By Michael Lanza

You want to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc, but you’re not sure how hard it is, whether you can do it all, or even whether to hire a guide? One of the world’s great treks, the TMB is easy to do self-supported—but it’s not easy to figure out how to do that. When I hiked it with 12 family and friends of varying abilities—including my 80-year-old mother—I spent many pre-trip hours mapping out a flexible daily itinerary that allowed some in our group to use local transportation to avoid hard sections or bad weather, and everyone had a wonderful experience. This guide will show you how to duplicate that trip or customize your own.

As I wrote in my story at The Big Outside, “Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc at an 80-Year-Old Snail’s Pace” (which includes dozens of photos from the trip), everyone in our group was awed and delighted with the entire experience, from the scenery to the blend of cultures, the people, the mountain huts and inns, the towns and villages, and of course, the food: Even the most widely traveled among us agreed we enjoyed some of the best meals of our lives on the TMB.

That’s no surprise. Look at any list of the world’s greatest hiking trails, and the roughly 106-mile (170k) Tour du Mont Blanc invariably occupies a spot atop or near the top. There are many reasons for that, but first and foremost is the sheer majesty of this walking path around the “Monarch of the Alps,” 15,771-foot (4807m) Mont Blanc. Passing through three nations—France, Italy, and Switzerland—and over several mountain passes reaching nearly 9,000 feet, it delivers views of glaciers, pointy peaks and “aiguilles,” and when it’s not engulfed in clouds, the snowy dome of Mont Blanc.

Ready to hike one of the world’s great treks?
Get my e-guide “The Perfect, Flexible Plan for Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc.”

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Trekkers hiking to Col de la Seigne on the Tour du Mont Blanc, France.
” data-image-caption=”Trekkers hiking to Col de la Seigne on the Tour du Mont Blanc, France. Click photo for my e-guide “The Perfect Plan for Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc.”
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