Self-Guided Hiking Tours

France, Italy & Switzerland | Tour du Mont Blanc

Circumnavigate Western Europe's highest peak.

France flag Italy flag Switzerland flag
  • Self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc trek
  • Hiking the self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc with Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures
  • Mont Blanc Trek
  • Chalet de la Floria above Chamonix, France
  • Tour du Mont Blanc Beer Break: Birra Moretti, Tyrolean hat with sunglasses and the mountains of Mont Blanc in the background.
  • Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains. This photo was taken while hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc with Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures.
  • The Rifugio La Maison Vielle di Giacomo during the Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc. This is a wonderful stop along the Tour du Mont Blanc hiking tour.
  • Views of Mont Blanc. The best hike on the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Grand Balcon Sud from Argentiere to Chamonix, France.
  • The Italian Side of Mont Blanc, taken during the Tour du Mont Blanc.
  • A hiker on the famous Tour du Mont Blanc hiking tour.
  • "I didn't have to plan the details (i.e., transportation, hotels). Since planning/managing is what I do for a living, it was great to have someone else cover everything. The trip was seamless."- Amy H.
  • "I loved my trek! Oh let me count the ways! 1. The scenery - jaw dropping, awe inspiring, words cannot describe the scenery. 2. It was challenging, but not too hard. 3. You mostly climbed up in the mornings and descended or had it easier most afternoons. 4. The camaraderie with the other hikers doing the TMB."- Donna B.
  • "The narrative description was a constant source of amusement since it was so well-written with a whimsical and playful tone, yet very very accurate and helpful. We were surprised with how often we referred back to the narrative versus the map. Whoever wrote it gets five stars! And a bonus!!! You seemed the most organized, well-represented online, fair in your pricing, professional. Brittany was exceptional and winning in her confidence and non-salesy tone on the phone. I sensed we would get exactly what we paid for with you all."- Ken G.
  • "My wife and I really enjoy hiking and have been doing Ryder-Walker (RW) treks for over a decade now and chose this RW trek to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary. As such, RW probably gave us some upgrades, but the accommodations were some of the best we have ever experienced anywhere, let alone a "hiking vacation." If there was a best room in the house or you should be on this side to get the best of this-or-that, RW had you there. "- Bill Y.
  • "We just returned from our fantastic trip! I just wanted to complement your team for putting together such a great trip. It was perfect from the itinerary, picturesque views, great accommodations and the trail descriptions and maps were spot-on! We were so happy with everything that we can't wait to book our next trip! I also wanted to compliment your guide Willie. We were on the same itinerary as the guided trip and we had a great time with this group. Willie was so enthusiastic, informative and just a really great person!! The group that he was guiding had the highest praise for him! He was so good to us and we had wonderful times at dinners with the group and Willie! He really is an asset to your team! Again I have very high praise for Ryder Walker. I have already recommended your company to a friend!"- Kim Chagnon
  • "Amazing!! Thank you...This trip is ridiculously awesome and will totally write you guys great reviews when we get home. I think I just had one of the best dinners in my life tonight. Thank you for organizing this trip. You guys rock!"- Andy Fernandez
  • "Amazing experience, lodging, food, challenge, going solo, luggage transport, would definitely do again!"- Hatley McMicking

Trip Highlights:

  • A world famous hike that everybody should do at least once.
  • Hiking beneath Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak.
  • The pleasures of France, Italy and Switzerland all in one tour.

Outside Magazine named Ryder-Walker’s trek one of the 25 Best Hikes in the World.

Mont Blanc (15,781 feet) rises more than 12,000 vertical feet above the famous resort village of Chamonix, France. The epitome of everything that is “alpine” in the Alps, Mont Blanc beckons hikers and climbers from around the globe with its snow-white glaciers, sheer cliff walls, and chalet-studded valleys.

