At the end of our hike we transfer back to Chamonix and have time to enjoy the town and it's glorious surroundings. Take a trip up the thrilling Aguille de Midi cable car and enjoy lunch in Europe's highest restaurant at 3842 m with breathtaking views over Mt. Blanc. From Chamonix you have all of Europe in summertime to explore: head south to beaches of the Cote D'Azure, the Italian Riviera or east to the wine regions of France.What more incentive could you want?
Day 1: Arrive Chamonix. A day to relax and enjoy this most famous of mountain towns, the birthplace of modern mountaineering.The Mont Blanc mountain range is one of the most spectacular regions in the Alps. Marked trails on the circuit straddle three countries (France, Italy and Switzerland) and cross over mountain passes allowing hikers to enjoy the magnificent scenery on this long loop. The majesty of Mont Blanc with the summer flora of wildflowers, shrubbery and trees has inspired generations of alpine visitors, and this region has been attracting mountaineers and hikers from around the world for over two hundred years. Late spring to summer is the best time for hiking in this area.
The town of Chamonix is an authentic French mountain town, located at the foot of Mont Blanc. It lies in one of the most picturesque valleys of the French Alps, with innumerable alpine peaks towering around you, pine forests, alpine valleys to explore, and beautiful glaciers spilling from the high massif. The town is home to 10 000 inhabitants, swelling to 100 000 during peak season. Today is at leisure to explore and we will meet up with our guides in the evening for a pre –trek briefing. Overnight Chamonix accommodation (Twin share). Includes: (B).
Day 2: Trek Chamonix - Les Houches. Up: 525 m/ Down: 1100 m/ Hiking time: 5 hours 00. To start the tour what better viewpoint than the Brevent. We get there via the Col du Brevent having taken the cable car to Planpraz. From the summit (2525 m), the view of the Mont Blanc in incomparable. However we have to descend and we go via Bel Lachat and Merlet. A short transfer brings us down to the valley to spend the night in Les Houches. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Trek les Houches - les Contamines. Up: 1090 m/ Down: 1050 m/ Hiking time: 6 hours 00. From Les Chavants we climb up to the Col de Voza then to Bellevue from where there are great views of the Aiguille du Gouter. Then, a charming traverse passes right at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier. A rope bridge across a river and up to the Col du Tricot (2120 m). On our way down to Contamines we will no doubt stop in at the chalets de Miage before getting to the Val Montjoie. Night in Contamines. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Trek les Contamines - Nant Borrant via Tré la Tête. Up: 860 m/ Down: 570 m/ Hiking time: 4 hours 30. When there is time it is fun to take detours and this one is not oftent taken by walkers on the TMB. From the village we will walk up to Armancette lake and the Claudius Bernard panoramic pathway brings us to Tré la Tête refuge (1970 m). We descend on the Combe Noire and join the regular itinerary of the tour and the Nant Borrand chalet refuge to spend the night. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Trek Nant Borrant – Les Chapieux. Up: 1290 m/ Down: 1290 m/ Hiking time: 7 hours 00. Early departure toward the Col du Bonhomme. The climb continues between higher, the Croix du Bonhomme. The climb continues between smooth rocky slabs to the Col des Fours (2665 m). A bit of extra effort and we discover the magnificent viewpoint from the Tete nord des Fours (2756 m). On descending we pass the pretty little lake Mya. We arrive at les Chapieux via the petit Mont Blanc pasture. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Trek Les Chapieux – Refuge Elisabetta. Up: 730 m/ Down: 520 m/ Hiking time: 5 hours 00. A short transfer brings us to Ville des Glaciers (1789 m). A cheese making visit is required: here Beaufort is king! We reach the val d’Aoste via the Col de Seigne (2516 m) and from there we see a most imposing view of the south face of the Mont Blanc. A path leads us around the Limestone Pyramids to reach the moraine of the Estelette glacier. Below this is the Elisabetta refuge where we spend the night. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Trek Refuge Elisabetta – Courmayeur. Up: 1410 m/ Down: 450 m/ Hiking time: 5 hours 00. Today is without doubt the most spectacular. It begins with a small descent to get to lake Combal. The way up to the Arp Vieille (2420 m) is easy and takes us onto a magnificent blacony. Mont Blanc sits enthroned above the Brouillard and Freney glaciers and summits such as the Innominata and the Aiguilles de Peuterey – all epic names in alpinism. Descent to the Col Checroui then to Courmayeur. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Trek Courmayeur - Lavachey. Up: 1200 m/ Down: 890 m/ Hiking time: 5 hours 30. Leaving from the hamlet of Villair (1340 m) is a charming forested ascent to the Bertonne refuge, then over a crest dominating the Val Ferret we get to Tete Bernada (2534 m), we are at the summit of one of the most beautiful lookouts on the whole TMB. There is no lift access here, no 4x4s, just the mountain and us. The view is exquisite. Descent to Lavachey (1640 m), a friendly family-run auberge for the night. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Trek Lavachey – La Fouly. Up: 1110 m/ Down: 1150 m/ Hiking time: 6 hours 00. Leaving the auberge towards Malatra we walk along a pretty traverse bringing us to Arnuva. The ascent to the Col Ferret (2537 m) is steep but enjoyable. On the Col we cross the Swiss Italian border. Lovely downhill through Valaisan pastures to the charming village of Fouly (1595m). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Trek La Fouly - Champex. Up: 450 m/ Down: 480 m/ Hiking time: 4 hours 30. Easy day with a descent of the peaceful Swiss Val Ferret. Passing through beautiful hamlets whose old chalets have seen generations of walkers, preceded by generations of travelers crossing the Alps from north to south. We reach Champex and its famous lake via a woodlands trails. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Trek Champex – Trient. Up: 720 m/ Down: 900 m/ Hiking time: 5 hours 30. The classic TMB takes the Bovine route. An hour and a half of easy walking followed by a rapid ascent in the forest and we are hanging over the Rhone valley and the town of Martigny. You will not be disappointed with this fabulous balcony. Easy descent to the Col de Forclaz. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
There is a possible variation via the Fenêtre d’Arpette d’Arpette (2671 m), (Up: 1050 m/ Down: 1420 m/Hiking time: 6 hours 30), a rocky area between the Pointe des Ecandies and Pointe du Genepy, a famous passage into the Trient valley across from its magnificent glacier (only for good walkers and in good weather conditions) We spend the night in Trient (1271 m). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Trek Trient – Trelechamp. Up: 860 m/ Down: 714 m/ Hiking time: 5 hours 00. The walk up to the Col de Balme (2131 m) via las Herbageres brings us back into France. From this Col the view of the Chamonix valley is unique and stays with us along the Posettes ridge all the way to Trelechamp (1417 m) in the upper Chamonix valley. Possible variation on the Tseppes path. Night in Trelechamps or nearby. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Trek Trelechamp - Chamonix. Up: 780 m/ Down: 300 m/Hiking time: 4 hours 30. From Trelechamp we climb up to Cheserys, a balcony offering grandiose views; the glaciers of le Tour, Argentiere, the Mer de Glace, the Aiguille Verte, the Drus, the Aiguilles de Chamonix and of course the mighty Mont Blanc dominating all these Alpine marvels. We expect to add a sighting or two of wildlife to this day as a reward for our efforts, ibex are common here. The tour ends at Flegere, where we return to Chamonix by cable car in the afternoon. Note: The guide or mountain leader may modify the itinerary if conditions necessitate. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: Depart Chamonix.
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