Lac Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc Camping Trek Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
France, Italy, Switzerland
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TWB
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Moderate / Challenging

You are moderately fit and have an interest in remote or challenging environments. Some previous experience is required for activity based trips.

15 Days Flight Inclusive
15 Days Land only
16 Min age

Trip Overview

Experience has taught us that 15 days is the perfect duration to fully appreciate this iconic circuit around Mont Blanc - 10 days of trekking complemented by three days of relaxation. Led by an experienced International Mountain Leader (IML) the circuit crosses three borders, climbs over six passes, traverses beneath huge glaciers, and meanders through beautiful alpine meadows and picture-book villages. To lighten our load our baggage is transported between each campsite by support vehicle, leaving us free to enjoy the inspiring scenery found only on this classic trek, hiking around Mont Blanc.

At a Glance

  • 14 nights camping, mostly in good campsites with hot showers
  • 10 days walking with vehicle support; 3 rest days
  • 8 days challenging and 2 days moderate walking
  • Altitude maximum 2537m, average 1525m

 

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy some of the most dramatic scenery in Europe
  • Traverse beneath huge glaciers and meander through beautiful alpine meadows
  • Walk in the shadow of the highest peak in the Alps, Mont Blanc (4810m)

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is graded Activity Level 4 (moderate/challenging) - it involves 10 days of walking; 2 days at a Moderate level and 8 days at a Challenging level. Most of the days are long, quite often involving an ascent of 900-1200m (or 3000 - 4000 feet), equivalent to 3 to 4 hours walking uphill, followed by a similar descent. Although the paths are well maintained there are sections that are rough underfoot. On day 2 there are 2 metal ladders to descend en route from Lac Blanc, these are secured against the rock, consist of approximately 12 steps and are not difficult to climb. The route throughout is non-technical however we will be walking mountain paths throughout and this trip is not advised for severe vertigo sufferers.

Please be aware on days 6 and 8 we take a short bus transfer to avoid trekking on busy roads.

Most people trek the TMB anti clockwise. From years of experience we have discovered that trekking the route clockwise allows for quieter trails and avoids a tough ascent of the first couple of days. The views and walks are still just as beautiful in this direction.

As this is a group holiday you need to be confident that your fitness will allow you to enjoyably walk at a consistent and steady pace that matches the group average, therefore allowing the group to finish the day at a reasonable time. You will also enjoy the trek a great deal more if your fitness allows you to walk the route in relative ease. A Challenging graded day would be equivalent to walking up Scafell Pike or Ben Nevis in the UK and take between 3 to 5 hours of walking up hill and up to 9 hours in total depending on the pace. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in good physical condition for the trip. 

If you are unable to walk during the itinerary and want to opt out of a day, please take note that this can sometimes be a little tricky dependent on where on the circuit you are. To reach the next point you will need to take a public bus (which run at limited times) or taxi (which can be expensive when in a more remote location). Our support vehicle is not suitable for taking passengers so please be aware of this when deciding to book this trip.

 You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference:

http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

All ascents, descents and walking distances listed below are approximates. We have decided the most accurate method is to map the routes carefully using google earth. That said it is impossible to obtain a completely true figure of the distances walked. Regarding GPS - due to the inherent inaccuracies of defining an exact waypoint with a GPS and the cumulative overall inaccuracy this causes, you may find that our distances and GPS distances you obtain on trek with your personal GPS/phone, may differ by quite a margin. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

This trek is based on the 'supported camping' concept, with a vehicle doing all the hard work of transporting luggage, equipment and supplies. Whilst camping the support leader will erect your tent but in the morning you will be expected to pack away your own tent (these are modern pop up style tents that are very easy and quick to fold away and pack) and the whole group generally helps to load the support vehicle on the days when we move camp. On half of the nights we eat in camp, you should expect to help with the washing up. 

Please note: On this trip it is essential to have helicopter evacuation cover within your travel insurance.

