Tour du Mont Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc Camping Trek Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
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
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

Often cited in bucket lists of the world’s best hikes, the iconic Tour du Mont Blanc takes in three diverse countries – France, Switzerland and Italy – and offers some of the greatest mountain scenery in Europe. Experience has taught us that 15 days is the perfect duration to fully appreciate this memorable circuit around Mont Blanc – 10 days of trekking complemented by three rest days – with a wide choice of activities to try, including paragliding and taking the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to 3,842 metres for spectacular, close-up views of Mont Blanc.

Led by an experienced International Mountain Leader (IML),  you will climb over six mountain passes, cross beneath colossal glaciers, meander through beautiful alpine meadows, and discover charming, picture-postcard villages. We sleep in comfortable campsites throughout the trek, often with outstanding views that aren’t possible from a hotel room. Tents are modern and spacious – designed for 3 people but only allocated to 2 – and an unlimited number of single tents is available. For those seeking a little more comfort, mattresses and sleeping bags are also available to hire.

While getting back to nature is a rewarding, energising experience, we recognise that having a comfortable stay along the way can make a camping trek even more special. Delicious three-course meals are on the menu when in camp, and five restaurant meals are also included during the trek. Your baggage is transported between each location by our dedicated camp support leader and van, and tents are erected by our camp crew before you arrive at each campsite, leaving you free to enjoy the inspiring scenery found only on this classic trek.

Exodus run this same trek with hotels rather than camping – Tour du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek (trip code TWO). If time is limited, we also have an excellent one-week trip based near Chamonix, Mont Blanc Highlights (trip code TWN), which ticks off some of the best bits with easier, shorter days, or you might like to consider our Tour du Mont Blanc Week that is a little tougher (trip code TWP).

At a Glance

  • 14 nights supported camping in comfortable campsites (hot showers available on 12 nights)
  • 10 days hiking with vehicle support; 3 rest days
  • 8 days challenging and 2 days moderate walking
  • Camping support crew to carry baggage between campsites and erect tents
  • Maximum altitude 2,537 metres, average 1,525 metres

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy some of the most dramatic scenery in Europe
  • Cross beneath colossal glaciers and meander through beautiful alpine meadows
  • Walk in the shadow of the highest peak in the Alps, Mont Blanc (4,810m)
  • Get back to nature on one of Exodus’ most sustainable trips
  • Rewarding experience of completing the Mont Blanc circuit in full

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 900-1200 metres (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 down. The route throughout is non-technical, however we will be walking mountain paths and this trip is not advised for severe vertigo sufferers.

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

Most people trek the Tour du Mont Blanc anti-clockwise. From years of experience, we have discovered that trekking the route clockwise allows for quieter trails and avoids a tough ascent on 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 between 3 to 5 hours uphill and a similar time downhill, so up to 9 hours in total depending on the pace (including breaks). Due to the lower altitude, climate, and overall comfort of this trek, it is graded Level 4 (moderate/challenging). The Activity Level reflects the overall endurance required for this trip, not just the ease of any particular walk. Other treks with a higher Activity Level, requiring a higher overall endurance due to their remoteness, lack of facilities or average weather etc., may have shorter easier walks. Please read the daily itineraries below when make comparisons to other walks/trips you may have done before.

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, depending 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 in more remote locations). Our support vehicle is not suitable for carrying passengers so please be aware of this when deciding to book this trip.

Download our Fitness Training Guide for more information on our Activity Levels.

All ascents, descents and walking distances listed below are approximate. 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 deliver your own bags to the back of the van. On 4 of the 8 nights that we eat in camp, you should expect to help with the washing up as well as washing your own breakfast dishes each morning. 

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

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

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 (wherever practically possible) and hot, tasty and nutritious food is served.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
14

Itinerary

TWB Map

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, Les Bossons

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Follow the Grand Balcon Sud from Chamonix to Les Frasserands.

