A Taste of Mont Blanc

Highlights of the Tour
 
On this two-centre, self-guided holiday, you experience some of the best scenery and most iconic hikes of the Tour du Mont Blanc. Staying in both Italy and France – in the high mountain towns of Courmayeur and Chamonix – you gain two different perspectives on an exceptional landscape.
A Taste of Mont Blanc. 6 nights
A Taste of Mont Blanc. 6 nights
 

Holiday information

 

Sampling the Tour du Mont Blanc

Variety? Scale? Astonishing scenery? The Tour du Mont Blanc has it all. This world-famous hike circles through France, Italy and Switzerland, cutting beneath glaciers, carving through meadows, and climbing to a multitude of mesmerising viewpoints.

Although the Tour itself is usually undertaken as an epic, 170-kilometre circuit, there’s more than one way to enjoy the Mont Blanc experience. On this flexible holiday, you stay in just two destinations – the key staging posts of Courmayeur and Chamonix – but make use of cable cars, buses and mountain trains to ensure you can still access the Tour’s most unmissable moments.
From Lac Blanc to Val Veny, and Aiguillette des Posettes to the Grand Balcon Sud, our routes take in many celebrated Alpine landscapes. They also allow time for sightseeing of a different kind – visits to Europe’s highest botanical gardens, to a thermal bath and by cable car up the Aiguille du Midi.

Be sure, too, to explore the scenic towns where you stay – lying either side of the Italy-France border, Courmayeur and Chamonix each offer their own unique mountain culture and cuisine, as well as a privileged perspective over mighty Mont Blanc.
 

Gallery


 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
There’s no fixed itinerary, so take your pick of our suggested walking routes as the mood takes you.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 6 8 13 16 21 25 26 26 21 17 10 5
    mm 98 69 74 60 84 83 79 79 74 69 77 119
  • Walking the Tour du Mont Blanc
    The Tour du Mont Blanc, or TMB, is a continuous loop around the Mont Blanc massif. From our chosen bases in Courmayeur and Chamonix, you can enjoy several of the Tour’s walking highlights, often accessing these by shuttle bus, mountain train or cable car. For your time in Chamonix, we include a 3-day Mont Blanc Multipass, which, along with your hotel guestcard, entitles you to free travel in that area.

    The distances given for each day are the walking distances, and do not include sections on public transport.
  • Arrival in Courmayeur
    Night 1: at Hotel Bouton d’Or or Hotel Crampon (the first of three nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Choice of routes from Courmayeur: 10.5km-17km
    In addition to two beautiful balcony walks, from Courmayeur you can visit the nearby Pré St Didier thermal baths, based in and around a historic villa, or take the Skyway Monte Bianco cableway to the Punta Helbronner at 3,466 metres. Stop at the mid-station to visit the Giardino Botanico Alpino Saussurea – Europe’s highest botanical garden.

    Visaille to Courmayeur: 12km, 6hrs; ascent 740m/descent 715m
    Travel by bus to Cantine de la Visaille to begin this stunning route, which leads beneath the Glacier du Miage to the wetland meadows of Lac de Combal. Ascend from the lake to enjoy some of the Tour du Mont Blanc's most spectacular views, from an undulating balcony walk, before a cable-car ride down into Courmayeur (available for most of the season) or a more challenging descent on foot which adds 3km and 530m steeply down.

    Val Ferret: long option 17km, 7hrs, ascent 1550m/descent 980m; short option 10.5km, ascent 565m/descent 400m
    This valley east of Courmayeur leads to the Swiss border. A balcony path along its south side gives exceptional views of the famous Grandes Jorasses which crown the south-eastern part of the Mont Blanc massif. There are two options for reaching this path: direct from Courmayeur, with a big ascent via the Rifugio Bertone or by using a free bus to climb into the Val Ferret before a shorter ascent up to the balcony path. Both options pass the stunning Rifugio Bonatti before descending to the valley floor for a free bus back to Courmayeur.
    Walking from Courmayeur
    Head up the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car
  • Courmayeur to Chamonix by bus: 45mins
    Today you leave Courmayeur by bus, travelling through the 11.5-kilometre tunnel that burrows through the Mont Blanc massif and which is a remarkable feat of engineering. We recommend taking a morning bus so that you have the afternoon free to explore Chamonix, where you stay at either the Park Hotel Suisse & Spa, Hotel L’Oustalet or Heliopic Hotel.
    Explore Chamonix
  • Choice of routes from Chamonix: 5.5km-8.5km
    There’s certainly no shortage of things to do from Chamonix: we provide route notes for four wonderful hikes, and highly recommend an excursion by cable car to the spiky peak of the 3,842-metre Aiguille du Midi. A gentler sightseeing option is to ride the old Montenvers cog railway above the Mer de Glace for close-up views of this huge tongue of ice and the surrounding peaks.

