Tour du Mont Blanc

TMB Day 1: Les Houches to Les Contamines

Tour du Mont Blanc

We arrived in Les Houches around noon after taking an Alpybus shuttle from the Geneva Airport. Initially, we had planned on spending a day in Chamonix before trekking, but due to weather and the late arrival of our flight, decided we would see the beautiful mountain town at the end of the trek.


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Les Houches is a quaint little village to the east of Chamonix and the perfect starting point to begin our anti-clockwise tour of Mont Blanc. We stayed at Gite Michel Fagot for the night, which offers a a nice set of dorm rooms. We had four beds in ours, and Julia and I shared the space with two older Spanish gentlemen from Mallorca. I had done my best before this trip to learn as much French as possible, but having no one to practice with left me with the same skills as a baker in a barnyard. It was nice to speak a language I was comfortable with. English is always easy, but Spanish can be just as nice. The host of the Gite was a pleasant young woman from Belgium, with airy brown hair and freckles earned from time out on the trails. She did a great job of managing the place, considering how many beds were under her responsibility.

Gite Michel Fagot
Gite Michel Fagot
Les Houches
Les Houches
Les Houches
Les Houches
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The Church
Les Houches
Les Houches

We spent some time walking around Les Houches and talking about what to expect in the coming days. Not too far from the church we found a great little pizza place for dinner. After dinner, we made our way back to the gite, and settled in for a restless night. We woke up early the next morning and had our first taste of a French breakfast. Breads and jams go quite well as a side dish in my book, but it took some getting used to once I realized this is all I’d be likely to have in the days ahead. Nonetheless, it was quite good when paired with a large helping of coffee.

The trail began on a wooded stairway after walking for a few hundred meters outside of the gite. The then leads though a light wooded area and passes by a few houses and roads on it’s way to the first high point, Col de Voza.

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First Steps of Tour du Mont Blanc
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The view back to Les Houches
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Wooden House
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On the way to the Col
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Train on the backside of the Col

After the Col, the trail is all downhill until Les Contamines. It was a great deal of fun for us, as a trail race was taking place at the same time. Seeing runners fly by, and others hobble on, made us appreciate the leisurely pace of trekking. We reached Les Contamines not too long after noon, and found a great bed and breakfast just behind the church and off the main road. We first stopped at the Carrefour Express and bought food for dinner and breakfast. We were very happy to have our own room for the night, complete with a TV to watch the World Cup, a hot water shower, and a nice warm bed.

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Room with a view
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Les Contamines
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Garden House
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Bed and Breakfast

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I'm Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

10 comments on “TMB Day 1: Les Houches to Les Contamines

  1. Wow, looks amazing!!! 🙂

  2. What a great description of our launch!

  3. Awesome!! What is the name of this bed and breakfast?

  4. Just found your blog, very useful. I’m planning to hike TMB is June.

  5. Adriane Reis

    What date did you start the hike?

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