Tour du Mont Blanc - Chamonix


Tour du Mont Blanc:
with Darwin Rakestraw (all-inclusive)

One of the most famous routes in the world.  Discover the French, Italian and Swiss Alps by foot

Dates: 20 - 29 July 2023

Price: 3150 EUR (All-Inclusive, see details below)

A 25% deposit is due to secure your reservation. The remaining balance is due 60 days before the start of the expedition.

(View the cancelation policy below in the section "Price and Details")

Darwin Onthetrail

Darwin Rakestraw is a Film-Maker, Long Distance Hiker, & Adventure Cyclist most known for his popular Youtube Channel "Darwin Onthetrail”. He’s logged over 12K accumulative miles of Long-Distance Hiking (AT, PCT, CDT, etc.) & Bike-Touring over the last 7 years. Aside from making his well known hiking videos & gear reviews, he has expanded his creativity as a storyteller to Documentary Filmmaking, Photography, Podcasting, and anything to help inspire others to get outside their comfort zone and experience the natural world around us.

Darwin Rakestraw is joining Vagabond Trails to explore and trek the amazing route of the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Along the way, Darwin will be sharing his tips and expertise as a long-distance hiker and adventurer. 

This is an all-inclusive trip, meaning that you don't have to worry about anything, because we have arranged everything for you from the moment you arrived at Geneva airport. 

 

This is the perfect trip for those who want to experience an authentic long-distance trek that will challenge your legs and your mind. We will be covering 100 miles/160 km journey with lots of ups and downs. This amazing route takes us from Chamonix - France through Italy, Switzerland, and back to Chamonix. 

Is difficult to describe the beauty of this trek in words. You must live and feel the TMB to understand why this is one of the World’s top ten 'must do' routes. Just imagine the high alpine meadows, the glaciers, the snow-capped peaks, the lakes, the Mont Blanc itself, and, of course, the physical and the mental challenge that make this route one of the most beautiful trekking places in the world.

We promise you that this will be a fantastic adventure in the heart of The Alps. Read what some of our guests say about us!

Who can join?

 

If you have hiking experience this tour is for you. The itinerary is challenging, but it does not require any technical climbing skills. However, you do need to be fit enough to cover the daily distance and elevation gain. Please, see the details in the itinerary below.

This trip is all-inclusive, with a shared transfer to and from Geneva airport, all accommodations and main meals. We have handpicked the hotels and mountain huts to offer you comfort, great views, amazing food and friendly service. For the entire tour, you will be led by one of our certified International Mountain Leaders. Your safety and comfort are our main priority.

Please, make sure that your physical condition is adequate to the itinerary described below. Please, get in touch with us if you have any questions.

trail Running - tour Du Mont Blanc

Itinerary

Day 1 | Chamonix

Transfer from Geneva Airport to Chamonix. Depending on your time of arrival you will have time to walk around the vibrant village of Chamonix, make last-minute gear shopping, or just relax at the pool and outdoor patio of our chosen hotel in Chamonix. In the evening we will have a group safety briefing, followed by dinner.

Day 2 | Chamonix – Nant Borrant

Today is the official start of our journey. We leave Chamonix and take a short transfer to Les Houches. Once here, we take the cable car heading to Col du Voze, where we start the downhill through the woods passing charming chalets and rustic farms as we head towards the Tricot Pass and through the quaint Miage valley on one of the prettiest corners of the Tour du Mont Blanc.

 

We will pass L'Auberge du Truc which is all about alpine pastures and is located on a plateau 1750 m/5741 ft above sea level on the Col du Tricot section. The panoramic view spans 360 degrees across the Domes de Miage and the Aravis mountain range. We will arrive at our overnight destination after the village of Les Contamines.

  • The route: 10 mi / 16km  - High gain/loss +2332ft/711m | -3704ft/1129m approx

  • Highest point at 2110 m / 6922 ft

  • Approximate time 7 - 8 hours​

 

Day 3 | Les Contamines– Refuge de Mottets/Les Chapieux

Easy riverside trails take us to the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge. After the church, we have a long and steep ascent leading to Col du Bonhomme. Depending on weather conditions the pass might show snow patches. A little bit higher we reach the second col of the day the Croix de Bonhomme at 2440 meters of altitude, where we will enjoy amazing views of the valleys on both sides. A nice and runnable trail takes us downhill to Les Chapieux, from here we will have a mix of a flat trail to a steady easy uphill towards Refuge Les Mottets at 1864 meters, which will be our hut for the night.

  • The route: 11.18 mi / 18km  - High gain/loss +4419ft/1347m | -3195ft/974m approx.

  • Highest point at 2440 m / 8000 ft

  • Approximate time 8 - 9 hours​​

 

Day 4 | Refuge de Mottets – Courmayeur

The day starts with a steep trail, but the views will be our boost to continue and finally cross the border into Italy at Col de la Seigne. Once on the col, you will admire the views of the French and the Italian valleys. On the Italian side, we will have a long descent into Val Veny. If we are lucky, the valley will be covered in yellow flowers with sparking glaciers descending off Mont Blanc. A long flat path will take us to the start of the steep trail towards the ridge on Mont Favre, and then on to the Col Checrouit where we take the cable car down to Courmayeur. Tonight, we will enjoy the famous Italian pizza in one of our favorite pizzerias in town.

  • The route: 12.4mi / 20km - High gain/loss +4166ft/1270m | -3832ft/1168m approx.

  • Highest point at 2500 m / 8200 ft

  • Approximate time 8 - 9 hours

If you prefer not to take the cable car, the alternative route will be an extra 5km/3.1mi and -2480ft/756m.

