The Tour de Month Blanc is one of the world’s most famous hikes as it circles one of Europe’s highest peaks and weaves through three different countries. Come with me as we start day 1 of this 3 day hiking journey.
This is a 3 part series as I hiked 3 days my adventure in France in the stunning mountain town of Chamonix. I’ve heard about this iconic ski resort for decades, but never had the chance to visit. This week, I share my tips for visiting Chamonix and hiking the Tour Du Mont Blanc.
About Chamonix, France
Chamonix, actually named Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, is located 99km from Geneva in the heart of the Alps bordering Switzerland, Italy and France. At an elevation of 3396′ which seems low until you look up and see the tallest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc. This town is famous for winter skiing as well as summer hiking and rock climbing; everyone in town seems active, fit and ready to take on the world. The food is incredibly delicious with a hint of Swiss fondue influencing the delicious French cuisine.
How to Get There
The best way to get to Chamonix is by private car from Geneva. It’s fast, convenient and you can travel when you want. However, if you are price conscious, you can also check out the FlixBus which offers limited travel times between Geneva and Chamonix. Note: Geneva is NOT the cheapest airport to fly into, you may want to consider Milan which has a bus that takes around 4hr to Chamonix.
Where to Stay in Chamonix
There are lots of great hotels in Chamonix, and I’d recommend staying in the heart of the city as close to the walking zone as possible. You are expending so much energy during the day on the mountain, that you don’t want to walk too far at night to have dinner. We stayed at the 4 star Hotel Morgane and it was fantastic. Ample sized rooms, great breakfast, and very friendly staff.
What to Eat
Ok, this is France, on the border of Switzerland and Italy. Honestly, you cannot go wrong! My favorite meal was at Josephine. We started with shared salads which gigantic and so yummy, and then we moved on to Fondue and whole branzino (Mediterranean Sea Bass). Make sure to sit outside, but UNDER the awnings; weather in the mountains is so unpredictable, and you don’t want to get drenched by a summer squall. We also enjoyed the high end restaurant Atmosphere, and make sure to book ahead and ask for a table on the river.
Where to Shop
Every shop is geared towards outdoor activities. From Helly Hansen to North Face and Patagonia, you can find everything you need. Although you can buy all the name brands, make sure to check out these independent sport shops.
Best Spa in Chamonix
A must do while in Chamonix is the QC Terme Spa. What an incredible spa and an incredible value; the daily entrance fee was only 48euros, and it included outdoor and indoor pools, cold plunges and foot soaks along with a salt room, waterbed room, infrared sauna bed room and a crazy face exercise relaxing room. Again, QC Terme Spa is a must when traveling to Chamonix.
The Tour Du Mont Blanc – Day 1
We were going on an organized trip with Adventures for Solo Travelers based out of Atlanta. There were 24 of us who signed up for the tour but we were divided into three groups: There was a fast group, a medium group, and a slow group. I joined the slow group so that I would have time to film and take pictures. The tour company we went with was called Alpine Tracks, and my guide was Mark. He’s one of the owners of Alpine Tracks and has been guiding for 15 years! I was in very good hands.
We started our three day tour in Le Tour which is a ski resort, and headed out on our hike from France to Switzerland. We ended up in the small town of Triente and then got a transfer over to Martinique. That’s day 1 of our three day trek. Make sure to stay tuned for days 2 and 3!