A 4-day trek around Mont Blanc, passing incredible glaciers and mountain lakes along the way. A challenging but achievable goal with incredible views, steep ascents, and a real group adventure.
We meet you at Geneva Airport (8:00 AM) or Vert Lodge, Chamonix (9:00 AM), and then drive to the Italian side of Mont Blanc. From here, we hike up the Val Ferret Valley, enjoying incredible views of the Mont Blanc Massif along the way.
In the afternoon, we arrive at the remote Rifugio W. Bonatti (mountain hut) at 2,025m of altitude.
All transfers, accommodation, guides, and food (excluding lunches) are included on this trip.
N.B. For September 2024 trips, it may be necessary to run a similar but different itinerary due to the predicted closure of the Mont Blanc Tunnel on Day 1. Please refer to the FAQs for more details.
We begin the day traversing the mountain, hiking up to the border with Switzerland. As you ascend, you will see beautiful views of the south face of the Mont Blanc range.
Stopping along the way for a well-deserved rest, you will get your energy back before heading up to the highest point on your trek, the Grand Ferret Pass, at 2,536m.
In the afternoon, we trek into Switzerland and head back down the mountain. Along the way, we pass through a local farm where you can sample some local cheeses before reaching La Fouly.
N.B. For September 2024 trips, a similar but different itinerary may be necessary due to the closure of the Mont Blanc Tunnel on Day 1.
The day starts with a gentle warm-up down through the woods before a challenging ascent hike to Bovine, known for its incredible rosti (pan-fried vegetable dish)!
In the afternoon, we head back down through the world-famous Col de la Forclaz, which has been an important part of the Tour De France cycle race.
The day ends with a nice descent to the picturesque Swiss village of Trient.
Today is the final day of hiking, trekking back into France.
It's an early start as we make our way up to Col De Balme, boasting some of the most incredible views of Mont Blanc.
The afternoon is then a pleasant hike down the mountain and through meadows to Le Tour.
From here, we take a bus back to the Vert Lodge to collect luggage and say goodbye.
Those who are returning directly to Geneva airport will be picked up at 4:30 PM. We recommend booking flights after 8:30 PM in case of delays on the mountain or in transit.
If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.
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This is a great first multi-day trek, but you do need a good base level of fitness. A typical day in the mountains can be trekking for 8+ hours with your rucksack, at a gentle pace with lots of breaks. Hiking experience will help you enjoy this more. To make sure you're best prepared for the trip, we recommend training regularly with any sport that you enjoy (e.g. running, swimming, tennis). This should focus on endurance. You need to be able to keep going. Training hikes will also help, ideally for a full day with an 8kg rucksack. Mental preparation is almost as important as physical. You need to be prepared to keep moving forward and upwards for a substantial time to overcome a mountain pass. Please make sure you read the rest of the information and FAQs carefully. Once booked, watch the videos to help you prepare your equipment. If you are not fit enough to keep up with the group continuously, slowly, walking uphill, then you may be asked to leave. This is for your own safety and the interests of the whole group. You will then need to meet your own costs. Mental preparation is as important as physical for this trip, having a positive attitude will help you with the challenge and get your the reward of a fantastic journey.
You just need to carry clothes for the entire trip, as well as a few things for the specific day such as a bottle of water, waterproofs and toiletries. Your full bag should be around 5kg plus water. Pack as light as possible but do plan to bring all the items on the packing list. If the weather forecast if great then your guide may advise you to leave things at the Vert Lodge. So you must have a backpack with a good quality waist belt. You can leave luggage that you don't need in our locked room at the Vert Lodge at your own risk. That is where you meet and say goodbye to your guide. Check out the video below (available from the user dashboard after you have booked).
