Active Adventures |  Tour du Mont Blanc -  Mont Blanc Circuit

Geneva to GenevaThe Mont Blanc massif is one of the most iconic and dramatically beautiful mountain ranges in the world and a must-see area of the European Alps.While most trips circumnavigate this iconic mountain range by foot, we’ve taken it a step further to not only experience its spectacular geography, but also explore the history, culture and cuisine of France, Italy and Switzerland with expert local guides.In 12 days you’ll explore Chamonix and some of the region’s oldest and most beautiful towns as you circumnavigate Mont Blanc on foot, in a sea kayak and by bike – a genuine and original Active Adventure!

  • Highlights

    Aiguille du Midi experience

    Bike L'Arve River Trail

    Experience Chamonix

    Experience Courmayeur and Aosta Valley

    Experience Upper Rhone Valley

    Explore Annecy Old Town

    Hike into Switzerland

    Hike Mer de Glace

    Hike the Valle de Glaciers

    Sea kayak Lake Annecy

    Visit Beaufort cheese factory

  • What's Included

    All accommodations
    Local lodges chosen for their comfort, charm and sublime views.

    All activities
    You may think this is just a hiking trip - and for other companies that is likely the case. But we've found a way to include some biking and sea kayaking to make this a true multi-sport adventure.
    "Taking a day to kayak in the middle of the trip and then a day for light mountain biking at the conclusion gave different perspectives of the area and a much needed rest to tired muscles". Ronette (Tennessee, USA 2019)

    All guiding services
    Two experienced guides per trip. In Europe you'll have a Kiwi guide and a local European guide, meaning you'll get the best of both worlds in terms of local knowledge and legendary hospitality.

    All meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll be treated to a culinary experience, to rival any in the world. On day 7 in Courmayeur you're free to choose your own lunch and dinner.

    All transport
    Airport transfers on the first & last days.
    When you're not travelling under your own steam, there will be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs. There is also a baggage transfer service so you'll only be carrying your daypack each day.

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      • Start Date:12 Jun 21
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  • Itinerary

    DAY 1 - ARRIVE IN GENEVA, HEAD TO CHAMONIX

    We’ll pick you up in Geneva and head through the French Alps to Chamonix – one of the most iconic mountain towns in the world. Nestled in the heart of a dramatic U-shaped valley, the views of the northern side of Mont Blanc are dramatic from anywhere in town, and especially from our accommodation in the heart of Chamonix. We’ll have time to rest up and explore town this afternoon, before meeting later for a welcome dinner.Hotel Pointe Isabelle, Chamonix (Dinner)

     

    DAY 2 - HIKE MER DE GLACE, GROTTO DE GLACE EXPERIENCE

    Today we’ll hike just above Chamonix to the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice). As a warm up for our hike in the coming days, we’ll take a train up through the fir trees that flank the north side of the Mont Blanc massif, to Montenvers, overlooking this incredible glacier. From Montenvers we’ll hike further up through trees and boulder fields to Le Signal Forbes – a  lookout point affording unsurpassed views of the Mer de Glace Glacier and huge granite spires that rise sharply from the moraine walls. On our descent we’ll have incredible views of the upper Chamonix Valley and the Aiguilles Rouges Mountains. Before boarding the train back down to Chamonix, we’ll take a gondola down to Mer de Glace’s Grotto de Glace (Ice Cave). Every year, a new ice cave is dug into the bowels of the Glacier, enabling us to walk inside the incredible sea of ice! After making our way back down to Chamonix, you’ll have this afternoon to relax in town, take in the views and dining highlights, or pick up any last minute items you might need for our hike.Hotel Pointe Isabelle, Chamonix (All meals)Hiking Distance: 5.4 kilometres (3.19 miles), 2 hoursElevation Gain: 436 metres (1430 feet)Elevation Loss: 436 metres (1430 feet)

     

