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Mont Blanc Explorer

8 days, Chamonix to Chamonix

The French call her "La Dame Blanche." To Italians, she’s "Il Bianco." And to all who set out to tame her, she is known simply as "The Big One." Towering above the already towering Alps, Mont Blanc commands respect. This trip puts committed travelers with excellent fitness on intimate terms with the ceiling of Europe, rewarding all-comers with strolls through quaint alpine villages, hearty dinners, relaxing spa visits, and some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful mountain scenery you’ll ever see. Prepare to be challenged, awestruck, and amazed.

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: Active - Hiking, trekking, biking, rafting, and kayaking adventures all over the world, made for outdoor types.

Service Level: Standard - Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character; a mix of public and private transport.

Physical Rating: 4 - Demanding, Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travelers.

Trip Type: Small Group - Small group experience; Max 12

Itinerary

Day 1 - Chamonix

Arrive at any time. Today is an arrival day, so there are no planned activities and you may arrive at any time throughout the day (please note that check-in at the hotel is usually around 2-3 pm). After the meeting, choose to join your CEO and travel companions for an optional dinner in a local restaurant. The lovely hotel in the center of Chamonix has everything we need to enjoy the area and get a good rest before and after our hikes. The interior of the hotels are all in wood, giving them a very typical alpine atmosphere.

In the evening, we have our first opportunity to try some alpine specialties in a typical restaurant. It will be hard to choose from such delights as cheese fondue, tartiflette, or raclette, perhaps accompanied by some famous "Vin de Savoie" wine.

Look out for a message from your CEO at the hotel reception detailing the time and location for an important meeting in the evening, during which you will meet your CEO and fellow group members, as well as complete some admin and learn more about the trip. If you arrive late, no worries, your CEO will leave you a message about where they can be contacted and when to meet the following morning.

Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group. Your opportunity to meet your CEO and fellow travelers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterward. Don't forget to see the notice in the lobby (or ask reception) for the official time and place to meet up with the group.

Accommodation

Below is an example of a hotel we may use in this city. Hotel Gustavia (or similar)

 

Day 2 Chamonix

Enjoy a full-day hike into the Col de Voza above Les Houches.

Today we will head into the Chamonix valley for our first hike. We will take a lift towards the Col du Vosa above the Chamonix valley for splendid views across the surrounding peaks and glaciers. The ascents and descents on this day are quite gentle, and the ground is relatively easy. Take in the picturesque sight of Mont Blanc along the way.

Hiking the Chamonix Valley

Montroc 6h-7h Full Day 8km

Today we will head out in the Chamonix valley for our first hike. We will hike up the steep-sided Chamonix valley for splendid views across to the peaks and glaciers. The ascents and descents on this day are quite long but the ground is relatively easy. We gain height gently in switchbacks, on a narrow trail across mountain turf and rock. There are superb views across to Mont Blanc, and the relatively easy ground underfoot makes this an easier day than the elevation gain may at first suggest.

Elevation gain: 747m (2,450 ft). Highest elevation: 2,133m (6,998 ft).

Accommodation- Hotel Gustavia (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Chamonix

Enjoy a free day to explore. Opt to take a breathtaking cable car ride up the Aiguille du Midi pinnacle, visit the Mer de Glace, take a walk through the Ice Cave, or go for a dip in the local thermal spa. Taking a break from our walking, we'll spend today exploring the Chamonix region with various optional activities to suit everyone's interests. Why not take a recommended cable car ride up the famous Aiguille du Midi and across the glaciers to Punta Helbronner in Italy? Or if you want some excitement, opt to join a rafting trip, or go parapenting - these activities are available and bookable locally and your CEO will have suggestions for where to do this.

For a more relaxing day, you can choose to stay at resort level and enjoy some local hikes in the area or perhaps visit the local leisure center. One good hike in the area starts in Les Praz by the pretty medieval church. Don't miss the chance to try some of the local specialty food that this region is famous for in one of the town's many excellent bars and restaurants! The perfect location for some downtime, the Alps are right on your doorstep today. Relax and enjoy the mountain scenery or explore the area around Chamonix.

