The best of the Tour of Mont Blanc in one week from a comfortable chalet base - easier programme.

7 nights in the Chalet Savoy (hot tub, sauna, wifi).
Visiting France, Switzerland and Italy.
Five days of guided hiking led by International Mountain Leader.
Grade: moderate. Small groups of maximum 8.
This holidays operated by Snow Safari Ltd, specialist tour operator in the Alps since 1989

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Inclusions

Not included:
Cable car rides as needed on the programme. (Budget around 25 Euros)

Itinerary:

SUNDAY: Included airport transfer. Briefing at dinner.

MONDAY: From Les Houches we drive to Le Tour (1464m). Climbing to 2000 metres, we are rewarded with a stunning balcony walk as we flank the Aiguilette des Possettes, passing the Col de Possettes. The views of the Mont Blanc range and its glaciers are exceptional. Climbing to Les Bonhommes in Switzerland (2140m) we enjoy sweeping views of the Swiss Alps and the Emosson Dam. Then via France, crossing the source of the Arve River we reach the Col de Balme (2191m) and cross for a second time into Switzerland to admire the panorama across the Rhone Valley. We descend to Le Tour via the Chalets de Charamillon and are transported back to the Chalet. (7 hours walking time including breaks and lunch etc. 800m up and 800m down)

TUESDAY: We drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy for a chance to soak up some Italian atmosphere! From Le Vachey (1640m) we climb up to the Bonnatti Refuge. At just over 2000m, the view from here is one of the finest on the tour. Mont Blanc itself, the towering rocky peak of Grandes Jorasses and the glaciers that crowd the northern flank of Val Ferret are there to be admired. We traverse high above the Ferret Valley towards the Switzerland and admire the Ferret Water Falls before taking the local bus back along the lower valley back to Le Vachey. Should the bus not be running very early and late in the season it is an easy one hour walk back along the valley floor to the starting point. (7 hours walking time, 540m up and 540m down)

WEDNESDAY: We drive to the Flegere ski lift and access the grandiose "Grand Balcon Sud" at 1900 metres and after a dramatic traverse pass by the beautiful Cheserys lakes on our climb to the Lac Blanc (2351 metres) the jewel of the Chamonix Valley. Often we will be able to see ibex during the walk. We then descend and continue to La Flegere, from where we take a téléférique back down to the valley floor to join our transport.


If the Flegere lift is closed, we will climb to the beautiful White Lake (Lac Blanc) from the Col des Montets road pass (1461 metres) Then we will loop round to the Grand Balcon Sud and descend on a different route to the starting point. This will make a total climb of 950m and descent of approximately 950m but the diversion will actually enhance the walk and make the extra effort well worthwhile. We only anticipate this happening on the final departure of the season:

THURSDAY: Free day for optional walks or sightseeing. There are many good walks directly from the chalet - the route of the 'Tour du Pays du Mont Blanc' passes right through the garden of the chalet. Your leader will be able to advise of possible routes. Or you may choose to visit the busy Alpine resort of Chamonix, which is only 20 minutes away by bus or train and has numerous bars, restaurants and cafés. There are several téléférique excursions you can make from Chamonix, of which the most spectacular is the ascent to the Aiguille du Midi (3842m), which has fantastic views of Mont Blanc and surrounding peaks. It should also be possible to take the mountain train up to Montenvers for close up views of the glacier, Mer de Glace. For those seeking some adrenaline, there is tandem paragliding, canyoning and rafting, plus many more supervised adventure sports.

FRIDAY: Leaving on foot from the chalet (1080m) we admire the picturesque hamlet of Charousse and quaint Savoy farm houses as we climb to the Col de Voza (1653m) where we enjoy sweeping views of the Chamonix Valley and Aravis mountains. Exploring the Bionnassay Valley, dominated by the spectacular Aiguille de Bionnassay and its glacier, we continue via the little village of Champel to Les Contamines commune (1015m). (7 hours walking, 700m up and 750m down)

SATURDAY: A spectacular walk from the parking of the animal park (1370m) up to the Bellachat refuge on the classic TMB and GR5 route. Crossing the beautiful Carlaveyron Natural Reserve we summit the Aiguillette du Brevent (2310m) for one of the finest views in the Alps - looking directly across the Chamonix Valley to the Mont Blanc summit. Passing by the Aiguillette des Houches we descend a different route to La Flatiere (1370m). (7 hours walking, 930m up and 930m down)

SUNDAY: Included transfer back to the airport.


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Guest comments

Sue and Ross (Christchurch New Zealand) - Mont Blanc Highlights - harder
“The stunning scenery, expert hiking guidance and excellent 3 course dinners made Highlights of Mont Blanc a very memorable experience.”

Bob (UK) - Mont Blanc Highlights - harder
“What a lovely place to stay and such great hospitality.”

Janet and Peter - (UK) Mont Blanc Highlights - harder
“So lovely to come back and see how different the area looks in summer..... will be back again.”

Nadia and Jim (Vancouver Canada) Mont Blanc Highlights - harder
“Loved all the hikes..... will truly miss Elaine’s picnic lunches and gourmet dinners”
  

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