It depends on what you want. In June, there may be snow - which often means we may need to adapt the route slightly or occasionally use snowshoes for part of the trek (which are provided free of charge). From late June to July, the flowers are at their best, but there is a slightly higher chance of rain. In August it is drier and the flowers are starting to turn. We have one week off for the UTMB when the trails are full of racers (sometimes your guides). In September, it's cooler again, and the trail is quieter - this can be a very peaceful time to come, but some of the cafes we normally use are closed. We may need to adapt the route if the Mont Blanc Tunnel closes. Please do NOT message us to ask about the weather forecast. It changes so quickly this is not necessary. Pack everything on the list and the guide will tell you if you can leave extra items at the Vert Lodge. Plan for the worst and hope for the best but this is the mountains. The weather changes quickly!
Documents • Passport • Travel insurance details • Boarding passes for flights • Cash – Euro and Swiss Franc - 150 Euros and 150 CHFs each person. • Credit/Debit Card Sleeping • Sleeping bag liner (you can buy from your guide at Vert Lodge) Footwear • Trekking shoes/boots: 3 or 4-season lightweight. These need to be made for hiking with a good grip. • Lightweight shoes for the evenings (such as house shoes, flip-flops, crocs, sandals etc.) Clothing Please make sure that you have non-cotton, fast-drying clothing for trekking. • 2 x t-shirts for the hike • 1 x comfortable shirt for the evening • 4 x socks for hiking • 3 - 4 x pairs of underwear • Optional fleece • Light down or Primaloft jacket • Fully WATERPROOF jacket with hood - if you do not have one then borrow one - this is a necesary safety item. • Rain and windproof trousers • 1 x pair of hiking trousers: We recommend a pair that zip off into shorts. • Lightweight hat and gloves • Swimming clothes Other • A daysack: 35 - 45 litres – All your kit should fit in this bag. This must have a good waist belt. • Hiking poles - These are available for rent at the cost of 10 EUR. You can get these from your guide at the Vert Lodge. • Travel towel • Dry Liner or Dry Bag • Water bottle/s: At least 2L • Snacks and lunch for Day 1 • Sunglasses • Suncream and additional sun protection such as a baseball cap or similar • Personal medication – inhaler, blister pads etc • General Toiletries, Contact lenses, Glasses (if needed) - a minimum ammount for 4 days. • Electronics - phone, charging cable, USB plug (we sell Swiss compatible plugs, available from your guide) (see the FAQs about plugs) • Lipsalve • Hand sanitiser, wet wipes
Absolutely! We get lots of solo travellers - it's a great way to meet like-minded people. Once you book you can message the other people in your group via the Skyhook messager service and get to know them before you meet in person.
Your transfers are included from Geneva Airport to Chamonix and back on the first and final day of your trip only. These are from Geneva Airport only. Geneva city is a short 7-minute, one-stop journey on the train should you wish to stay in or visit Geneva prior to your trip. (Geneva is a small city about the size of Bath, UK). However, if you are travelling to Chamonix or back on a different day (we really recommend staying longer in Chamonix to make the most of your time away), you can also take a shared transfer from the Airport to Chamonix. Mountain Dropoffs is the best option for small groups. You will need to arrange these yourself. Click the link below (when booked) and add discount code AlpAdCH Please ensure your Dashboard is correct so we know if you will be on the provided shuttles or making your own way to/from the Vert Lodge Hotel othersie your trip may be delayed.
The currency used in France and Italy is Euro’s. In Switzerland, they use the Swiss Franc, chfs, but normally accept Euros at a poor exchange rate. We recommend changing your money before you arrive as it is not possible once you've left the airport. You WILL need money for lunches, drinks, souvenirs and tips . Alpine refuges do not always take cards or digital payments. We recommend: 100 euros & 150chfs per person, depending on how much you eat and drink extra. At the very least use the cash points at the airport to get Swiss Francs (chfs) Some huts and hotels take cards, but cafes do not. Cash is still king in Switzerland.
We can't advise you on this, but we recommend you check at http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx.
Yes we highly recommend wearing walking boots rather than trainers, as they provide more grip and help to prevent any sprains/injuries. This is a safety concern so please take this seriously. If you are used to walking in trail shoes or similar that can be fine. Check out our video (available here once you've booked) for more detailed advice.
