Five Things I Didn’t Expect on the Tour du Mont Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc

My first summer working at Alpenwild I was assigned to be the specialist over the Tour du Mont Blanc. To better get to know the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) I traveled to the Alps and completed the trek myself. Before I left, I read all the TMB materials on the Alpenwild website as well as did a lot of Googling to find out more about the most popular trek in Europe. I felt like I had done plenty of research before I left, but there were still a few things that surprised me when I was on the trails. 

Here are five things I didn’t expect on the TMB that might help you feel more prepared:

1. There are quite a bit of people on the trail

The TMB is the most popular trek in Europe, which means there are going to be several other people on the trail. Day 1 there will be what seems like impossible amounts of people starting the TMB the exact same time as you. As the days go on, the trails become less crowded as other people take different trails and stay in different accommodations.

wide trails
Most trails are wide and well-maintained due to the amount of nature enthusiasts that enjoy the TMB trails. Photo by Jen Stretton.

2. The trails are wide and maintained

You aren’t hiking in the middle of nowhere, this is a trek that others have done before and the trails reflect that. With all the posted signs and markers, it’s difficult to get lost. However, on less clear paths – in the boulder fields and unpredictable weather – an Alpenwild guide can safely lead the way.

New friends
Hours on the trail and time to chat results in new friends that share similar interests. Photo by Jen Stretton.

3. You make new, close friends

The people you hike with day after day start to become very good friends. Join in on the fun and try to get to know those who you are spending so much time with! You will even start to recognize hikers not in your group who stop at similar resting spots. The TMB is a very social trail!

uphill tour du mont blanc
Though it is a popular trek, don’t underestimate the difficulty of the Tour du Mont Blanc – train and be ready for the strenuous trek. Photo by Jen Stretton.

4. Uphills are no joke

Each day you have an elevation gain between 2325 and 4250 feet. Most of those uphill stretches are tough. They can often be all at once instead of a gentle, stretched-out stroll uphill.  Some trails are dirt, some are loose gravel, and some have boulders and tree roots littering the trail. Be careful and watch your step. Find a pace that works best for you and stick to it. 

5. Self-care after a day of hiking is key

After hiking all day it’s understandable that you will be tired. Make sure to take some time at the end of each day to rest and get ready for the next day. Some activities that I found useful in taking care of myself were taking advantage of the hotels’ spas, stretching, and massages. Most of the hotels used along the TMB route have spa facilities (jacuzzis, pools, saunas, and steam rooms). There are a few hotels along the TMB route which offer massages, including sports massages. I found a sports massage incredibly helpful on our rest day and got me ready to go for the rest of the trek! Bringing something round like a tennis ball, or even using your trekking poles, to roll out your muscles can also be beneficial. 

Why travel with Alpenwild?

Here at Alpenwild we specialize in the Alps, we know the trails and towns inside and out. We have partnerships with several hotels and restaurants. Our expertise gives you a rich, more enjoyable experience, and makes better use of your time.  We believe in personal experiences. On a guided tour you will feel like you are on a tour with some of your closest friends. On a self-guided tour you will have enough written hiking instructions and communication with our office to feel like you are fully taken care of.  

We would love to have you join us on the Deluxe Tour du Mont Blanc! We can arrange trip essentials like accommodations, meals, luggage transfers, hiking instructions, etc. Let our expertise of the Alps benefit your travel plans!

Visit our website for more info on any of our trips. You can also give us a call (801-226-9026) or send us an email ( We’d love to make your dream Alps trip a reality.

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Macie Briggs
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