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Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc
France, Italy, Switzerland - Trip code WSMB Walking and Trekking
Days 11
Price from Call us
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

The iconic Mont Blanc Circuit offers exhilarating trekking through spectacular alpine landscapes of dramatic snow-capped peaks and lush, idyllic valleys. Hiking through France, Italy and Switzerland, you discover the rich fauna and flora of the Alps and the unique architecture and cuisine of each country. Overnighting in beautifully located mountain huts, hearty meals provide energy for the breathtaking walks.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 10

      Dinner: 8

    • Trip staff

      None

    • Transport

      None

    • i

      Accommodation

    • i

      Walking grade:

      Challenging To Tough

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Trip information

    Country information

    France

    Climate

    Across France, from April - August, weather conditions are generally warm and pleasant with moderate rainfall; Autumn temperatures are a bit lower and the winter months (though colder) remain mild. The summer months on the Mediterranean Coast in the south tend to be warmer than the rest of France and have less rainfall, and also more mild winters; freezing conditions are nearly unheard of. The mountainous areas of the Alps, Juros and Pyrenees can be quite different. During summer the morning and evening temperatures are considerably cooler and it becomes much colder in winter with heavy snowfall. Western France, along the English Channel, there can be very strong winds and frequent rain during the winter months Nov - Apr. Wine harvesting takes place in late August/early September.

    Time difference to GMT

    +1

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Religion

    Catholic

    Language

    French

    Italy

    Climate

    April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. June/September are the hottest months. Showers are common in Autumn.

    Time difference to GMT

    +1

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Religion

    Roman Catholic

    Language

    Italian

    Switzerland

    Climate

    Summers are generally warm, or even hot, with a three-month period when rain rarely falls. When it does rain in this season, it is heavy and often accompanied by thunder. There are as much as eleven to twelve hours' sunshine a day in summer, but as with anywhere in mainland Europe it can occasionally be cold and wet. Early and late summer is generally the best times to visit this region.

    Time difference to GMT

    +1

    Plugs

    3 Pin Round

    Religion

    Catholic

    Language

    German

    Budgeting and packing

    Clothing

    The following are essential: good quality waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, comfortable walking trousers, shorts, warm hat and gloves, sunhat, sunglasses and high factor sun-cream.

    Footwear

    We recommend walking boots with proper ankle support and good tread. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. We recommend that you wear/carry your walking boots as hand luggage on the international flight. Should your luggage be delayed, your well broken in boots will be irreplaceable. Trainers or trekking sandals are useful for relaxing in the evening.

    Luggage: On tour

    You will need one main piece of baggage and a waterproof daypack sufficiently large to take spare layers of clothing, your water bottle, picnic and camera during each days walking (25-40 litres recommended).

    Please clearly mark all your belongings with your name and the name of the next accommodation in order to indicate where the bags should go to next. Bags should be ready and at the reception or store room by 09:00 on the morning of your departure.

    Luggage transfer

    A luggage transfer between each accommodation. This is provided by a local taxi supplier.

    Equipment

    For the night in the dormitory you will need to bring a travel sheet and a towel (blankets and pillows are provided). All bedding is provided on the other nights. Bring a water bottle (preferably 2 litres) and high factor sun cream. Trekking poles are recommended. Tap water is safe to drink as are the fountains found in villages, but water sources along the trail may not always be drinkable. Using tap or purified water rather than bottled water will help avoid creating plastic bottle waste. Energy snacks including chocolate and sweets are recommended whilst on trek.