    From Les Bossons (1,012m – 3,320ft) we have a short bus journey to Chamonix from where we walk to Les Praz and take the cable car to La Flégère (1,860m – 6,100ft). 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 (2,352m – 7,715ft). The trail descends and then contours high above the valley before dropping steeply to the hamlet of Les Frasserands (1,371m – 4,500ft), from where we take a scenic valley train back to our campsite. In the afternoon there is a very short section of ladders/steep steps with handrails to descend.

    8 hours walking. 500m – 1,640ft up, 980m – 3,220ft down

    Campsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons

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

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

    After a scenic train ride up the valley to Les Frasserands, we begin by climbing steeply to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2,201m – 7,200ft), descend a little and then ascend towards the Col de Balme (2,191m – 7,190ft) 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 (1,296m – 4,250ft), where we will enjoy some lovely views of the Trient Glacier. 

    7.5 hours walking. 970m – 3,200ft up, 1,060m – 3,466ft down

    Campsite: 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 (1,527m – 5,010ft) and then onwards to look directly down into the Rhône Valley and the small Swiss town of Martigny. We follow a historic path used to take the cows to summer grazing, the ‘Bovine route’ (2,049m – 6,720ft) that takes us through meadows and high alpine pastures before descending to the charming town of Champex (1,486m – 4,880ft) set beside a picturesque alpine lake.

    7 hours walking. 920m – 3,017ft up, 720m – 3,261ft 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 – 3,460ft) and other pretty alpine farming villages. If you are visiting early in the season (June/July), this is a great day to see flowers in bloom, 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, 540m – 1,780ft up, 440m – 1,450ft down

    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.

    Following the same valley and the river 'La Drance', we climb to the 'Grand Col Ferret' (2,537m – 8,320ft), 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 – 5,800ft) where we take an optional bus to Planpincieux (1,600m – 5,250ft). 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 – 3,180ft up, 800m – 2,600ft down

    Campsite: Camping Grandes Jorasses, Val Ferret

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

    Rest day.

    Today is free for you to rest after the first week’s exertions and enjoy some sight-seeing. The nearby former spa towns of Courmayeur and Entrèves have picturesque older areas that are worth a visit, especially for the keen photographer. We also highly recommend the Skyway cable car from La Palud to Point Helbronner (3,461m – 11,350ft), which gives close-up views of all the big peaks. Tickets for the cable car can be purchased online or locally at La Palud.

    Campsite: Camping Grandes 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 Tour du Mont Blanc route, and from the road (1,675m – 5,500ft) climb up to the Bonatti refuge (2,025m – 6,640ft). 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 that crowd the northern flank of the Val Ferret. In the afternoon, we have a long, steep descent to Courmayeur (1,230m – 4,030m) where there will be time to stop for a tasty Italian gelato before taking a short bus ride into the spectacular Val Veny (1,530m – 5,020ft).

    8 hours walking. 500m – 1,640ft up, 900m – 4,400ft 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.

    Today’s trail climbs gently along the Val Veny, beneath the moraine of the massive Glacier du Miage. Passing Lac Combal, the gradient becomes steeper as we follow the old Roman road across the 'Col de la Seigne' pass (2,516m – 8,250ft), marking our re-entry into France. A fairly steep descent brings us through La Ville des Glaciers (1,789m – 5,870ft) and finally to Les Chapieux (1,553m – 5,090ft), a small hamlet that is only inhabited in the summer months. This is one of the longer walking days, but the experience of walking beneath a glacier and over the Col de la Seigne pass make the challenge well worth it.

    8.5 hours walking. 990m – 3,250ft up, 970m – 3,180ft down

    Campsite: camping in 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 (2,478m – 8,130ft) and then contour around to the Col du Bonhomme (2,328m – 7,640ft). We then descend (again on a Roman road) to our campsite in Les Contamines (1,180m – 5,900ft).

    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.

