Cost Comparison Tour du Mont Blanc Camping vs Hotels

Cost Comparison: Tour du Mont Blanc Camping vs. Hotels

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When I solo hiked five long-distance trails back-to-back in Europe and eventually completed the Tour du Mont Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland, I carried a heavy backpack and tried to camp in a tent as many nights as possible to keep costs down. Of all the trails I’ve done, I found that the 100 mile Tour Du Mont Blanc most lends itself to a combination of accommodation styles. You can tent camp the entire route, but you have to get creative and stray from the classic trail a few times in order to be a camping purist. To follow the path of least resistance, it can make more sense to book the occasional rifugio or hotel room. In fact, mountain refuges feel like a quintessential part of hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc; you may regret completely avoiding them in favor of camping every night.

The following is a day-by-day comparison of what it costs to solo hike the Tour du Mont Blanc via camping vs. staying in hotels, hostels, or refuges, assuming you spend 10 days going anti-clockwise starting from Les Houches. With this information and with your budget in mind, you can make your own choices about whether you’d like to stick to one style or mix and match – or perhaps just book an all-inclusive guided tour instead.

Not interested in seeing how the prices break down day-by-day? Click here to zoom to the end of the post where I tally up all the final costs.

Read First: Pricing Context

This is simply the “base cost” of transportation and accommodation for the classic Tour du Mont Blanc trekking route; it does not include variables that would differ wildly from person to person, such as extra food costs, new gear, rest days, or possible trail variants and day hikes off of the main route. It is also assuming that you are choosing to do a self-guided solo hike of the Tour du Mont Blanc because you want to save money, and therefore I am not going to include prices for the most high-end luxury resorts.

I can’t possibly list every hotel that exists, especially in resort towns like Courmayeur and Chamonix; I am providing a sample of well-rated and affordable options near the trail that typically don’t enforce a minimum length of stay.

Note that I am assuming you’re hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc in the middle of summer (July/August), but prices will vary based on the day of the week, surge pricing because of local events such as the UTMB marathon, etc. This post is meant to give you a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc self-guided, but you should of course double check the most recent prices yourself.

If you are extremely determined, you may be able to camp for free even more often than I’ve presented here. I am only listing wildcamping options where it seems both legal and at least somewhat convenient. The wildcamping rules change between each of the three countries and there are restrictions based on what elevation you’re at and what time you set up and break down camp, so it can get very complicated. Reference Nomads with a Purpose, TMBtent, and Sling Adventures for more information about wildcamping for free as well as campsite options available to you on alternate routes (such as Fenêtre d’Arpette, Col de Tricot, etc). 

Tip: You can book a lot of the hotels and refuges I recommend via Mon Tour du Mont Blanc.

Day 0: Travel Day to Chamonix / Les Houches

At the start of the trek, some hikers prefer to stay somewhere close-ish to Gare Routière where the buses from Geneva drop off, because this will also put you walking distance from the popular and fancy part of Chamonix where you can find outdoor gear shops, groceries, and restaurants. Other people may prioritize staying near the Tour du Mont Blanc starting trailhead in Les Houches so they can start hiking immediately on Day 1. There are amenities in Les Houches too but it’s a little quieter over there.

Another criteria when choosing accommodation for the night before your trek is luggage storage. You may have extra items that you flew to Geneva with that you don’t need to hike with.

Transportation

BlaBlaCar Bus from Geneva Airport to Chamonix: €19.81
Alternative: AlpyBus from Geneva Airport to Chamonix: €39.50

AlpyBus offers door-to-door pickup and dropoff. BlaBlaBus drops off at Gare Routière at 234 Avenue de Courmayeur in Chamonix, which is walking distance from a lot of hotels and campsites in Chamonix, or a local bus ride away from Les Houches.

Camping

Camping Les Arolles: €13.20 (€4.90 tent site + €8.30 per adult). TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Camping Le Grand Champ: €14.20 (€7 tent site + €7.20 per adult). Camping Bellevue €11 (€3.50 tent site + €7.50 per adult).

Camping Les Arolles is in Chamonix and walking distance from where the buses from Geneva drop off. They do not take advanced reservations; you can just show up day-of. Arolles offers paid luggage storage.

