tour du mont blanc camping

Your Ultimate Guide To Tour Du Mont Blanc Camping

Are you interested in trying the Tour Du Mont Blanc camping?

Tour Du Mont Blanc is one of the world’s classic multi-day treks and most famous hikes where you will start and end in Chamonix.

More interestingly, you will pass through Italy, France, and Switzerland on this tour.

Mont Blanc is popular because it stands at 4810 meters which is the highest peak in Europe

Read on to find out more about all the details you need to know about Tour Du Mont Blanc Camping including:

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Best Campsites On The Tour Du Mont Blanc

Tour Du Mont Blanc accommodation can be found throughout the trail but not all of them have the best facilities or views.

Val Veny is the best Tour Du Mont Blanc campsite as the location has the best backdrop and the staff there are also awesome.

How do you get there?

You need to walk straight ahead at Refuge Combal and follow the road alongside the river for a few kilometers until you can see the sign for Hobo Camping. 

Tip! Just follow the road for the most direct route to the campgrounds as the signs to the campsite will lead you off the road and on a very roundabout route.

How Much Does It Cost To Do Tour Du Mont Blanc?

tour du mont blanc camping

Tour Du Mont Blanc cost varies depending on the hiker’s profile.

For a 10 day itinerary, the average cost of accommodation would be:

  • Private room in 2/3 hotel: €150  per night, per couple
  • Half board dormitory: €40-70  per night
  • The campground includes facilities: €15-25 per night

The cost of food throughout the tour depends on where you are buying from. If you stay in a cabane or refuge, breakfast and dinner are usually included in the accommodation cost.

  • Breakfast: €4 for bakery/supermarket or €10 for breakfast at a hotel.
  • Lunch: Important meal, €6 for bakery/supermarket or €10 per person to buy the packed lunch option from the hut.
  • Dinner: Assign €15 for a main and a drink or €25 if including an appetizer.
  • Snacks: €8 per day. 

The average price of beer or wine is about € 3-5 per glass/bottle.

The cost to get to the trailhead varies depending on the start/end location you choose.

  • Plan Praz (Chamonix), France: The cost starts from €20 per adult one-way depending on your transport choice.
  • Courmayeur, Italy: The cost starts from €10 per person one-way. You can buy tickets from FlixBus and Ouibus if you are from Geneva Airport and if you are from a nearby Italian city or airport, check out Arriva.
  • Les Houches or Chamonix, France: It takes about 1-2 hours and the cost starts from €28 per adult one way.

* Note that the cost above is just an estimation.

Is The Tour Du Mont Blanc Hard?

tour du mont blanc camping

Tour Du Mont Blanc difficulty varies from the first day you start until the end. This is the charm that attracts people to hike Mont Blanc.

This tour is physically demanding as each day you will experience some tough terrain. You will be traveling on uneven tracks with a nonstop amount of ascending and descending every day. 

Make sure you do thorough research on the trail you have chosen so you will be aware of the daily distance traveled, the height gain, and descent. This way you already know what to expect and the trip is likely to go more smoothly.

Overall, there are 10 levels of difficulty (1 is easy and 10 is extremely hard). The grading will depend on the terrain difficulty and the estimated number of days of continuous trekking.

Level 3 (Relaxed) – Chamonix Valley Walks

The terrain is flat and easy with no elevation or descent. The walking distance is between 6 to 14 km depending on the route.

Level 4 (Vigorous) – Chamonix Middle Mountain Treks

An adequate fitness level is required for this level as you will experience an elevation of height gain and descent. Each day, the distance will be between 12 and 18km. It is advisable for you to have hill walking experience so you know how trekking at this level would be.

Level 5 or 6 (Tough) – Chamonix Iconic High Mountain Treks

A good level of fitness is needed as the treks here are tough. The elevation and descent are around 800m every day without stopping along with the steep and rocky terrain. 

Level 7 ( Challenging) – Tour Du Mont Blanc

The elevation and descent at this level are around 1200m every day without stopping along with the steep and rocky terrain.