    A chance to rest or enjoy some independent exploration. There are short and long optional walks in the area, many accessed by a chairlift or gondola, that have spectacular views of Mont Blanc. Mountain cafes make a nice place for a scenic lunch. Alternatively, you could take the Mont Blanc cog-driven tramway to the Eagle’s Nest – the starting point for many aiming to conquer Mont Blanc itself. Otherwise, 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.

    Today will be another long but rewarding day as we return to the start point of our trek. We walk through Les Contamines, ascend to Chalets du Truc (1,720m – 5,614ft) and then descend to the Chalets de Miage (1,560m – 4,120ft). From here, we take the trail that climbs steeply to the Col de Tricot (2,119m – 6,950ft) before descending very close to the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay, where we will enjoy fabulous views of the Mont Blanc massif’s northern side. Eventually, we make another short ascent to reach the Col de Voza (1,652m – 5,418ft), where we re-enter the Chamonix Valley and descend to the village of Les Houches (dependent on the time of year, there is an optional cable car descent from Bellevue to Les Houches). A short bus ride takes us to our camp in Les Bossons (1,012m – 3,320ft).

    9 hours walking. 1,200m – 3,980ft up, 1,370m – 4,500ft down

    Campsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons

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

    Some of the 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 a pine forest. The high point of the day is Brevent (2,525m – 8,290ft), from where there are panoramic views of the Mont Blanc massif and the Chamonix Valley. We walk down to Plan Praz (1,970m – 6,460ft), then descend by cable car to Chamonix and walk to our camp at Les Bossons (1,012m – 3,320ft). It is possible to take the cable car descent from the top (dependent on the time of year). This extra journey will be payable locally should you choose not to walk.

    Our last day on the Tour du Mont Blanc circuit is long, with a tough climb of over 1,500m, but affords the best views on the whole trek of Mont Blanc and its neighbouring peaks. On our return to Les Bossons, we will have successfully completed the Tour du Mont Blanc!

    7.5 hours walking. 1,480m – 4,850ft up, 520m – 1,690ft 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.

    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 cable car excursions you can make from Chamonix, of which the most spectacular is the ascent to the Aiguille du Midi (3,842m – 12,600ft), 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 Mer de Glace glacier, or if you are feeling adventurous you could enjoy a tandem paragliding flight.

    Campsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 15

    End Les Bossons.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Camping

Comfortable camping and beautiful scenery on the Mont Blanc Circuit

Campsites throughout the trek are comfortable and modern. On 12 nights, hot showers are available and there are electricity points to recharge batteries etc. Many campsites have a bar and WiFi, as well as a lounge or sitting area for relaxation. We provide a large communal tent (if we do not use the campsites communal area), where we eat at tables with benches and have an unlimited tea and coffee station, camp bar and more relaxing seating such as inflatable sofas. The campsites are in stunning settings and sharing an after-trek drink with newly made friends as the sun sets over a glaciated mountain vista is the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors.

Accompanying you throughout the trek is a dedicated camp support leader who will take care of all the logistics and catering. Your tent will be put up for you each night. In the morning, you will be asked to take your own tent down (this should take no more than 3 to 4 minutes), put your bag in the back of the van and wash up your own personal breakfast dish. On four nights out of 14 you will be asked to join a washing up team and help with the dishes that evening – a 20-minute job. Otherwise, you are free to relax and your time is your own.

You will spend 14 nights camping in roomy tents designed to sleep 3 people, but with a maximum of 2 people per tent. We use modern dome tents incorporating a 210 cm x 210 cm inner tent with sewn-in ground sheet and a supplementary 230 cm x 70 cm covered porch that is an ideal place to leave your walking boots and poles etc.  The tents are completely waterproof.

Single tents are available for a small additional cost, as are camping mats and sleeping bags with liner and pillow. Our camping mats are a full-length air- and foam-filled variety which are comfortable to sleep on and provide excellent insulation from the ground. Our sleeping bags have a synthetic filling, as opposed to feathers, with a 3/4 length zip and provide plenty of warmth. 

All our equipment is bought with both comfort and practicality in mind and we hope represents a higher quality than most individuals would buy for themselves.  

