People travel to distant places just to go on a walking tour. Some of my friends, who are fitness buffs, take off as soon as they get a long weekend to prominent walking trails, mostly on a hilly terrain and occasionally enter a deciduous forest that is marked as wildlife sanctuaries. Of course, they take prior permission to enter reserved forests.
Walking expeditions are a totally different kind of vacation. We all need to join a walking expedition once in a while not only to give exercise to our legs but also to learn the life.
Who organizes the walking tour?
There are dedicated clubs for trekkers in every major city and town that are in proximity to mountains, forests, and deserts that all offer exciting walking trails.
How to find a walking tour club?
You don’t walk alone; you join a group of like-minded people. There are several benefits of trekking with a group such as:
- Pre-trodden trails are chosen
- Getting to know other walkers
- Sharing tips on walking tour technique
- Buy the correct walking gears based on recommendations from veterans
If you want to find out the names of walking expedition operators, try these keywords to search the friendly Google. Add the place of your destination or your city of residence at the end of the search term.
- Walking clubs in …
- Trekking organizers in …
- Exodus to ….
- Hikers Association in ….
- Rambling or ramblers in ….
I have taken a virtual walking tour on Mont Blanc based on a walking expedition organized by National Geographic and I am happy to share my notes with you. This will act as a practical guide to you on “ walking tour in Mont Blanc ”.
Where is Mont Blanc?
How to reach the Mont Blanc?
Since this is a walking tour of Mont Blanc and our destination is not to climb to the summit of it, we will stick to the practical aspects such as the starting point of the trekking, places covered during the walk that includes what exactly you can see on your walking tour and where we terminate our walking expedition.
Overall, during this Mont Blanc walking tour, you can see:
- Snowfields and hanging glaciers that inspired its name.
- Breathtaking mountain passes
- Pristine meadows
- Thick and dark forests
- Steep gorges
- Alpine avian
- True French hamlets
- Skiing locales
- Swiss cows grazing the meadows
- Visit the Chamonix ski resort at the convergence of three countries namely, Italy, France, and Switzerland
The Starting point of your walking tour of Mont Blanc
The duration of walking expedition usually lasts for 10 days as organized by various Walkers Club but you decide your walking tour duration and break off the trekking at any point.
The walking tour of Mont Blanc starts from Chamonix, Geneva that is situated ideally at the foot of Mont Blanc and also ends there.
From the base of Chamonix, you take a toy mountain train to go to the Mer de Glace, the second-largest glacier in the Alps.
The joy train ride on the century-old ‘Rack Railway’ will be exciting as it passes through tunnels, forests, and Alpine Meadows.
Your trekking begins from wherever you are staying in Chamonix, Mont Blanc and you straightaway enter a forest situated at the fringe of Chamonix town.
Beauty Along the Walking Tour Trail
A steep trail awaits you at the Blaitiere farm. Revving up a bit of latent courage, you start the descent to reach the “Grand Balcon”.
This is an excellent viewpoint to appreciate the fabulous view of the Aiguilles de Chamonix.
Your next destination of your walking tour would be the Montenvers railway situated high above the Mer de Glace glacier. From here, you take a train back to Chamonix, from where you started in the morning. You would have walked around 12 km on your first day. Not bad at all considering it is a walk on the hill plus a steep descent!
The next walking tour begins from Bellevue that you reach in a cable car, high up on the mighty white Alps giving you a stunning view of the Mont Blanc and the Chamonix valley below.
Your second-day hiking starts with a pretty steep ascent passing through Bionnassay Glacier and you stop at Col du Tricot. Your walking expedition organizer would arrange a typical rural Swiss lunch in Swiss hamlet at Miage.
After a short break, you again start your hike uphill only to reach the point of descent and your destination will be Les Contamines-Montjoie, another beautiful hamlet.
Day Two of your Walking Tour
Your next day walking tour of Mont Blanc begins after visiting the chapel of Notre Dame de la Gorge. The walking trail takes you through:
- Spectacular wildflowers
- Les Contamines Nature Reserve
- Col du Bonhomme-a mountain pass
- Croix du Bonhomme
- Your walking tour ends in a small town called Bourg St Maurice.
You step into the history rich Italy.
From the La Ville des Glaciers (yes, it is the land of the famous Beaufort cheese), your trekking trail will wind up to go uphill and take you to the Col de la Seigne, another mountain pass that connects the Valley of Chapieux to the valley Vény.
It is here, you cross over to Italy.
The walking expedition captain guides you down to Miage Glacier to reach Val Veni and then onto Courmayeur, Italy.
From this Italian Alps, your walking tour goes through the following places.
- Larch forest of Mont de la Saxe and
- Alpine vegetation of Rifugio Bertone
- Valle d’Aosta
- Gran Paradiso range
- Rifugio Bonatti
- Grandes Jorasse
- Lavachey hamlet
Finally, you enter beautiful Switzerland in your Walking Tour
Expecting your entry into the Swiss, you energetically walk through Alpine meadows for a couple of hours and start climbing towards the Grand Col Ferret, a mountain pass dissecting the canton of Valais and the Aosta Valley at the junction of the Swiss and Italian border.
Here is where lies the Mont Dolent peak that is uniquely shared by France, Italy, and Switzerland. From here you walk through some of the typical Swiss landscape dotted with pastures and woods. Your next leg of trekking takes you through mountain streams and wildflower meadows.
Your final leg of Mont Blanc walking tour goes through the famous Bovine trail, aptly named after the famous Swiss cows that we see in pictures grazing the lush green Swiss meadows.
The trekking trails then take you high up the Rhône Valley. This takes about 3 hours or so. After that, the down hike for about two hours will get you to Col de la Forclaz mountain pass.
After a night’s rest, you walk up to another mountain pass at Col de Balme. The walking tour continues further, crossing the Swiss border and lands you again on the side of France. Your walking expedition has ended at Chamonix again.
A small list of Mont Blanc Walking Tour operators
There may be more of walking expeditions and this is only a small list.
What should you pack for a walking expedition in a hilly region?
What a walker needs during a walking tour depends on:
- The age of the adventurer
- Physical condition
- The place of trekking
- The season on the exodus
- The fellow ramblers
- Your place of stay
Based on the above-mentioned criteria, I have compiled a list of things to carry for a walking tour. The number of clothing will depend on the duration of the walking travel.
- Lightweight full pants and full sleeve shirts
- Several pairs of socks
- Two pairs of expensive walking shoes (no compromise on the quality of the walking shoes as they are ones that carry you smoothly)
- Several inner garments
- Caps and hats
- Warm beddings if you decided to stay in tents on open grounds
- Knife and lighter
- Mosquito repellent
- Water bottle with a sling
If by chance you don’t have several things in the above list, don’t fret; there are plenty of travel stores that sell complete set of travel gear based on your place of walking tour.
Some of the top brands of travel gears For your walking tour are:
- Kuber Industries
Hope this blog post is useful to avid walkers.