France, Italy, & Switzerland | Tour Du Mont Blanc
Circumnavigate the highest mountain in Western Europe.
"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.
"Oh Wow!! I pretty much loved everything! First, and most importantly, Dave and Eileen (guides) were AMAZING!!! Cheerful, generous, knowledgeable, helpful, wise, fun, fun and FUN!!!"- Darcy P.
"The scenery and walking were amazing. We loved walking through three different countries. Every stop along the way was beautiful--whether a picnic or a stop at a refuge for cafe or lunch--it was more lovely than could be imagined. The trails surrounded by flowers and the views of the mountains were stunning. We loved meeting people on the trails and greeting them. It was a good challenge in terms of walking, and the views, the scenery were simply spectacular."- Ann Marie Lipinsky
"I, personally, love the group experience and it was terrific having young people in the group, as they added such great energy and were so much fun to be with. I so enjoyed conversations with them on the trails. I love the way in which Kenny, who's so comfortable speaking three languages, so easily mingles with locals, wherever we were. It made the experience so much more culturally rewarding. I ended this trip on such a high that I promised myself that I would make sure that someday my children and grandchildren might also have this experience!"- Ann Fay Lawton
"This tour was my first guided tour and the highlight in my hiking career! Willi Glanznig, the best guide and a wonderful person, made everything to make this tour perfect. We had great hikes, a lot of fun, the perfect weather and last but not least, Willi and I could speak in our own dialect, which helped me a lot! It was interesting to see different places, atmospheres, accommodations and good food in such a short time. Every place had its own charm and very friendly people. Thank you for such a nice experience."- Doris Kahry
"The hiking was challenging, the food incredible, and the accommodations top-notch (even the hut night)! We feel really good about and totally satisfied with another fine Ryder-Walker experience and those wonderful memories will last forever! We’re already trying to figure out our next Ryder-Walker Adventure."- Bill Yeast and Elizabeth Dinsel
"I can’t think of how this tour could be improved on. Every aspect was near perfect for us thanks to your logistics team and guides."- Morgan S.
A world-famous hike that everybody should do at least once.
Hike beneath Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak.
Walk through the French, Italian and Swiss Alps, all during the same tour.
Outside Magazine named Ryder-Walker’s Tour du Mont Blanc trek one of the 25 Best Hikes in the World.
Hike across the borders of France, Italy and Switzerland during our ten-day Tour du Mont Blanc. Taking advantage of some little-known variations to the standard route, we lead you 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 the country.
Based out of a mix of charming country inns, first-class, old world hotels and simple hiker’s hostelries, the unique combination of good accommodations and spectacular hiking makes the Tour du Mont Blanc a wonderful reward for the physically fit.
Mont Blanc (15,781 feet), the namesake of this hike, 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.
Independently transfer to Chamonix. Geneva is the recommended point of entry. Overnight in a grand, old-world, four-star hotel in Chamonix, where you will meet your group and guide(s) for drinks and dinner.
Enjoy a moderate introductory hike to Contamines, with views over the peaks and glaciers of Chamonix. Tonight we are in a comfortable three-star hotel.
Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain: 2000 ft.
Pass the Notre Dame de la Gorge and ascend an ancient Roman road to La Balme, then ascend more steeply to the refuge at the Col du Bonhomme. Descend to Les Chapieux. Tonight the accommodations are simpler, but have a great mountain atmosphere.
Distance: 12 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 4300/2950 ft.
Ascend to the Col de la Seigne, with staggering views of glaciated peaks of the Italian side of Mont Blanc. A long descent leads to Courmayeur. Overnight in a well-appointed four-star hotel.
Distance: 11 miles. Elevation gain: 2400 ft.
More challenging route: Distance: 13 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3250/2870 ft.
We 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: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3300/2100 ft.
Ascend to the Grand Col Ferret, at the Swiss border, with stunning views of the Grand Combin. Descend through pristine meadows to the Swiss Val Ferret. Bus transport takes us to the idyllic lakeside town, Champex. Enjoy a very special three-star hotel in this lovely village.
Distance: 11 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2800/2600 ft.
Today’s hike takes us through the town of Champex and up to one of our favorite lunch spots, the Bovine, a lovely family run farm serving up fantastic food and beverages. Following lunch, it is a short climb to the day’s highpoint and down to the Col de la Forclaz. From the Forclaz it’s a quick descent into the sleepy hamlet of Trient, with its signature Iglesia Rosada, or pink church. We overnight in a welcoming inn, with shared bathrooms/showers on the floor.
Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2400 ft.
Alternate hiking route distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 4450 ft.
From Trient, hike via the Col des Posettes (beware of the witch at the pass – and heaven forbid you try to use the WC without buying something first), a pleasant variant of the TMB, and finish in Argentière. Tonight we stay in a fantastic hotel in a quiet section of this lively town.
Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2500/2700 ft.
This hike along the Grand Balcon Sud offers spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the Aiguilles, or needles, of Chamonix. Finish with a descent into Chamonix on the Flégère or Planpraz cable cars. Return to the Chamonix hotel.
Distance: up to 7 miles. Elevation gain: 2500 ft.
Awaken to a delicious French breakfast then depart. An early afternoon flight from Geneva can easily be met.