Yes, at our base room in the Vert Lodge, we provide luggage storage for a small bag per person. The trip starts and finishes at the Vert Lodge with your guide. So everyone has the opportunity to leave things there. We really recommend staying in the alps longer and basing yourself at this great little lodge. This is available to all guests on our tour.
We recommend Vert Lodge in Chamonix. They have a choice of different rooms and pods, fully serviced, awesome restaurant, free parking and bar and luggage storage. You meet your guide and start and end your trip there, and they provide luggage storage during your trip.
A sheet sleeping bag is a thin cotton/ silk/ acrylic sleeping covering that you sleep inside and also covers your pillow. The Refugio, Relais, and Auberge we stay in do not provide sheets. Each guest is expected to bring their own - sheet sleeping bag. They do provide pillows and blankets or duvets though to keep you snuggly and warm if you need it. This cuts down costs and keeps things hygienic and is the normal practice in all the alpine nations. If you do not have one NOW then we recommend that you buy one from your guide at the Vert Lodge, for 25 Euros. These are lightweight and have the exact specifications you need. Once you have one it is yours to keep, easily washable and useable on your next trip.
Yes - you must have travel insurance including search and rescue, with hiking up to 3000m. We are not certified insurance agents and therefore cannot legally answer questions about insurance. Popular providers clients have used in the past include the British Mountaineering Council (Trek policy, UK if a BMC Member), Snowcard (UK residents) and the Austrian Alpine Club (All nationalities, an annual policy comes with other benefits). You may have insurance as part of an annual policy - please check this includes mountain rescue upto 2500m. These do require organising before you leave so that you get all the details. Price comparison websites will provide this. Typical costs seem to be around 20 EUR for a week. We are sorry that we can't recommend Insurance providers from every country. The Austrian Alpine Club seems to cover most countries, and its annual fee is 62 Euros.
YES - Poles come highly recommended by us. All of our guides use them and that is for a reason. Check out the video to explain why. We find that after just half a day, customers who haven't used them before love them and buy them as soon as they get home. Our guides all give lessons on how to use them efficiently. Research shows that they give you a 20% improvement. You can rent them for the bargain price of 10 Euros for the trip. Your guide will have them ready for you at the Vert Lodge and you can pay cash there. This saves you having to get them through the airport if you are already an avid pole user.
We try to; whether you are vegetarian, vegan or have allergies. You must inform your guide via your dashboard about your dietary requirements at least 30 days prior the trip. We will inform the accommodation to prepare for you. Please bear in mind though that we are in high mountain huts who feed a one choice meal at a very good budget. If you have a special diet then please pack extra suitable (lightweight) snacks for yourself as we do not want you to be hungry. Being flexible and open minded about the food is a part of the adventure of a remote group trip.
Due to the closure of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, it is not feasible to start in our usual position during September 2024. If the Mont Blanc tunnel closes as expected we will run a slightly different route which has all the same great experiences. We will shuttle around to the Swiss/Italian Border and begin hiking there with our first night in La Fouly. For Day 2 you will traverse from La Fouly to Champex-Lac. Our third and fourth days match the normal itinerary. All distances, height gain and hiking time will be similar to the route we normally follow in June, July and August. You will still have a fantastic experience, have the opportunity of getting up close to glaciers and the potential to see more wildlife on less frequented paths than the main Tour Du Mont Blanc. This provides the best highlights package for you given the limitations of the tunnel closure. The advantage of coming in September is that the trails are quieter. The disadvantage is that some facilities, like cafes, start to close, and the weather can be more mixed - although that can happen anytime. We will still ensure you have a fantastic time.