Level 8 ( Strenuous & demanding) – Walkers Haute Route

This route needs a high level of fitness and stamina for long mountain days. You need to have experience in mountain walking and good stamina as the trek elevation and descent is over 1500 m every day without stopping along with the steep rocky terrain.

Level 9 or 10 ( Technical & extreme) – Traverse of the Gran Paradiso (AV2)

This level requires an excellent level of fitness as it is the most physically demanding trek. The elevation and descent are over 1500m every day without stopping and you will trek to an altitude of over 3000m. This difficult, exposed and remote terrain is also rocky and steep.

Can You Hike Tour Du Mont Blanc Without A Guide?

best Tour Du Mont Blanc campsite

It is possible to choose a self-guided Tour Du Mont Blanc. Most of the trail is well marked and you will be able to see refuges every 5km along the trails. 

Plus, by choosing to Tour Du Mont Blanc self-guided, you can cut some costs and make it more budget-friendly. You will also have control over your agenda

What is the Budget for Hike Tour Du Mont Blanc?

The budget will be mainly determined by three factors:

  1. The night spent on the trail.
  2. The accommodation you choose to stay in.
  3. The amount you eat and drink outside the included meals.

Here is the budget for Tour Du Mont Blanc:

Total Cost for 2 People

Accommodation: €1,300

Food: €350

Beer: €120

Total: €1,770

How Many Stages In The Tour Du Mont Blanc?

tour du Mont Blanc wild camping

The Tour Du Mont Blanc highest point is 2,532 meters (8,307 feet) which is at the Grand Col Ferret and it marks the boundary between Italy and Switzerland.

Overall, there are 11 stages in Tour Du Mont Blanc and each stage has a different difficulty level.

There are plenty of campsites you can choose from along the trail. 

Camping Tour Du Mont Blanc according to the stage:

Chamonix Campground

  • Camping Les Arroles
  • Camping de La Mer de Glace
  • Camping Les Marmottes
  • Camping des Deux Glaciers

Stage 1: Les Houches to Les Contamines

Distance: 16km

Elevation Gain: 646m

Elevation Loss: 633m

Duration: 5 – 5.5 hours

Stage 1 Campsite:

Camping Bellevue

This campsite is a good option if you want to skip the Chamonix campsite. There are restaurants, grocery stores, and bakeries nearby.

Location: Kilometre 0

Price: 7.50 per adult

Amenities: 

  • Charging station
  • Toilets
  • Free showers

Stage 2: Les Contamines to Les Chapieux

Tour du Mont Blanc planning

Distance: 18km

Elevation Gain: 1316m

Elevation Loss: 929m

Duration: 7 – 7.5 hours

Stage 2 Campsite:

1. Camping Le Pontet

The campground is 2km further south of the town and you have to take a bus to get there. You can cut out the first 2km with the free shuttle in Les Contamines if 18 km is hard for you. A shuttle is scheduled for every 30 minutes.

Location: Kilometre 18

Price: 5.50 per adult, 4.40 per tent

Amenities: 

  • Restaurant
  • Small grocery store
  • Laundry facilities
  • Washing station
  • Toilets
  • Free showers

2. Wild Camping Near Nant Borrant

It takes a 1.5-hour walk from Les Contamines to reach Nant Borrant, but if you take the free shuttle, the duration will be shorter by about 20 minutes. You will see a designated wild camping area marked with a sign on the left side of the trail after a 15-minute walk past this refuge.

Location: Kilometre 23

Price: Free

Amenities: Water supply (200m from the tent site at the junction of the trail)

3. Wild Camping at Refuge de la Balme

This campsite is one of the most beautiful campsites at Tour Du Mont Blanc. It has access to public toilets and a water fountain even though the location seems very remote and isolated.

Location: Kilometre 26

Price: Free

Amenities: 

  • Access to Chalet Refuge de la Balme
  • Water supply
  • Toilets
  • Sinks

4. Free Camping in Les Chapieux

This is the only option for camping in Les Chapieux but it is not a great stop because some say it is beautiful and some say it is too loud and busy. There are small shops selling supplies and basic groceries and a few restaurants for dinner here.

