The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is a world-famous multi-day trek through some of the most spectacular alpine scenery in Europe. The 165 km trail circumnavigates the tallest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc, and goes through three countries (France, Italy and Switzerland) in the process. Tour du Mont Blanc is often on many hikers’ bucket lists and for that reason, can be a bit crowded and requiring booking huts many months in advance. Consider these alternative hut-to-hut treks in the Alps that offer up the same stunning landscapes as the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Walker’s Haute Route
The Walker’s Haute Route is a great (and tougher!) alternative to the Tour du Mont Blanc, as it goes for 204 km between Chamonix (France) and Zermatt (Switerzland). Typically done over a 14 day period, there are many variations on the trail for those looking to shorten or lengthen the trek. You will enjoy the same superb views and comfortable lodging as you would on the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Aosta Valley – Alta Via 1 and 2
The beautiful alpine valley in northwestern Italy, bordering Switzerland and France, and has Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn amongst the mountains that rise up from the valley.
Alta Via 1 (also known as the Giant’s Trail) runs along the north side of the Aosta Valley – 190 km. Alta Via 2 runs along the south side of the Aosta Valley – approx. 160 km through Gran Paradiso National Park. These two trails together make up the Tor de Geants (Tour of the Giants) circuit, 330 km in total of high altitude trekking.
Dolomites – Alta Via 1 and 2
A beautiful part of the Alps, the jagged peaks of the Dolomites feature the more popular Alta Vias, in northeastern Italy. Alta Via 1 is 120 km trek between Belluno and Dobbacio, while Alta Via 2 is 160 km between Bressanone and Croce d’Aune. Both treks have lots of planning resources available to do independently for the experienced hiker.
Tour de Monte Rosa
The Tour de Monte Rosa is a 160 km route circling the spectacular Monte Rosa massif, going through Switzerland and Italy. Starting in Täsh, this circuit includes the Europaweg, a famous 2 day trek which includes one of the longest suspension bridges in Europe.
The iconic Matterhorn mountain provides a dramatic backdrop for the town of Zermatt in Switzerland. The Matterhorn Circuit is a 150 km route circling the striking mountain (known as Cervino in Italian) and goes between Zermatt and Randa.
Considered one of the most beautiful areas in the Alps, the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland offers up postcard images of the Swiss Alps: alpine peaks, turquoise lakes, cows with bells grazing as you hike. With many villages dotting this area such as Grindelwald, Murren and Wengen, it is possible to do a village to village trek of any length through this sublime part of the Alps.
The Julian Alps in Slovenia provide magnificent mountain landscapes, ideal for long distance trekking. The only official hut-to-hut trail is the Slovenian Mountain Trail which is 600+ km. So if you’re looking for something shorter, then you can plan a trek that will take you through Slovenia’s only national park, Triglav National Park.
These are just a handful of hut-to-hut treks that you could explore as an alternative to the Tour du Mont Blanc. The Alps provide endless possiblities for hikers, find out more at Where to Hike When.