Trekking in Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc Highlights - Photographic Special

8 days
from
£1,149
View Trips
Loading...
Moderate
Learn more
Trip code: 
TWNA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–14

Beautiful alpine walking and photographic tips from award winning photographer Sue Bishop, on the best of the Mont Blanc Circuit

The circuit of Mont Blanc is one of the finest walking routes in the Alps. It is in reality a series of paths linking the seven valleys that surround the highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc. It normally takes a fortnight to complete the whole circuit, but for those with less time this one-week Exodus tour takes in the most outstanding sections with beautiful mountain highlights each day. Throughout the holiday we are based in the delightful chalet with dramatic views of Mont Blanc, and use a mix of private  bus and local trains and buses to travel out each day to re-join the next stage of our walk covering beautiful sections of the famous circuit. At the end of each day we return home for afternoon tea, or for those who wish, a dip in the chalet’s bubbling Jacuzzi. 

Due to the spectacular landscapes it also makes the perfect location for a photography special week. Sue Bishop, award winning photographer will join the walks and give practical, hands-on advice and help with your photography.  She will also hold a couple of evening workshops in the chalet talking about different photographic techniques, and answering any questions you may have.

Highlights

  • Walk surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery
  • See the high alpine lake Lac Blanc
  • Stay in a comfortable chalet with outdoor hot tub
  • Receive hints and tips from Sue Bishop, award winning photographer

Key information

  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Travel by minibus, local train and cable car
  • Altitude maximum 2352m, average 1525m
  • Group normally 4 to 14, plus UK leader
  • 7 nights in comfortable chalet, all rooms with private bathrooms

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single accommodation (not available)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade 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.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 5-7 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 29.0km/6.0miles
Day 311.0km/7.0miles
Day 411.0km/6.0miles
Day 615.0km/9.0miles
Day 79.0km/6.0miles

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… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Depart London

    Fly to Geneva; transfer to your chalet.  There is plenty of time to walk into Chamonix in the afternoon before a pre-dinner briefing from the walking leader.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Drive to the head of the Chamonix Valley; walking towards Switzerland via the trekking peak L'Aiguillette des Posettes and onto Col du Possettes and then descend back towards La Tour.

    Our first walk of the week is on the slopes of the Col du Balme from where we will have stunning views back to Mont Blanc as well as into Switzerland. From the small hamlet of Montroc (1380m – 4400ft) we have a short warm-up walk before the trail turns uphill on a steady zigzag path. As the trees thin out, the views get ever better and by late morning we reach Aiguilette des Possettes (2200m – 7220 ft). This is a stunning peak from where we are rewarded with a superb panoramic view over the Chamonix Valley, the Aiguille Rouge national park and around to Switzerland. The path continues down to the Col du Possettes and then on a steady trail becoming ever more winding and finally down to La Tour. (1450m – 4750ft).

    6 hours walking. 820m - 2700ft up, 730m – 2400ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Transfer above Les Houches; ascend to the Bel Lachat Refuge, before crossing the Carlaveyron Natural Reserve and summiting the Aiguillette des Houches and the Aiguillette du Brevent.

    Today we have a spectacular walk from (1370m – 4450ft) up to the Bel Lachat refuge on the classic TMB and GR5 routes. Crossing the beautiful Carlaveyron Natural Reserve, we summit the Aiguillette des Houches (2285m – 7500ft) for one of the finest views in the Alps - looking directly across the Chamonix Valley to the Mont Blanc summit. Passing through alpine meadows we descend by a different route to La Flatière (1370m – 4500ft).

    7 hours walking. 900m – 2950ft up, 930m – 3050ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Starting from the Les Contamines. Valley we cross the Col de Voza and continue towards Les Houches.

    Approximately a 35-minute transfer from our chalet brings us to the les Contamines valley which is where we start our walk back towards the Chamonix Valley. The day starts on a valley path that narrows and steepens as we climb up towards the Passerelle de Bionnassay, a dramatic suspension bridge spanning a white-water stream that tumbles from the Bionnassay glacier a few 100 meters higher up. The route then brings us round to the Col de Voza (1653m – 5360ft) with an expansive view up the Chamonix Valley. During the afternoon we trek down to the valley floor although there is a cable car option (payable locally) for those with tired legs.


