Highlights of Mont Blanc

Highlights of Mont Blanc

72 Views
8 Days
From

$2370

$1848

Highlights of Mont Blanc

8 Days Starting and ending in Les Houches

Visiting: France, Switzerland

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

MBH

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Physical rating:

None

Age range:

16-99

From:
$2370
$1848 (USD) Operator discount: -$470 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$52 -22%
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Tour Overview

Enjoy a spectacular week of Alpine walking from an attractive chalet hotel in the Chamonix Valley. Making use of the extensive cable car system, strike out on day walks with awe-inspiring views including sections of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc long distance trail. A highlight for many, the hike to Lac Blanc affords panoramic views of the entire Mont Blanc range.

Mont Blanc massif - Enjoy fabulous scenery of snowy peaks, glaciers and granite spires
Chamonix life - Relax in one of the many open-air cafes and watch the street life
Free day - Ascend the famous Aguilles du Midi cable car to 3842m or take the cog railway to Montenvers and walk inside a glacier

Highlights

  • Hiking parts of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc
  • Alpine hospitality in spectacular mountain scenery
  • Comfortable chalet hotel with indoor pool and sauna

Itinerary

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Day 1: Join Trip At Our Hotel In Les Houches Close By Chamonix
Accommodation: Hotel du Bois
Meals Included: Dinner

The trip starts today at our Alpine chalet-style hotel in the village of Les Houches in the Chamonix Valley. Your Tour Leader plans to meet everyone in the hotel reception at 6pm for a welcome meeting. Afterwards, we'll enjoy an included dinner together at the hotel. Hotel du Bois is our home for the week. With a relaxed atmosphere, indoor swimming pool, sauna and gardens with views across the Mont Blanc range, it makes for the perfect walkers' base. There's a cosy bar and restaurant serving local specialties and homemade dishes.



It's easy to reach our joining hotel in Les Houches independently; an arrival transfer is not included with this tour. We recommend using the Mountain Drop Offs shared shuttle bus service which departs regularly from Geneva Airport throughout the day and takes just over an hour. The shuttle will drop you at the door of the hotel, tickets cost €50 and can be booked online at https://www.mountaindropoffs.com/.



Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. Please note that the official check-in time at the hotel is from 3 pm, although rooms will be allocated as soon as they are available. If you arrive earlier in the day and wish to explore, the lively centre of Chamonix with its many shops and pavement cafes is just 15 minutes away by local bus.

Day 2: Morning Walk Along The Petit Balcon Sud To Paradise Du Praz; Optional Walk In Afternoon
Accommodation: Hotel du Bois
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We set out this morning from the hotel on a walk to Chamonix, following the side of the valley along a section of a longer route known as the Petit Balcon Sud. Although this is an easy and relatively low level hike, there are some excellent views through the trees of the glaciers and ridges that descend from Mont Blanc across the other side of the Chamonix valley. Reaching the town we'll take a short break, perhaps enjoying a morning coffee at one the many pavement cafes, before continuing alongside the River Arve to Paradis du Praz, a beautiful spot among the trees, where we can enjoy our included picnic lunch in a shaded spot. In the afternoon, you've the choice of either continuing on the hike or you can decide not to walk and spend the afternoon as you like, perhaps browsing the shops in Chamonix or maybe relaxing in the garden or taking a dip in the indoor swimming pool, back at our hotel.



Our afternoon hiking route climbs up through the woods (an ascent of some 300 metres/984 feet) to the pretty mountain cafe of Chalet La Floria with its wonderful flowers and superb views down to the Chamonix Valley below. We then descend back down to the bottom of the valley, eventually returning to Chamonix, with time for a look around the town. Chamonix is a famous mountain resort, popular year round with outdoor enthusiasts, adventure seekers and nature lovers. Occupying a simply stunning setting below the snow-capped peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif, it has a charming Alpine ambience with an array of shops, restaurants and cafes. A frequent bus service connects Chamonix to Les Houches and it's also possible to make the journey by train. You'll be provided with a public transport travel pass at the start of the week that includes all travel on the local buses and trains within the Chamonix Valley and it's easy to get around.



