Walking & Hiking in Chamonix
Hiring a walking guide is a great way to discover some of the many Chamonix trails as well as learning about the local geology, flora and fauna along the way. Discover some of the lower wooded pathways in the valley, or head up into the higher alpine areas to see some of the beautiful mountain lakes and the enjoy the incredible vistas.
There are a number of different glacier hikes to choose from, some of which are more challenging than others. Explore the Mer de Glace (accessed via the Montenvers train), traverse the infamous Valley Blanche, head out to the Tete Blanche and Albert Premier refuge, hike one of the many routes on the Tour des Fiz (2 to 7 days), or travel from Chamonix to Zermatt on the Haute Route (1 to 2 weeks).
Your guide can advise you of the equipment you might need to hire, such as crampons, ice axes and harnesses, all of which can be hired from most of the sports shops in town. Please note you may need to buy lift passes for certain hikes, which your guide can also advise you on.
Tour du Mont Blanc
One of the world's best-loved hiking routes, the Tour du Mont Blanc is an unforgettable experience starting in Chamonix and circumnavigating Mont Blanc via Italy and Switzerland before crossing back into France.
This classic alpine hike is an absolute must for anyone who wants to experience the Alps in all their glory. Starting and ending in Chamonix you will pass through Les Houches and Les Contamines before crossing over into Italy. After passing through the glaciers and peaks of the Col de la Seigne you’ll arrive in the charming Italian town of Courmayeur. Continuing through the incredibly beautiful Val Ferret valley, you’ll traverse around Mont Blanc until you arrive in Switzerland via La Fouly.
Next stop is the tranquil mountain village of Champex, where the snow capped peaks are reflected in the icy waters of the lake that lies at the heart of the village. Hiking through the Trient valley will take you past ancient stone farmhouses, traditional wooden chalets and rolling Alpine pastures. The old way of life is alive and kicking here.
From Col de Forclaz you’ll soon drop back down into the Chamonix valley, re-entering at the border village of Vallorcine. The last section of the route takes in some of the most beautiful hiking trails of the valley, including a climb up to Col des Posettes and a visit to Lac Blanc.
This hike can be booked as a group, or you can join on to an existing group (depending on availability). Accommodation on route is included in the price and will be a combination of mountain huts and resort hotels.
Allow at least 7 days to complete the Tour du Mont Blanc on foot although you can tailor a trip to suit you with a local guide - you could also run it - ask us for more details.
Some of the more remote accommodation will be somewhat basic (all part of the adventure), so think about bringing a few items such as dry shampoo, baby wipes, hand sanitiser, etc. They'll also weigh less in your backpack than heavy bottles of shampoo and shower gel. Remember to bring cash, euros for France and francs for Switzerland, as many of the mountain refuges are too remote to take payment by card.
Classic Chamonix walks
Chamonix is one of the world's best hiking destinations, for good reason. Here are some of our favourite walks and ones we think you shouldn't miss:
There are in the region of 170 different hiking and walking routes in the Chamonix valley, covering around 350 kilometres of trails. From short walks to full days, week long treks and multi-country routes, there are so many to try that you’ll have to come back every summer to try them all!