Optional Activities - Day 3 Hide

- Augille du Midi Cable Car, Aiguille du Midi, 62EUR per person

Enjoy a cable car ride up the famous Aiguille du Midi -- it once held the title of the world's highest cable car. Enjoy the ride with stunning views from 1,035m (3,396 ft) to 3,842m (12,605 ft) -- It still holds the record as the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world.

- Le Praz Hike, Chamonix

Walk through shady woods and along the tumbling glacial waters of the River Arve to Argentiere. Enjoy a stop at one of the cafes before catching the local bus back to Chamonix. (Height gain approx 300m/984 ft).

- Rafting Trip, Chamonix, 38-130EUR per person

Enjoy a rafting trip in the Chamonix area, a renowned rafting territory. With areas of varying difficulties, this river offers an opportunity for both beginners and experienced rafters.

Accommodation - Hotel Gustavia (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4 Chamonix/Courmayeur

Set out on a full-day walk and arrive at a cozy mountain Refugio. Take in the amazing panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes, including a view of the Italian side of Mont Blanc. We travel by bus this morning, through the Mont Blanc Tunnel, crossing the Italian border to the town of Courmayeur. Here we will drop off our bags and head out for a day hike in Val Veny, with spectacular views up the valley to the Col de la Seigne and the Miage glacier. Our hotel in Courmayeur is cozy and atmospheric, a traditional Aosta Valley structure with ample recreational space, including an outdoor terrace and garden for soaking up some of the mountain sunshine in the summer months.

- Local bus - Chamonix – Courmayeur 30m. Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

- Val Veny Hike - Courmayeur 5h-8h 10-13km. Climb up toward Col de la Seigne, from where the hike crosses over into Italy. Keep trekking through multiple ascents and descents, with views of the 10km (6 mi) long Glacier du Miage. There are a couple of options for more challenging hikes if some of the group want to take them.

Elevation gain: 820m (2,706 ft). Highest elevation: 2,020m (6,627 ft).

Accommodation - Hotel Cristallo (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5 Courmayeur

Enjoy a free day to explore Courmayeur. Opt to take a spectacular cable car ride to Pointe Helbronner or enjoy a day of relaxation at the Pré St Didier spa. Enjoy a free day in the Courmayeur region to take advantage of some optional activities, such as taking a bus to La Palud, followed by a magnificent cable car ride to Pointe Helbronner and back. Your CEO will let you know more about other options such as mountain biking, hiking, a day visit to the town of Aosta, or a bit of indulgent relaxation at the wonderful Pré St Didier Spa.

Explore and enjoy the delightful mountain town of Courmayeur -- wander the cobbled streets and stop off at some of the markets.

Optional Activities - Day 5 Hide

- Cable Car Ride to Pointe Helbronner, Courmayeur, 52EUR per person. Enjoy a magnificent cable car ride to Pointe Helbronner and back -- the views are stunning.

- Pré Saint Didier Spa, Pré-Saint-Didier, 52EUR per person. Indulge in some relaxation at this wonderful spa, in place since 1800.

- Aosta Visit, Aosta 5h-6h, 7EUR per person. Get to know this charming bilingual city nestled in the Italian Alps. It offers many sights to explore, including the ancient town walls of Augusta Prætoria Salassorum, still preserved almost in their entirety and an ancient Roman amphitheater.

- Mountain Biking, Courmayeur. Hop on a bike and enjoy the challenging ride, with some steep inclines and spectacular views.

Accommodation - Hotel Cristallo (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6 Courmayeur

Enjoy a day walk in the Val Ferret for fabulous views of the Italian side of Mont Blanc. Descend via the village of Planpincieux. It's another walking day today as we stretch our legs on a fabulous route, setting off up the steep winding path into the Val Ferret and then around the flank of the hillside to where a magnificent panoramic view of Mont Blanc awaits.

- Day Walk through Val Ferret

Courmayeur 5h-7h Full Day 10-16km

Walk to the village of Villair from Courmayeur and up a zig-zag path (steep at times) to Rifugio Bertone, a mountain hut situated high above the Courmayeur Valley, where we stop for a refreshing cold drink. The path then contours around the flank of the Mont de la Saxe, where we enjoy a picnic lunch at an elevation of 2,000m (6,561 ft), with magnificent views onto the south face of Mont Blanc. The spring flowers on this route are absolutely superb. Descend to the Planpincieux valley and take a local bus back to Courmayeur.

