What To Expect
Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. As one of our most challenging tours, Tour du Mont Blanc Hiking is rated 4, strenuous, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most strenuous). As this classic route completely encircles the Mont Blanc massif, we trek full days through spectacular mountainous terrain, "inn-to-inn" every day (except for our first hike on Day 2). Each rewarding day includes long elevation gains and losses ranging from 1,700 to 4,400 feet; hiking duration ranging from five to eight hours, and mileage ranging from seven to twelve miles. Most hiking is at altitudes between 5,000 and 8,000 feet, and the maximum elevation reached is 8,800 feet.
Although luggage is transported each day, the hikes have no vehicle access (other than the start and finish), with no shorter options. All trip members should be in strong physical condition and have good hiking experience. No technical climbing experience is necessary. (Limited passenger seats are available in the luggage vehicle in the event a transfer is needed.) We encourage you to call our office for further information to help determine if this trip is right for you.
Trail conditions vary greatly, including a mix of wide dirt paths, hiking trails with rocks and roots, rough, large rocky steps, loose scree, and shallow stream crossings. Uneven terrain underfoot requires agility and stable footing. We request that you bring hiking boots with full ankle support and two trekking poles, which help provide comfort, stability, and most importantly, enjoyment. Our hikes take us through farmland, forest, rocky glacial terrain, and over mountain passes. Each hike includes sustained climbing and descending, sometimes steeply. The route does not travel through exposed sections with drop-offs, but does include limited sections of trail traversing steep hillsides, which may pose an issue for those with vertigo or a fear of heights. Feel free to call our office for further details.
Traveling To and From
Most Convenient Airport:
Geneva International Airport; Geneva, Switzerland (airport code GVA)
Meeting Time and Place:
Your guide(s) will meet you in the evening on the first day of the trip, in the lobby of our hotel in Chamonix.
Departure Time and Place:
Chamonix, France, after breakfast on the last day of the trip. Please note that transfers to the Geneva International Airport take approximately 1.5 hours. Please plan your flight schedule accordingly.
In an alpine environment, weather is variable throughout the day and by elevation. A warm, sunny day in the valley can be anywhere from delightfully refreshing to downright brisk at higher elevations. Therefore, dressing in layers will be essential to your comfort throughout the day. Rain and snow are possible at any time, and weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, so having rain gear and thermal layers on hand is advisable. At the same time, the sun is strong at higher elevations, and therefore adequate precautions should be taken to prevent sunburn, even on cool days.
You may obtain more detailed weather information by visiting www.weatherbase.com.
Savoyard cuisine is centered around the incredible bounty of fresh foods available in the Alpine valleys of the region. You'll enjoy plenty of local cheeses and wines and most menus will feature soups, pasta, fish, meat, and salads. Breakfasts, lunches, and all but two dinners are included; your guide can make recommendations for wonderful local restaurants for those two evenings. Breakfasts include fresh fruit, sliced meats and cheese, yogurt, cereal, and pastries. Picnic lunches usually include fresh fruits and vegetables, cured meats, fresh bread, 2 or 3 local cheeses, and cookies or chocolate for dessert. Most dinners are at our hotels and consist of a good variety of Savoyard choices. Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice, though choices tend to be more limited.
A Note on Accommodations
The hotels we stay in are rustic, well-located for hikers, and busy in the summer season. Please note that these are hikers' hotels, not five-star resorts. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but are not always of uniform size, and amenities can vary. Although offering excellent service, the Hotel La Grande Ourse offers shared dormitory-style bathrooms (no private baths) and limited single rooms. Those who reserve a single room may be matched with another guest (of the same gender).