Mont Blanc in the Alps

July 25, 2016
Mont Blanc in the Alps

Day 1 Arrive in Geneva, and transfer to Chamonix, the world-famous resort and mountaineering center in France. An airport pickup is included, making this an easy and relaxing hour and a half journey. Enjoy your first impressive views of Mont Blanc, with perhaps time to relax at the pool and outdoor patio of our charming Chamonix hotel before joining the group for our trip meeting, followed by dinner. (Hotel les Aiglons or le Prieure)

Day 2 An undulating trail leads through alpine pastures and pine forests, over the Tricot pass and through the quiet and quaint Miage valley on one of the prettiest corners of the Tour du Mont Blanc. Passing through a tiny hamlet of stone houses where cows and horses graze peacefully surrounded by hanging glaciers, we’ll run to the small village of les Contamines and stay in a cozy hikers’ inn. Our luggage will meet us here. (Hotel la Gelinotte)

Day 3 Following an old Roman trail, we continue the tour with a long, steady ascent across two lofty passes, Col de la Croix du Bonhomme and Col du Bonhomme. After lunch near the pass, we’ll descend into the Valle de Glaciers and stay in a popular hikers’ inn along the valley floor, with a charming dining room and new 4-person dorms. (Refuge des Mottets)

Day 4 Leaving France, a gradual ascent through quiet alp pastures leads to the Col de la Seigne and into Italy. Here you’re greeted by an amazing view into the Veny valley and the Mont Blanc range. The Aiguille Noire de Peuterey is particularly impressive from this vantage point, and Mont Blanc itself dominates the view ahead of you. Continue down valley and into the medieval village of Courmayeur, with narrow, cobblestoned alleyways and a lively, pedestrian-only core. (Hotel Bouton d’Or)

Day 5 After one of our favorite breakfasts, a second day in Courmayeur gives you a chance to rest and soak in the hot spring spa at nearby Pré Saint Didier. For those who want to run every section of the trail race route, there’s an option to run portions of the course in beautiful, quiet Val Ferret. Courmayeur is an extremely atmospheric village with cafes, bakeries, gelaterias, and no shortage of sidewalk cafes. It’s great for people-watching and spending a leisurely day. If you feel like taking in the view, a new, nearby skyway cable car ascends high above the valley to the upper reaches of Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco in Italian) for close-up views of the highest peaks in the Alps. Dinner will be on your own tonight in Courmayeur. (Hotel Bouton d’Or)

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