    7 hours walking, 11km – 7 miles, 560m –1840ft up, 610m – 2000ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day for optional walks, activities or sightseeing.

    Today is a free day for optional walks or sightseeing. Your leader will be able to advise you of possible walking routes or you may choose to visit the bustling alpine resort town of Chamonix, which has numerous shops, bars, restaurants and cafés. There are several cablecar excursions you can make from Chamonix, of which the most spectacular is the ascent to the Aiguille du Midi (3842m - 12600ft), offering fantastic views of Mont Blanc and surrounding peaks. It should also be possible to take the mountain train up to Montenvers for close up views of the glacier, Mer de Glace or if you are feeling adventurous you could enjoy a tandem Paragliding flight. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy; climb to Bonatti refuge and traverse high above the spectacular Ferret Valley to Courmayeur.

    We drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy for a chance to soak up some Italian atmosphere! From Arp Nouva (1770m – 5805ft) we climb up and along to the Bonatti refuge. At just over (2000m – 6560ft), the view from here is one of the finest on the tour. Mont Blanc itself, the towering rocky peak of Grandes Jorasses and the glaciers that crowd the northern flank of Val Ferret are there to be admired. Following a dramatic traversing path we contour high above the valley before descending towards the valley floor. Time allowing, we head off to Courmayeur, the perfect spot for a well-deserved Italian ice-cream.

    7 hours walking. 450m – 1500ft up, 550m – 1804ft down

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Starting from Argentiere; walk up to and along the Grand Balcon Sud to Plan Praz then descend by cable car.

    From Argentiere (1250m – 4100ft) we start our day following the petit Balcon Sud before changing tack and climbing to the Grand Balcon Sud that contours the Chamonix valley to Plan Praz (2000m – 6560ft) from where we descend by cable car back to Chamonix. The Grand Balcon Sud is a stunning must do walk in the valley and looks over to Mont Blanc and the Mont Blanc massif.  The views of snowy peaks, soaring cliffs, fractured glaciers and lush green forests ensures this trek is not just a highlight in the valley but the whole of the Alps.

    (Due to maintenance on the Flegere cablecar this walk has been amended from our previously advertised walk to Lac Blanc. This trek is a little longer than the original and is equally beautiful)

    7 hours walking. 800m – 1690ft up, 100m – 330ft down 

    Distance covered: 9 km / 6 miles

    Spring and Autumn departures - The Plan Praz cablecar is open for trips starting between 15th June and 7th Sep. Outside of this time the cablecar is due to be closed and its cost is no longer included in the price of the holiday. If the timetable changes, and the lift is open, then the cable cost will be paid locally. Approx 20 euro. Alternatively we will follow a Spring and Autumn itinerary which is the same as above but instead of walking from Flegere to Plan Praz we will walk off the mountain from Flegere via the charming Chalet Floria where we will have time for a cup of tea. Due to the added decent this is a little harder that the summer itinerary but the views are equally stunning.

    8 hours walking.  12km - 7.5 mile,  740 m – 2430ft up, 950m – 3120ft down 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Chalet Chamonix or Chocolat.

    Following breakfast we say our goodbyes.  Those on the group flights will transfer to Geneva; fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
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

Visas

No visa required for British passport holders.

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

Vaccinations

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners are included in the price of the trip. All food is home cooked in the chalet using local ingredients.

Typical Meals:

Breakfast: Buffet style breakfast will usually consist of cereal, eggs, orange juice, croissant, fresh French bread, butter, jam, tea or coffee.

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

Evening meal: This will normally consist of a first course of soup, salad or charcuterie, a main course of meat or fish with rice, potatoes or pasta and vegetables, followed by dessert or fruit and tea or coffee. The price of the evening meal does not include wine, beer, bottled water or soft drinks.

Vegetarians and Gluten-free diets: We happily cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please inform us at the time of booking.

Weather

From late May to late 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 at higher altitudes 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 20ºC at altitude (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and 5 to 15ºC in the valley at night; possibly a little lower early and late in the season. There is always the possibility of snow, even in August.

