Headwater - Tour du Mont Blanc Self-Guided Trek

12 days
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Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Walking & Trekking
Min age:

Trek the iconic Mont Blanc Circuit under your own steam

For those confident of their walking ability we offer the iconic Tour du Mont Blanc as a self-guided itinerary.

The majestic beauty of the surrounding scenery is best appreciated on foot as you walk point-to-point each day, staying in friendly hotels and auberges at night. Your main baggage is transported for you by van, and using comprehensive route notes you follow the well-marked trails across the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. The walking is challenging, but the views and the sense of achievement are well worth it!


  • Admire spectacular views of Mont Blanc
  • Walk through 3 countries in 12 days
  • Quaint accommodation and local cuisine

Key information

  • 7 nights 2 and 3-star hotels, 3 nights auberges and 1 night mountain refuge
  • 10 days point-to-point walking with baggage transfers
  • 8 days challenging and 2 days moderate walking
  • Altitude maximum 2537m, average 1525m 
  • Self-guided holiday. Min. age 12 years
  • Not possible for Solo Travellers (guided options possible)
  • Countries visited: France, Italy, Switzerland

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 7 hotel/restaurant dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All baggage transport
  • Route notes

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (on request at a supplement) - this is only possible for single passengers travelling with others on the same booking (Solo Travellers cannot book this trip)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Travel to/from the start/end points
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

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… 

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info



No visa required for British passport holders.



There are no specific health risks.


There are no specific health risks.


There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Included in the trip are all breakfasts and 7 hotel/restaurant dinners. Evening meals are taken in the hotel in which you are staying or a nearby restaurant. For dinners not included expect to pay €20 for a good 3 course menu (not including drinks). Lunch prices can vary depending on whether you have a picnic or eat in a restaurant, but €15 is a good estimate for a sit down meal. You can order a packed lunch from the hotel in which you are staying when you check in.

Typical Meals:

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

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: Although vegetarianism is not common in this part of Europe and most meals are based on meat and fish there are no problems catering for vegetarians as long as they are prepared to be flexible. If you eat a vegan diet you should expect that the 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.


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 snow, even in August, and in September trips may find snow on the passes. Please note that on late season treks (September) the days are shorter and you will need to make early starts to make the most of the available daylight hours.

Is this trip for you?

Activity level 5 - Challenging

10 days walking; 2 days Moderate, 8 days Challenging

Trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc is a wonderful experience and challenge. Many choose to enjoy this trek with a guided group and this offers numerous advantages. If you think you would prefer trekking within a group being led by a qualified and informative mountain leader, Exodus run one and two week versions of this trip, either camping or hotel based. Please see trip codes TWO, TWB and TWP. Some people prefer to trek independently, without the constraints of a group. Please consider carefully if this trip is for you. Although the Tour du Mont Blanc is a well trekked route please only book an self-guided trek if you are an experienced mountain walker and have trekked independently in challenging mountain terrain. Bearing this in mind, this trip has a minimum of 2 people on each booking as solo travellers are not permitted.

Please consider if you have the skills to remain safe in bad weather, bad visibility, snow and snow covered paths, steep, loose or slippery ground, possibly all at the same time. Although comprehensive route notes and local information will be provided, we would still expect travellers on this trip to have good navigational and first aid skills and be able to find and understand a weather forecast for the region and assess the dangers. Finally please be aware that not everyone will speak English. It is your responsibility to assess your own abilities and choose if it is safe to trek on any given day. On bad weather days you may need to turn back and take public transport to the next hotel. We will provide suggestions for this in the route notes.

The Tour du Mont Blanc has many variations and options and is not one set route. We have provided notes for what we believe is the best route. That said you may choose to follow variations and in which case our estimated timings and distances will no longer be valid.

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. You need to be confident that your fitness will allow you to enjoyably walk at a consistent and steady pace allowing you 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.

This trek is graded Activity level 5 - Challenging as it has 2 easier moderate graded days and 8 challenging graded days. A Challenging graded day would be equivalent to walking up Scafell Pike or Ben Nevis 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. 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.

We suggest this as a family trip for children over 12. That said, although there are on some days options to take public transport, please consider carefully the fitness of you children before booking this trip. If you would like further advice please do ask a sales consultant.

Please note: We book hotels when you book the holiday so there will be approximately a weeks delay before you receive a definitive confirmation. This adds a lot of flexibility as it allows you to select any departure date you want well as add free days to the trip enroute if you wish. We need to contact 10 different hotels and we don’t always get our first choice and may have to look for other similar hotels locally and the price may increase or decrease marginally because of this. It is also the case that occasionally on the refuge night (night 6) and also in Les Chapieux (night 8) there may only be dormitory accommodation available. If this is the case we will book a dormitory for you and put you on the wait list for a room. If there are any discounts because we have had to use a dormitories or cheaper hotels then we will refund you locally in cash at the start of your holiday. If there are any moderate additions to the price due to an upgraded room or hotel then you will be charged this addition when you make final payment.

We ask you to pay a deposit before we book the hotels. We also require you to accept the risk that there may be up to two dormitory nights. If after you have asked us to make the booking you choose to cancel or change the dates then there will be a £50 per person admin fee charged. If we can’t make the booking for you due to no availability, or there are more than 2 dormitory nights, or we could not find a hotel at only a moderate increase in price then you can cancel with no penalty. 

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels, Auberges and 1 night in refuge

You will spend 5 nights in 2-star hotels , 2 nights in 3-star hotels, 3 nights in an auberge and 1 night in a mountain refuge. The hotels have ensuite facilities but depending on the availability there may be shared facilities in the auberge and refuge. Couples travelling together will have their own room but we cannot always say whether this will be twin or double or even very occasionally a room with bunk beds. It is also possible that on day six, Refuge Bonatti, and day 8, Les Chapieux, where availability of rooms are very limited that only shared dormitory space will be available. Dormitories are for the most part 8 to 12 bed rooms with separate bunkbeds. If you accept a dormitory option then we will put you on the wait list to be upgraded to rooms if a room becomes available. If it does not then we will refund you the difference in Euros locally at the beginning of the trip.  Single traveller supplement is not available for this trip. A single room is on a request basis.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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