Group

We provide a qualified International Mountain Leader to escort the group on each walking day. Our walking leaders are true mountain professionals, as well as being skilled group leaders they are there to help assure safety on the mountain. They also impart their knowledge of the wider mountain environment such as flora and fauna, geology, weather and local customs. Our support leaders are also vital members of the team and ensure that the camp is set up and ready when you walk off the hill (where ever practically possible) and hot, tasty and nutritious food is served.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
14

Itinerary

Mont Blanc Weather Chart

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start at Les Bossons, near Chamonix.

    Our start point is the campsite in Les Bossons, with wonderful views from the campsite of Mont Blanc and the dramatic crevassed Glacier des Bossons, especially at sunset. In the evening there is an introductory briefing by the trek crew.

    Campsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Le Bossons

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    From Chamonix the route heads past Lac Blanc to Les Frasserands.

    From Les Bossons (1012m – 3320ft) we have a short bus journey to Chamonix from where we walk to Les Praz and take the téléférique to La Flégère (1,900m – 6230ft). The trail today is named the 'Grand Balcon' and is on the opposite side of the valley from Mont Blanc, affording excellent views of the whole massif lying to our south. Initially we contour and then climb to reach the high point of the day, Lac Blanc (2352m - 7715ft). The trail descends and then contours high above the valley before dropping steeply to the hamlet of Les Frasserands (1371m - 4500ft). In the afternoon there is a very short section of ladders/steep steps with handrails to descend.

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 500m - 1670ft up, 1000m – 3280ft down

    Campsite: Camping Pierre Semard, Les Frasserands

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
  • Day 3

    Cross over Col de Balme to Switzerland and camp at Trient.

    We begin by climbing steeply to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2201m – 7200ft), descend a little and then ascend towards the Col de Balme (2,191m – 7190ft) where we follow one of the paths across the border from France to Switzerland. Excellent views all morning of Aiguille d'Argentière and Aiguille du Tour and its glacier. After lunch we descend to the small hamlet of Trient (1296m – 4250ft). Good views of the Trient Glacier. 

    7.5 hours walking. 970m – 3200ft up, 1060m – 3466ft

    Campsite: Basic Camping, near Trient

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
  • Day 4

    Cross Col de la Forclaz to Champex.

    We climb first to the Col de Forclaz (1527m – 5010ft) and then onwards from where we can look directly down into the Rhône Valley and the Swiss town of Martigny. We follow a historic path used to take the cows to summer grazing, the 'Bovine route' (2049m – 6720ft) that takes us through meadows and high alpine pastures before descending to the charming town of Champex (1486m – 4880ft) set beside a picturesque alpine lake.

    7 hours walking. 920m – 3017ft up, 720m – 3261ft down

    Campsite: Camping Les Rocailles, Champex Lac

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 16 km / 10 miles
  • Day 5

    Head up Val Ferret to La Fouly.

    Now on the east side of the main Mont Blanc massif we walk south, descending through woods to the Val Ferret and on to Issert (1,055m – 3460ft) and other pretty alpine farming villages. This is also quite a good day for flowers earlier in the season, including orchids. We continue up the valley to the remote village of La Fouly (1600m - 5250ft) which lies at the foot of Mont Dolent, whose summit marks the meeting point of France, Switzerland and Italy.

    6 hours walking, 440m – 1450ft down, 540m – 1780ft up

    Campsite: Camping les Glaciers, La Fouly

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
  • Day 6

    Climb to Grand Col Ferret, the highest pass of the trek.

    Still following the same valley and the river 'La Drance', we climb to the 'Grand Col Ferret' (2537m – 8320ft), the highest pass of the tour. Now in Italy, the valley is also called 'Val Ferret'. The mountain views from the Col are stunning with Grandes Jorasses dominating the scene. We walk down the valley to Arp Nouva (1,770m – 5800ft) where we then take an optional bus to Planpincieux (1,600m – 5250ft). For the first and last trip of the season the bus may not be running and we may need to walk to camp.

    7.5 hours walking. 970m - 3180ft up, 800m – 2600ft down.

    Campsite: Camping Grands Jorasses, Val Ferret

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 14 km / 9 miles
  • Day 7

    Rest day.

    The nearby ex-spa towns of Courmayeur and Entrèves have picturesque older sections, which are worth a visit, especially for the keen photographer. There is a cable car from La Palud to Point Helbronner (3461m – 11350ft) and on across the glacier to the Aiguille du Midi (and in fact on down to Chamonix). This is a splendid (optional) excursion, which gives close-up views of all the big peaks.

    Campsite: Camping Grands Jorasses, Val Ferret

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Climb to Bonatti refuge and traverse high above the spectacular Ferret Valley around Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur and on to Val Veny.

    We start with a short bus ride to pick up the TMB and from the road (1675m – 5500ft ) climb up to the Bonatti refuge (2025m – 6640ft). Today we follow a beautiful contouring path around Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur. The views of the south Mont Blanc massif are exceptional as are those of the towering, peaks of the 'Grandes Jorasses' and the glaciers which crowd the northern flank of the Val Ferret. In the afternoon we have a long, steep descent to Courmayeur (1230m – 4030m) (superb ice creams!) from where we take a short bus ride into the spectacular Val Veny (1530m – 5020ft).

    8 hours walking. 500m – 1640ft up, 900m 4400ft down

    Campsite: Camping Aiguille Noire, Val Veny

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 14 km / 9 miles
  • Day 9

    Re-enter France across Col de la Seigne and through La Ville des Glaciers to Les Chapieux.

    The trail climbs gently along the Val Veny beneath the moraine of the massive glacier du Miage and passes Lac Combal before the gradient becomes steeper as we follow the old Roman road across today's pass, the 'Col de la Seigne' (2516m – 8250ft), marking our re-entry into France. A fairly steep descent brings us through La Ville des Glaciers (1,789m – 5870ft) and finally to Les Chapieux (1553m – 5090ft), a small hamlet which is only inhabited in the summer months. This is one of the longer walking days.

    8.5 hours walking. 990m – 3250ft up, 970m – 3180ft down

    Campsite: Basic Camping, Chapieux 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 24 km / 15 miles
  • Day 10

    Climb to Col de la Croix du Bonhomme and contour around to Col du Bonhomme.

    We have now reached the southwest corner of the circuit and turn north to climb once again. Today is a longer day; first we make a steep climb to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2478m – 8130ft) and then contour around to the Col du Bonhomme (2328m – 7640ft). We then descend (again on a Roman road) to our campsite in Les Contamines (1180m - 5900ft).

    8 hours walking. 930m – 3050ft up, 1375m – 4510ft

    Campsite: Camping le Pontet, Les Contamines

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 17 km / 11 miles
  • Day 11

    Rest day.

    There are short and long optional walks in the area. Time can be spent visiting the half-day market in Les Contamines, or you can simply relax around town or in camp and recharge your batteries for the days ahead.

    Campsite: Camping le Pontet, Les Contamines

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 12

    Cross Col de Tricot and Col de Voza to re-enter Chamonix Valley and descend to village of Les Houches.

    Another long day; we walk through Les Contamines, ascend to Chalets du Truc (1720m – 5614ft) and then descend to the Chalets de Miage (1,560m – 4120ft). From here we take the trail that climbs steeply to the Col de Tricot (2119m – 6950ft) before descending very close to the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay where we will enjoy good views of the north side of the Mont Blanc massif. Eventually we make another short ascent to reach the Col de Voza (1652m – 5418ft) where we re-enter the Chamonix Valley and descend to the village of Les Houches (dependent on the time of year there is optional cable car descent from Bellevue to Les Houches). A short bus ride takes us to our camp in Les Bossons (1,012m – 3320ft).

    9 hours walking. 1200m – 3980ft up, 1370m – 4500ft down

    Campsite: Camping les Marmottes, Les Bossons

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 18 km / 11 miles
  • Day 13

    Probably best views of Mont Blanc today on the long ascent to Brevent; descend to Plan Praz.

    We cross to the north side of the Chamonix Valley and climb through pine forest. The high point of the day is Brevent (2525m – 8290ft) from where there are panoramic views of the Mont Blanc Massif and the Chamonix Valley. We walk down to Plan Praz (1970m - 6460ft) and then descend by cable car to Chamonix and then on to our camp at Les Bossons (1012m - 3320ft). It is possible to take the cable car descent from the top (dependent on the time of the season), this extra journey will be payble locally should you choose not to walk. Our last day on the TMB circuit is long with a tough climb of over 1500m but affords the best views of Mont Blanc and its neighbours of the whole trek.

    7.5 hours walking. 1480m – 4850ft up, 520m – 1690ft down

    Campsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
  • Day 14

    Free day at Les Bossons.

    Free day at Les Bossons (near Chamonix). There are several good walks in the Chamonix Valley. Chamonix itself is also a great place to spend a day. The most popular excursion, weather depending, would be the spectacular ascent by cable car to the Aiguille du Midi or the Montenvers cog railway.

    Campsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 15

    End Les Bossons.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Camping

You will spend 14 nights camping. This will mainly be at comfortable campsites with modern facilities, hot showers, electricity to recharge batteries etc. However you will have to camp at more basic sites on 2 occasions. Facilities at these basic camps are minimal with public toilets and cold running water only and no showers. Single tents available on request. Please note that the campsites listed in the trip notes can occasionally change from those stated.

Single supplement from 208.00 CHF

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

14 breakfasts, 10 picnic lunches and 13 dinners are included in the trip. On free days 7, 11, 14 and both transfer days, lunch is not provided. On the free day 7, dinner is also not included and needs to be bought locally. We take our evening meals in camp on eight nights, the other five in nearby local restaurants. The restaurant meals are usually arranged as a 'menu' for the whole group and as they are based on special negotiations made by us represent better value than eating independently. Please note that should the times of flights change to arrive earlier, or depart later, additional meals will not be included. No refund will be given for meals not taken or taken other than where designated.

Typical Meals

Breakfast: Will usually consist of coffee, tea, cereal, yoghurt, fresh fruit, bread, and conserves.

Lunch: Picnic style lunches will normally include bread, cold meat, cheese, sometimes boiled eggs or tinned fish, fresh salad vegetables and fresh fruit.

Evening meal: Whether in camp or in a nearby restaurant will consist of a first course of soup, salad or charcuterie, a main course of meat with one or two vegetables or rice or pasta and a dessert course.

Beer, wine, bottled water, coffee, tea or other drinks are not included in the price of evening meals taken in restaurants. Coffee and tea are included with the evening meal when we eat in camp and beer and wine are also available for purchase at a modest cost. Please be aware that, as this is a camping trek, cooking facilities are necessarily limited.

Vegetarians: We do make an effort to cater for vegetarian diets but you should not expect the variety of food that you may have at home. In Europe most hotels and restaurants are not geared up to provide separate vegetarian menus, especially smaller establishments in the mountains. Vegetarians will usually find that there is little difficulty, as long as they are prepared to be reasonably flexible.

Transportation

All transport mentioned in the itinerary and cable cars (except where these are marked as optional) are included. Transport and excursions on the three static days are not included. For the transfers to and from Geneva airport we normally use a private coach. Other Exodus groups heading out to trek in the Alps may share this transfer.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

From late June to early October fair weather is to be expected, but all mountain ranges create their own weather patterns and the Alps are no exception. It can and does rain and especially on the high passes it can be surprisingly cold at times. Expected daytime temperatures are in the range of 15 to 25ºC in the valleys (although it can sometimes reach 30ºC in July/August), 5 to 15ºC on the passes (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and 5 to 15ºC in the valleys at night; possibly a little lower early and late in the season. There is always the possibility of lying snow, especially in the early season, and snowfall even in August and September when we may find new snow on the passes. Please note that on late season treks (September) the days are shorter and we will need to make early starts to make the most of the available daylight hours.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 15 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London
We normally use the scheduled services of Swiss International Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 15 days starting and ending in Les Bossons

Your trip normally starts at the campiste in Les Bossons on Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided it the Final Joining Instructions - sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Low cost airlines

It is possible to fly direct to Geneva with some budget airlines. It is likely that flights from regional airports will arrive at different times to the group flight from London; where this is the case a wait at the airport for the group transfer, or alternative transfer arrangements at your own cost, may be necessary (see below).

Alternative flight options: Bristol, Manchester, Gatwick, Luton, Liverpool, Edinburgh ‐ Easyjet. East Midlands ‐ BMI baby. Heathrow ‐ BA. City, Heathrow ‐ Swiss Air.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

Airport Transfers for land only itinerary

Those arriving/departing on non‐group flights can join the group transfer free of charge (by prior arrangement only) if your flight arrives before or, at the end of the holiday, departs after the group flight. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if it has been booked for you by Exodus. Please check with the Exodus office if you are unsure whether or not a transfer is included. As mentioned group flights can be rescheduled, so you must check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense. 

For those arriving at different times to the group flight it is very easy to book a bus transfer with a local company and you should do this at least a week before your departure date. A shared transfer (with others who have booked with them also) will cost approximately €30 one way if booked in advance with our partner Mountain Drop Offs. Book on their website ‐ www.mountaindropoffs.com and quote the following promotional code EXO18. Unfortunately the discounted rates only run from 17 June to 10 September. Outside this time the full price will be charged.

Take The Train
Both Geneva Airport and Chamonix are easy to reach by train. If you book a train to coincide with the group flight timings there is a station inside Geneva airport itself. You are then welcome to join our free group transfer to Les Bossons (by prior arrangement only). We recommend that you allow at least 1 hour for travel across Paris by Metro. Alternatively it is possible to get a train direct to Les Bossons, the campsite is a short walk from the station.  It is only possible to reserve train seats 3 months before your departure date and our sales team will be happy to book this for you in cooperation with Rail Europe.

Location start:
Les Bossons
Location end:
Les Bossons

What to Take

Essential Equipment

All camping equipment is provided except for your own sleeping bag and mat: the equipment we use is of a high standard and includes easy to erect, roomy two person tents, dining tent, stools, lighting, all pots, pans, stoves, crockery and utensils. The support vehicle carries the camping equipment and your luggage from campsite to campsite whilst on the trek for all days. The support driver collects fresh supplies of food each day and will normally have the dining tent up and the kettle on by the time the walkers arrive in the afternoon.

You will need to bring:

4 season sleeping bag - some camps are as high as 1600m (over 5000 feet) surrounded by snowy peaks and glaciers; it can be cold at night.

Sleeping mat or Thermorest; these can be bought locally in Chamonix

Walking boots with good ankle support (trainers are not suitable)

Good quality waterproof and windproof jacket and waterproof trousers

Daysack of 30-40 litre capacity

Sunhat, sunglasses, high factor sun cream

Hat and gloves (even in August)

Lightweight down jacket or warm 2/3 season fleece jacket and warm casual clothes for sitting in mess tent

Head torch

2 litre water bottle/Camelbak

Towel

Walking poles

All luggage is transported between the campsites by support vehicle. Please note that we must limit you to one item of luggage (weighing a maximum of 15kg) per person to be carried in the support vehicle. You should pack your belongings in a sturdy kitbag or holdall; suitcases should not be used, as they cannot be packed easily in our support vehicle.  On Swiss Air flights the baggage allowance is 20kg with a maximum of 2 bags per passenger, this will be confirmed on your tickets. If you are booking other flights please check luggage allowances shown on your tickets. As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check www.baa.com and/or the airline’s website for the latest information prior to your departure.

Optional Equipment

Umbrella

Swimming costume/trunks (be aware some swimming pools in this region insist males wear fitted trunks/speedos)

Gaiters

Earplugs

Flip flops or comfortable shoes for walking round camp

Tupperware if you prefer a bit more protection for your packed lunch and to reduce plastic waste

Reading List

Chamonix Mont Blanc, A Walking Guide by Martin Collins. Published by the Cicerone Press.

Maps

The recommended maps for this trek are the two sheets 3630 Ouest and 3531 Est issued by IGN series at a scale of 1:25,000. The best alternative is the single sheet 1:50,000 map issued by Rando-Editions `Pays du Mont-Blanc' (sheet A1). Any other maps need several sheets to cover the area.

Practical Information

Passport

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

No visa required for British passport holders.

Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Please note: On this trip it is essential to have helicopter evacuation cover. 

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

France's Timezone:
Europe/Paris CEST (GMT +02:00)
Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CEST (GMT +02:00)
Switzerland's Timezone:
Europe/Zurich CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

Switzerland's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC. Switzerland also has a 3 round pin plug, which includes a grounding pin (type J). 

There are 230 Volts AC power points available at most of the campsites en route and we will provide UK plug extension blocks from the support vehicle for you to charge your cameras and phones.

Money

France's Currency

The national currency of France is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

Switzerland's Currency

The national currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (June 2017) of approximately 1.2 to the GBP,  0.96 to the USD, 0.74 to the CAD, 1.1 to the EUR, 0.73 to the AUD and 0.69 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

We recommend you bring your spending money in cash, but credit or debit cards may be useful for shopping/extra excursions. Cash points are available in Geneva (CHFs), Chamonix, Courmayeur and Les Contamines (€) and also at other points along the route.

While walking in Switzerland drinks and snacks can be bought in Euros, so it is not necessary to have Swiss Francs. If you prefer to pay in CHFs you can obtain them from ATMs or possibly exchange Euros for CHFs through the group leader.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

The cost of the extra lunches varies depending on whether you want to picnic or eat in a restaurant, and an average of €17 per lunch should suffice. For the free dinner allow €25. You will also need money for drinks in cafés or huts during the day's walk and drinks in restaurants where we take our evening meal. Typically a large café au lait or a soft drink would cost between €5-6, and a glass of beer €6-8. A bottle of wine can be bought for approximately €10-20 in these restaurants.

For cable cars not included (that are optional to take dependent on the time of year) you should budget €30.

There are a number of extra excursions available in Chamonix, exact prices and details will be confirmed locally, but the following provides a guide to what is normally available:

  • Tandem paragliding flight: €130 from Brevent or Aiguille du Midi middle stations.
  • Return ride on Aiguille du Midi cable car: €60 per person (the cable car from Entrèves to Helbronner on the Italian side is slightly cheaper, you would need to take a bus fare from the campsite in Planpincieux to Courmayeur, this is approximately €2).
  • Mont Blanc Tramway, Saint Gervais - Nid d'Aigle €48 return
  • Montenvers cog railways - Mer de Glace €31.50 return

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the walking and support crew at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a reasonable starting point, we suggest a contribution from €35 per person (US$38) per leader. Smaller groups may wish to give a little more per person. It is customary and appreciated to leave a small tip when settling your drinks bill at group meals in restaurants.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Important Notes

Insurance - are you adequately covered? It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services). If taking an alternative policy you must be sure that you are covered for any activities that are part of this trip or optional activities that you intend to take part in. You must have adequate travel insurance, and as you are joining a trip which goes to altitude you must check that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip. If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend Exodus travel insurance, which is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives free medical care in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.