The morning walk of 12 kilometres/7.50 miles will take us around three-and-a-half hours and is pretty much on the flat. Our optional walk in the afternoon is 5 kilometres/3.10 miles and will take around two-and-a half hours with a total ascent and descent of 300 metres/984 feet each way.

Day 3: Cable Car To Le Bellevue With Great Mont Blanc Views; Walk To Small Peak Of Le Prarion (1969M) For 360 Degree Views
Accommodation: Hotel du Bois
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we walk from our hotel to the Bellevue cable car which carries us up the side of the valley to an elevation of 1800 metres/5906 feet in a matter of minutes. Exiting from the cable car, we are on the Grand Balcon Nord, part of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc trekking route and an amazing spot from which to view Western Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc (4810m/15781ft), looming high above. This is also the starting point of the main route for climbing Mont Blanc and we may see some mountaineers returning from the summit. We can enjoy views of the Contamines Valley, Mont Joly and towards the Aravais mountain range. From here our hike descends to the Col du Voza (1653m/5423ft) and then up to Le Prarion, a small peak at 1969m/6460ft with spectacular 360 degree views. We then make our descent through the forest back to Les Houches. For anyone not wishing to make this 1000 metre/3281ft descent, you can save your knees and take the cable car.



Today's 13 kilometre/8.10 miles walk is expected to take around 4 to 5 hours with a total ascent of 300m/984ft and a descent of 1150m/3773ft which can be reduced by 1000m/3281ft (and five-and-a-half kilometres) by taking the cable car back down.

Day 4: Hike From Col Du Montets To Pretty Hamlet Of Le Buet And The Cascades De Berard Falls
Accommodation: Hotel du Bois
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we travel by local bus along the length of the Chamonix Valley, passing some beautiful scenery and iconic mountains such the Les Drus and the Aiguille d'Argentiere. Our hike starts at the Col du Montets (1461m/4793ft), the gateway to the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve. We can take a look at the visitor centre before setting out to the pretty hamlet of Le Buet (1300m/4265ft), a hike of around an hour. From here we take a short walk to the river and then climb up through meadows to Les Cascades du Berard - waterfalls in a lovely setting (1400m/4593ft). There's a cafe here for some welcome refreshment. Continuing alongside the river we hike further into the forest of the Berard Valley. A short climb brings us to Les Granges (1566m/5138ft), a hamlet with summer houses and a viewpoint of the Mont Blanc range from the east. Descending via a different route, we take the train or a local bus back to Les Houches.



Today's 8 kilometre/5.0 miles walk is expected to take around 4 to 5 hours with a total ascent of 300m/984ft and descent of 500m/1640ft.

Day 5: Free Day For Various Optional Activities
Accommodation: Hotel du Bois
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today has been left free and your Leader will be able to advise on the many options available.



One of the most poular activities is to take a ride up the 2 spectacular cable cars to the Aiguille du Midi (3842m/12605ft) for arguably the finest view in the Alps. At this height you are among the great Alpine peaks and glaciers, with unimpeded views on a clear day from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn over 60 kilometres/37.30 miles away. The brave-hearted can experience the thrill of 'Step into the Void', a glass box that allows visitors to stand above a precipitous drop, giving the sensation of floating in mid-air. Another unique excursion is taking the old cog-railway to Montenvers from where you can take a series of steps down to the Mer de Glace and go inside the glacier itself. For those after an even more active day, mountain bike hire is available, there are whitewater rafting trips that can be booked or you could even choose to go on another hike.

Day 6: Cable Car From Le Tour; Trek To The Aiguillettes Des Possettes With Views Over To Switzerland
Accommodation: Hotel du Bois
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

We take a bus ride along the Chamonix Valley to Le Tour, a small, pretty village at the head of the valley at 1462m/4797ft above sea level. From here we take a gondola lift to Charamillon at 1850m/6070ft and then change and take a chair lift up to Les Autannes at 2195m/7202ft. We are high above the trees and are in marmot country where you can hear the shrill whistles from enthusiastic young males. We hike to the Col de Balme at 2190m/7185ft which marks the border between France and Switzerland and you can literally have one foot in each country! The panoramic views are of the Trient Glacier, Swiss mountains and the Emosson Dam. Leaving the Col, we make an ascent of the Aiguillettes des Possettes, 2201m/7251ft, for even better views before returning to the valley floor via the gondola lift.