Two remote campsites are in stunning locations but are a little more basic than others and do not have showers. We eat in restaurants on these nights.

Thermal mattress hire: £32 - please request in advance with your Sales agent.

Sleeping bag hire (3- or 4-season), pillow and liner: £63 - please request in advance with your Sales agent.

Single tent hire: From £150 - please request in advance with your Sales agent.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £170.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

We provide 14 breakfasts, 10 picnic lunches, 8 home-cooked 3-course group meals in camp and 5 group menu meals taken in local restaurants. Due to the small size and remoteness of several of these restaurants, and for speed when serving a large group, these will be set menus.

Breakfast: This 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 and fresh fruit. You may wish to bring (or purchase locally) snack bars for an extra energy boost during the day.

Evening meal: Whether in camp or in a nearby restaurant, we endeavour to make dinner something to look forward to. Each day there will be a freshly prepared menu for the whole group, consisting of a soup, salad or similar, a main course of meat, fish or vegetarian served with a selection of vegetables and carbohydrates, and a dessert.

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.

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

If you adhere to 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 restaurants will provide meals that have the necessary variety to be considered satisfying when on a more restricted diet.

The feedback we receive for the food we serve is great but please be aware that facilities are limited and practicality forces us to put our efforts into making one excellent group meal with a vegetarian option. Of course, any allergies will be respected.

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 rest/free 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 British Airways or easyJet (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.

Train from London

We can book your train travel to this trip. Starting at London St Pancras, you'll change trains in Paris and spend the day travelling through beautiful mountainous terrain, crossing the spectacular Cize-Bolozon viaduct over the Ain Gorge, before arriving at Geneva in the early evening and transferring to your hotel. We recommend that you allow at least 1 hour to travel by Metro between Paris' railway stations. 

Read more about travelling by train with Exodus here, or call our Sales Consultants for more information. 

 

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

Your trip normally starts at the campsite 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. Heathrow ‐ BA. London 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 automatically 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. If your flight arrives after the group arrival flight, or departs before the group departure flight, please note that transfers are not included, even if the flights have 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 bus transfer will cost approximately €35 per person one way if booked in advance with our partner Mountain Drop Offs. Book on their website ‐ www.mountaindropoffs.comand quote the following promotional code EXOCHX. Unfortunately, the discounted rates only run from 11th June to 16th September each year. Outside this time the full price of €50 will be charged.

Take The Train

Both Geneva Airport and Chamonix are easy to reach by train. If you arrive in Geneva the night before your trip start date, you are welcome to join our free group transfer to Chamonix the next day (by prior arrangement only). There are no trains to Geneva that will arrive early enough to meet our transfer on the start day of the trip.

If you prefer to complete the journey in one day, it is possible to get a train from Geneva to Chamonix via Saint-Gervais-les-Bains; the campsite is a 10-minute taxi ride or 20-minute bus journey from Chamonix station. Tickets for this leg of the journey must be purchased locally at Geneva railway station.

Train seats to Geneva can only be booked 3 months before your departure date. Our sales team will be happy to book a seat 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 three-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 you arrive at camp in the afternoon.

You will need to bring:

4-season sleeping bag - some camps are as high as 1,600m (over 5,000 feet), surrounded by snowy peaks and glaciers; it can be cold at night. These can be hired from us locally – please book in advance.

Sleeping mat or Thermorest; these can be hired from us locally – please book in advance.

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

Good quality waterproof and windproof jacket

Waterproof trousers

Daysack of 30-40 litre capacity

Sunhat, sunglasses, high factor sun cream

Warm hat and gloves (even in August)

Lightweight down jacket or warm 2/3 season fleece jacket

Warm casual clothes for sitting in the communal tent for dinner and relaxation

Head torch

2 litre water bottle/Camelbak

Full-size towel

Walking poles – lightweight and collapsible are the most suitable type so you can put them in your pack when not needed. These are inexpensive to buy locally.

At some campsites it will be possible to wash clothing, should you wish.

