Antarctica & Arctic
Enjoy the thrill of completing the Tour du Mont Blanc
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10 nights accommodation, 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners, transport and activities as indicated and Explore Worldwide tour leader throughout.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the most spectacular treks in Europe. Hike 148 kilometres through France, Switzerland and Italy, across five major passes, staying in comfortable hotels and a traditional auberge along the way. Trek among breathtaking mountain scenery on the flanks of Mont Blanc, with views of some of the most dramatic peaks in the Alps.
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Enjoy spectacular scenery of snowy peaks, glaciers and granite spires
Relax in one of the many open-air cafes and watch the street life in Chamonix
Sample great local cuisine at our family-run hotels and guest houses
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The trip starts today at our hotel in the village of Les Houches in the Chamonix Valley. Customers arriving at Geneva Airport today will be transferred by a shared shuttle service that operates from Geneva Airport to the Chamonix Valley on a regular basis. You will receive details about your transfer with your final travel documents a few weeks before the trip departs. You can arrive at any time today although your leader will plan to meet everyone at the hotel at 18:00 hours when there will be a short briefing about the week ahead, followed by dinner at a local restaurant
After breakfast we take a local bus for 20 minutes from Les Houches to Chamonix and walk along the River Arve for about 30 minutes to Les Praz (1065 m) from where we take the Flegere cable car up to 1900 m. From here we hike through open countryside for one-and-a-half to two hours to Lac Blanc (2352 m). There are incredible views of the whole Mont Blanc range, including the Grandes Jorasses, Aiguille Vert and Le Dru. We then follow a beautiful path back through the forest to our hotel at Argentiere (1252 m).
Today's trekking will take approximately six to seven hours with a cumulative ascent of 450 m and descent of 1110m (B)(L)(D)
From the hotel we walk through Old Argentiere and hike up to the Col des Posettes (1997 m) for superb views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley. From here, we traverse to the Col de Balme (2191 m) and look directly into Switzerland. We then descend through open country with views of glaciers to Trient (1297 m) and then on to La Forclaz (1526 m) where we spend the night. You will have your main baggage delivered to the hotel tonight.
Today's trekking will take approximately five to six hours with a cumulative ascent of 980 m and descent of 894m (B)(L)(D)
We hike along the Bovine Route to Champex (1486 m). The route winds its way through meadows, forests and open country with views of the great Sion Valley and the mountains of Verbier. There are no great ascents today and we arrive at our hotel near Champex Lake where you can head to for a sundowner. You will not have access to your main luggage tonight.
Today's trekking will take approximately five hours with a cumulative ascent of 540 m and descent of 600 m.
From here it is a gentle five to six hour trek to La Fouly (1600 m) along the Val Ferret. We start our walk descending from Champex following the river along a pretty valley covered in trees to Praz-de-Fort. We then ascend in similar surroundings with wonderful views of Mt Dolent and the South Face of the Mont Blanc range. You will not have access to your main luggage tonight.
Today's trekking will take approximately five to six hours with cumulative ascent of 540 m and descent of 440 m.
We continue from La Fouly along the Val Ferret and cross the impressive Grand Col Ferret (2537 m). From here, the descent is slightly steeper but rewards us with outstanding views of two of the Alps most iconic mountains - Le Grandes Jorasses and Mont Blanc. We stay at La Palud (1350 m), 3 km from Courmayeur and you will have your main baggage delivered to the hotel tonight. It's worth noting that it's possible to shorten today's walk by taking a bus for the final seven kilometres of the walk.
Today's trekking will take approximately nine hours with a cumulative ascent of 830 m and descent of 1170 m.
Today has been left free to take a rest from the trail and soak up the ambience of the Alps. Nearby Courmayeur is one of Italy's premier ski resorts and is full of pretty shops, cafés and restaurants. Close by, there is the hot spring spa at Pre St Didier, the Skyway cable car that revolves as you ascend and plenty of other walking opportunities. (B)
We take two public buses (approx 10 and 20 minutes each) and travel to Val Veny under the spectacular South Face and ridges of Mont Blanc. We trek along a wide glacial valley surrounded by glaciers and high peaks to the Col de la Seigne (2516 m) which marks the border between France and Italy. We then descend to Les Chapieux (1549 m). Today is quite a long day (it is possible to take a bus for the final five kilometres if you wish) , although it is not steep. You will not have access to your luggage tonight, so you will want to pack accordingly.
Today's trekking will take approximately seven hours with a cumulative ascent of 860 m and descent of 967 m.
We make a steep ascent above Les Chapieux through marmot country and on through open meadows to more barren scenery. We cross two cols (2479 m and 2329 m) in wild surroundings with fabulous Alpine Flowers and marmots, weasels and chamois. We then head down through open country and a narrowing valley. Our destination is Les Contamines (1167 m) - a pretty ski village with an interesting church. We will stay approximately 1 km before the village of Les Contamines. There will be no access to your main luggage tonight.
Today's trekking will take approximately six to seven hours with a cumulative ascent of 850 m and descent of 1320m. (B)(L)(D)
Leaving Les Contamines we follow the Tour du Mont Blanc, passing the pretty hamlets of Gruvaz, Champel and Bionnassay. We then make the short, 500m ascent to the Col du Voza (1653m) which forms part of the huge massif above Les Houches. This is a fitting end to our trek with the most outstanding views of the Chamonix Valley, the Chamonix Aiguilles and the Mont Blanc massif. We descend from the col to the road at Les Houches and either walk (20 minutes) or take the public bus back to the hotel in Les Houches where we started our trek nine days ago. We are reunited with our luggage and will have a final nights meal in the evening, bidding farewell to our Leader.
Today's trekking will take approximately seven hours with a cumulative ascent of 500 m and descent of 700m. (B)(L)
The trip ends today in Les Houches with any customers flying from Geneva Airport today returning to the airport on the shared shuttle bus service. (B)
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