Circle the highest summit in Western Europe in just six days of trekking with this weeklong summer itinerary. Start in the Chamonix Valley and hike through France, Italy, and Switzerland with iconic Alpine vistas throughout. Hike over high mountain passes and quiet meadows, see the Alps reflected in mirror-like Swiss lakes, visit the classic resort towns of Courmayeur and Chamonix, and spend each night sleeping comfortably in charming mountain huts and lodges.

Highlights

  • Hike through high alpine scenery of France, Italy, and Switzerland 
  • Take in panoramic views from Col de la Seigne and Croix-du-Bonhomme
  • See the Swiss Alps reflected in the mirror-like surface of Lac Blanc
  • Visit the classic resort towns of Courmayeur and Chamonix
  • Stay in charming and comfortable mountain huts and lodges

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Chamonix Valley Les Houches
Day 2 Les Houches - Les Contamines-Montjoie Les Contamines Montjoie
Day 3 Les Contamines - Vallée des Glaciers Les Chapieux
Day 4 Vallée des Glaciers - Courmayeur Courmayeur
Day 5 Courmayeur - La Fouly / Champex Champex
Day 6 Champex - Bovines - Argentière / Le Tour Argentiere
Day 7 Argentière / Le Tour - Chamonix  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in the Chamonix Valley

Hiking above Les Houches
Hiking above Les Houches

Welcome to France! You'll arrive in the Chamonix Valley resort town of Les Houches by train the day before your trek, a 5.5-hour journey from Paris or 1.5-hours from Geneva. From Geneva, the ride to Les Houches is much faster by car—ask your specialist for more details on getting there. Les Houches is nestled at the base of Mont-Blanc, and you'll enjoy a first taste of the region's magnificent scenery while exploring town at your leisure for the afternoon and evening. 

Day 2: Les Houches - Bellevue - Col du Tricot - Les Contamines-Montjoie

Bionnassay glacier and summit
Bionnassay glacier and summit

After breakfast at your hotel in Les Houches, head to the Bellevue cable car station. Ride to the top, where you'll start your hike to Bionnassay glacier—you'll get a great view from a Nepali-style suspension bridge nearby. Climb up the Tricot Pass (2120 m), followed by a pleasant descent to the Chalets de Miage (1559 m), a charming mountain refuge in a meadow overlooked by the Dômes de Miage. After some time to rest and relax, finish your day with a hike up to Chalets du Truc (1750 m) and down again to Les Contamines Montjoie, the village where you'll spend the night.

Hiking time: 5 hours
Elevation Change: +600 m / -1200 m

Day 3: Les Contamines - Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge - Croix-du-Bonhomme - Vallée des Glaciers

Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc

 Transfer to Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge (1210m) to visit the famous Baroque church to start your day. From there, you'll make the moderate trek up to Col du Bonhomme (2329m) between the Mont-Blanc and Beaufortain ranges. Keep making your way to Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme  (2433 m), where you'll take in a particularly beautiful panorama of Mont-Pourri. The afternoon descent through alpine pasture leads to the typical hamlet of Les Chapieux, your stopping point for the day.

Hiking time: 6 hours
Elevation Change: D+ 1300 m / - 950 m

Day 4: Vallée des Glaciers - Col de la Seigne - Val Veny - Courmayeur

Col de la Seigne
Col de la Seigne

Start today's hike in Ville des Glaciers (1800 m), where you can visit a local farm and see Beaufort cheese being made. Hike through alpine pastures to Col de la Seigne (2516 m)—you've reached the Italian border, and you're rewarded with a fantastic view of legendary summits Mont-Blanc de Courmayeur, Noire de Peuterey, and Grandes Jorasses. Hike through the Val Veny at the foot of Glacier de Miage. From here, transfer to Courmayeur for the night, a beautiful Italian resort town known for its culinary culture and (of course) mountain views.

Hiking time  5 hours
Elevation Change: D+ 750 m / - 900 m).

Day 5: Courmayeur - Refuge Elena - Grand Col Ferret - La Fouly / Champex

Val Ferret
Val Ferret

This mellow day in the middle of the trip is a great time to recuperate and relax. After a short transfer from Courmayeur to one end of Val Ferret, begin your hike at the foot of the Pré-de-Bar glacier to reach Elena for a pit stop at a mountain hut (2,052 m). From here, follow the Grand col Ferret (2,537m) to the border between Italy and Switzerland. Enjoy a last look at the Italian Val Ferret and hike down through Swiss mountain pastures, finally arriving at the hamlet of Ferret (1,740m). With a short bus ride, you'll get to the village of Champex, where you'll enjoy a leisurely afternoon at its namesake lake. 

Hiking time  5 hours
Elevation Change: +800 m / -850 m

Day 6: Champex - Bovines – Trient - Argentière / Le Tour

Champex
Champex

From Champex, head to the Swiss meadows of Bovines, one of the most famous cheese-producing regions in the Alps. Sample the local specialty and enjoy the view of the Rhône Valley and Swiss Valais before making your way to Trient (1,280 m). A more challenging hike is also possible today, via the splendid Fenêtre d'Arpette pass (2,665 m). From Trient, transfer back to France and the villages of Le Tour or Argentière.

Hiking time: 5.5 hours (8 hours via Fenêtre d'Arpette)  
Elevation Change: +700 m / 800 m (+1200 m / -1400 m via Fenêtre d'Arpette) 

Day 7: Argentière / Le Tour - Lacs des Cheserys - Lac Blanc – Chamonix

Grandes Jorasses seen from Lac Blanc
Grandes Jorasses seen from Lac Blanc

On your last day of the trek, start in the Aiguilles Rouges range with spectacular views of the Mont Blanc glaciers and summits. From Col des Montets (1,461 m ), follow a balcony trail to Lac des Chéserys with its famously clear reflection of the Alps. The itinerary continues to iconic Lac Blanc (2,352 m) and on to La Flégère (1,877 m), where you'll begin the last leg of your hike down to Chamonix center. Spend one last night in Chamonix, or head straight to the train station to continue your journey. 

Hiking time: 6.5 hours
Elevation Change: +1000 m / -1250 m 

Map

Map of Tour du Mont-Blanc - 7 days
Map of Tour du Mont-Blanc - 7 days