Location: Kilometre 34

Price: Free

Amenities: 

  • Restaurant nearby
  • Water supply
  • Toilets
  • Sinks

Stage 3: Les Chapieux to Rifugio Elisabetta

Tour du Mont Blanc itinerary

Distance: 15 km

Elevation Gain: 1004 m

Elevation Loss: 258 m

Duration: 4.5 – 5 hours

Stage 3 Campsite:

At this stage, it is quite difficult to find a campsite. This is because there is no designated campsite until Val Veni which is 6 hours away. But once you reach the stage 3 route, it is one of the most beautiful sections of the entire Tour Du Mont Blanc.

1. Wild Camping near Refuge des Mottets

Wild camping is not allowed here, this refuge has made it clear. Instead, you can camp at Col de la Seigne but it’s better to look for a spot 20 minutes from the refuge as the spot there is better. You might not want to camp in bad weather.

Location: Kilometre 40-44

Price: Free

Amenities: None

2. Wild Camping at Rifugio Elisabetta

Location: Kilometre 49

Price: Free

Amenities: Water supply

Stage 4: Rifugio Elisabetta to Courmayeur

Distance: 18km

Elevation Gain: 460m

Elevation Loss: 1560m

Duration: 5 – 5.5 hours

Stage 5: Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti

Tour du Mont Blanc planning

Distance: 12km

Elevation Gain: 860m

Elevation Loss: 101m

Duration: 4.5 hours

Stage 4&5 Campsite:

There is no designated campsite at this stage. Similar to stage 3, wild camp is the only option if you are desperate and discreet.

Make sure to stock up on your food and supplies. There is no grocery store until La Fouly, Switzerland.

1. Val Veni Campgrounds

Location: Kilometre 53 (Alt Route)

Price: 7.50 per adult, 5.00 for tent

Amenities: 

  • Small food shop
  • Restaurant/bar
  • Laundry
  • Toilets, and showers

2. Vel Ferret Campgrounds

Location: kilometer 67, 15-minute bus ride from Courmayeur

Price: 7.50 per adult, 4.50 for tent

Amenities: 

  • Small food shop
  • Dishwashing station
  • Laundry
  • Hot showers and toilets

3. Wild Camping before Bonnati

Location: kilometer 77

Price: Free

Amenities: None

Stage 6: Rifugio Bonatti to La Fouly

Distance: 20km

Elevation Gain: 895m

Elevation Loss: 1410m

Duration: 6 – 6.5 hours

Stage 7: La Fouly to Champex

Tour du Mont Blanc itinerary

Distance: 15km

Elevation Gain: 420m

Elevation Loss: 565m

Duration: 4 – 4.5 hours

Stage 6&7 Campsite:

1. Wild Camping on Grand Col Ferret

Location: kilometer 90

Price: Free

Amenities: None

2. Camping Des Glaciers

Location: kilometer 100, 6 hours from Bonatti

Price: 8.00 per adult

Amenities: 

  • Common area
  • Free wifi
  • Small food shop
  • Dishwashing station
  • Hot showers, and toilets

3. Camping Les Rocailles

Location: kilometer 115, 4.5 hours from La Fouly

Price: 8.00 per adult, 16.00 for tent

Amenities: 

  • Picnic area
  • Dishwashing station
  • Hot showers and toilets

Stage 8: Champex to Col de la Forclaz

Distance: 16km

Elevation Gain: 742m

Elevation Loss: 682m

Duration: 4.5 – 5 hours

Stage 9: Col de la Forclaz to Tré-le-Champ

tour du Mont Blanc wild camping

Distance: 13km

Elevation Gain: 1069m

Elevation Loss: 1178m

Duration: 5.5 hours

Stage 8&9 Campsite: 

1. Relais d’Arpette

Location: kilometer 117 via alt stage 8, 45 minutes from Champex

Price: 13.50 per adult

Amenities: 

  • Access to bakery/restaurant
  • Picnic area
  • Water, hot showers, and toilets

2. Wild Camping at Fenetre d’Arpette

Location: kilometer 120 via alt stage 8, 1.5 hours from Champex

Price: Free

Amenities: None but there is food and water source 4 hours from the campsite.

