Mont Blanc. Europe's highest and most iconic peak. Spectacular. Immense. Dazzling. And undisputedly on every serious hiker's must-do list. This 10-day trek through the heart of the Alps won't just get your pulse rate up, it will open your eyes to some of the most breathtaking vistas on Earth. Wander past giant glaciers and secret mountain lakes, ancient trails and grassy meadows. Experience three countries, cultures, and cuisines. Stay in hamlets that belong in a fairy tale. And discover why Forbes called our tour "the world's most luxurious hiking trip."
Day 1. Arrive to Geneva
Arrive at the airport in Geneva, Switzerland. Transfer by private van to the charming mountain-ringed resort town of Chamonix, France. Upon arrival at the hotel, you'll have time to rest a bit or explore the town before orientation - where you will meet the guides and other members of your group. End the day with a delicious welcome dinner at a fine restaurant in town.
Day 2. Hike Above Chamonix
Start the day by taking the cog railway up to Montenevers, high above the Mer de Glace glacier. From here (6230'), head up to Signal Forbes (7215') for a fabulous views of the Chamonix Aiguilles towering high above you. Next, traverse towards Blatière and join the famous Grand Balcon for a hike that descends to the quaint Chalet Caillet, where you can enjoy an aperitif and dinner in the magical setting. Walk off your meal with a short, leisurely hike down to your hotel in Chamonix.
Day 3. Hike from Chamonix to Les Houches
Your hike from the hotel leads to the start of the trail beneath the Aiguilles Rouges along the Petit Balcon to Merlet (4,921'), with its magnificent views of the north face and glaciers of Mont Blanc. After traversing to Coupeau, you will make an easy descent to our hotel near the charming village of Les Houches (3,200').
Day 4. Hike from Les Houches to Les Contamines (France)
Leaving Les Houches, climb through the forest past beautiful mountain farmhouses and into the woods to the small pass of Bellevue, overlooking the Chamonix Valley. Marvel at the peaks and hanging glaciers of Aiguille de Bionnassay (13,294') and Mont Blanc (15,777'). Descend through the thickly wooded hillside through typical alpine hamlets to the historic town of Les Contamines (3,829'), a traditional mountain village with picturesque wooden chalets and a fine old church.
Day 5. Hike the Roman Road to Bourg Saint maurice (France)
A long ascent on an old Roman road takes you to the Plan des Dames, before you make the last ascent to the Col du Bonhomme (7,641') and Croix du Bonhomme (8,100') where lunch is served. In the afternoon, hike the grassy trail downhill to Les Chapieux (5,080') with sightings of ibex, marmots and beautiful wildflowers along the way. At the end of the day, take a short transfer to the village of Bourg-Saint-Maurice, where we'll stay the night. Enjoy dinner in town.
Day 6. Cross Vallee Des Glaciers to Courmayeur (Italy)
After a 50-minute transfer to the end of the "Vallée des Glaciers," enjoy a relatively easy hike over the Col de la Seigne (8,245'). Take in the breathtaking view of Mont Blanc, Himalayan in its immensity, rising in a near verticality from the Veny Valley to the summit 10,000 feet above. Afterward, descend into Italy to Lac Combal and Visaille. A transfer then takes you to Courmayeur (3,800'), situated beneath the Grand Jorasses and Brenva Glacier, where you will spend the night. Dinner tonight is in town.
Day 7. Hike from Courmayeur to La Vachey (Italy)
Today's beautiful mountainside walk offers fabulous views of Mont Blanc, hanging glaciers and glacial moraines. As you climb the trail through larch and alder it's not unusual to see the deer and chamois that make this area their home. A continued ascent to the Rifugio Bonnatti offers yet more unforgettable views on the way up. Your descent takes a steep trail to the valley floor and then continues to La Vachey (4,500'). ). At the end of our hike, we take a 15 minute transfer back to Courmayeur for another night at Hotel Berthod.
Day 8. Hike from La Vachey to Champex (Switzerland)
After breakfast this morning, we'll transfer back towards La Vachey and today's trailhead. We'll start our hike past the spectacular "Glacier de Pre-de-Bar" with Mont Dolent above, the meeting point of the borders of France, Italy, and Switzerland. Cross the Grand Col Ferret (8,300') to enter Switzerland, and descend to the scenic village of La Fouly (5,280'), located beneath the Glacier de l'A Neuve. Transfer by van to the lovely town of Champex (4,808'), a small lake resort that features typical Swiss-style chalets and charming gardens.
Day 9. Follow Trail to Col De La Forclaz, Transfer to Martingy (Switzerland)
An hour and a half of moderate hiking followed by a rapid ascent in the forest brings you high over the Rhône Valley overlooking the town of Martigny. Fabulous views await! An easy descent takes you to the Col de Forclaz (3,900'), from where you'll take a short transfer to Martigny. Here you'll visit the Fondation Pierre Gianadda - an impressive art exposition featuring a sculpture garden and museums. Dinner tonight is on your own in town.
Day 10. Climb to the Vallorcine Valley (France)
After breakfast, take a short transfer to nearby Trient. Climb steeply on an old smuggler's path through the forest to the French border and an unforgettable view of the Mont Blanc massif and the Chamonix valley. Your descent takes you deep into the Vallorcine Valley East of Chamonix, and to your hotel in Argentière (4,100').
Day 11. Hike Back to Chamonix
From Le Col De Montets (4,800') the hike to Les Cheserys (7,130') offers gorgeous views of the Le Tour and Argentiere glaciers, as well as the entire Mont Blanc range. After rejoining the Grand Balcon Route and La Flégère, descend to Chamonix (3,300') and a festive farewell dinner in town.
Day 12. Return to Geneva and Depart
Enjoy your final breakfast with the group before transferring from Chamonix to Geneva airport.