Most trekkers complete the Tour du Mont Blanc somewhere between 8 and 11 days. We could sign off, stop typing, and end our blog post at that note, but that’s not our style. Several factors determine how long it takes to circle the soaring Mont Blanc Massif, such as how fast you hike, if you take additional transportation, or which route you take. Even your accommodation can influence your trek length. For example, those bent on camping may have to take alternate routes or transportation assistance to avoid refuges in some locations. You see? A lot more goes into how long it takes to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc! And we will get into the nitty-gritty details below.
Consider accommodation of your Tour du Mont Blanc
Your accommodation can determine the length of your trek. For example, maybe you couldn’t book a certain refuge, so you have to take transportation assistance to the next location, skipping a bit of the route.
If you’re going counterclockwise from Les Houches, book your accommodation in Les Chapieux as soon as possible—or now, secure it now—as there are only two refuges and a camping spot available. If you frown upon camping and miss out on the refuges, you can either walk an hour to Refuge des Mottets, nestled in a charming mountain hamlet town or take a 30-minute shuttle. These short trips could add up, potentially eliminating or adding time to your trip. Our article on booking accommodation for the Tour du Mont Blanc unveils more information on where to secure your nightly stays!
Staying in hotels can also manipulate the distance of your trek! This self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights in Hotels tour stretches seven days, replete with cozy night rests, 5-7 hours of hiking a day, and some transportation assistance. You’ll find more Tour du Mont Blanc adventure tours varying from 7-11 days on our website.
There’s public transportation all over the Tour du Mont Blanc, giving you the chance to hitch a ride via bus, chairlift, minibus, shuttle, or cable car. Public transportation is an excellent option if you’re hiking with kids, have hit a bout of stormy weather, or aren’t in the mood to continue walking. For example, between Les Houches to Les Contamines, you ride up the mountain via cable car for €15.50 per adult and €13.30 for kids, shaving two hours off your trek. There’s also a free shuttle from Les Contamines to Notre Dame de la Gorge that cuts off 3.1mi from your trek. Just be sure to double-check the schedules. Some will run every 30 minutes to an hour, and others may be more infrequent.
During the summer months, it’s easy to catch a ride to either skip over entire stages or miss part of a section. But do keep in mind that public transportation may not be as prevalent outside of the summer. We talk about other things to consider when planning your trek in our Best Time to Hike Mont Blanc article.
Consider your Tour du Mont Blanc route
You can decide where to start and end the Tour du Mont Blanc. Most begin from Les Houches and go counterclockwise, but you can also head out from Les Contamines, Courmayeur, or Champex. Along the way, depending on where you booked accommodation, you’ll notice some alternate route options!
If you’re camping, you’ll need to take alternate routes here and there to skip out on staying in a refuge or hotel. Campers will have a tough go when they reach both Rifugio Elisabetta and Rifugio Bonatti, requiring some alternate route navigation and public transportation to find a place to set up camp. This may alter how long it takes to complete the Tour du Mont Blanc.
With all of this in mind, it’s a great idea to start plotting your journey as soon as you know you’re going! Don’t know where to start? We have you covered—our article on How to Prepare for Trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc will point you in the right direction.