Tour du Mont Blanc Accommodation and Refuge Guide

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The Tour du Mont Blanc is arguably the greatest trek in the world. Despite the fact that you’ll experience pristine wilderness and remote surroundings by day, you can still enjoy plenty of creature comforts each night. Trekking over jaw dropping mountain passes and eating fine charcuterie in the same day? It might just be the best hike ever!

If you want to make the most of your self-guided Tour du Mont experience, it is essential to do a little advance planning when it comes to accommodation. Many places book up early in the season, and some options are much better than others.

In this guide, we’ll cover the need-to-know information on TMB refuges and other accommodations. We’ve also included an excellent directory of the best accommodation and refuges for every style, budget, and itinerary.

In This Post

A road leads towards Refuge des Mottets on the TMB
Refuge Des Mottets

TMB Accommodation Directory

There is a variety of accommodation to suit every need along the Tour du Mont Blanc. From mountain refuges to five-start hotels, you are sure to find something that works for you.

In the following directory we’ve provide our top picks for where to stay in all the towns and villages along the route, along with some details on the mountain refuges you’ll pass in between.

This directory is organized to follow a counterclockwise itinerary with all of the typical stops. For each option, we’ve provided our most highly recommended place to stay, along with a few additional choices at various budgets.

Additional details on how to book accommodation on the TMB, what to expect, and how much you can anticipate spending are found later in this post.

You can view a map of accommodation options along the Tour du Mont Blanc below as well:

The directory includes recommendations for these places:

The Chamonix train station - the official start of the Haute Route
The Chamonix train station

Be sure to check out our TMB Logistics article for helpful advice when planning your trek!

Chamonix

While the TMB technically does not pass through Chamonix at any point, many hikers like to stay here before and/or after their trek. Chamonix is the heart of the region and you’ll find tons of restaurants, outdoor shops, grocery stores, and anything else you might need before your trek.

Our Top Pick in Chamonix
Heliopic Hotel & Spa
5.0

Hotel Helopic & Spa is our top pick in Chamonix for before the Tour du Mont Blanc. You'll find comfortable rooms, spacious guest areas, and the location can't be beat!

Pros:
  • Spacious Rooms
  • Excellent Spa
  • Easy access to public transport

Just minutes from shops, restaurants, and the bus terminal, Heliopic Hotel & Spa’s location is perfect for those starting or finishing the TMB. Furthermore, the rooms are spacious and well-equipped, the staff is friendly, and they have great amenities like free luggage storage and a heated pool and spa that is available to all guests!

This is our top-pick in Chamonix for Tour du Mont Blanc trekkers.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None, breakfast for an additional fee

Mid-Range Option: Auberge du Manoir

Auberge du Manoir is a charming hotel located right in the center of Chamonix that is a great mid-range option for TMB hikers. The staff is exceptionally welcoming and you’ll be within walking distance of all the major services in town. The rooms themselves are cozy, with lots of wood accents and comfortable bedding. If you can swing it, we recommend opting for a room with a balcony!

Room type(s): Private twins and doubles, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None, breakfast for an additional fee

Budget Option: Le Chamoniard Volent

Le Chamoniard is the best place to find an affordable bed in pricey Chamonix. It’s not luxurious, but this well-run hostel is consistently clean and friendly to TMB walkers. Guests have access to a communal kitchen and lounge area, plenty of bathrooms and showers, and free wifi. The hostel is located a little over a mile from the city center, but it is also conveniently near a bus stop.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, and/or evening meal available for an extra fee

Les Houches

Les Houches is the official start of the Tour du Mont Blanc and many hikers will enjoy staying here both before and after their hike. We personally always stay in Les Houches as it has a much quieter vibe than adjacent Chamonix. There are still plenty of services in the village including a well-stocked supermarket and several outdoor stores. You’re also an easy bus/train ride away from Chamonix if needed.

Check out our top picks for where to stay in Les Houches below:

Our Top Pick in Les Houches
RockyPop - Les Houches

RockyPop is our top option in Les Houches for those looking to stay a bit closer to the start. It's affordable, comfortable, and close to services and the frequent valley bus service. On-site luggage storage as well!

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Convenient
  • On-site luggage storage

This eclectic and funky hotel is a great option in Les Houches. RockyPop features unique 80’s-style decor, an excellent restaurant, and a convenient location. Rooms are basic, but they are clean and many have good views. Luggage storage and an airport shuttle are available.