    Lac Blanc & the Grand Balcon Sud: 8.5km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 600m
    This highlight route begins by cable car to Flégère, from where you access the Grand Balcon Sud trail, renowned for its stunning views across the Chamonix valley – not just of the snowy summit of Mont Blanc, but of the striking peaks and aiguilles (pinnacles) of the entire massif, many of them over 4,000 metres. The route ascends past the Chesery lakes to Lac Blanc – a glacial lake whose pale green waters offer a perfect reflection of Mont Blanc – before looping back to the cable car station for your return descent into Chamonix.

    Flégère to Le Brévent: 5.5km, 2.5hrs; ascent 550m/descent 430m
    An easy extension to the previous route or a pleasant short walk in its own right, this option takes you west. From the top of the Flégère lift, the Grand Balcon Sud continues its high traverse to Le Brévent (Planpraz), with beautiful vistas of Mont Blanc but with a very different feel to the more frequented eastern section of the balcon. You have the option from Planpraz (the mid-station of gondola/cable car) to climb via the Col du Brévent (or by cable car) to the summit of Le Brévent before descending by lift to Chamonix.

    Aiguillette des Posettes: 8.5km, 3.5hrs; ascent 260m/descent 1030m
    Travel by bus or train and cable car to reach the start point of this ridge walk, which initially rises to the Col de Balme and its refuge – an old stone hiking lodge that straddles the border between France and Switzerland. From the Col, you make a traverse of the Aiguillette des Posettes, enjoying views that on a sunny day stretch far into the distance, taking in not just Mont Blanc, but also Mont Buet and the Swiss Alps. A spectacular descent reaches the bus or train for your return to Chamonix.

    Argentière glacier (out and back): 5.5km; ascent/descent 290m
    Ride by gondola from Argentière (reached by bus or train from Chamonix) to Plan Joran. Your route rises above the tree-line before ascending some more to reach spectacular close-up views over the snout of the Argentière glacier, whose blue-ice seracs creak and sometimes crack before your eyes. There is an option to make a short detour to the Refuge de Lognan for drinks or lunch.
    Aiguillette des Posettes route
    Take the Brévent cable car for walks above Chamonix
 

Accommodation

Just a short walk from their respective town centres, our chosen hotels offer both charm and comfort.

In both Courmayeur and Chamonix we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. All are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 6 nights: 15 June 2024 - 04 September 2024 & 15 June 2025 - 04 September 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    15 Jun - 29 Aug 2024 £1345 £715
    15 Jun - 29 Aug 2025 £1400 £745
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    6 nights: 15 June 2024 - 04 September 2024 & 15 June 2025 - 04 September 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    15 Jun - 29 Aug 2024 £1945 £715
    15 Jun - 29 Aug 2025 £2025 £745
    3rd & 4th person discount -£155 to -£160
    Single traveller supplement £155 to £165

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Included travel from the UK: Out: London–Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Geneva (TGV), approx. duration 7h plus 2h taxi transfer. Home: Chamonix–Geneva (bus), Geneva–Paris (TGV), Paris–London (Eurostar), approx. duration 10h15 plus 0h15 walk.
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    If you book your holiday less than 10 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Bouton d'Or, Courmayeur (B&B) Double room Single room
    15 Jun - 04 Sep 2024 £109 £170
    15 Jun - 04 Sep 2025 £113 £176
    Park Hotel Suisse & Spa, Chamonix (B&B) Double room Single room
    15 Jun - 04 Sep 2024 £178 £251
    15 Jun - 04 Sep 2025 £190 £266
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Geneva

    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend you fly to Geneva. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Geneva easyJet 
    Bristol - Geneva (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Geneva British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Geneva British Airways,  easyJet,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Geneva British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Geneva easyJet 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend you fly to Geneva. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.
     

    Connecting travel options - flying via Geneva

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    taxi (private transfer) Geneva airport to hotel (2h) £175-£185 1700
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi (private transfer) hotel to Geneva airport (1h30) £128-£135 1100
    taxi (shared transfer) hotel to Geneva airport (1h30) £43-£45 1100
    rail Chamonix to Geneva airport (3h30) £88-£92 1300
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 6 breakfasts
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • 3-day Mont Blanc Multipass
  • bus travel Courmayeur-Chamonix
 
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FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to France, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The official language is French. The currency is the Euro. French time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
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