Elevation gain: 776m (2,546 ft). Highest elevation: 2,000m (6,561 ft).

Accommodation - Hotel Cristallo (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7 Courmayeur/Chamonix

Travel to Le Praz. Enjoy a day hike with views of Glacier d’Argentière, Pic du Midi, and Mont Blanc. In the evening, return to Chamonix. Catch a morning bus from Courmayeur back through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Chamonix. Hike all day above the Chamonix valley for magnificent views of the Grandes Jorasses, the Dru, and the Mer de Glace glacier. In the evening, try out a local Chamonix brewery for a farewell hearty dinner and a pint of lager made from glacial fed water!

- Local bus - Courmayeur – Chamonix 30m. Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

- Grandes Jorasses, the Dru and the Mer de Glace Glacier Visit. Chamonix 5h-6h 16-22km. Take the cable car to the alpine slopes high above the Chamonix valley for magnificent views of the Grandes Jorasses, the Dru, and the Mer de Glace glacier. It's a tough day of hiking, but the views are extremely rewarding.

Elevation gain: 702m (2,303 ft). Highest elevation: 2,702m (8,865 ft).

Accommodation - Hotel Gustavia (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8 Chamonix

Depart at any time.

Meals included: Breakfast

Pricing

Price: $1849

Deposit: $350, Deposit Due Date: April 17, G-Adventures will contact you about payment.

RSVP fee: $25 refundable deposit for those who went to the Trip. After the Trip, we will make this amount to BCO Credits and you can use it for pre-paying BCO Events.

Cancellation Policy

* Cancellation 60 days or more prior to departure = Loss of deposit

* Cancellation between 30 and 59 days prior to departure = 50% loss

* Cancellation within 30 days of departure = 100% loss 

 

What's Included

Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group. Four mountain walks led by an International Mountain Leader (IML). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Meals Included - 7 breakfasts

Meals - Eating is a big part of traveling. Traveling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally, meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally, food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport - Train, bus, minivan

About our Transportation - On this trip, we will be traveling between walks and hotels by public bus and train. There are some optional cable car rides in the area as well.

Accommodation - Hotels (7 nts)

 

What to Take

Please note that this trip is rated Physical Grade 4. Passenger luggage will be stored at the base hotel in Chamonix, but smaller day packs can be carried during the hiking excursions.

Note: This is a mountain trek going up to over 2500m/8000ft, therefore it is important that hikers are prepared for changing weather conditions (especially in June and September). When choosing your gear please bear in mind that the best clothing for trekking is either wool or synthetic materials, as these are quick-drying and can keep heat in better. The optimum clothing system for trekking is layering, as it allows for easy temperature regulation as you ascend or descend. We suggest a base-layer, then a mid-layer such as a sweater, followed by a fleece jacket or similar, then a windproof and waterproof jacket. For your bottom half, thermal underwear, hiking pants then windproof and waterproof layers are recommended. Hiking poles are strongly recommended, especially for departures in June and early in the season. Hiking gear is not available for rent in Chamonix. If you require additional items (poles, rain gear, etc.) it may be purchased.

 

Important Notes

1) While the hikes on this trip are all-day hikes and you need to carry no more than a small daypack, this is still an alpine environment. The walks involve ascents and descents of up to 900m (3000ft) sometimes over rough and steep ground. Good fitness and a familiarity with mountain hiking will help you get the most out of this trip.

2) The route outlined in this itinerary is weather dependent, and you will need to be prepared for unpredictable mountain weather. In the case of poor weather conditions, your CEO will re-route your path while maintaining the effort to keep as close to the planned itinerary as possible.

3) You will require good well-broken-in walking boots and waterproofs.
Please note that Hotel Chamonix is affiliated with the nearby Hotel Crete Blanche and that in some cases the group could be divided between the two hotels.

 

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate in any of our trips. When traveling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

 

Event: DONT POST - Mont Blanc Explorer Event Cost: $25.00
Where: For Members Only Meeting Place: For Members Only
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* End Date-Time: For Members Only PrePay Required: Yes
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Members: 1 Max Attendance: 7
Guests: 0 Spots Available: 6
Total Attendance: 1    
Overnight: Yes Kid Friendly: No
Skill Level: n/a Dog Friendly: No

CHECKLIST - Gear Details and Rules
 
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