With more than 170 km of trails across 3 countries (France, Italy, Swiss), the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the most popular hike for the community of trek lovers. With several passes ascents, several beautiful valleys to go through, and an almost constant view on the roof of Europe, the Tour du Mont Blanc is an experience you wouldn’t miss.
You’re craving to hike on the paths that will lead you around Mont Blanc, but you don’t know when or how to prepare your trip ? We give you some keys to build your perfect hike in the wonderful Mont Blanc range.
The first step you will have to take in your preparation is to choose the date of your Tour du Mont blanc, and how long you want it to be.
Traditionally, the Tour du Mont Blanc lasts between 7 and 10 days, and you will probably find more organised tour of this duration, in books or online. You can also do your tour in more or less days, it’s your decision to take, but keep in mind that the stages you decide on have to follow your hiking level (not to long if you are a beginner!)
Regarding the year period, the Tour du Mont Blanc is a summer hike. The opening of the paths is around mid-june, when the snow melts and you can do the hike until mid to end september. You may hike outside this season, however, you will have to be careful about the weather (snow, low temperature). The refuges are only open and guarded during the season, before mid-june and after september, you will have to choose another type of housing.
To choose your starting date, you can also take into account the fact that in july and august, the Tour du Mont Blanc is often crowded. You will meet a lot of other hikers on the trails and in the refuges. This is great if you want to share your adventure and talk with others about your experience around Mont Blanc.
If, on the opposite, you prefer being quiet on your tour, you may want to hike in june or september, when there is less people.
Now that you know the date you’d prefer to start your Tour du Mont Blanc, you can consider booking for your housing. On the Tour du Mont Blanc, housing facilities are limited in the number of bed, and there is a lot of people on the trails.
Booking is a very important step, particularly if you want to stay at a precise place or refuges, and for that, you will need to plan your stages. Depending on the size of your group, and the date, it will be difficult and even nearly impossible to book at the last minute.
The ideal booking date for a bed is well before the date of your trip: you can start booking in winter, preferably before the end of february, for a Tour du Mont Blanc in the following summer.
It is even more important if you want to book individual rooms in refuges or hotels.
The fact is you will have to be very precise on your stages and booking, because you will not have the possibility to change your reservation, and hike more or less what you expected. The important point here is to know your level, and the difficulty of the stages to prepare your route.
The Tour du Mont Blanc can be done on the clockwise route or counterclockwise route, with a similar difficulty. As a loop hike, you can theoretically start from any point around it, but if needed, we give you some advice.
The traditional starting point for the counterclockwise tour is from “Les Houches” in France, above Chamonix (15 minutes by train, or a first sharp walk which may seem hard and daunting). For the clockwise route, the recommended starting point is in Champex (Swiss).
If you want, you can also start your Tour du Mont Blanc in Courmayeur (Italy). However in either direction, starting from Courmayeur is known to be sharp.
To ease your trip preparation, Cairn Trekking created several hiking formula to allow you to do your Tour du Mont Blanc with complete peace of mind. We take care of everything, and you enjoy your hike, day by day, at your own pace.
Our route have been created based on our knowledge about the mountains and our experience with people. The stages are designed to offer the views, the best housing, and to be done at your own pace. You will enjoy arriving in the refuges knowing that your bed is already booked, just as your meal!
Our guides know perfectly the route around Mont Blanc, and they will show you the most suited paths for your level and tiredness. You may discover variants of the Tour du Mont Blanc you don’t even expect, but can truly be wonderful surprises and happy moments. With his (or her!) knowledge on the mountains, your guide will also take the time to make you discover the wildlife of the mountains, the alpine flora and fauna (Ibexes, chamois, marmots, birds…), and also some stories about hiking this mythic route!
One of the best thing with our formula: you can choose to hike without all of your equipment! With our luggage carrying option, your luggage will be waiting for you at the end of every stage, and you will only have what is strictly needed for the day in your backpack.
For us, the most important is that you enjoy your hike, and the weight of your bag mustn’t be a discomfort.
For an optimal preparation of your Tour du Mont Blanc, as seen above, you have to be sure to determine each stage as precisely as possible, in order to book your housing. This implies that you exactly your hiking level and your wishes (if there is a particular place you want to stay…). You need to look for information, and take some time to prepare your route.
The steps you should take:
- Choose the type of hike you want to do (refuges, comfort, bivouac/camping) and its duration
- Find the day and the place you want to start your Tour du Mont Blanc
- Define your stages and book your housing if needed
Also keep in mind your transferts (bus, train…) before and after your hike.
At Cairn Trekking we do everything for you, and allow you to sive time and tranquility before and during your hike. You will not have to worry for your housing, your meal… regardless of the starting date you choose for your Tour du Mont Blanc.
Ready to have a wonderful trip in the Alps, around the highest mountain in Europe ? Book your Tour du Mont Blanc in 7 days! Or if you want to stay a little longer, book for a 10 days hike around Mont Blanc!
+33 4 50 34 48 03