You also have easy access to the bus into Chamonix from here and its a short walk into the Les Houches town center.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite (sizes range from 1-12 adults)
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None, breakfast for an additional fee

Mid-Range: Chalet Hotel du Bois

Guests love the friendly service and incredible views at this hotel. Located just a few minutes’ walk from the start of the TMB, this is a great place to stay on either end of your trek. Treat yourself with their luxurious beds and on site sauna before you rough it on the trail!

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None, breakfast for an additional fee

Budget: Gite Michel Fagot

Your stay at Michel Fagot includes a fabulous dinner, incredibly helpful and friendly service, and a dorm bed with linens provided- all for a very reasonable fee. The facilities are well-kept and feature a self-catering kitchen and a cozy living room. The gite is located just steps from the bus stop and the start of the TMB.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash or check only
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner (packed lunches available for an extra fee)
Breakfast on a balcony in in Les Houches
Breakfast in Les Houches

Refuges between Les Houches and Les Contamines

Between Les Houches and Les Contamines you’ll find several refuges that serve TMB hikers. Keep in mind that some of these are located along the Col de Tricot alternate route:

Refuge du Fioux

Refuge de Miage (Col de Tricot route)

Auberge du Truc (Col de Tricot route)

Not sure if these refuges make sense for your itinerary? We can help!

From trail guides to custom itineraries we’ve got everything you need plan your perfect trip. Learn more below.

Les Contamines

For those hiking in the traditional anti-clockwise direction, you’ll reach Les Contamines at the end of your first day. This is a lovely village with plenty of restaurants and other services, along with many places to spend the night.

Find our top picks for accommodation in Les Contamines below:

Our Top Pick in Les Contamines
Chalet-Hotel Gai Soleil

Our top pick for TMB hikers in Les Contamines is Chalet-Hotel Gai Soleil. This comfortable hotel gets our top marks for the friendly staff, central location, and comfortable rooms. Perfect for after a long day on the trail!

Pros:
  • Friendly staff
  • Comfortable rooms
  • Lovely grounds

Chalet-Hotel Gai Soleil is located just off the main street in Les Contamines and is our top pick for TMB hikers. Most of the rooms are outfitted with cozy wood paneling and have tremendous views of the surrounding mountains.

But what really sets Gai Soleil apart is the friendly and outgoing staff. No question is too small for them, and they are happy to help weary TMB hikers find a good place to eat, somewhere to stock up on supplies, and even offer advice for the next stage of hiking!

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast available

Mid Range: Chalet-Hotel la Chemenaz

This traditional chalet-style hotel is a welcome respite for tired hikers! It is located just a short distance from the trail and features a heated pool, jacuzzi, and sauna for soothing aching muscles. The rooms are cozy and many have great views. There is a good restaurant on the premises.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast included, half board option

Mid-Range: Hotel le Christiania

This hotel consistently gets rave reviews for its clean rooms, excellent service, and cozy decor. It is located near the TMB, as well as near shops, restaurants, and other services. The on site restaurant serves up delicious local fare, and many rooms have spectacular views.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None

Budget: Chalet des Contamines

Given that it is operated by CAF, the French Alpine Club, this chalet has the feel of a true mountain refuge while still being conveniently located in the heart of the village. The accommodation entails simple dorm beds and shared bathrooms, but the friendly hosts and delicious food make for an outstanding experience.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash or check only
Meals included: Half-board

Refuges between Les Contamines and Les Chapieux

There are a handful of refuges between Les Contamines and Les Chapieux. These make sense for hikers looking to shorten the long stage between the two villages and enjoy a night in a mountain refuge.

Refuge de Nant Borrant

Refuge des Prés (off the main TMB)

Refuge de la Balme

Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme

Les Chapieux

The tiny hamlet of Les Chapieux will be the second night on the trail for most hikers. There are only two accommodation options here, both of which tend to book up early!

Mid-Range: Chambres de Soleil

This guesthouse is one of two great options in the beautiful hamlet of Les Chapieux. There are a variety of room types available, most with private bathrooms. Dinner and breakfast are included with your stay, and the unique food offerings are a definite highlight.