    DAY 3 - BEGIN MONT BLANC CIRCUIT HIKE – HIKE TO LES HOUCHES

    This morning we’ll leave Chamonix by Gondola up to Brevent (8410 feet), one of the highest peaks in the crystalline Aiguilles Rouges range, which stands opposite the Mont Blanc massif. From here we’ll hike across the Carlaveyron Plateau, the views of the north face of Mont Blanc, the Fiz range and the Chamonix valley are second to none! We’ll drop down to the village of Les Houches, our home for the evening, before meeting our local hosts and settle in for a hearty French mountain meal.Hotel Les Campanules, Les Houches (All meals)Hiking Distance: 14.4 kilometres (9 miles), 5-6 hoursElevation Loss: 1500 metres (5000 feet)

     

    DAY 4 - SEA KAYAK LAKE ANNECY, VISIT OLD TOWN ANNECY

    This morning we’ll drive a short distance to Annecy, the capital of the Haute Savoie region and one of the most beautiful towns in Europe. To kick off our day we’ll take to sea kayaks and circle part of this stunning crystal clear lake, exploring it’s numerous coves and beaches along the way. Later we’ll head back to Annecy town where you’ll have the chance to explore it’s narrow cobbled streets and 16th century gothic architecture. With an outlook to the French Alps and an unmatched elegance, Annecy is the perfect place to lose yourself or simply sit on the sidewalk and watch the world go by!Lodgings, Saint Gervais (All meals) Kayaking Time: 2-4 hours

     

    DAY 5 - HIKE THE ROMAN ROAD TO SAVOIE AND BEAUFORTAIN

    We’ll return to the Mont Blanc Circuit this morning after a short drive to Val Montjoie where we’ll begin our hike on an old Roman road to Plan des Dames. After a short break, we begin a gradual ascent of the Col du Bonhomme – an iconic mountain pass and the gateway to the Beaufortain region, famous for its unique cheeses. After breaking for lunch here, we’ll drop down into the sweeping wildflower meadows in the valley below to Les Chapieux where we’ll jump in our vehicle and drive a short distance to our accommodation for the evening, in the hamlet of Bourg St Maurice.Hotel Autantic, Bourg St Maurice (All meals)Hiking Distance: 15.9 kilometres (10 miles), 5-7 hoursElevation Gain: 1233 metres (4050 feet)Elevation Loss: 678 metres (2220 feet)

     

    DAY 6 - HIKE “VALLEE DES GLACIERS” INTO ITALY

    After breakfast we’ll head back to Les Chapieux where we’ll visit a local family-run Beaufort cheese factory which has been making cheese for hundreds of years, having passed down their traditional methods of production generation after generation. After our visit, we’ll begin our ascent of the “Vallee des Glaciers” (Valley of the Glaciers). Our first destination is the Col de la Seigne – the pass that straddles the border between France and Italy and an amazing place to view the southern side of the Mont Blanc range. As you stand with one foot in France and the other in Italy, you’ll be confronted with astounding views of huge glaciers, massive rock spires and the broad ‘U’ shaped valley down into the Italian countryside. We’ll make our way down the valley, passing through green pastures and alpine streams. Our home for this evening is the village of Courmayeur, a picture perfect Italian village at the head of the Aosta valley. Welcome to Italy!Hotel Croux, Courmayeur (All meals)Hiking Distance: 16.1 kilometres (10 miles), 5-7 hoursElevation Gain: 735 metres (2400 feet)Elevation Loss: 836 metres (2740 feet)

     

    DAY 7 - EXPLORE COURMAYEUR AND AOSTA VALLEY 

    Roman monuments, medieval castles, vineyards, and quaint villages define the Aosta Valley as one of Europe’s quintessential mountain regions, all against an incredible backdrop of steep snow capped peaks. Today you’re free to explore Courmayeur and the surrounding area. Over hundreds of years the local people here have perfected the “l’art de vivre” (the art of living), through exquisite mountain cuisine, beautiful architecture and fine wine. A day exploring the eateries, art galleries and vineyards of Courmayeur will recharge your culture batteries well and truly! If you’re keen to stay active today, there are plenty of adventurous options available, including hiking, cycling and golf to name just a few. Enjoy!Hotel Croux, Courmayeur (Breakfast)

     

