Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend
3 stages . 4 nights . Swiss Valais and French Haute Savoie
Views from Lac Blanc on the Tour du Mont Blanc with Alpine Exploratory
Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend
TMB Weekend
3 stages . 4 nights

Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend
Self-guided walking holiday


Key information

Start: Trient
End: Les Houches for night in Chamonix
Season dates: 1 July to 15 Sept 2024 and 1 July to 18 Sept 2025
Length: 3 days' walking
Typical walk: 12km, 1,000m ascent
Total distance: 35km or 22 miles
Highest altitude: 2,525m
Grade: Red 3 (Walking grades)
Group size: 2 or more trekkers

From GBP 690 per person for 2024

The Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend explores the final 3 high stages of the full 11-stage TMB, making a magnificent short trek showcasing the best views of Mont Blanc. This trek makes for a perfect long weekend trip, or serves as an excellent introduction to Alpine hiking. It provides a flavour of hiking in the Alps without committing to the nearly two weeks on the trail required by the full trip.

This neat little trek starts in the small Swiss village of Trient. From Trient there is a steady climb in pretty woodland to Col de Balme and its breath-taking views down the Chamonix valley. The route then takes to the Grand Balcon Sud, a rocky path which traverses the hillside high above the Chamonix valley, offering magnificent views to the Mer de Glace and Trient glaciers in addition to the jagged peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif. If you’re looking for a short hike with dramatic mountain views, you would be hard-pressed to find a better one than this. The trip ends in Les Houches, the traditional end to the TMB, before taking a bus up the valley for a last night in bustling Chamonix.

This being a self-guided holiday, you're free to complete the walks as you choose: we book your accommodation and provide you with our detailed routecards and maps required to complete the hike, and then it's up to you to carry out the walks at your own pace. We provide details of our favourite detours along the route which give you more opportunity to explore the area.



Map

Alternative trip options
Prefer a different style or length of trip? Why not try one of these:
TMB South - 4 stages, 5 nights
TMB North - 7 stages, 8 nights
Full TMB - 11 stages, 1 rest day, 13 nights
TMB Highlights - 6 stages, 7 nights
Options
Our 3-stage trip for a great long weekend trip, without any unnecessarily long days and with time to relax. The choice of accommodation along the way allows for many variants and trip lengths. We welcome you to ask if you would like more details!

Add a rest day
As standard, we don't include a rest day on our TMB Weekend trip. However, we are happy to add additional nights in Chamonix before or after your trek.


Make the trip longer
As normal, your first stage starts from Trient. We can add stages at the start: for example, a 4-stage and a 5-stage trek also work very well. Alternatively, take 1 rest day in Chamonix and trek 2 days either side: Trient to Chamonix, and Chamonix to Les Contamines (using the cable car to descend from Refuge de la Flegere to Chamonix, and back again). As always, we are more than happy to book additional nights in Chamonix before or after your trip to allow you to explore this vibrant town. Please ask us for more details.
20024 Prices
Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend
1 July to 15 Sept 2024
Hutty Classic Comfy
Self-guided
3 stages
(4 nights)
GBP 620
Singles 45
GBP 690
Singles 135
Main Trip
GBP 790
Singles 220
4 stages
(5 nights)

GBP 685
Singles 90
GBP 775
Singles 180
GBP 885
Singles 265
4 stages
1 rest day
(6 nights)
GBP 750
Singles 110
GBP 860
Singles 225
GBP 980
Singles 320
Options
Baggage transfer
Please ask us



2025 Prices
Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend
1 July to 18 Sept 2025
Hutty Classic Comfy
Self-guided
3 stages
(4 nights)
GBP 670
Singles 45
GBP 740
Singles 135
Main Trip
GBP 840
Singles 220
Options
Baggage transfer
Please ask us



Accommodation
Where we stay
Our Classic mix of accommodation gives a great mix of 2 family-run hotels (2 or 3*), 1 hut and 1 auberge, carefully selected to give the best possible alpine hiking experience.

Avoiding Dormitories
If you'd like to avoid dorms, this is certainly possible. Our normal trek includes one night in a dormitory in Refuge de la Flegere, however this can be avoided by taking the cable car down into Chamonix to spend the night in a hotel.

Comfy
Our Comfy mix upgrades the 2* hotel in Chamonix to a 3* option, the 3* hotel in Argentiere to a 4* hotel, and we would swap your hut night for an additional night in Chamonix. You would still stay in an auberge in Trient where we would try for private rooms, but with shared bathroom facilities.

Hutty
Our Hutty mix of accommodation gives a more basic and economical trip. On our hutty Tour du Mont Blanc weekend, we would book dormitory places in an auberge in Trient and would swap the hotel night in Argentiere for an auberge in Tre-le-Champ, giving 3 nights in dormitories.

Single Room Supplement
If you would like to stay in single rooms rather than sharing a double, twin or triple room we add our single room supplement. This covers the additional cost of booking single occupancy rooms. The single supplement is only applied to nights where single rooms are available, and is not applied to hut nights which do not offer single rooms. In the auberge, we may be able to book single rooms or if not, we will book the smallest room available.