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. This should ideally be packed in a sturdy kitbag or holdall. Your sleeping bag and mat can be transported outside of your bag and are not part of the 15kg allowance.

The baggage allowance on British Airways and easyJet flights is 23kg. 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 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

Snack bars for an extra energy boost throughout the day

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.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

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.

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. 

UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid and offer the same cover as GHICs in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, you’ll be able to replace it with a GHIC.

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 (May 2022) of approximately 1.2 to the GBP,  0.96 to the USD, 0.74 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.60 to the NZD.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (May 2022) of approximately 1.2 to the GBP,  0.96 to the USD, 0.74 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.60 to the NZD.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

Switzerland's Currency

The national currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF) but we recommend that you use euros which are accepted everywhere.

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 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 dinner that is not included, allow €25. You will also need money for drinks in cafés or huts during the day's walks and drinks in restaurants where we take our evening meal. Typically, a large café au lait or a soft drink costs between €5-6, and a glass of beer €6-8. A bottle of wine can be bought for approximately €10-20 in these restaurants.

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: €69 per person, or buy a mulitpass covering all lifts for the whole valley for the same price. The cable car from Entrèves to Helbronner on the Italian side is slightly cheaper, you would need to take a bus from the campsite in Planpincieux to Courmayeur, this is approximately €2.
  • Mont Blanc Tramway, Saint Gervais - Nid d'Aigle €40 return
  • Montenvers cog railways - Mer de Glace €35 return
  • Courmayeur Spa from €54 for a 5-hour pass https://www.qcterme.com/en/pre-saint-didier/qc-terme-pre-saint-didier

All prices are subject to change.

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 of €35 per person (US$43) 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.

Relaxation time on the Mont Blanc Circuit

Responsible Tourism

We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit, and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People: How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • We always use experienced local guides, bringing income and employment directly to those individuals and giving our customers the opportunity to speak with knowledgeable local people.
  • Income and opportunity is provided to locally-owned campsites, transfer companies and restaurants in the destination communities. An emphasis is placed on eating locally produced food that is bought in nearby shops and supermarkets, and supporting local enterprise.
  • Several stops on our route are quite rural and the locals there depend heavily on tourism as a means of income, therefore our visit greatly benefits them. In turn, the local population works hard to keep the area in good condition. 

Places: How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • Guides ensure that visitors always stick to official paths. The paths themselves are constructed in a way to be robust and resilient to the traffic they support, and are therefore less susceptible to erosion. 
  • We recommend and encourage everyone to use rubber stoppers on their walking poles to minimise erosion. 
  • Generally, camping uses much less energy than a hotel. By their very nature, campsites are green, open spaces and the surrounding areas are usually kept wild. 
  • Walking trips like this have very little detrimental impact on the environment and the locals, as it is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively few resources to support.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste. On this trip, we recommend drinking tap water, which is safe to drink, thus eliminating the need for plastic water bottles, and also encourage visitors to reuse sandwich bags (or bring them from home). When buying food for included lunches, we buy in large quantities with a reduced need for packaging.

Planet: How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.
  • Some campsites on the itinerary have fit solar panels to help with the heating of water. All campsites have measures that help to limit water usage; this is usually a push button timer on the tap. 
  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances. When dinners are not cooked in camp, we use local, family-run restaurants who serve locally produced and freshly prepared meals. 
  • Although meat is a dinner option on most days, we have adapted menus to serve more and more vegetarian and low-meat dishes that contain a high proportion of fruit, vegetables and natural non-processed ingredients.
  • Baggage for this trip is moved from camp to camp in the same vehicle that we use for another Mont Blanc trip. By sharing one vehicle for two trips, we move baggage more efficiently and reduce the need for extra vehicles on the road.
  • All transfers in the local area use public buses or electric trains. Airport transfers are shared between 5 trips, reducing the need for multiple transfer vehicles.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; tap water is safe to drink.

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 14 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.

 

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 & Development 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 our website for online bookings, 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.