By Michael Lanza
Look at any list of the world’s greatest hiking trails, and the Tour du Mont Blanc almost invariably occupies a spot at or near the top of the list. There are many good reasons for that. But first and foremost comes the sheer majesty of this roughly 105-mile (170k) walking path around the “Monarch of the Alps.” Passing through three nations—France, Italy, and Switzerland—and over several mountain passes reaching nearly 9,000 feet, it delivers almost constant views of glaciers, pointy peaks and “augilles,” and when it’s not engulfed in clouds, the snowy dome of Mont Blanc.
In July 2017, I took a wonderful, nine-day trek on the Tour du Mont Blanc with my family and eight other friends and relatives—including my 80-year-old mom—and we were blown away by the scenery and the cultural and gastronomical experience. Scroll through my photos below for a window into the awesome character of this trail.
Here’s another reason for the enormous popularity of the TMB: the abundance of scenic mountain towns and villages, as well as the availability of public transportation and private transports at numerous points along the route, allowing hikers to customize their trek, choosing which sections to hike depending on difficulty, weather, and how they feel.
I found it entirely feasible to craft a TMB itinerary that would allow most of our group to hike every day, while others could avoid difficult sections or days of bad weather, and we’d all still spend our evenings together.
My downloadable e-guide “The Perfect, Flexible Plan for Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc” lays out our detailed itinerary and describes how to customize a flexible TMB hiking itinerary, using local transportation options along the route to skip or shorten harder days, avoid bad weather, or hike just a portion of the TMB.
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We spent three of our eight nights on the TMB in mountain huts with views of towering peaks and heavily crevassed glaciers. But we spent the majority of our nights in comfortable hotel rooms in towns along the trek, enjoying delicious dinners with wine or beer every evening.
But even those in our party who only hiked selected sections still enjoyed some of the TMB’s best mountain scenery, which the photo gallery below demonstrates. Scroll below the photo gallery for the link to my full feature story about trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Save yourself a lot of time and headaches.
Get my e-guide “The Perfect, Flexible Plan for Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc.”
Read my feature-length story “Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc at an 80-Year-Old Snail’s Pace.”
Find information about the Tour du Mont Blanc and other treks in the Swiss Alps at valais.ch/en/activities/hiking/hiking-tours and myswitzerland.com, and see a menu of all of my stories about International Adventures at The Big Outside.