3. Hotel Col de La Forclaz

Location: kilometer 131 (via the main route), 5-6 hours from Champex (depending on route)

Price: 8.00 per adult, 6.00 for tent

Amenities: 

  • Picnic area
  • Restaurant/bakery, showers, and toilets

4. Le Peuty

Location: kilometer 133 (via the main route), 7-8 hours from Champex (depending on route)

Price: 6.00 per person

Amenities: 

  • Picnic area with shelter
  • Water, and toilets

5. Refuge Les Grands

Location: kilometer 134 (via alt stage 8&9), 5-6 hours from Champex (via alt 8) or 2 hours from Forclaz

Price: Free

Amenities: Water supply and toilets

6. Refuge du Col de Balme

Location: kilometer 137 (via main TMB), 3 hours from Col de la Forclaz (via main TMB) 3 hours from Chalet du Glacier (via alt stage 9)

Price: Free

Amenities: Access to refuge and toilets

7. Wild camping at Col de Posettes

Location: kilometer 139, 30 min from Col de Balme

Price: Free

Amenities: None

8. Auberge la Boerne

Location: kilometer 144, 3 hours from Col de Balme

Price: Unclear

Amenities: 

  • Small groceries
  • Wifi
  • Access to all meals at the refuge
  • Showers, toilets, and water.

9. Camping du Glacier d’Argentière

Location: Detour from kilometer 144, 40 minutes from Tre-le-Champ

Price: 5.90 per adult, 4.00 for tent

Amenities: 

  • Charging station
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Laundry facilities
  • Hot showers
  • Water and toilets

Stage 10: Tré-le-Champ to Refuge La Flégère

Distance: 8km

Elevation Gain: 733m

Elevation Loss: 257m

Duration: 3.5 – 4 hours

Stage 11: La Flégère to Les Houches

Distance: 17km

Elevation Gain: 772m

Elevation Loss: 1546m

Duration: 6.5 hours

Stage 10&11 Campsite:

1. Wild Camping near Lac Blanc

Location: kilometer 149, 3 hours from Tre-le-Champ

Price: Free

Amenities: Water from the lake but need to filter it

2. Wild camping near La Flégère

Location: kilometer 150, 3 hours from Tre-le-Champ

Price: Free

Amenities: Water from stream or lake but need to filter first

3. Wild camping near Le Brevent

Location: kilometer 161, 3.5 hours from La Flégère

Price: Free

Amenities: 

  • Water from a lake but need to filter it
  • Access to food at Refuge de Bellechat or Le Brevent. An hour away each.

How Long Does It Take To Hike The Tour Du Mont Blanc?

Hikers usually take between 8 and 11 days to complete the tour but it all depends on you. 4 factors will determine how long it will take for someone to hike Mont Blanc.

  1. Hiker type
  2. The route you take
  3. Transportation
  4. Type of accommodation 

When Is The Right Time To Hike The Tour Du Mont Blanc?

Summer months like July and August would be the best time to go as the Tour Du Mont Blanc weather is good. To be more specific, the second half of August is the best time because the number of trekkers is lower and the weather is nice.

Tips When Camping Tour Du Mont Blanc

tour du Mont Blanc wild camping

One of the best Tour Du Mont Blanc tips is this: if you want a smooth journey, make sure you do thorough research beforehand.

You can read other hikers’ experiences, budgets, and itineraries and come out with your version that suits your pace and ability. The Family FreeStylers shared their Self Guided Tour du Mont Blanc with kids. 

Once you have planned the itinerary, start your Tour Du Mont Blanc booking for accommodations and transportation. This will prevent you from paying a higher price and can help you to cut costs.