Camping Le Grand Champ is in between Chamonix and Les Houches; I camped here on my first trip to the area and it was very cozy and peaceful with a cool view of a jagged peak. If you don’t have door-to-door drop-off with your shuttle from Geneva, then you’d need to take a local bus to get here from Chamonix. You do not need to make advanced reservations here except in peak season of July 12-August 18th. They don’t ask for a deposit for reservations.

Camping Bellevue is in Les Houches and walking distance from the trailhead; it’s the only campsite that wouldn’t require a bus ride to get to the trailhead in the morning. 

Hotels

La Chaumière Mountain Lodge: €138 no meals, €150 with breakfast, €173 half board. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Chamonix Lodge Hostel €50 includes breakfast. Vert Lodge Chamonix €55 includes breakfast. La Croix Blanche €131-€177 depending on meals chosen. Hôtel Le Morgane €153-€191. Hôtel Vallée Blanche €158. Les Houches: Ibis €119. Le Saint-Antoine €185. RockyPop €94-€141.

I once booked a bunk at Chamonix Lodge hostel and really enjoyed it; they have a free breakfast, free luggage storage, and they are only about a 15 minute walk from where the buses drop off in Chamonix. They also have private rooms, but then you’re paying the same that you would for a regular hotel.

I once stayed at La Chaumière, which also offers luggage storage and is a 15 minute walk from where the bus from Geneva drops off. It’s a more typical hotel where you have your own room. It was super cozy and I had a balcony with a great view of the mountains. There is a convenient bus stop just outside the hotel, slightly down the road. In the morning you’ll want to ride the bus to Les Houches to begin the Tour du Mont Blanc.

There are innumerable hotel, hostel, and B&B options to choose from throughout Chamonix and Les Houches. You can find something within practically any budget. Hostels will be about €40-60 per bed in the peak summer season. Les Houches will generally be cheaper than Chamonix.

Day 1: Les Houches to Les Contamines

Transportation

Local bus to starting trailhead of TMB: $0.

Most campsites and hotels will have given you a free bus pass.

Camping

Camping Le Pontet: €11.40. Can add €18 dinner reservation, €11 breakfast buffet. TripAdvisor.
Alternative: Wildcamping near Refuge de la Balme or Refuge de Nant Borrant for €0.

Camping Le Pontet has plenty of room for tents, a nice bathroom and shower block, a laundry room, plus a covered eating area and bar where there are enough outlets for a lot of people to charge their phones all at once. If you don’t reserve an official meal, you can order food from the little bar; I got a sandwich. You can reserve a tent spot in advance if you want, but you pay on arrival.

As you’re walking towards the campsite, you will pass through the town of Les Contamines with all of its amenities and hotels and continue along the river Bon-Nant to reach the more secluded (but quite developed) Le Pontet. In the morning you’ll follow the road to Notre-Dame de la Gorge to begin the next stage.

If you want to get a jump on the next stage and/or save money, you could wildcamp near the refuges as described by TMBtent or Nomads With a Purpose. I will admit that I found this day to be quite long, so going the extra distance to wildcamp would have been exhausting to me.

Refuges

Refuge de Nant Borrant: €57.80 half board dorm, shower included. €12 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.
Alternative: Refuge de la Balme: €62 half board dorm, shower included. €13 packed lunch.

If you are willing to add another 45 minutes or so of hiking to the end of your day, you could continue on to the Nant Borrant Refuge and sleep in a dorm bed. Another hour and 15 minutes past that is Refuge de la Balme. Staying at either of these places will give you a jump on Day 2.

Hotels

Chalet-hôtel Gai Soleil: €88 private bunk bed room for 1-2 people includes breakfast buffet. Other types of rooms (€95 single, €114 economy double) can have breakfast added on for €13. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Chalet-Hôtel La Chemenaz €242. Studio 4 couchages “l’Appel de la Montagne” €63.

If you stop in Les Contamines instead of continuing on to Camping le Pontet or the refuges, you will have hotel options and even some private apartment rentals that are actually cheaper than hotels.

Day 2: Les Contamines to Les Chapieux

Camping

Free campsite in the field by the tourist office: €0.
Alternative: Camp outside of Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme for €0.