To relax at a chic café in downtown Chamonix, gazing skyward at the glistening ramparts of the Mont Blanc Massif, is an amazing experience. To walk around the entire circumference of Western Europe’s tallest peak, and to witness Mont Blanc’s beauty from the vantages of three different countries, is something all together incomparable and infinitely special.

Hike across the borders of France, Italy and Switzerland during our ten-day self-guided hiking tour. Taking advantage of some little-known variations to the standard route, you hike from the mountain-chic cafés of Chamonix, to remote mountain hamlets en route to Courmayeur, Italy. Our gracious host welcomes you to her cozy chalet in Champex, Switzerland, tempting you with locally grown food and delicious wine. Hike back into France on the Grand Balcon Sud, one of the most beautiful hiking trails in all of France.

Based out of a mix of charming country inns, first-class hotels, and simple hiker’s hostelries, the unique combination of good accommodations and spectacular hiking makes this itinerary a wonderful reward for the physically fit.

Trip Itinerary

Choose from our standard itinerary or customize the trek by adding or subtracting days. We are happy to offer harder or gentler hikes where possible.

Independently transfer to Chamonix, located at the base of Western Europe’s tallest peak, Mont Blanc – 15,781 ft. Geneva is the recommended point of entry.

Shuttle from Chamonix to Les Houches in the morning and enjoy a moderate introductory hike to Contamines, with views over the peaks and glaciers of Chamonix. Hike past old ruins and settlements, then over the Col de Tricot, where you descend through a splendid forest to Les Contamines.

Distance: 9.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2000/4000 ft

Ascend past waterfalls on an ancient Roman road to the dramatically situated Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme. A delightful descent through high alpine meadows offers opportunity to spot the elusive ibex. You spend the night in a simple, but charming mountain hut. Private rooms are subject to availability. No luggage access!

Distance: 12 miles. Elevation gain/loss: up to 4300/2950 ft

The greetings change to Italian today as you cross the border to Italy at the Col de la Seigne. Enjoy staggering views of the glaciated peaks on the Italian side of Mont Blanc.

Distance: 8.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2400/2870 ft.
Extension: 12 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2400/3250 ft.

As you traverse from Courmayeur to Val Ferret, across Mont de la Saxe, you are treated to ever-improving views of the Brenva face of Mont Blanc, its most impressive and imposing aspect on our remote, rarely traveled variation.

Distance: 11 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3300/2100 ft.

The language changes back to French as you ascend the Grand Col Ferret into the canton of Valais in Switzerland. Stunning views of the Grand Combin massif make this a spectacular hike. Descend through pristine meadows to the Swiss Val Ferret. At the end of the hike there is a short transfer to the idyllic lakeside town of Champex.

Distance: 11.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2600/3100 ft.

We offer two options today. Either climb into the gorgeous side valley of Le Barmey and stop for lunch at Alpage de Bovine hut, above the beautiful Rhone Valley, or climb over the Fenêtre d’Arpette. Both routes end in Trient where you are accommodated in a simple inn with shared showers. Private rooms are subject to availability; you have access to your luggage here.

Col de La Forclaz (Bovine hut) distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2400 ft.
Fenêtre d’Arpette distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 4500/4450 ft.

From Trient, hike via the Col des Posettes, a pleasant variant of the TMB, and finish in Argentière.

Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2500/2700 ft.

This hike along the stunning Grand Balcon Sud offers spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the Aiguilles, or needles, of Chamonix.

Distance: 7 – 9.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2500 ft. Options to extend or shorten the hike are available.

Awaken to a delicious French breakfast, then depart. An early afternoon flight from Geneva can easily be met.

Tour du Mont Blanc | France, Italy & Switzerland

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Travel and the Coronavirus for Ryder-Walker Guests

Ryder-Walker is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and acknowledges that there is growing uncertainty about the safety of traveling right now. Currently, our guided and self-guided treks are on schedule to run. Should travel restrictions be implemented by local or global authorities we will post updates on this link.

For more information please visit the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.