Please note distances may change slightly e.g. if there are any path closures. Day 1: Distance: 5.8km. Ascent: 550m. Descent: 50m. Max altitude: 2056m 3hours Day 2: Distance: 20km. Ascent: 1000m. Descent: 1290m. Max altitude: 2536m 6-8 hours Day 3: Distance: 18.5km. Ascent: 810m. Descent: 1000m. Max altitude: 2050m 7-8 hours Day 4: Distance: 11.1km. Ascent: 975m. Descent: 1192m. Max altitude: 2202m 4 hours
Please be aware that some of the mountain refuges (huts) that we use are quite remote (e.g. supplies are typically brought in by helicopter). This means they are simple and basic with dormitory-style rooms and shared bathrooms. Electricity and WiFi are available. Showers are available everywhere but can be time-limited and unreliable at times, particularly in the most remote locations. Bedding (duvet and pillow) will be provided for you in each hut, but you do need to bring a thin sleeping bag liner. Towels, toiletries and other facilities, such as hairdryers, that you often find in hotels are not available at our mountain huts. Night 1: Rifugio Bonatti - Remote, awesome views, limited showers, shared dormitory room. Night 2: Relais d'Arpette - Mountain views, showers, 6-8 person dormitory room. Night 3: Auberge Du Mont Blanc - Mountain views, awesome bar and garden, showers, 6/8 person dormitory room. Sometimes rooms will be shared with members of other touring parties. The placement of our groups is decided by the individual refuges depending on their reservations each night. We ask that guests embrace this as part of the mountain trekking experience and plan accordingly to have a good nights sleep. We recommend bringing ear plugs. The accommodation is part of the adventure that people really enjoy when approached in the correct frame of mind. Please note we're unable to request upgrades to rooms. However, you're welcome to contact the accommodations independently and arrange to pay the upgrade charge should a room be available - however, this is exceedingly unlikely as the refugios book up a year in advance.
The trek involves a lot of ascent and descent on a mix of trails. This includes – rocky terrain, forest trails and sometimes gravel tracks. It is important that you are steady on your feet and have experience walking on mountain paths. Do try and get some practice in before you come. We go at a slow steady pace that everyone can keep up with.
Water During the summer it can be quite warm in the Alps so it is important to carry enough water. We strongly recommend taking two litres of water. The tap water at the accommodations you will stay is drinkable but there are places along the way to fill up your bottle. Your guide will give you advice on this for each day. If this is a concern for you then we recommend that you pack iodine tablets or other water purification methods. Day 1: 3 hour walk, no refills. Day 2: 8 hour walk, 3 opportunities for refills. Day 3: 7 hour walk, 2 opportunities for refills. Day 4: 4 hour walk, 1 opportunity for refill. Food While trekking, you will have the chance to taste a great variety of local specialities. The breakfast is continental, often with a variety of juices, tea and coffee. The three-course dinner in the evening is hearty. For Day 1, you will need to bring lunch with you as there is nowhere to stop on the route. During Days 2, 3 and 4, you can purchase lunch along the way or pay for a packed lunch from the hut. Your guide will help you order. If you have any food allergies (vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance etc) please make us aware of this when completing your registration form, found on your Skyhook dashboard. We will communicate that to huts but if you have a specific dietary requirment then please plan to get enough energy.
Yes - you can tip what you like - it is not mandatory to tip in the Alps, but always appreciated by the hard-working guides and makes a huge difference to them. A suitable amount is between 20 and 50 Euros per person. Please also give them the 5* rating they are bound to deserve. At AlpsAdventures, we have an informal competition about who can get the most 5* ratings. Help your guide win prizes!
During the summer in the Alps (June – September) you can experience usually fair and quite warm weather. It is often sunny and the temperatures can reach 30° Celsius (90F). However, we can also get snow and hail. The weather in the mountains can be quite unpredictable and weather situations can change very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to be always prepared for such a change. On a rainy day, temperatures can drop quite low (0 Celsius), and it is necessary to have a good qualty rain jacket and sometimes even a hat and a pair of gloves. See the kit list for full details. Please do not message your guide about the weather conditions before the trip as they change so quickly any information is out of date. You can look up the weather in Champex-Lac, or Trient if you want an idea but remember we go 1000m up and down each day which makes a huge differecne.