You’ll descend down into the small hamlet of Les Chapieux from Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme. There is a main street lined with a few hotels and a shop with snacks, and a giant field where campers can pitch their tents for free. You do not have to reserve a spot. The campsite does have toilets but no showers. Do not expect to have cell service in Les Chapieux. You might also have trouble finding a place to charge your phone.

Les Chapieux is right along the TMB and there’s nothing else around, so there’s no need to stray from the path to reach the campsite nor to rejoin the trail in the morning.

If you camp outside of the Croix du Bonhomme refuge you’ll have phenomenal views, but it’s quite exposed and could be problematic in bad weather. My friends who camped there also said they had some kind of horrific issue with flies or bugs of some kind. You have to pass this refuge along the trail anyway, so you will get the view even if you don’t camp there.

Refuges

Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme: €27.38 no meals or €59.88 half board. €3 showers, €10 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.
Alternative: Refuge Des Mottets €55 half board includes shower. €13 packed lunch.

Tour du Mont Blanc Les Chapieux
Looking towards the descent into Les Chapieux after the refuge

You can stop short of Les Chapieux to stay at Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme, or you can hike two hours past Les Chapieux to stay at Refuge Des Mottets. You have to pass both refuges eventually anyway; it’s a matter of cutting your Day 2 mileage short, or extending it and getting a jump on Day 3.

The hike from Croix du Bonhomme to Les Chapieux is a long descent, so if you have knee problems, you might enjoy waiting to tackle that on Day 3 instead of doing it at the end of Day 2 after you’ve already been hiking all day. The hike from Les Chapieux to Mottets is pretty flat.

Hotels

Auberge de la Nova: €66 half board dorm or €80 half board room. €14 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.
Alternative: Les Chambres du Soleil €70 half board dorms or €96 for a room. €12 packed lunch.

There are two auberge options in Les Chapieux. There are a lot more options in nearby Bourg-Saint-Maurice, but you’d have to take the bus or an expensive taxi to get to that town from Les Chapieux. When you search for Les Chambres du Soleil, for some reason Google Maps wants to tell you it’s located in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, but it’s actually in Les Chapieux.

Day 3: Les Chapieux to Refugio Elisabetta

Refuges

Rifugio Elisabetta: €54 half board dorm. €2 shower token, €10 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Cabane du Combal €95 half board. €15 packed lunch. Rifugio Monte Bianco €58-85 half board. €12 packed lunch.

Rifugio Elisabetta is one of the quintessential TMB refuges that most hikers really want to prioritize. It’s a dormitory-style mountain hut that sits right next to a glacier! After I arrived and took a lightning-quick 4 minute token-operated shower, I sat outside to admire the glacier up close while waiting for the included dinner service. 

They will randomly seat you at a table with other hikers for the meals. The dinner was great, but the breakfast was just some toast. If you typically need a big breakfast to fuel your hiking days, you’ll want to supplement with your own food. They do also have snacks (such as chips/crisps) and cold drinks you can purchase separately from the meals.

You really need to book as far in advance as possible to grab a spot, but day-of you could always swing by and ask if they have any last minute cancellations/openings.

Camping

Camping Hobo: €15.50 (€7 per tent site + €8.50 per adult). TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Camping Aiguille Noire €15 (€6 per tent site + €9 per adult; they also have €18 dorms). Camping Monte Bianco La Sorgente €14.50 (€6 per tent site + €8.50 per adult).

In order to camp on this day (or stay at Rifugio Monte Bianco), you would have to go off of the classic TMB route and add more mileage. The closest campsites are in Val Veny, another ~2 or 2.5 hour walk from Rifugio Elisabetta. You’re getting quite close to Courmayeur at that point, which is supposed to be the endpoint for tomorrow’s hike, unless you plan to skip ahead to Day 5’s itinerary tomorrow. If that’s the case, tomorrow you can take a free shuttle bus from Val Veny to Courmayeur to start your hiking day.

The classic hike from Elisabetta to Courmayeur includes some of my favorite views of the entire trek (for the first half of the day anyway, from Elisabetta to Maison Vieille; the last half of the day sucks). If you take the variant to Val Veny instead and basically skip Day 4, you’ll miss out. Sling Adventures made up for this by hanging around the area an extra day in order to complete a day hike of the section they missed.

Day 4: Rifugio Elisabetta to Courmayeur

Transportation

Cabinlift Dolonne + chairlift Maison Vieille one way: €15.