Today's 8 kilometre/5.0 miles walk is expected to take around 4 to 5 hours with a total ascent of 300m/984ft and descent of up to 500m/1640ft.

Day 7: Tour Du Mont Blanc Walk To Lac Blanc (2352M)
Accommodation: Hotel du Bois
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We catch a bus this morning to the village of Les Praz, from where it's a short telecabin ride to the Chalet de la Flegere (1871m/6139ft). Our hike takes us along on a section of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc to Lac Blanc (2352m/7717ft) for incredible panoramic views of the whole Mont Blanc range. It's approximately two-to two-and-a-half hours to the lake and this spectacular walk is a fitting end to the holiday with magnificent views all around. We descend to Chalet de la Flegere and return to Chamonix via a forest walk. For those with tired legs, you can choose to take the cable car back down to the valley floor.



Today's 10 kilometre/6.20 miles walk is expected to take around 6 hours with a total ascent of 470m/1542ft and descent of up to 1300m/4265ft depending on the route taken.

Day 8: The Trip Ends In Les Houches
Meals Included: Breakfast

The trip ends today after breakfast at our hotel in Les Houches. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Les Houches at any time. If you are departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel.



It's easy to reach Geneva Airport independently; a departure transfer is not included with this tour. We recommend using the Mountain Drop Offs shared shuttle bus service which runs regularly throughout the day and takes just over an hour to the airport. Tickets cost €50 and can be booked online at https://www.mountaindropoffs.com/.

What's Included

  • Meals

    Breakfasts:7 Lunches:5 Dinners:4

  • Accommodation

    Standard

Why Book this Tour

This trip stays at the Hotel du Bois, an attractive alpine chalet in the village of Les Houches, a few kilometres from Chamonix which can easily be reached by local bus. It makes a great base for accessing some of the most beautiful walking in the Alps. The hotel's restaurant serves French cuisine and wine and there is a cosy bar with outside seating where you can enjoy a drink in the sunshine; an ideal spot to wind down after a day walking. The large garden has wonderful views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley and the hotel has a heated indoor pool and a sauna.

Check out our Q&As

  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Linda  

Highlights of Mont Blanc

I'd recommend this trip to anyone. We were lucky t

I'd recommend this trip to anyone. We were lucky to have an excellent guide and exceptionallyod weather. The mountain views were breathtaking. A big bonus was having a pass to use on local buses and trains included in the price of the holiday.

Linda  

Highlights of Mont Blanc

The trip was almost exactly as described, and I th

The trip was almost exactly as described, and I thought the Chamonix Valley was an excellent base. The hotel in Les Houches was well placed for the local transport.

Roger  

Highlights of Mont Blanc

This was the first time we benefitted from our Tou

This was the first time we benefitted from our Tour Leader providing a picnic lunch. These were always very acceptable.

Jane  

Highlights of Mont Blanc

Merely that I really enjoyed walking at Mt Blanc a

Merely that I really enjoyed walking at Mt Blanc and have already recommended it to friends

Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Saturday

Jun 15, 2024 - Jun 22, 2024
$2370 $2305 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$65 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Saturday

Jun 22, 2024 - Jun 29, 2024
$2370 $1848 (USD)

Operator discount: -$470 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$52 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Saturday

Jul 06, 2024 - Jul 13, 2024
$2430 $2363 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$67 (USD)

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Wednesday - Wednesday

Aug 21, 2024 - Aug 28, 2024
$2430 $2363 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$67 (USD)

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Saturday - Saturday

Sep 07, 2024 - Sep 14, 2024
$2460 $2392 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

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Saturday - Saturday

Jun 14, 2025 - Jun 21, 2025
$2470 $2402 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

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Saturday - Saturday

Jun 21, 2025 - Jun 28, 2025
$2470 $2402 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Saturday

Jul 05, 2025 - Jul 12, 2025
$2470 $2402 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Saturday

Jul 26, 2025 - Aug 02, 2025
$2470 $2402 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Saturday

Aug 09, 2025 - Aug 16, 2025
$2470 $2402 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Saturday

Aug 16, 2025 - Aug 23, 2025
$2470 $2402 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Saturday

Sep 06, 2025 - Sep 13, 2025
$2470 $2402 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$68 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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