Chamonix

Chamonix

Is this trip for you?

Sue Bishop is an award winning photographer who enjoys creating images that go beyond a simple record of their subject and become celebrations of colour and form. Sue specialises in photographing flowers and landscapes, and is the author of three books about photography, as well as an inspirational lecturer and experienced workshop leader. 

This itinerary includes 5 days hill walking with transport to and from start/end points of walks. The maximum altitude is 2350m, with an average of 1525m. Some of the days are quite long, sometimes involving an ascent of 900/950m (3000/3120ft) followed by a similar descent. This will mean steadily walking uphill for 2 to 4 hours and then the same down again. The paths are rocky and steep in sections but generally well maintained. Due to the quality of the trails, the general 'civilisation' of the area and the relative shortness of the trek, we rate it as an Activity level 3, Moderate. That said for those new to hill walking or not walking fit the trekking may feel quite tough.

Walking hours stated are given as approximates only and include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. However, in general, days average about six to seven hours and up to nine miles in distance. The trek should be within the capabilities of anyone good health and is reasonably fit. 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.

Spring is a great time to visit Chamonix and walk in the mountains. The air is clear, the views are stunning and paths are quiet and tranquil. Chamonix itself is still open for business but the bustle of the high season is replaced by a more laid back vibe. Although the itinerary will be similar and we will continue to walk spectacular sections of the TMB, we will most likely need to alter some of the days. This will be due to the cable car not running, (pre the 15th of June) or to snow on the paths or due to river crossings not being possible. Cafes on the mountain may well be closed for some departures too. We try to make sure that any alterations stay within the grading and overall theme of the trip but some days may be a little longer and a little harder. We will always make sure that all walks still show off the best this area has to offer. The lift schedule can occasionally change which means they may actually be running for the spring on the first departure. If this is the case the may be lift costs that are payable locally.

The itinerary for all departures may also be altered or modified from time to time depending on the weather, the conditions of the route, the abilities and/or wishes of the group, or other local factors. The leader will discuss these changes with you if and when they occur.

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

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

 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade 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.

Accommodation

Chalet Chocolat

This delightful alpine chalet has 7 rooms with private bathrooms and is surrounded by a large garden with a Jacuzzi and Mont Blanc views. It has a comfortable lounge and dining room with a large table where delicious home cooked  meals will be served and scrumptious cakes will be provided daily for afternoon tea. Located between 25 minutes from the heart of Chamonix it provides the perfect base for walking the best of the Tour du Mont Blanc and a relaxing week in the Alps. Due to the natural layout of a chalet build, bedrooms vary in size and shape and some, but not all, have access to a balcony. One bedroom on the top floor has a Velux window as opposed to a wall mounted window and a large private bathroom on the floor below.  This room will be allocated to the last 2 people to book. The chalet offer complementary Wi-Fi in the communal areas.

A Chalet is different from a hotel and provides open and social spaces ideal for group holidays. The atmosphere is homely and welcoming and we hope you will enjoy the chalet as much as the stunning local walks. Outside of the bedrooms the chalet has a living room with sofa and comfortable chairs and a client kitchen which is not for preparing food but has unlimited tea and coffee making facilities and a honesty bar. Outside there is a large and scenic decking area with more seating, a grassy garden which we encourage you to go out and enjoy as well as an outdoor hot tub. In the dinning room meals are taken together around a communal table and are prepared by your two resident chalet hosts. There is no reception in the chalet. Chalet hosts live on site and can be contacted in an emergency.

Generally we don’t enter your rooms at all during the week to make beds or clean, however, if you feel your room needs to be serviced mid-week then please ask your chalet hosts and they will be happy to help. None of the rooms have air-conditioning but we do provide electric fans. A hair dryer is also available to borrow but we suggest you bring your own.

Towels: In order to look after the environment we only change towels mid-week on request. If you feel that you need a change mid-week please just ask your chalet host.

Laundry: There are no client laundry facilities in the chalet.

 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade 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.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

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]

Trips you might also like

Call us on 020 8772 3936