The first half of Day 4 is gorgeous, but the second half grinds the knees and is not very pretty. You can avoid the second half by taking the chairlift from Maison Vieille to Dolonne (it’s broken up into two rides; at one point you’ll transfer from a chairlift to a cabinlift).

Hotels

Hotel Ottoz: €90.50 includes breakfast. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Hotel Dolonne €90. iH Hotels Courmayeur Mont Blanc €138. Cresta et Duc Hotel €170. Hotel le Jumeaux €162. Maison La Saxe €190.

Courmayeur is lively and touristy; besides Chamonix this is the biggest town you’ll visit on the TMB. There are tons of restaurants and shops for resupply, although they’re all closed for a few hours for a lunch break around the time hikers start to arrive in town.

As soon as you come off the mountain, you hit the Dolonne neighborhood of Courmayeur first. It seems to have some cheaper accommodation options; this is where Hotel Ottoz is. Most other hotels are located in the main city center of Courmayeur and will involve additional walking to reach. I was grateful to have my own room, a longer hot shower, and the ability to sink-wash some clothes and hang them to dry outside on the clothesline.

Camping

This is another stage without any obvious campsites. You could take a bus from Courmayeur to camp in Val Veny (see campsite list for Day 3). If you already hiked all the way to the Val Veny campsites yesterday and basically skipped Day 4, then today you could do a day hike to see what you missed and camp at Val Veny again. Or, you might move on and end up at one of the Val Ferret campsites tonight (see campsite list for Day 5).

Refuges

Rifugio Maison Vieille: €70.50 half board dorm, €45.50 breakfast only, €30.50 no meals. €15 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.

You have to pass Maison Vieille along the classic TMB route regardless of whether you stop there. It’s the last outpost before you start the grueling and non-scenic descent down into Courmayeur at the end of Day 4. I honestly recommend taking the ski lift from Maison Vieille into Courmayeur to save your knees; you won’t be missing anything interesting on the trail. However, if you stay at the refuge tonight, the following morning I believe the lift down into Courmayeur won’t open until 9:30am. This means that if you wanted to explore Courmayeur at all or restock supplies, you might be getting a pretty late start to your hiking day on Day 5.

Day 5: Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti

Refuges

Rifugio Bonatti: €70 half board dorm, includes shower token. Sleeping liner mandatory or for rent for €3. €12 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Rifugio Bertone €65 half board dorm, includes shower token. €12 packed lunch. Rifugio Elena €58.50 half board dorm or €35.50 without meals, includes shower token. €11 packed lunch.

Rifugio Bonatti is another dormitory-style mountain hut that is practically synonymous with the Tour du Mont Blanc. It had the best dinner of my entire trek, and the continental breakfast included in their half board was much more sufficient than the one at Elisabetta. Like at Elisabetta, you will be randomly seated at a table with other hikers for dinner, and you can buy snacks if you need a pick-me-up while you’re waiting for mealtimes. The 4-minute showers are token-operated just like Elisabetta.

The view of the Mont Blanc massif from the seating area in front of Bonatti is spectacular. As you leave Bonatti you’ll say goodbye to Mont Blanc itself, which will not reappear until Col du Balme on Day 9.

You really need to refuges book as far in advance as possible to grab a spot. If Bonatti is all booked up, you can hike on further to stay at Rifugio Elena instead. Bertone is prior to Bonatti; from Courmayeur to Bertone would be a pretty quick day (but at 5.5 miles, too long to tack onto yesterday’s hike).

Camping

Camping Grand Jorasses: €14.50 (€9 per adult + €5.50 per tent site). Paid showers. TripAdvisor.
Alternative: Camping Tronchey: €14.50 (€9 per adult + €5.50 per tent site). Paid showers.

These campsites are down below Rifugio Bonatti in Val Ferret near Plampincieux. Camping there requires leaving the official TMB route behind. You’ll hike past Bonatti for another 1.5-2 hours until you reach Chalet Val Ferret, then take a bus to reach the campsites. In the morning you can take the bus back to Chalet Val Ferret to rejoin the trail. I have seen it reported in a few places that this shuttle is now free.