Room type(s): Private, some ensuite
Payment: Cash or check only
Meals included: Half-board

Budget/Mid-Range: Auberge de la Nova

This cozy and welcoming auberge is the other good option in Les Chapieux. Budget-minded travelers will appreciate the dormitory option, while those seeking a bit more comfort can stay in one of the six private rooms (shared bathrooms). There is a lovely outdoor terrace, and dinner and breakfast are included with your stay. Keep in mind, like many accommodations on the TMB, Auberge de la Nova does not accept credit cards.

Room type(s): Private, dormitory
Payment: Cash or check only
Meals included: Half-board, picnic lunch can be purchased

Mountain Refuge: Refuge des Mottets

For those willing to hike a bit past Les Chapieux or who opt to take the Col des Fours alternate route, you’ll find excellent accommodation at Refuge des Mottets. One of the most well-regarded refuges on the entire route, you’ll find spectacular views and comfortable accommodation here.

Room type(s): Private, dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-board, picnic lunch can be purchased
Auberge de la Nova, Tour du Mont Blanc accommodation
Auberge de la Nova

Nothing available in Les Chapieux?

Planning your TMB but not finding any accommodation available in Les Chapieux? You can typically find additional options in nearby Bourg-Saint-Maurice.

Read more about how to get there in our TMB Public Transport post and see some of our top pick in Bourg-Saint-Maurice below:

Hotel Arolla – Located a short walk from the bus stop to/from Les Chapieux, this is our top pick in Bourg-Saint-Maurice.

Our Top Pick in Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Hôtel Arolla | Bourg-Saint-Maurice

If there are no beds to be found in Les Chapieux, then we recommend taking the bus to Bourg-Saint-Maurice and staying at Hôtel Arolla. It is close to the Les Chapieux bus stop and has an exceedingly friendly owner!

Pros:
  • Easy to get to
  • Breakfast included
  • Friendly staff/owner

Rifugio Elisabetta

The next stop on a traditional Tour du Mont Blanc circuit is Rifugio Elisabetta. In fact, between Les Chapieux and Courmayeur you will only find mountain refuges (or rifugios in Italy) and no hotels. If you’re willing to utilize public transit to travel off route, there are easy connections to Courmayeur.

Mountain Refuge: Rifugio Elisabetta

A large majority of TMB hikers stop at Rifugio Elisabetta, due to the fact that it is the only accommodation in the area for many miles (4.5 miles from the previous stop and 6 miles from the next one). Perhaps another reason why so many TMB hikers make a point to stay at Elisabetta is because it is so wonderful!

This historic refuge boasts tons of quintessential Alpine charm, an absolutely stunning location, and plentiful opportunities to enjoy the company of fellow hikers. There are dorms and private rooms available. Advance bookings are essential, and only cash payments are accepted.

Room type(s): Private, Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-board, picnic lunch can be purchased
Rifugio Elisabetta, Tour du Mont Blanc Accommodation
Rifugio Elisabetta

Rifugios between Rifugio Elisabetta and Courmayeur

There are several rifugios between Elisabetta and Courmayeur. Some of these are located just off the main route, but still present a good option for accommodation on this section of the TMB.

Cabane du Combal

Rifugio Maison Vieille

Rifugio Monte Bianco (off the main route)

Gite le Randonneur du Mont-Blanc

Courmayeur

You’ve made it to Courmayeur! Although not officially the halfway point, it sure feels like it after several days of tough walking. You’ll find tons of hotels in the largest city on the entire TMB. If you can, we recommend taking a rest day here and staying for two nights to fully enjoy the vibe of this Italian gem.

Our Top Pick in Courmayeur
Maison La Saxe

Our favorite hotel on the entire Tour du Mont Blanc! Maison La Saxe makes the perfect place to relax after completing the first half of the TMB. You couldn't ask for better service or more comfortable rooms.

Highly recommended!

Pros:
  • Top notch service
  • Incredible breakfast
  • Stunning rooms

This cozy hotel offers top-notch service in a peaceful setting and is our favorite hotel on the entire TMB! It is located in the tiny town of La Saxe, which is a short walk to the center of Courmayeur. They also serve up a delicious complimentary breakfast made with all local, high-quality ingredients.  Book Suite #2 for a private roof terrace and breathtaking views of the entire valley.

If you can spare the time, we highly recommend spending two nights here.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite 
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast
View from a room at Maison La Saxe.
View from your room at Maison La Saxe
Worth Considering in Courmayeur
Hotel Croux | Courmayeur

If Maison La Saxe is fully booked or you prefer to be in the heart of Courmayeur, we recommend Hotel Croux. The location is excellent, the rooms comfortable, and the staff welcoming.

