Tour du Mont Blanc Hiking - Routes, Maps and Itineraries

Last Updated: 
Tue, 26 May 2015

The Tour du Mont Blanc is a 170 km trek that encompasses the whole of the Mont Blanc Massif; with nearly 10 000m of cumulative descent and ascent it is usually completed in a number of days.

The TMB has a variety of accommodations along its way (hotels and mountain huts with possibility for vehicle support) that allow you to really enjoy the scenery, take lots of photos and walk each day with just a light pack.

Alternatively, the TMB can be done completely self-sufficiently: you carry all your own food and camping gear. This gives you a better sense of freedom and the ability to go where you please whenever you want.

The Tour of Mont Blanc Map
Tour du Mont Blanc Map

Tour of Mont Blanc General Information

Mont Blanc Tour mountain huts are open, in general, from mid-June until the first or second week in September. It is advisable to reserve a bed, particularly in the high season of mid July to mid August.

Early in the season is the quietest and most beautiful, but beware of old snow on the higher paths which could be icy and dangerous and would make an ice axe essential.

For additional safety or to just show you the way you could hire an Independent Trek Leader.

Wildlife on the Tour du Mont Blanc

Have a look at the nature, faune and flora page for more information on wildlife you might encounter on the Tour of Mont Blanc. Chamois, deer, eagles and a range of beautiful alpine flowers can all be seen and photographed.

Tour du Mont Blanc Maps, Kit List and Equipment

Lightweight boots and shorts are sufficient as long as there are warm clothes in your backpack. Waterproofs are essential and trekking poles useful. Here are some of the best mountain equipment shops in Chamonix.

Do not forget sunglasses, skin and lip protection. Always carry drinking water and check the Chamonix weather forecast before starting your journey.

Maps for the Tour of Mont Blanc:

Tour of Mont Blanc - Route Descriptions

You have plenty of options: from 4 day sportive hikes to leisurely 12 day cultural experiences; there is not only one way to do the Tour of Mont Blanc. Here are a couple of different suggestions which may help you make up your mind on your particular style.

  • You can go on your own, or benefit from a mountain leaders' experience
  • You can carry your own gear or hike with a light pack with vehicle support
  • You can sleep and eat in the refuges or carry a tent

Here is a list of contact information for the various mountain huts.

4 day trip: Not quite racing - but fast enough: For the hardcore hiker

This itinerary follows pretty much in the footsteps of the Ultra Trail race (which varies slightly from year to year). This is for very fit hikers and is done with only a light day pack, eating and sleeping in huts and is basically the run/walking version of the Tour du Mont Blanc. The times noted are for fit spandex-wearing (not obligatory!) hikers.

Day Start Via Finish Times (very quick)
Day 1 Chamonix Les Houches - La Charme - Saint-Gervais Les Contamines 5.5h
Day 2 Les Contamines Notre Dame de la Gorge - La Balme - Col du Bonhomme - Croix du Bonhomme - Les Chapieux - La Ville des Glaciers - Col de la Seigne - Refuge Elisabetta - Lac Combal - Arête Mont Favre - Col Checrouit Maison Vielle Courmayeur 7.5h
Day 3 Courmayeur Refuge Bertone - Refuge Bonatti - Arnuva - Refuge Elena - Grand Col Ferret - La Peule - La Fouly - Praz de Fort Champex 7h
Day 4 Champex Bovine - Trient - Catogne - Vallorcine - Col des Montets - Flégère Chamonix 6.5h

7 day trip: Hiking the Tour of Mont Blanc - hiker

Start with the previously mentioned itinerary and break up the days a bit depending on where you would like to spend the night.

For people who carry their own gear, plan on a 7 day trip.

9 to 11 day trip: Taking the time to look at the scenery

Of course if you really do have time, you can expand the experience. Here's an example of a slower pace, with time to veer a little off the path. This is described as an 11 day trip, but it would be really easy to knock off the first and last days as those days are dedicated to trekking in the Chamonix Valley.

Day Start Via Finish Hours
Day 1 Chamonix Gondola to Planpraz - Brévent - Bel Lachat - Merlet Les Houches 5h
Day 2 Les Houches Chavants - Col de Voza - Bellevue - Col du Tricot - chalets de Miage Les Contamines 6h
Day 3 Les Contamines Croix du Bonhomme - Col des Fours - Tete Nord des Fours Les Chapieux 7h
Day 4 Les Chapieux Ville des Glaciers - Col de la Seigne Refuge Elisabetta 5h
Day 5 Refuge Elisabetta Lac Combal - Alpages d'arp Veille - Col Chécroui Courmayeur 5h
Day 6 Courmayeur Tete Bernarda La Vachey 5.5h
Day 7 La Vachey Arnuva - Col Ferret La Fouly 6h
Day 8 La Fouly   Champex 4.5h
Day 9 Champex Champex Bovine - Col de la Forclaz Trient 5.3h
Day 10 Trient Col de Balme Tre le Champ 5h
Day 11 Tre le Champ Cheserys - Flégère Chamonix 4.5h

At the end of August, each year, the trails around the Mont Blanc get really busy for one of the most amazing competitions ever organized - The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc - so keep this in mind when planning your hike of the Tour du Mont Blanc.