It’s also possible to take a spur trail into Val Ferret just after you pass Bonatti instead of hiking all the way to Chalet Val Ferret. The spur trail takes about an hour and there is a bus stop here too. However, if you don’t want to miss any of the TMB, the next morning it would suck to climb back up to Bonatti where you left off. Starting the next day at Chalet Val Ferret is easier.

Hotels

Chalet Val Ferret €130.80 half board. €12 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Hotel Miravalle €113-168. Chalet Svizzero €190 includes breakfast.

If you are willing to head into Plampincieux on the bus from Chalet Val Ferret as described in the camping section, you will have some lodging options there. You’ll need to take the bus back again in the morning to rejoin the trail.

Day 6: Rifugio Bonatti to La Fouly

Camping

Camping des Glaciers: CHF26.60 (€28.08) includes showers. Trip Advisor.

I really enjoyed the spacious Camping des Glaciers and its lovely view of the mountains. Like most of the paid campsites along the Tour du Mont Blanc, it’s a drive-in campsite with a lot of other campers and caravaners. You won’t feel like you’re roughing it, but this also means you’ll have easy access to any amenities you need. There is a small communal building for campers where you can leave your phone to charge and the reception office has a limited selection of snacks. You are walking distance from a bigger grocery store in La Fouly. Don’t forget to buy Swiss chocolate!

It is possible to reserve and pay in full in advance for your tent site.

Hotels

Hôtel Edelweiss: CHF 92.40 (€97.55) half board dorm or CHF 72.40 (€76.43) with breakfast only. Private room costs vary; CHF 100-193 half board room or CHF 128.60-165.60 with breakfast only. CHF 14 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Auberge des Glaciers CHF 97.20 half board dorm or CHF 152.50 half board room. CHF 14 packed lunch. L’auberge Maya-Joie CHF 72 dorm and breakfast. CHF 18 for evening meal, CHF 12 packed lunch.

A friend I met on the trail stayed at Hôtel Edelweiss and spoke well of it, so I will extend the recommendation. La Fouly is a small tourist village with a handful of non-camping options.

Refuges

Gîte de la Léchère: CHF 71.40 half board dorm. CHF 12 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.

You’ll notice that when auberges are located within a more built-up village and offer dorms (or both dorms and private rooms), I’ve listed them under “hotels,” and when a mountain hut is in a remote part of the trail without anything else around, I list it as a “refuge.” I’m going to consider Gîte de la Léchère to be a mountain refuge because when I hiked past it during my trek, it gave me a similar vibe as Rifugio Elisabetta or Bonatti. It’s very close to La Fouly, but not close enough that you’d want to venture into town for a small errand if you don’t have to. 

Day 7: La Fouly to Champex 

Camping

Camping Les Rocailles: Their “Hiker’s Package” is CHF 19 per person (€20.06). This includes the tent pitch, shower, electronics charging, wifi, tax, etc. TripAdvisor.

With your back to Champex, follow the road until you reach Camping Les Rocailles at the end of town. The campsite has a place to charge your phone and a limited selection of refreshments to buy. Like the prior night’s campsite in La Fouly, caravans and motorhomes can also stay here, and there is a grassy pitch for tent campers. Unlike in La Fouly, you cannot reserve a tent site in advance.

The campsite is walking distance to everything in Champex, so you can easily hit up a grocery store or outdoor gear shop. My new friends and I walked down to the lakeshore for a picnic and a few people went for a swim.

Hotels

Gîte Bon Abri: CHF 34 (€35.89) dorm with no meals, or CHF 71 (€74.96) half board dorm. CHF 53-58 (€56-61) for private room, or CHF 90-95 (€95-100) half board private room. CHF 12 breakfast, CHF 25 dinner, CHF 14 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Pension en Plein Air CHF 82 half board dorm. Hôtel Alpina Champex CHF 183.60 or CHF 232.60 half board, Hotel Mont Lac Champex CHF 190, Hôtel Splendide CHF 156.60, Le Belvédère CHF 120 with breakfast, half board is additional CHF 35.

There are lots of hotels in Champex. Ones like Au Club Alpin are more expensive because of their fancy lakeside suites, but you can find more affordable well-rated alternatives like those I’ve listed above. The most affordable one, Gîte Bon Abri, is about a 30 minute walk away from the lake and town. For Hôtel Splendide, note you can only book by email, otherwise a multi-night minimum is enforced. Be sure to read TripAdvisor reviews – the ones for Belvédère are hit or miss.