    DAY 8 - HIKE MONT DE LA SAXE

    We’ll leave Courmayeur this morning and hike up through dense larch forest and onto alpine meadows leading up to Rifugio Bertone, where we’ll make a brief stop for an espresso and soak in the jaw dropping views of Mont Blanc. From here we’ll continue on to the Mont de la Saxe balcony trail overlooking the Italian Val Ferret, looking straight across to some of the highest peaks of the Mont Blanc massif and the tumbling glaciers that descend the southern side of the range into the valley below. They look so close, you’ll feel like you can throw a stone and hit the highest peaks – it’s a sight you have to see to believe. After lunch, we’ll drop down into the Val Ferret and green pastures of the Lavachey where we’ll enjoy a classic home cooked Italian/French meal prepared by our local hosts.Hotel Lavachey, Lavachey (All meals)Hiking Distance: 15.2 kilometres (9.4 miles), 5-8 hoursElevation Gain: 814 metres (2670 feet)Elevation Loss: 387 metres (1270 feet)

     

    DAY 9 - HIKE INTO SWITZERLAND

    Close to our accommodation, the trail to Switzerland begins, over one of the Mont Blanc regions’ most renowned passes – the Grand Col Ferret. The massive granite spires of the south side of the Mont Blanc range are our backdrop on the ascent to the Col Ferret, followed by the astoundingly beautiful views of the Swiss Val Ferret, the Glacier de l’A Neuve  and the village of La Fouly that lies beneath it. We’ll hike down to La Fouly through classic Swiss pastures, before a short drive to Champex Lac, a picture perfect lakeside village and our home for the evening.Hotel Sporting, Champex Lac (All meals)Hiking Distance: 14.6 kilometres (9 miles), 4-6 hoursElevation Gain: 748 metres (2450 feet)Elevation Loss: 815 metres (2673 feet)

     

    DAY 10 - HIKE UPPER RHONE VALLEY, SWITZERLAND

    Today is a proper “Swiss cow day” as we hike through some of the greenest and most picturesque valleys on the planet, all accompanied by the soundtrack of cow bells ringing out across the meadows. As we hike to Bovine peak, we’ll have great views of Wildstrubel, the hulking glaciated 9 mile wide peak that divides the Valais and Bern regions of Switzerland, and out to the north western mountain passes of the Oberland area. After our hike we’ll head down into the town of Argentiere, nestled in a stunning mountain valley just across the French border.Hotel Dahu, Argentiere (All meals) Hiking Distance: 14.7 kilometres (9.1 miles), 4-7 hoursElevation Gain: 770 metres (2530 feet)Elevation Loss: 707 metres (2319 feet)

     

    DAY 11 - BIKE L’ARVE RIVER TRAIL, AIGUILLE DU MIDI EXPERIENCE

    This morning you’ll be fitted with a high quality front suspension mountain bike and we’ll ride all the way back down to Chamonix. The ride is spectacular as we bike through the small villages of the upper Chamonix Valley and the larch fir trees that flank the glacier-fed L’Arve River. We’ll finish our ride back in Chamonix for a picnic lunch before making our way to the Hotel, only a short walk away! After lunch we’ll take ourselves high above the valley to experience Aiguille du Midi – a cable car which leaves from downtown Chamonix and ends at a granite needle peak building at 3841 metres (12,604 feet). Aside from marvelling at this incredible feat of engineering, you’ll be blown away when you find yourself so close to the summit of Europe’s highest peak, taking in once in a lifetime views of the Alps from a high altitude perspective. Later, we’ll head back to Chamonix to spend the final evening of our trip together. Hotel Pointe Isabelle, Chamonix (All meals)Hiking Distance: 16.3 kilometres (10 miles), 3-4 hoursElevation Loss: 423 metres (1390 feet)

     

    DAY 12 - HEAD TO GENEVA, DEPART

    Today is the last day of your trip around Mont Blanc. We’ll drive back to Geneva this morning in time for afternoon flights. If you’re staying on in Chamonix or Geneva, we’re happy to book extra accommodation for you and help out with suggestions on other things you can do in the area. Either way, you’ll go home relaxed and refreshed after your active journey around one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, and enjoying a quintessential European Alps experience in true Active style.(Breakfast)

 

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