Pros:
  • Breakfast included
  • On-site laundry
  • Great location

Hotel Croux is located in the heart of Courmayeur and is a well-run and affordable option. The rooms themselves are comfortable and well-appointed, but it’s the free breakfast that really shines here. You’re sure to be well-fueled for the steep climb out of Courmayeur on your next stage after a stay here!

Room type(s): Private, ensuite 
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Budget: Hotel Edelweiss

Hotel Edelweiss is a great budget option in Courmayeur. Clean and well-maintained rooms offer a peaceful place to spend the night. We also like the location, which is central but outside of the hustle and bustle or the main tourist area in Courmayeur. A great option for TMB hikers.

Room type(s): Private
Payment: Cash, credit card
Meals included: Breakfast included
Image of Courmayeur, Italy
Courmayeur is a classic Italian mountaineering town.

Rifugio Bonatti

From Courmayeur those hiking the TMB in the traditional direction will have a steep hike out of town en route to Rifugio Bonatti. Along the way you’ll pass Rifugio Bertone, which is only 2 or so hours past Courmayeur. As such, most hikers will prefer to make it to Bonatti, but Bertone does provide a good alternative should Rifugio Bonatti be fully booked.

Mountain Refuge: Rifugio Bonatti

This is arguably one of the most memorable accommodations on the entire TMB. Its remote location boasts incredible views of Val Ferret and the jagged peaks surrounding it. The cozy interior and convivial atmosphere lend themselves to a true mountain experience.

Room type(s): Dormitory 
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-board 
Rifugio Bonatti TMB accommodation
Rifugio Bonatti is one of the most magical refuges on the entire TMB.

Accommodation between Bonatti and La Fouly

There are a few options for accommodation between Rifugio Bonatti and La Fouly. Many hikers will find the Bonatti is fully booked, necessitating a stay at one of the following or taking a bus back to Courmayeur.

Hotel Lavachey (off route, in the Val Ferret below Bonatti)

Hotel Chalet Val Ferret

Rifugio Elena

Gite Alpage de la Peule

Hotel du Col de Fenêtre

La Fouly

Crossing from Italy into Switzerland brings you into your third and final country on the Tour du Mont Blanc. You’ll find prices are a bit higher in Switzerland compared to France and Italy, but the views are stunning, the fondue to die for, and the people friendly and welcoming!

Your first stop will be the small village of La Fouly, which has several good accommodation options available.

Our Top Pick in La Fouly
Hotel Edelweiss | La Fouly

Our favorite hotel in La Fouly is Hotel Edelweiss. Set just off the main street, this friendly hotel welcomes tons of TMB hikers every year. The rooms are very comfortable and the location is excellent!

Pros:
  • Multiple room types
  • Good food
  • Welcoming staff

This smart hotel balances traditional mountain charm with fresh and modern updates, all while maintaining a high level of excellence. Enjoy the lavish breakfast spread and relax sore muscles in the sauna. There are also posh dormitories for those looking for a more upscale budget option.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite, Dormitory 
Payment: Credit card, cash 
Meals included: Half-board 

Mid-Range: Auberge des Glaciers

While some rooms are a bit outdated and cramped, this auberge offers a convenient location and great food at a very reasonable price. There are a variety of room types to suite groups of all sizes.

Room type(s): Private, some ensuite, Dormitory 
Payment: Credit card, cash 
Meals included: Breakfast 

Budget: Chalet le Dolent

Outside of camping, this is the cheapest accommodation you’ll find in La Fouly. This very rustic chalet is located on the edge of town and offers dorm beds, free wifi, and complimentary hot showers. There is a self-catering kitchen, but no meals are served on-site.

Room type(s): Dormitory 
Payment: Cash only 
Meals included: None

Read more: Tour du Mont Blanc Maps

Champex-Lac

Champex-Lac is the largest town in Switzerland you’ll visit and enjoys a lovely lakeside location. You’ll find a variety of accommodation options here from fancy hotels to more modest guesthouses. Either way, this is a wonderful place to spend the night and enjoy a bit of Swiss culture.

If you’re planning to take the tough Fenetre d’Arpette alternate route you should also consider staying at Relais d’Arpette, which is located 40 minutes past the village on the alternate route.