Solo Travel
We do not take bookings for solo walkers on self-guided trips. If you are still interested in this trip, we do have availability on our guided trips.
Route
Ladders next to Aiguillette d'Argentiere
Ladders on the ascent to Lac Blanc, stage 10

Our approach to the Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend
Our routecards stick to the generally accepted Tour du Mont Blanc route from Trient in Switzerland to Les Houches in France, with some optional scenic diversions such as that to Lac Blanc for spectacular views across to Mont Blanc. Our standard schedule walks the Tour in the normal anti-clockwise direction, which we believe gives the best views and ascent vs decent profiles.

People at Alpine ExploratoryPeople at Alpine Exploratory
Latest research on the Tour du Mont Blanc by Alpine Exploratory's Rob Gale and Evie.

The Terrain
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a popular trail in the Summer and the good solid footpaths reflect this. The terrain along this section of the trail is perhaps a little harder on average than a full TMB, because the last two stages are rockier than the norm requiring careful foot placement and good balance.

In a small number of places you’ll meet ladders to aid progress up steep and rocky sections. These sections can be avoided by following alternative routes given in your routecards. In early or late summer there is a good chance of snow patches lying on the higher paths, but the lower paths are likely to be snow-free.

Is it for me?
The Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend is suitable for normal fit mountain walkers who are happy to walk for up to 8 hours a day over rocky and sometimes exposed ground. Although the hike has some big ascents and descents, they are gradual and are more a test of stamina.

We would recommend this hike for anyone who has done some walking in the mountains before and is looking to get a flavour of Alpine hiking over a short period. Due to the 2 long descents this route is probably not recommended for those who do not enjoy a long downhill, although both can be avoided by using cable cars.

The route is well signposted and waymarked, aiding navigation, though a map and compass will be needed for navigation in bad weather. We provide all of the maps needed, along with our detailed routecards. A level of self-sufficiency on the TMB is also necessary as transfer bags (optional) cannot be delivered to the hut, requiring you to pack your overnight things in your day pack for this night.

Difficulty
We grade our TMB weekend as a Red 3. There are no glacier crossings, via ferrata or rock climbing, however there are a few sections of steep and rocky ground. In particular there are three sections on the standard route where metal ladders or steps have been installed to make the route easier across rocky ground. The hardest two of these sections can be avoided by alternative routes, but none of them should present problems to regular hillwalkers.

We explain the relative difficulties of the route and the variants in your routecards, giving you the freedom each day to choose your route and tailor it to your ability. Although it is possible to shorten some days by selecting different stopping points, the distances are generally dictated by the location of the villages and huts along the trail. Some days (but not all) can be shortened or skipped by taking buses and/or cable cars and your routecards advise where this is possible. Please do ask us for more details.

Tour du Mont Blanc Walking Guide - more about the trail

The making of our Tour du Mont Blanc - photos from our research trips
How to get there
Mont Blanc Express from Martigny to Chamonix
Mont Blanc Express between Chamonix and Martigny


Your holiday starts in the Swiss hamlet of Trient and ends in the major resort of Chamonix. The most convenient airport is Geneva with several transfer options available. To reach Trient we suggest the Swiss trains to Martigny and then bus to Trient, and from Chamonix we suggest a minibus transfer or the Swiss trains. As well as Geneva, Zurich and Basel airports also work albeit with longer transfer times.

Travel to and from the trip is not included in the holiday price. We do however take care to give the most useful notes possible about all of the available travel options. We supply these both on booking in your Trip Notes and in your info pack. We also offer personalised tips at any point; please do just ask us for advice and we’d be happy to help!
Included
  • Bespoke accommodation itinerary - tailored to suit your particular requirements
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Dinner at the huts and auberges (on 2 nights for our main trip, more on our 'hutty' trips)
  • Detailed Routecards TMB9-11 of the Exploratory system, printed on waterproof paper
  • The 1 topographical map needed
  • Downloadable GPX Tracks covering the route
  • Expert advice and local information
  • A comprehensive 'Season Update' following our pre-season recce
  • Full support during your trip from the Alpine Exploratory team (9am until 9pm in the Alps)
Not included
  • Travel to and from your trip
  • Local transport whilst on the trip unless specified
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunches, snacks, drinks and evening meals in the towns (this would be 2 nights on our main trip)
  • Baggage transfers (available as an extra)

Baggage transfer

Let us move your bags for you! We offer a baggage transfer service to all stops except the 1 hut night. When staying at the hut, your bag simply goes ahead to the next hotel. Please contact us for a price, or feel free to ask questions about baggage transfer on the route.
Got questions about the Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend?
Feel free to ask us any questions you have about any aspects of your planning and preparations! Lucy, Steph, Nicky, Rob, Evie, Ben and Amy will reply with expert advice. We spend a lot of time walking our routes and more broadly exploring ski and hiking trails around the world so do feel free to ask anything at all.


Enquiry Form
Tour du Mont Blanc Weekend Self-guided

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Contact Alpine Exploratory
Email info@alpineexploratory.com
Phone +44 (0)131 214 1144
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Open to the world
Since Alpine Exploratory started in 2005 we have loved getting to know our clients from around the world. Along with the UK, our best-represented countries are the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Please use our national-rate numbers for a cheaper call to contact our office in Edinburgh.

The Alpine Exploratory Team
The Alpine Exploratory team in Edinburgh

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Views on the way up to Lac Blanc above Chamonix
  View from the Balcon du Sud on the route up to Lac Blanc, Stage 10    Photos from the Tour du Mont Blanc


Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.

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