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Day 5 | Courmayeur –  Val Ferret 

We start the day with a vertical climb towards Rifugio Bertone. After admiring the views, we follow an almost flat, beautiful, easy but high trail towards Rifugio Bonatti where we will stop for a coffee. We continue our way down towards Val Ferret where we will spend the night.

 

  • The route: 12.4mi / 20km  - High gain/loss +5115ft/1560m | -2336ft/712m approx.

  • Approximate time 8 - 9 hours

 

Day 6 | Val Ferret  –  La Fouly

From Val Ferret we start a steep ascent towards the highest pass of the route and the border between Italy and Switzerland the Grand Col Ferret at 2537m / 8323ft. We will contemplate the spectacular views of the Swiss and the Italian valleys from the col. A beautiful descent on a single trail of alpine meadows and grazing cows will take us down to La Fouly, where we will spend the night. 

  • The route: 9mi / 14.5km  - High gain/loss +1972ft/600m | -3386ft/1032m approx.

  • Approximate time 6 - 8 hours

 

Day 7 | Champex Lac – Col de Forclaz or Trient

We start the day with an early bus transfer towards Champex Lac. Leaving Champex Lac behind we head up through the forests on an easy-open path until Plan de l’Au where we start a steep ascent traversing around the mountain to La Giete. Once in the highest point we run downhill towards Col de la Forclaz and continue our descent to the last Swiss village and its iconic pink church in Trient.

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  • The route: 8.69mi / 14 km  - High gain/loss +2624ft/800m | -3182.41ft/970m approx.

  • Approximate time 6 - 8 hours

Day 8 | Trient - Trelechamp

We climb up to reach the French border at Col de Balme 2191m / 7188ft. From the col the entire Mont Blanc Massif stretches ahead; the Chamonix Valley, the summit of Mont Blanc, the Aiguilles, the Mer de Glace and the Argentière glaciers. The route then continues via the Col des Posettes and Aiguillette des Posettes, with wonderful views throughout, then a descent into the Chamonix Valley at Tré le Champ.

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  • The route: 7m / 11km  - High gain/loss +3608ft/1100m | -3280ft/1000m approx.

  • Approximate time 6 - 8 hours

Day 9 | Trelechamp - Chamonix

A  day that takes us to the outstanding views along this section of the 'Grand Balcon Sud. From Tré le Champ the trail climbs via Aiguillette de Argentière to the Grand Balcon Sud of the Aiguilles Rouges, taking in a few fixed ladders on the way. We reach the Aiguilles Rouge Nature Reserve and sightings of ibex and marmots are common.  We will pass Lac de Cheserys and the views of the Mont Blanc and the Aiguilles Rouges mountains are spectacular along the way. Once at the top we have a steep descent towards Chamonix (cable car optional).

We have come to the end of an epic journey and we will close our trip with a celebration dinner.

  • The route: 10.5m / 17km  - High gain/loss +3608ft/1100m | -4593ft/1400m approx.

  • Approximate time 7 - 8 hours

Day 10 | Chamonix (out)

We enjoy a last breakfast together and then time to pack all the memories back home.

 

The entire tour is done in English.

*We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, huts availability, National Parks regulations or notifications and unforeseeable circumstances

 

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

How Challenging ?

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High effort. This is a challenging adventure where we can expect 6 - 8 hours of hiking per day, with up to 1500 meters/4920 feet of elevation gain. Previous multi-day trekking experience is recommended.
 

A note about fitness: This adventure involves physical activity for around 6 - 8 hours per day, some days have over 1500 meters of ascent, at altitude up to 2500 meters above sea level. To participate comfortably in the tour, you will require a certain level of fitness. To make a self-assessment of whether or not this is for you, you should consider yourself to be in good fitness, be accustomed to hiking, and be able to do it comfortably for at least 3 hours in a day. Please consult a doctor if you feel that this might be a challenge before booking.

Price and Details

The tour includes:

  • Everything described in the tour

  • All of the scheduled activities

  • Transport from Geneva Airport to Chamonix 

  • Transport from Chamonix to Geneva Airport

  • All accommodation during the tour (7 nights)

  • 4* hotel in Chamonix and Courmayeur, on a twin shared basis 

  • Huts or refuges in shared rooms/dorms only

  • All meals during the tour (9 breakfast, 8 packed lunch, 9 dinners)

  • All transport during the tour (except those by feet!)

  • A certified International Mountain Leader

  • Amazing trails & beautiful landscapes

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The tour excludes:

  • Transport to Geneva (e.g. flights)

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for outdoor sports; such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Trail snack to eat on the go - dried fruit, nuts or energy bars to last you throughout the entire trek (further info in the packing list)

  • Single room supplement (if available) for an extra price of 400 EUR only in Chamonix and Courmayeur

  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

  • Expenses for extra activities, such as; massages, spas, sauna, hot tub

  • Any accommodations for extra days in Chamonix

Price: 2980 EUR

A 25% deposit is due to secure your spot, the remaining balance is due 60 days before the start of the trip. Once the trip is confirmed your deposit is non-refundable, however, it can be transferred to any other trips. 

We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.

 

This tour is governed by our Terms and Conditions

​Participants: 

Min 6 - Max 12 

Start: Geneva (Cointrin Airport)

End: Geneva (Cointrin Airport)

 

Cancellation policy:

  • Trip pending: a 25% down payment is fully refundable

  • Trip confirmed: a 25% down payment is non-refundable. You can transfer this down payment to any other of our trips within the next year

  • 60 days or less before the trip starts no refund available

Travel insurance is required for all of our trips. Make sure that your insurance covers trip cancellation (in case of any unforeseen circumstances)

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions