The Alps

Tour du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
France, Italy, Switzerland
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TWO
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

For those who like to enjoy the comfort of a bed every night we offer the Mont Blanc circuit as a fully accommodated walking holiday, with all nights spent in a variety of lodgings from family run 2 and 3-star hotels to basic inns or pensions. Again keeping to the ideal duration to complete the full route, we include 10 walking days and 3 rest days, in which time we cross the borders of Switzerland, Italy and France and enjoy unrivalled views of the Alps and Mont Blanc itself. The itinerary is essentially the same as on the camping version (trip code TWB); with your qualified International Mountain Leader (IML) guiding the way you still complete the famous circuit, and your baggage is transported for you by our support vehicle, but we offer the comfort of a bed in quaint, picturesque accommodations on route so you can enjoy your walking holiday in comfort. In most places we use a hotel for just one night, before moving on the next day, occasionally we settle in for a few nights and use local transport to take us to the next point of the circuit.

At a Glance

  • 14 nights hotels/pensions/village inns
  • 10 days point-to-point walking with baggage transfers
  • 8 days challenging and 2 days moderate walking
  • Altitude maximum 2537m, average 1525m

Trip Highlights

  • Stay in a variety of small, friendly hotels and pensions
  • Walk in the shadow of Western Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc
  • Enjoy the spectacular scenery of this world-famous route
  • No camping

Is This Trip for You?

Most of the days are long, quite often involving an ascent of 900-1200m (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. 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. 

The route throughout is non-technical, although there is a short section with a fixed sloping ladder and metal footsteps to help traverse what would be a steeper section. We will be walking mountain paths throughout however and this trip is not advised for severe vertigo sufferers.

This trek is graded Challenging/Moderate as it has 8 challenging graded days and 2 easier moderate graded days. 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.

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.

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.

Walking hours stated are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops
and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Your main luggage will be transported for you between accommodations but please note that you will be expected to carry this to your room.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference:
http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

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. This not only helps to assure safety on the mountain but also that your leader has experience and knowledge in wider mountain environment such as flora and fauna, geology, weather and local customs. Our support leaders will transfer your main luggage from hotel to hotel each time you move on. Please note that your baggage is not carried to your room.

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

Itinerary

The Alps

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Chamonix.

    In the evening there is an introductory briefing by your leader.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Follow Grand Balcon Sud, excellent views of Mont Blanc; return to Chamonix.

    From Chamonix we walk to Les Praz and take the cable car to La Flégère (1900m – 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 a final climb down to the hamlet of Montroc (1371m - 4500ft) from where we take a short scenic train journey back to Chamonix. 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

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

    Over Col de Balme into Switzerland; night at Col de la Forclaz.

    We travel back to Montroc at the top of the Chamonix valley where we begin our ascent to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2201m – 7200ft), descend a little and then climb towards the Col de Balme (2191m – 7190ft) from 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 walk through to the small Swiss hamlet of Trient (1296m – 4250ft). Good views of the Trient Glacier. A sting in the tail today as we finish with a steep climb from Trient to our hotel at the Col de la Forclaz (1527m – 5010ft).

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 1190m/3900ft up, 1060m/3466ft down

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 17 km / 11 miles
  • Day 4

    Follow Bovine Route to Champex.

    We leave the Col de la Forclaz, where we can look directly down into the Rhône valley and the Swiss town of Martigny and follow an historic path used to take the cows to high pasture, the 'Bovine route' (2049m – 6720ft). Our trail takes us through meadows and high alpine pastures before we descend to the charming town of Champex (1486m – 4880ft) set beside a picturesque alpine lake.

    7.5 hours walking, 680m – 2230ft up, 720m – 2360ft down

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
  • Day 5

    Head up the 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 (1055m – 3460ft) and other small, pretty, alpine farming villages. This is quite a good day for flowers, including orchids. We continue up the valley to the remote village La Fouly (1600m - 5250ft). This is at the foot of Mont Dolent, whose summit is at the meeting point of France, Switzerland and Italy.

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

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

    Follow river La Drance; climb to the highest point of the tour at Grand Col Ferret and into Italy. Overnight at La Palud.

    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 the Grandes Jorasses dominating the scene. We walk down the valley to Arp Nouva (1770m – 5800ft) then travel by bus to our hotel in La Palud near Courmayeur. (BLD)

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

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 14 km / 8 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 Entrèves to Point Helbronner (3461m – 11350ft) and on across the glacier to 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. Alternatively you might wish to relax and recover in the Spa bathes at Pre Saint Didier a short bus ride from Courmayeur.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

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

    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 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, cliffy peak 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) where we can enjoy a delicious ice cream before taking a short bus ride back to our hotel.

    8 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc.  500m – 1640ft up, 900m 4400ft down

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
  • Day 9

    Cross the Col de la Seigne back to France, descend through la Ville des Glaciers to Les Chapieux.

    Today we are heading for the Val Veny and the start of our walk at La Vissaille (1660m – 5450ft). We’ll reach this by bus to then start climb gently along good paths beneath the massive glacier de Miage and pass Lac Combal before the gradient becomes steeper as we follow the old Roman road and head for today's pass: the 'Col de la Seigne' (2516m – 8250ft), which marks our re-entry into France. A fairly steep descent brings us through la Ville des Glaciers (1789m – 5870ft) and finally after quite a long walking day to Les Chapieux (1553m – 5090ft), a small remote hamlet inhabited only during the summer months.

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 870m – 2840ft up, 970m – 3180ft down

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 20 km / 12 miles
  • Day 10

    Ascend to Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, then contour across to the Col du Bonhomme.

    We have now reached the southwest corner of the circuit and turn north to climb once again. First we make a steep sustained climb to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2478m – 8130ft) and then contour around to the Col du Bonhomme (2328m – 7640ft). We then start the proper descent on a steep path, through meadows and over a Roman bridge and finally to the village of Les Contamines (1180m - 5900ft). A short bus ride down the valley takes us to the pretty village of St Gervais, the perfect place for a day off.

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 930m – 3050ft up, 1340m – 4400ft down

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

    Free Day

    A well-earned rest day. There are many options to fill your day including taking the cog railway to Le Nid d’aigle – the Eagles Nest - a popular start point to climb Mont Blanc, or browsing around the local market of Les Contamines. There are plenty of optional walks in the area or one can simply relax around the pleasant town of St Gervais or even treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 12

    Over Col de Tricot to the Chamonix Valley; overnight at Les Houches.

    Today is a challenging day with plenty of ups and downs. From St Gervais we have a 10 min transfer to re-join our route before ascending to the Chalets de Miage (1560m – 5120ft). From here we take a trail that climbs steeply to the Col de Tricot (2119m – 6950ft) before descending very close to the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay. Good views of the north side of the Mont Blanc Massif. Eventually we make another ascent to reach the Col de Voza (1652m – 5418ft) where we re-enter the Chamonix Valley and make our final descent to the village of Les Houches (993m - 3225ft).

    8.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 1200m – 3980ft up, 1370m – 4500ft down

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 16 km / 10 miles
  • Day 13

    Best views of Mont Blanc today; long ascent to the Brevent, descend to Chamonix.

    We cross to the north side of the Chamonix Valley and climb steeply through pine forest and then on open mountainsides to reach the high point of the day at Brevent (2525m – 8290ft). This is a long walking day but will probably afford the best views of the French side of Mont Blanc and its neighbouring peaks that we shall have on the whole trek. We descend to Plan Praz (1970m - 6460ft) and take the cable car to Chamonix (1061m) for a well-deserved beer.

    7.5 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 1500m – 4921ft up, 520m – 1690ft down

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
  • Day 14

    Free day in Chamonix.

    Free day in and around Chamonix. There are several good walks in the Chamonix valley. Chamonix itself is also a great place to spend a day. The most popular excursions, weather depending, would be the spectacular ascent by cable car to the Aiguille du Midi or the Montenvers cog railway.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Chamonix.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels, Pensions, Inns & Auberges

Hotel Astoria

Throughout the trek we use long-established family run 2 or 3-star hotels, except for 3 nights where we use local auberges. One of the hotels has a Jacuzzi and sauna for guests. Most of the hotels have stunning locations often with panoramic vistas over the mountains and culturally represent the countries and environment they are in. These hotels are a vital source of income to the local community. All are clean and well run and set up with the needs of the trekker in mind.

Please be aware that room sizes (twin, double or triple rooms) and facilities will vary from hotel to hotel and sometimes from room to room within one hotel. On 11 of the nights facilities are en suite whilst the others have the possibility, depending on availability and group size, of shared bathroom and toilet facilities 'on the landing'. Couples will always have their own room but we cannot say whether this will be twin or double. Very occasionally a room will have bunk beds. Single clients must be prepared to share with one or occasionally two other members of the same sex. We are unable to accept bookings for single rooms due to the small size of the hotels used and the fact that we are usually staying only one night in each hotel. The Auberge does not provide soap and you may wish to bring a towel, as those provided by continental hotels are sometimes small. On rare occasions the group may be split over two different accommodations but these will be of the same standard and within walking distance.

Accommodation - Pre trip

If you require any additional accommodation either before or after the trip, we can book this for you (subject to availability) at the Hotel Richemond in Chamonix. Please notify us at the time of booking.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

Included in the trip are all breakfasts, 10 picnic lunches and 12 hotel/restaurant dinners. On free days 7, 11, 14 and both transfer days lunch is not provided. On the free days 7 and 14 dinner is also not included and needs to be bought locally. We take our evening meals in the hotel in which we are staying or in a nearby restaurant. These 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. Please also note that no refund will be given for meals not taken or taken other than where designated.

Typical Meals

Continental Breakfast: Will normally include coffee, tea, hot chocolate, French bread, croissant and conserves.

Picnic-Style Lunch: Generally include bread, cold meat, cheese, tinned fish, fresh salad vegetables and fresh fruit.

Evening meal: A first course of soup, salad or charcuterie, a main course of meat with one or two vegetables or rice or pasta, a dessert course. Beer, wine, bottled water, other drinks, coffee or tea are not included in the price of evening meals taken in restaurants.

Vegetarians: We happily cater for vegetarians but please inform us at the time of booking.

If you take a vegan diet you should expect that variety of food may be limited whilst on this trip. As this kind of diet is relatively uncommon in this region we cannot guarantee that the hotels and restaurants will provide meals that have the necessary variety to be considered satisfying when on a more restricted diet.

Drinks: Please note that drinks are not included and you will be expected to pay directly for any wine/tea/coffee taken at dinner.

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. A private coach is normally used for the transfers between Geneva airport and Chamonix, other Exodus groups heading out to trek in the Alps may share this transfer. We will use a public bus for the few journeys to and from our hotels.

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 Chamonix

Your trip normally starts at the hotel in Chamonix 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.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please 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.

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 Chamonix (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 Chamonix, the campsite is a 8 minute 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:
Chamonix
Location end:
Chamonix

What to Take

Essential Equipment

As well as casual clothes for travel and days off we recommended you bring the following;

  • Walking boots with good ankle support and a strong sole
  • A good quality waterproof/windproof jacket and waterproof trousers
  • Hat and gloves (even for August)
  • A warm 2/3 season fleece jacket or lightweight down jacket
  • Day sack with 30-40 litres capacity
  • Sun cream, sun hat, sun glasses 2 litre water bottle/Camelbak Walking poles

All luggage is transported between the hotels by a support vehicle (but not to your room). 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. Excess baggage can be left in the hotel store in Chamonix. 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

  • Swimming costume/trunks (be aware some swimming pools in this region insist males wear fitted trunks/speedos)
  • Comfortable shoes for the evenings
  • Towel
  • Umbrella
  • Gaiters
  • Travel kettle
  • Tupperware if you prefer a bit more protection for your packed lunch and to reduce plastic waste

Reading List

Tour of Mont Blanc - written by Kev Reynolds.  Published by 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. For further information contact Stanfords at Long Acre, London, WC2E 9LP. Tel: 020 7836 1321. Website: www.stanfords.co.uk

 

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.

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

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

Electricity

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). 

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

230 Volts AC, standard European adapter required.

Money

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.

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.

 

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.

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) and Chamonix (€s). There are also cash points available en route and your leader will be able to advise you of where these will be. Swiss Francs are not essential but can be useful.

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 dinners allow €25-30 each. 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 €10-16 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.

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.