The complete "Tour of Mont Blanc" - 10 nights

Chalet based - short drives to the hiking trails - 9 days of hiking led by International Mountain
Leader - Grade: Between moderate and strenuous - Small groups of maximum 7
This holiday is operated by Snow Safari Ltd

Access the walks with short scenic drives. Your entire holiday will be based in a chalet in the Chamonix Valley with hot tub, sauna, wifi & use of chalet computer. No need to pack and unpack. Your comfortable en suite room is yours for the entire holiday. There will be just two nights spent away from the chalet in included hotel accommodation.

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"One of the main benefits of this holiday is that, instead of having to pack up every day and move to a new hotel, you are based at the same chalet." Sally Brook. The Sun. 13 May 2010

Inclusions:

NOT INCLUDED

Budget around 40 Euros to pay locally for cable cars used during the programme.
2 dinners are not included



Itinerary:

DAY 1 SUNDAY:
Group transfer from Geneva airport to the Chalet Savoy Les Houches.
Included dinner with briefing and overnight in chalet.

DAY 2 MONDAY:
Leaving the Chalet Savoy on foot we are soon at the Bellevue cable car which whisks us up to 1800 metres. We traverse towards the Bionnassay Glacier crossing a spectacular hanging bridge at the tongue of the glacier. Then we climb to the Col du Tricot. Soon the Miage hamlet is like a jigsaw puzzle below us. We descend from the pass and normally visit the Miage refuge for a well earned tarte myrtilles. We trek uphill to the Truc Plateau before descending to Les Contamines-Montjoie, a picturesque village with a beautiful baroque church.
(8 miles hiking, 6 hours)
(35 minute minibus transfer back to Les Houches.)
Included breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner and over night in chalet.

DAY 3 TUESDAY
(35 minute minibus transfer to Les Contamines.) We walk past the baroque chapel of Notre Dame de la Gorge, a centuries-old pilgrimage site, and then connect to the ancient Roman route used for centuries by mountain travellers. We can make out the stones of the ancient Roman Route, as we climb up into the Les Contamines Nature Reserve. After climbing up to the Col du Bonhomme, and Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, we will follow a trail carved by former army troops along a wide ridge that enters the Beaufortain region. We arrive at the hamlet of Les Chapieux and overnight in a hotel in or nearby to Les Chapieux. Dine out in a local restaurant.
(10 miles hiking, 7,5 hours)
Included breakfast, picnic lunch, and overnight in hotel.

DAY 4 - WEDNESDAY:
We pass the remote Ville des Glaciers, scattered with farms that produce the world-famous Beaufort cheese. Our trail twists uphill to the Col de la Seigne (2513m) where we cross into Italy's beautiful Aosta Region. We take in breathtaking views of the icy southern walls of Mont Blanc. Then hike down to Miage Glacier, which snakes down from the Mont Blanc massif into Val Veni where we catch a bus to Courmayeur.
(25 minute minibus transfer back to Les Houches)
Included breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner and over night in chalet

DAY 5 - THURSDAY
(20 minute transfer to Courmayeur). We climb through larch forest and Alpine vegetation to Mont de la Saxe and Rifugio Bertone, where we pause to take in sweeping views of the Valle d'Aosta and the Gran Paradiso range beyond. From here, we traverse the stunningly beautiful "balcony trail" while admiring the snow-capped pinnacles of the Mont Blanc massif. Against this stunning backdrop, continue hiking past Rifugio Bonatti, an Alpine refuge perched below Grandes Jorasse and its tumbling glaciers. We continue on our panoramic balcony walk then descend into the valley to Arnouva.
(11 miles hiking, 8 hours)
(35 minute transfer back to Les Houches)
Included breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner and over night in chalet.

DAY 6 - FRIDAY:
35 minute transfer to Arnouva in the Ferret Valley. We climb to the Grand Col Ferret (2530m), marking the border between Italy and Switzerland. Above us, Mont Dolent marks the border of three countries: France, Italy, and Switzerland. At the pass, we enter the Swiss canton of Valais, laced with pastures and woodland. We descend through wildflower meadows along sinuous streams to the village of La Fouly. From there a bus ride will bring us to Champex for an overnight in a hotel. On our drive down the Swiss Ferret valley we are parallel and close to the TMB hiking trail seeing Swiss farming villages and cows grazing in the fields. (10 miles hiking, 7 hours) Tonight you can dine out in a typical Swiss restaurant.
Included breakfast, picnic lunch and overnight in hotel.

DAY 7 SATURDAY:
Leaving on foot from Champex we take the Bovine route named for the cattle that graze in these high Alpine meadows. A steep climb leads to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the Rhône Valley and the town of Martigny. We hike down to Trient.
(9 miles hiking, 5-6 hours)
(40 minute drive back to Les Houches.)
Included breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner and over night in chalet.

DAY 8 SUNDAY:
(35 minute drive to Trient). Great views of the Trient Glacier as we climb up through forest to reach the Col de Balme. We are greeted with stunning views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley. A stone plaque on the pass marks the border crossing back into France. We traverse the Posette mountain enjoying stunning views of the Tour Glacer before descending to the Col des Montets.
20 minute drive back to Les Houches
Included breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner and over night in chalet.

DAY 9 MONDAY:
(20 minutes drive to the Col des Montets.)
We climb towards the cliffs of Le Chesery and Lac Blanc, arguably the Chamonix Valley's best viewpoint. Often we see ibex on this high mountain trail. Descend to La Flegere and ride the cable car down to the Chamonix Valley.
15 minutes drive back to Les Houches.
Included breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner and over night in chalet.

DAY 10 MONDAY
15 minutes drive along the Chamonix Valley. We ride the cable car up to the Plan Praz and follow a superb trail to the Col du Brevent and on to the Brevent summit. We descend to les Houches via Merlet.
Included breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner and over night in chalet.

DAY 11: TUESDAY:
Group transfer provided back to the airport.
Included breakfast

 

- Option to extend your stay in the chalet.

10 night holiday Including 10 breakfast. 9 picnic lunches, 8 dinners, 9 guided days on the Tour of Mont Blanc circuit, transfers needed for the programme and group transfer to and from Geneva Airport.

Not included: cable car / ski lift rides needed on the trip (budget around 90 Euros) and also 2 dinners and drinks,

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