Tour Du Mont Blanc Itinerary: If you are on this page, your plans to trek the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) must be in motion. Hold up; what? Need more information? Check out the guide on what you need to know before diving into the TMB planning process. It’ll cover topics ranging from the trekking season, what it’s like to stay in refuges, to weighing your options between doing a self-guided or company-led trek. Once all the preparations are done, there is also a handy 7-day Tour du Mont Blanc packing list available.
7-Day Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Itinerary
The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is a classic trek that takes you through the stunning mountain landscapes of France, Italy, and Switzerland. It typically takes 10 to 11 days to complete the entire route, but it is possible to complete it in 7 days with a self-guided tour if you are fit and have prior experience with multi-day hiking (the rate of travel may vary according to date and time). Here’s a post-traveled Tour du Mont Blanc itinerary:
Day 0: Travel from Lyon, France to Chamonix, France
Arrive at the LYS airport
Take the RhoneExpress train for €15 from the airport to the Lyon Part Dieu station
Take the SNCF train line to Chamonix, which is about 4 hours total travel time for €61 booked through Rail Europe (prepaid)
Walk 8 minutes from the Chamonix train station and check into the Sport Hostel Chamonix, Chamonix (half-board), dormitory for €39
Pick up a free bus pass at the hostel desk to travel from Chamonix to Les Houches
Day 1: Chamonix, France – Les Houches, France – Les Contamines, France
Take a 16-minute bus ride from Chamonix to Les Houches
Begin the trail at 9:00 am
TMB trek: 16km, 5.5 trek hours, 646m ascent and 633m descent
Stay at Club Alpin Francais Chalet Refuge Des Contamines with half-board for €45, wifi available, and lunch bags available for purchase
Day 2: Les Contamines, France – Les Chapieux, France
Begin the trail at 8:00 am
TMB trek: 18km, 7.5 trek hours, 1316m ascent and 929m descent
Stay at Auberge de la Nova with half-board for €54, lunch bags available for purchase
**Many people also take the alternative route and end their day at Ref Des Mottets to significantly reduce trekking time on day 3
Day 3: Les Chapieux, France – Rifugio Elisabetta, Italy
Begin the trail at 8:00 am
TMB trek: 15km, 5 trek hours, 1004m ascent and 258m descent
Cross from France to Italy at the Col de la Seigne (note the great view of Mont blanc and Aiguille noire from Col de la Seigne)
Stay at Rifugio Elisabetta with half-board for €50, wifi available, token showers, and lunch bags available for purchase
Day 4: From Rifugio Elisabetta, Italy to Courmayeur, Italy
Begin the trail at 8:30am
Trekking on the TMB trail for 18km, taking 5.5 trek hours, ascending 460m and descending 1560m
Stay at Maison Saint Jean Hotel for $79, including breakfast and with wifi available. A grocery store in the town can be visited for lunch supplies.
There are plenty of eateries in Courmayeur to enjoy, including a restaurant for a carb-loading dinner.
Day 5: From Courmayeur, Italy to Rifugio Bonatti, Italy
Begin the trail at 11:00 am
Trekking on the TMB trail for 12km, taking 4.5 trek hours, ascending 860m and descending 101m
Stay at Rifugio Bonatti with half-board for €50, with no wifi and token shower available. Lunch bags can be purchased.
Day 6: From Rifugio Bonatti, Italy to La Fouly, Switzerland
Begin the trail at 7:30 am
Trekking on the TMB trail for 20km, taking 6.5 trek hours, ascending 895m and descending 1410m. Cross from Italy to Switzerland at the Grand Col Ferret.
Stay at Auberge des Glaciers for dorm-only for 32 CHF, with wifi available. A grocery store is a next door for lunch supplies. Other restaurants are available in La Fouly. Consider staying at L’ Edelweiss for a better ambiance and strong wifi, which is a hotel but also offers dormitories with half board. Packed lunch bags can be purchased at many refuges for €10.
Day 7: From La Fouly, Switzerland to Champex, Switzerland to Geneva, Switzerland
Begin the trail at 9:30 am
Trekking on the TMB trail for 15km, taking 4.5 trek hours, ascending 420m and descending 656m. Take a bus from Champex to Orsieres train station and then a train from Orsieres to Geneva for 60 CHF via SBB (prepaid).
Enjoy dinner in Geneva.
Take a train from Geneva to Nyon for 9 CHF.
Stay at Nyon Hostel with dorm-only for 32 CHF, including breakfast and with wifi available.
Day 8: From Geneva, Switzerland to Lyon, France (no longer TMB)
Explore Chateau De Nyon, Musee du Leman, and Roman Columns. Have a picnic lunch on the side of Lake Geneva with a view of Mont Blanc. Take a train from Geneva to Lyon Part Dieu for €28. Enjoy dinner at a rustic bouchon restaurant in Lyon.
Stay at Away Hostel & Coffee Shop in Lyon for $38.00, with wifi available.
Day 9: Travel Home to America
Take the RhoneExpress from Lyon Part Dieu to LYS airport for €15.
As you can see, there are plenty of options to consider if planning on self-guiding the Tour du Mont Blanc. We would advise working in days of rest in your schedule in larger towns such as Courmayeur or Champex. To maximize your exposure to different places, you can also make a point to fly in and out of different countries too
France, Italy, and Switzerland all border each other in this region, making it easy to get around by train. Lyon, France, is known for its fantastic restaurants, and Switzerland has postcard-perfect images of the Alps with cute towns lining Lake Geneva. Whatever the plan, it’s sure to be a grand adventure!