Walking Trails of the World – Tour du Mont Blanc
The Tour du Mont Blanc is another famous walking trail of the world. It spans three countries, with sections of the trail passing through Switzerland, Italy and France. The main focus of this walking tail is of course the Mont Blanc Massif, the mountain range that contains Mont Blanc amongst others.
Tour du Mont Blanc: 7-10 Days – 170 km
As this impressive and beautifully scenic route is circular, outlining the base of the Mont Blanc Massif, it is usually walked in an anti-clockwise direction. While most trekkers take seven to 10 days to complete the 170 km trail, the competitors in the annual Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc mountain marathon complete it in around 24 hours!
One of the great things about a circular walking tail such as this is that, in theory, you can start your journey from any point on the trail. However, most walkers tend to begin their trek from a few common starting points which are located in one of the three countries that make up the trail. These popular starting points are:
- Les Houches in the Chamonix valley (France)
- Les Contamines in the Montjoie valley (France)
- Courmayeur (Italy)
- Champex (Switzerland)
- Martigny (Switzerland)
Routes of the Tour du Mont Blanc
As well as there being numerous starting points to choose from, there are also different paths through the trail. While there is one standard route, there are many varieties, which allow walkers to vary their path and tailor the trail to their fitness levels and abilities. But as with most things in life, the harder the path, the greater the rewards, with the best views being available to those treading the more demanding varieties of the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Accommodation on the Tour
There are many different types of accommodation available on this walking trail of the world so whatever your preference or budget, there should be something to suit. However, even though there are a large amount of accommodation options, they do tend to get booked up quite quickly, especially by the end of the walking day. For this reason it is worth spending some time plotting your route before you set off and then booking your accommodation in advance. There is nothing worse than a hard days trek being followed up by a frantic search for accommodation! Due to the evenly dispersed accommodation options, the route can be broken up into even smaller daily chunks allowing walkers of all abilities to take part.
Toughness of the Trail
Despite the highest points of this great walking trail not exceeding 2,665 m (8,743 ft), eliminating, for the most part, the threat of altitude sickness, this isn’t an easy trek. For that reason we don’t recommend anyone without previous mountain walking experience should embark on this tough trek. The varying weather conditions also add to the challenge when trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc and it isn’t a rarity to experience sun, rain and snow on one lap of the route.
As the trail underfoot is varied, ranging from easy to walk country lanes, up to single track mountainous sections, it is quite a mixed bag. Due to this, and the fact that it is a long walk, taking up to 10 days, it is a good idea to invest in some walking poles. Other standard long distance walking gear should also accompany you on your trek including a survival blanket, a whistle, sun cream and an led head torch to name but a few.
As you can see the Tour de Mont Blanc is a popular walking trail that is available in many different varieties, allowing you to customise the walk to best suit your abilities. The stunning views have to be worked for but the large amount of accommodation options allows you to break the walk up in any way you fancy.