This tour provides walkers with an opportunity to sample the culture and flavor of the three different countries which share the massif: France, Italy and Switzerland. The spectacular circuit around the Mont-Blanc is one of the world's classic hikes. From the massif of Mont-Blanc (the top of western Europe at 15, 771') seven valleys extend into France, Italy and Switzerland. Each retains its own unique culture, architecture and landscape.
Each day we hike up to the ridges and descend into valleys below. We have time to enjoy views of glaciers, green mountain meadows, peaks (Bionnassay, Peuterey, Grandes Jorasses, Dolent, Aiguille Verte). The landscape will take your breath away in more ways than one! A typical day will involve 5 to 7 hours. Challenging hike. Full vehicle support for baggage transfer.
Level of difficulty: This tour is designed for very fit, energetic people. The most important prerequisites are a spirit of adventure and positive attitude. You should be an experienced hiker in good physical condition. You must be prepared and capable of walking an average of 5 to 7 hours a day on trails with steep ascents and descents (averaging 3000 to 4000 feet up and 2000 to 3000 feet down each day).
Day 1: Les Houches - les Contamines. We have a short transfer before going up with the cable car to Bellevue(5500') where we'll enjoy panoramic views of the Mont-Blanc range. Begin hiking down below the tumbling Bionnassay Glacier,and up to the Col de Tricot (6955'). A steep descent brings us to the Chalets de Miage (5115'). After lunch, a short climb takes us up to Le Truc (5942'), then down through the thickly wooded hillside to the charming small town of Les Contamines (3829'). Includes: (B), (L). Hiking time: 6 hours.
Day 2: Les Contamines - les Chapieux. After a short drive, we hike up an old Roman road to the Plan des Dames and then make a long ascent to the Col du Bonhomme (7641') and Croix du Bonhomme (8100') for lunch. In the afternoon, we hike downhill on a grassy trail to les Chapieux (5500'). Hiking time: 6 hours. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: Les Chapieux - Courmayeur. We transfer to the end of the Vallee des Glaciers, then enjoy a relatively easy hike over the Col de la Seigne (8245') and down into Italy to Lac Combal and Visaille. Transfer in Val Veni to Courmayeur where you spend the end of the afternoon to explore this resort town spectacularly situated beneath the Grand Jorasses and Brenva Glacier. Here the views of the Mont-Blanc are Himalayan in scale - the mountain rises in a breathtaking abruptness from the Veny Valley to the summit 10000 feet above. Transfer to Lavachey in the Val Ferret, where we'll spend the night in small and comfortable inn. Hiking time: 4 hours. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 4: Lavachey - Champex. After a short transfer, we walk up a nice trail past the spectacular Glacier de Pre de Bar. Cross the Grand Col Ferret (8300') to enter Switzerland, and descent to the scenic village of la Fouly (5280'), located beneath the Glacier de l'A Neuve. An easy trail continues down into the Swiss Val Ferret to Praz-de-fort. Transfer to the small Lake resort of Champex. Hiking time: 7 hours. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Champex - Trient. We start hiking down to Champex d'en Bas, with a steep winding path heading towards the north across alpine pastures (great views of Martigny, the Rhone Valley and the Valais). Weather permitting, an alternate trail by the Fenetre d'Arpette (8760'), a rocky window across a Mountain ridge, can be taken. Hiking time: 6-7 hours. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: La Forclaz - Chamonix. We hike over the Col de Balme (7188') through forest, high pastures and dairies, and back into the Chamonix Valley. Majestic views of Mont-Blanc reappear as we hike over the Col. We descent gradually into the forest to Trelechamp, hamlet above Argentiere. Afterwards transfer back to Chamonix. Hiking time: 6 hours. Includes: (B), (L).
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Europe Switzerland France Italy Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking
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