Yes, the bus can either pick you up at Vert Lodge in CHAMONIX or at the airport in GENEVA. Please inform your guide via your dashboard at least 30 days prior to the tour. You can book rooms or capsules at the Vert Lodge before or after your trip. If you are staying in Chamonix centre, the Number 1 bus offers a short ride to Les Gaillands, the bus stop outside the Vert Lodge. The bus timetable can be found here: https://bit.ly/3xycJQj Alternatively, the train also stops nearby at Les Pelerins.
Start: On day 1 of your itinerary, pickup details are as follows: Option 1: 0800 at Geneva Airport (the group cannot wait for delayed flights so please fly in with enough time spare) we recommend your scheduled flight arrival is 0600 at the latest or preferably the evening before. Option 2: 0900 at Chamonix Vert Lodge Hotel - this allows you the opportunity of enjoying Chamonix the night before and a more relaxed start. You will need to fly in at least the day before. It is important that you do not miss your start time as you will not be able to meet up with the rest of the group until the evening of Day 1 or even the morning on Day 2 on your itinerary. Please note that you'll have to cover any costs resulting from a delayed arrival. End: You will return to Chamonix, Vert Lodge at around 15:00, or at Geneva Airport at 17:30 on day 4 of your itinerary. Feel free to take any flight leaving the airport at 19:30 or later, to allow for any problems that may arise in getting off the mountain, or on the roads.
It's important that you're ready to leave Geneva Airport at 8:00am, or meet at the Vert Lodge in Chamonix 9:00am 2024. This is to ensure that we get the best out of the day. We understand that your holiday allowance is precious, but should you have the flexibility to arrive a day earlier, then you can enjoy a more relaxed arrival, and soak up the culture around the alpine town of Chamonix or the beauty of Geneva on the lake. If you are unlucky enough to miss the scheduled pick up you'll need to book a private taxi to catch up with the rest of the group. In this event, you'll need to give the guiding team a call who can come up with an appropriate plan of action. Details of the guiding team can be found on your Skyhook dashboard after booking.
The shuttle is only able to operate from Geneva Airport or Vert Lodge, Chamonix. Should you wish to stay in Geneva, before or after your trip, the city is a short 7-minute, one-stop journey on the train.
There is roadside parking near the Vert Lodge Hotel that you can leave your car at during the trip if you are driving to Chamonix. This is at your own risk.
Unfortunately, we are travelling through 3 different countries with slightly different plug requirements. A Hexagonal 2-pin USB charger will work everywhere. WE NOW SELL THESE AND YOU CAN BUY THEM FROM YOUR GUIDE AT THE VERT LODGE at cost price of 10 Euros (1/3rd of airport price). They are also lighrtweight. Rifugio Bonatti (night one) has a charging bank. Relais d'Arpete (night two) has a plug in each room. Le Auberge Mont Blanc (night three) has plugs in each room. Swiss plugs are recessed though so you need one that is hexagonal!
The drivers will meet you in front of the Montreux Jazz Cafe, inside the airport arrivals hall. Follow the signs for car rental and you should spot it. Look for Chamonix Valley Transfers (CVT). They may have signs saying AlpsAdventures or Skyhook.
If you are staying in Chamonix centre, the Vert Lodge is a 20 minute walk away. Alternatively, the Number 1 bus offers a short ride to Les Gaillands, the bus stop outside the Vert Lodge. The bus timetable can be found here: https://bit.ly/3xycJQj The train also stops nearby at Les Pelerins. The timetable can be found here: https://bit.ly/39yXoHd
If you experience a delay or cancellation to your flight, please get in contact with the AlpsAdventures guide team by WhatsApp/ phone at the number on your confirmation/dashboard. This is the quickest way to get a response. You can call or send a WhatsApp message. We can then look at the options available to you.
Due to the distances and ascents covered on this trip, it is geared towards adults. Therefore the minimum age for this trek is 18 years. However, those aged 16-18 years are welcome to attend in the company of a responsible adult.
This is part of the full Tour Du Mont Blanc, which otherwise takes 10 - 11 days in total. We believe these are 4 of the best days on the full route! We only offer the full trip to complete groups of people booking together with a great deal of experience trekking.
All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run AlpsAdventures, based in Collombey Muraz.
By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!