to you. Cheers and many thanks for your support.

 

Don’t let this one slip through the cracks! Pin It to your board.Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is an inspiring 170km trek around the Mont Blanc massif which begins in France and crosses through Italy and Switzerland. It’s no surprise that it is wildly popular in Europe; not all trails were created equal. The Tour du Mont Blanc takes the trekker through unbelievable landscapes via snowy mountain summits and gorgeous green pastures where happy cows slowly graze. Learn how to plan your own self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc trek at www.thepetiteadventurer.com.

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