Arguably the most famous hut to hut hiking tour in the Alps, the Tour du Mont Blanc lures approximately 10,000 hikers from around the world each year. It is characterized by charming villages, lots of elevation gain, and breakthtaking views. This isn't necessarily a tour that has a strong wilderness feel, but rather a tour that offers a great experience in nature with a strong sprinkling of culture.
This route is busy, and the accommodations are often full, so it is advised that you book your tour well in advance (6 to 9 months prior). Backcountry camping is not permitted along most of the route.
IN AN EMERGENCY DIAL 112
The Tour du Mont Blanc is well-marked and well-traveled, but it is not to be underestimated. Daily elevation gain on this tour is quite extreme, and although it can be simplified by using chair lifts in some areas, there is still a lot of ascent that cannot be bypassed. There are very few mountain ranges in the world where one can sufficiently train for the Tour du Mont Blanc,
Conditions are best, and safest, from mid-July to the end of August. It is not unusual for snow to hang around on the passes well into the middle of July, and it is also not usual for a snowstorm to block all visibility during the first week of September. Please know that snowstorms in the Alps usually mean that there will be very little visibility, and navigation will be both challenging and time consuming.
The TMB is not recommended between October and May, except for those with extensive mountaineering experience, avalanche recovery experience, and the proper equipment.
Always check at your accommodation for the conditions on the next day's route, and listen to local experts (guides and hut stuff) regarding weather forecasts and other potential risks.
Tips and hints
A couple other resources that might be useful
The most popular Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) starting points are:
- Chamonix/Les Houches - directly accessible via multiple private bus companies directly from the Geneva Airport
- Courmayeur - best accessed either from the Milan Airport via Aosta Valley, or from the Geneva Airport via Chamonix
- Trient/Champex - easily accessed using public transportation from the Zurich Airport
There is free parking in the white zone in Chamonix. These include:
- Planards Car Park
- Biollay Car Park
- Gendarmerie Car Park
- Route du Boutchet
- Rue du Lyret
- Rue Hellbronner
- Rue d'Entreves
Author’s map recommendations
Book recommendations for this region:
In addition to standard hiking equipment, it is necessary to bring a hut sleeping bag (sleeping bag liner or travel sheet) to the huts with you.
Micro-spikes may be required in June and early July