The Tour of Mont Blanc is – perhaps – one of Europe’s most famous and iconic long distance circular paths.

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Looking at Mont Blanc from the track to La Flegere

It’s approximately 170 kilometres long and has 10 kilometres  of ascent/descent.  It passes through three countries – Switzerland, Italy and France – and affords all walkers some of the most  spectacular Alpine views.

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Signpost at the Col de Balme

Mountain walking experience is required as the climbs and the weather  can be punishing. Even so, the route is accessible for fit walkers who are used to mountain conditions. We took four days to complete the Tour.  Many, though, take it at a more leisurely pace and allow themselves a week to get round the circuit.

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Looking up towards the Col de Bonhomme

 

Some walkers carry everything with them, and camp down in lightweight tents or bivvy bags.  Others carry very little, allowing well organised tour companies to carry their wears from one stop to another.  Donkeys are often used to haul luggage along the way.

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Rifugio Elisabetta with the glacier de la Lex Blanche in the distsnce

 

Accommodation is plentiful and well organised. There are a lot of huts along the way which offer dry, warm and hospitable basic accommodation. A hot evening meal and breakfast are usually available for around 30 Euros a night.

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snow patch on the Col des Fours 2,665 m

 

Most walkers tackle the route going anti-clockwise. Many start in the Chimonix Valley. The route then leads them through six other valleys. These include the Montjoie, Vallee des Glaciers, Italian Val Veni and Val Ferret, the Swiss Val Ferret and either the Arpette or Trient Valley in Switzerland.

 

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Ascending the Fenetre d’Arpette 2000 metres in Switzerland

 

The highest points of the trail are the Col des Fours in France and the Fenetre d’Arpette in Switzerland, both at an altitude of 2,665 metres

 

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Looking up to the Fenetre d’Arpette

 

We chose to stay in huts along the way to reduce what we carried but many people choose to walk the circuit, in either direction self-sufficiently. Others choose to have their luggage transported on to their accommodation, by advanced vehicle or by mule, and there are fully supported expeditions.

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The Trient glacier

 

http://www.autourdumontblanc.com/en/

http://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holiday/europe-walking-holidays/france/tour-du-mont-blanc?gclid=CJmPt7_Wu8ECFSYYwwodux4Ajg

The Tour of Mont Blanc