Day 8: Champex to Trient/Col de la Forclaz

Camping

Le Peuty campsite CHF 6.00 (€6.33). TripAdvisor.
Alternative: Camping on property of Hôtel du Col de la Forclaz: CHF 18.00 includes showers (CHF 8 for small tent + CHF 10 per adult), or CHF 45 half board. CHF 16 breakfast.

You can camp very cheaply at Le Peuty in Trient, and staying there will give you a jump on the following day’s hike, but Le Peuty campsite does not have many amenities. Some new trail friends and I chose the campsite in the backyard of Hôtel du Col de la Forclaz and were grateful for a little communal building where we could hide from rain, charge phones, and play cards at the indoor tables. The hotel has a nice restaurant where we ordered Swiss fondue! There is a tiny souvenir shop across from the hotel with a couple snacks, but otherwise there’s not much else around.

That said, the people who worked in the restaurant at the hotel were blatantly annoyed by campers hanging around and were kind of rude to us. When I hiked past the Le Peuty campsite the next day, there were a lot of campers there and it seemed like a more welcoming hiker hangout space. Campers can book a meal at Refuge Le Peuty even if they’re not staying in the dorms; hopefully the people at the refuge are nicer about it than the people at Hôtel de la Forclaz.

A tent site cannot be reserved in advance at either location, you can just show up.

Hotels

Hôtel du Col de la Forclaz: CHF 45 (€47.51) dorm with no meals, CHF 55 (€58.06) dorm and breakfast, CHF 75 (€79.18) half board dorm. A private room could be anywhere from CHF 58-199 depending on type of room and which meals you want to include. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Refuge Le Peuty CHF 66 half board dorm. CHF 11 packed lunch. Auberge du Mont Blanc CHF 40-68 dorm depending on meals chosen. La Grande Ourse CHF 75 half board dorm or CHF 162 half board private room. CHF 15 packed lunch.

If you hike down into Trient instead of stopping in Forclaz, this village has a handful of hotel options (and a really cute pink church to take photos of).

Day 9: Col de la Forclaz to Tré-le-Champ

Camping

Camping on property of Auberge La Boerne: €8-10, showers included. €40 half board camping. TripAdvisor.
Alternative: Camping du Glacier d’Argentière €11.20 (€7.50 per adult + €3.70 tent pitch). According to Nomads with a Purpose, you can wildcamp for free at Col de Posettes (though not at the summit of Aiguillette des Posettes) or sometimes at Refuge du Col de Balme if the owner gives permission.

Auberge La Boerne is a dormitory that also has a campsite option. You do not have to make a reservation in advance if camping with your own tent. Their restaurant is open for à la carte orders at lunchtime, and you can sign up in advance to join the breakfast service (€10) or the evening meal (€20). I am guessing that perhaps the €8 tent camping fee has increased to €10 for 2024, because if you add €8 + €10 breakfast + €20 dinner, you get €38, so why would half board be listed as €40?

As you’re now nearing the end of the circuit at Chamonix, Auberge La Boerne feels like an adventurer’s outpost where you might meet bicyclists, climbers, or weekenders in addition to your fellow trekkers. It’s near a neighborhood and isn’t a wilderness experience, but it still feels tucked away and cozy and isn’t bustling like Chamonix.

You can walk to the nearby Montroc train station if you need to visit Argentière for supplies or an ATM. That’s also how you’d get to Camping du Glacier d’Argentière; if you stay there you’d need to take the train back to Tré-le-Champ to rejoin the trail in the morning.

Hotels

Auberge La Boerne: €55 half board dorm. €12 packed lunch. TripAdvisor.
Alternatives: Gîte Le Moulin €49 half board dorm. €11 packed lunch. Les Grands Montets €181, or €195 with breakfast.

There are hotels and chalets near the Montroc train station in Tré-le-Champ, in Le Tour a short walk away, or in the closest “big” town of Argentière, which you may want to ride the train to.

Refuges

Refuge du Col de Balme: €55 half board dorm. TripAdvisor.