    Maps - Along with the destination manual and route notes you will be sent a set of maps that have been created specifically for this trip to help you navigate. The route is marked on each map together with a series of numbered waypoints which correspond with instructions in the route notes. Should you wish to purchase a more detailed commercially produced map we recommend the following:-

    Topographic maps
    Carte de Randonées Hiking map 1:50.00 A1 Pays du Mont-Blanc Aravis, Chamonix - Courmayeur ISBN 9782841822065

    France

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £11
    Dinner price
    £16.00 - 18.00
    Beer price
    £4
    Water price
    £1.3
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Euro
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Pounds Sterling and US Dollars can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change. Please change currency into Euros prior to arriving in France.
    Where To Exchange
    Bureau de Change can only be found in major cities and large airports. Many French banks no longer exchange Foreign currency.
    ATM Availability
    In cities and most major towns
    Credit Card Acceptance
    In major restaurants (make sure you have informed your credit card company that you are travelling abroad as some companies will reject payments)
    Travellers Cheques
    Travellers Cheques are no longer commonly accepted and can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change.

    Italy

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £5.00 - 10.00
    Dinner price
    £15.00 - 20.00
    Beer price
    £2.00 - 4.00
    Water price
    £1.00 - 2.00
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Euro.
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    GBP.
    Where To Exchange
    We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
    ATM Availability
    Major towns.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Larger hotels and restaurants.
    Travellers Cheques
    Only in major towns. Please note, the exchange rate for cash and Travellers Cheques is poor.

    Switzerland

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £16
    Dinner price
    £23
    Beer price
    £5.2
    Water price
    £1.5
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Swiss Franc.
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Euros.
    Where To Exchange
    Most major towns - your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival
    ATM Availability
    Local currency can be obtained using credit cards in ATM's.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    In major restaurants.
    Travellers Cheques
    Not recommended.
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Recommended airport

    Geneva

    Flying to your destination

    We recommend outbound and inbound flights to/from Geneva airport. Geneva is served by both budget airlines (EasyJet from Gatwick, Luton and Southend) and non-budget airlines (including British Airways and Swiss Air).

    Accommodation notes

    Overnight accommodation ranges from simple guest houses and family-run hotels to mountain refuges. All are surrounded by the beautiful peaks of the Mont Blanc massif. The simple hotels all offer private bedrooms, some with private bathrooms, others have shared bathroom facilities. In one of the mountain refuges you will stay in a dormitory room with between six to nine beds. For the night in the dormitory you will need to bring a travel sheet and a towel (blankets and pillows are provided). Sheets and towels are included when staying in private rooms. Breakfast and a hearty walkers dinner are provided in your accommodation every day other than in Chamonix where there is there are a multitude of dining out choices.
    Please note that due to high demand we are unable to offer the option of booking a single room on this trip.

    Arrival and departure information

    For this trip you can fly into and back from Geneva airport in Switzerland.

    There are several private companies providing direct minibus transfers from Geneva to Chamonix and return (http://www.chamonix.net/english/transporthared-transfers ) starting from €20 Euros per person one way for a shared transfer and from €160 Euros per trip for a private one. The journey takes about 1 hour 10 mins.

    To travel by train between Geneva and Chamonix take the route via Annemasse or via Roche-sur-Foron and St Gervais. Note that construction woks on the line are ongoing. Check the online timetable for Geneva Eaux-Vives - St. Gervais connections.( http://fahrplan.sbb.ch/bin/query.exe/en&HWAI=JS!ajax=yes!&)

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    Visas are not required by UK, E.U Nationals, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

    All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

    The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Maximum altitude (m)

    2665

    France

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Italy

    Vaccinations

    Nothing required. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Switzerland

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory; Tetanus recommended. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

    Walking and Trekking information
    Walking grade
    Challenging to tough
    Trek details
    On this journey you walk 158 km over 9 days (an average of 17.5 km a day). You follow well-marked hiking trails, with the lettering TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc). The route involves some steep ascents and descents of up to 1000 m in a day and some of the days are very long. There are no technically difficult sections nor scrambling required, but the trip is not suitable if you suffer from vertigo as there are sections where you could feel exposed.
    Max walking altitude (m)
    2665
    Additional Information

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Award Winning Explore Leaders
    Find out more
    Price Guarantee Promise
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    Airport Transfers
    Find out more
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