Walking the Tour du Mont Blanc
The most popular long distance walk in Europe has to be the Tour du Mont Blanc!
What is it?
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a 170 km walk which circles the Mont Blanc Massif, passing through three countries - France, Italy and Switzerland. It has approximately 11km of ascent and descent in total.
How long does it take?
The Tour du Mont Blanc usually takes between 9 and 12 days, although the record set by the winner of the 2006 Ultratrail took 20 hours!
What time of year is best?
The ideal time for the TMB is June to October.
Before June, there may still be snow on the higher sections. In July and August, the weather can vary dramatically with thunderstorms developing rapidly in the late afternoon.
How fit do we need to be?
You should be capable of hiking 5 to 7 hours per day on rocky terrain covering on average 10 miles per day. Elevation ascents and descents average approximately 1000 metres per day. If you are not comfortable doing the Snowdon Horseshoe or Ben Nevis, then you may not enjoy the TMB.
We suggest that a few months of walking, mountain biking, and hiking in the mountains should help prepare you for your trek.
Where do we stay?
There are various hotels, auberges, and mountain refuges en-route. It is a good idea to book these in advance. Chamonix tourist office can supply you with a list of accommodations around the TMB.
What maps do we need?
We suggest the IGN 1:25,000 maps. Two maps cover the whole TMB. These are numbers 3531ET and 3630OT.
We highly recommend the wonderful Cicerone guide, called Tour of Mont Blanc, by Kev Reynolds which covers the tour both clockwise and anti-clockwise.
How does Maison Jaune fit in our itinerary?
Maison Jaune is situated right on the TMB in Les Houches. This makes it the ideal base camp for your tour. You can enjoy a couple of nights stay in luxury before you set off, leave any luggage you don't want to carry with you at the chalet, and then finish your trip relaxing your aching muscles in our hot tub, and perhaps enjoy a couple of days visiting Chamonix and its surroundings.
Our double or twin rooms cost 70 euros per person per night, and includes a sumptious continental breakfast with fresh coffee, croissants, fresh bread, juices, yoghurts, ham, cheese and jams.