Refuge du Col de Balme Tour du Mont Blanc
Refuge du Col de Balme

I loved taking a break at this refuge around lunchtime during my trek; the restaurant has a lot of options, including the best apricot almond tarte I’ve ever tasted. It’s located halfway along the route of Day 9, prior to Aiguillette des Posettes which is the big dramatic viewpoint of the day. It might make sense to sleep here and do Aiguillette des Posettes the following day if you plan on staying near Lac Blanc tomorrow night (a popular day hike/variant off the TMB path) instead of hiking on to Chamonix. Otherwise it’s kind of an odd stopping point.

If you do venture to Lac Blanc in between stages 9 and 10, note you can’t wildcamp at Lac Blanc itself, but you can at Lacs de Chéserys nearby. Refuge options in between stages 9 and 10 include Refuge La Flégère and Refuge de Bellachat.

Day 10: Tré-le-Champ to Chamonix

Camping

Refer back to Day 0.

Hotels

Refer back to Day 0.

Day 11: Travel Day

Transportation

Refer back to Day 0.

BlaBlaBus is usually cheaper, but they may not have an early enough pickup time for you to make your flight on Day 11. AlpyBus does door-to-door pickup from hotels throughout Chamonix and they can come get you quite early in the morning.

✈️ Coming to Europe from further afield? Use an Airalo eSIM for affordable international cell data and don’t forget to protect your investment with travel insurance.

Total Base Cost to Solo Hike the Tour du Mont Blanc

All of these price totals assume you are taking BlaBlaBus both into and out of Chamonix instead of AlpyBus. I did not add on any costs for packed picnic lunches or paid shower tokens. I did not add the €15 chairlift from Maison Vieille to Courmayeur since this is optional.

€187.39 = Camping only, assuming you camp at Camping Hobo twice (Day 3 and Day 4). I did not add the optional meal services at Camping Le Pontet or Auberge La Boerne.

€281.39 = Camping mostly, with stays at Rifugio Elisabetta and Rifugio Bonatti. I did not add the optional meal services at Camping Le Pontet or Auberge La Boerne.

€356.39 = Camping mostly, with stays at Elisabetta and Bonatti, plus a hotel in Courmayeur. I did not add the optional meal services at Camping Le Pontet or Auberge La Boerne.

€690-790 = Never tent camping, choosing bunks at refuges and auberges as often as possible instead of private rooms, except in Courmayeur. The lower end of the price range represents opting out of half board when possible. If you stay at Rifugio Maison Vieille instead of a hotel in Courmayeur, you can subtract another €20-60 depending on your chosen meal inclusions at Maison Vieille.

€1100-1250 = Never tent camping, always choosing private rooms, except for the bunks at Rifugio Elisabetta and Rifugio Bonatti. The lower end of the price range represents opting out of half board when possible.

As a piece of advice – I would say that opting out of half board in favor of resupplying at grocery stores in town is not really going to save you money. Food in town is expensive too.

For comparison – guided trekking companies charge between $2,200-$4,800 for a Tour du Mont Blanc trip (if you see something cheaper, pay attention to whether it’s self-guided vs. fully guided, and whether the tour skips some days of the circuit).


Related:
Cicerone Trekking the Tour Du Mont Blanc guidebook
Tour du Mont Blanc Cicerone Guidebook
Garmin InReach Mini
Garmin InReach Mini
Nemo Hornet 2 person backpacking tent
Nemo Hornet 2P tent
Electrolyte tablets for hikers
Nuun Electrolyte Tablets
100 Hikes of a Lifetime The Worlds Ultimate Scenic Trails
100 Hikes of a Lifetime
Tour du Mont Blanc Real IGN Maps
Tour du Mont Blanc: Real IGN Maps
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2 Comments

  1. What a fantastic resource for planning! I’m done booking my trip and only found this now that I’m looking at adding another person to our trip. This is great for alternatives I would not have thought of. Thanks!

    1. Awesome, thanks Karen! I’m so glad it was helpful, I hoped it would come in handy for people! I found that physical guidebooks do their best to list possible accommodations, but they become out of date so fast. Online I’ll see a roundup of recommendations for campers, or a separate day-by-day trail report that’s got a few popular hotel suggestions, but I rarely see a more comprehensive list comparing all the budget options side by side.

      I hope you guys have an incredible trek!

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