The night spent in a tent could save you around 200.

You also need to plan your Tour Du Mont Blanc backpacking items. Make a list of the essential items and pieces of clothes you want to bring along. By making a list, you can track your items and make sure nothing is left behind. 

You can also check out this Tour Du Mont Blanc packing list and Tour Du Mont Blanc gear list if you don’t feel confident creating your own list.

In Switzerland and Italy, Tour Du Mont Blanc wild camping is illegal but you can wild camp if you are over 2500 meters in elevation and you set up camp at sunset and pack up at sunrise.

Itinerary

Tour Du Mont Blanc planning is a must because you will be able to estimate how long the tour will be.

You can create your own Tour Du Mont Blanc itinerary or use other hiker’s itinerary as a guideline for you to make your own.

Check out this Tour Du Mont Blanc itinerary for your reference.

Day 1

You will arrive at the airport in Geneva and check in to your hotel in Chamonix.

Day 2

From Chamonix – Brévent – Les Houches

Elevation change: +2,300 feet , -5,745 feet

Hiking duration: 6 hours

Overnight at Les Houches

Day 3

From Les Houches – Bellevue – Col du Tricot Pass – Les Contamines-Montjoie

Elevation change: +2,135 feet, 0-4,260 feet 

Hiking duration: 5 hours

Overnight at Les Contamines Montjoie

Day 4

From Les Contamines-Montjoie – Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge – Les Chapieux

Elevation change: +4,266 feet, -3,118 feet 

Hiking duration: 6-7 hours

Overnight at Les Chapieux

Day 5

From Les Chapieux – Col de la Seigne Pass – Val Veny – Courmayeur

Elevation change: +2,460 feet, -2,954 feet

Hiking duration: 5 hours

Overnight at Courmayeur

Day 6

From Courmayeur – Rifugio Bertone – Rifugio Bonatti

Elevation change: +3,444 feet, -820 feet

Hiking duration: 6-7 hours

Overnight at Rifugio Bonatti

Day 7

From Rifugio Bonatti – Grand Col Ferret Pass – Champex

Elevation change: +2,625 feet, -3,118 feet

Hiking duration: 5 hours

Overnight at Champex

Day 8

From Champex – Bovine/Fenêtre d’Arpette – Trient

Elevation change: +2,298 feet

Hiking duration: 5.5 hours

Overnight at Trient

Day 9

From Trient – Col de Balme Pass – Argentière

Elevation change: +2,953-3,773 feet, -2,789-3,280 feet

Hiking duration: 5-6 hours

Overnight at Argentière

Day 10

From Argentière – Col des Montets Pass – Lac Blanc – Chamonix

Elevation change: +2,952 feet, -1,970 feet

Hiking duration: 5 hours

Overnight at Chamonix

Day 11

Depart from Chamonix

There are plenty of Tour Du Mont Blanc camping treks you can use but you need to ensure the difficulty level and duration when using the trek to avoid any unforeseen things happening.

Can You Camp Tour Du Mont Blanc?

YES!

Mont Blanc is believed to be the birthplace of modern mountaineering. This tour is famous because the effort is worth it.

You will have a great adventure while enjoying some nature and fresh air. This hike will leave you with good memories of stunning mountain views, snow-capped peaks, and small picturesque towns.

There will be refuges every 5 kilometers along the trail so you don’t have to worry if you cannot find it.

Most of the trekkers will hike one stage a day but you can do it quicker if you are a hardcore and more experienced hiker.

You can take a flight that lands in Geneva, Switzerland as this airport is the nearest international airport to the starting point.

Conclusion

Tour Du Mont Blanc camping is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and if you feel you want to do it, don’t think twice. If you don’t feel overly confident doing it on your own, then you can always opt for the Tour Du Mont Blanc guided tour. 

Whichever you choose, I’m sure your Tour Du Mont Blanc experience will be incredibly memorable. 

Your Ultimate Guide To Tour Du Mont Blanc Camping

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