Check out our top picks for Tour du Mont Blanc hikers in La Fouly below:

Our Top Pick in Champex
Au Vieux Champex

A favorite among TMB hikers in Champex, Au Vieux Champex has lovely views of the lake and is centrally located. There are several different rooms types to suit your group, and the rooms are clean and modern.

Pros:
  • Lake views
  • Modern rooms
  • On-site restaurant

Au Vieux Champex is centrally located with wonderful views across the lake. The hotel welcomes plenty of TMB hikers every year and their attention to details shows through. The food gets top marks as well as the cleanliness of the rooms. Our top pick in Champex!

Room type(s): Apartment style rooms
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None

High-End: Au Club Alpin

A true luxury experience along the TMB can be found in Champex at Au Club Alpin. The rooms are tastefully designed and very comfortable, while the on-site restaurant is one of the best in Champex. The true delight here is the on-site spa, perfect for revitalizing after a long day of hiking.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None

Mid-Range: Hotel Splendide

Hotel Splendide has a lot going for it, like the rich breakfast spread and gorgeous vintage furnishings, but all of that pales in comparison to its million-dollar views! Soak in the phenomenal Alpine vistas from the sweeping terrace or from the comfort of your own room (book a south-facing room for the best views)

Room type(s): Private, shared bathroom
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Budget: Pension en Plein Air

Champex, like most Swiss resort towns, is very expensive. Budget accommodation in Champex is very limited, and Pension en Plein Air is your best bet for cheap lodging. Don’t expect anything beyond the basics and you won’t be disappointed.

Room type(s): Private, Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-Board
Red boats on the edge of Lac Champex, Tour du Mont Blanc
Lac Champex.

Col de la Forclaz/Le Peuty/Trient

Continuing on from Champex-Lac, you’ll reach your final stop in Switzerland, where several accommodation options are located near the tiny village of Trient.

Hikers trekking in the counterclockwise direction will reach Col de la Forclaz first, and then will arrive in Le Peuty after another 40 minutes downhill. Trient is about 20 minutes from Le Peuty, just off the main TMB route.

Our Top Pick in Trient
Auberge du Mont Blanc | Trient

Auberge du Mont Blanc is our top pick for accommodation in Trient. Although the sleeping quarters can be a bit cramped, overall you'll find this a great place to spend the night.

For those wishing to stay down in the valley, the Auberge du Mont Blanc is a great value. There are private rooms and dorm beds available, and many of the rooms have lovely views. The auberge also offers a spacious sauna and cozy lounge for guests to enjoy. The bus stop is just steps away, convenient for those who may need to detour or exit the trail early.

Room type(s): Private w/shared bathrooms, Dormitory, studio apartments
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast or Half-Board avilable (extra fee may apply)

Mid-Range: Hotel de la Forclaz

This historic hotel sits by itself on the Col de la Forclaz above Le Peuty and Trient. It is a convenient TMB stop, offering a range of private rooms, dorm beds, and camping to suit every budget. Breakfast is included with private room bookings, and it can be added on for the others. There’s also a small shop next to the hotel that sells souvenirs and snacks.

Room type(s): Private,some ensuite, Dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast or Half-Board avilable (extra fee may apply)

Budget: Refuge du Le Peuty

The low-maintenance types will love this rustic bunkhouse with bohemian vibes. The refuge is located directly on the TMB route and offers a good, affordable option with plenty of opportunities to get to know fellow hikers. There are shared unisex bathrooms and snacks and drinks can be purchased in the yurt lounge next door.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-board
Trient's iconic pink church
Trient’s iconic pink church

Refuge Col de Balme

Upon leaving Trient TMB hikers will make the long switchback laden climb up to the Col de Balme. Here, on the Swiss/French border, you’ll find an excellent refuge of the same name, with stunning views of Mont Blanc. Well worth a stay if you can work it into your itinerary.

Refuge Col de Balme

Refuge du Col de Balme on the TMB

Tré le Champ/Les Frasserands/Argentiere

The TMB route passes directly through the village of Tré le Champ, but the only accommodation there is Auberge la Boerne. There are a few additional places a bit further down the trail in the town of Les Frasserands. Alternatively, you can take the 25-minute detour to the larger town of Argentiere, where there are more services and options available.

Hotel: Les Grands Montets

While getting to this hotel will require the extra walk or bus ride to Argentiere, many walkers will find this to be a worthwhile endeavor for the luxury they’ll enjoy in return for their efforts. Pamper yourself in the pool, jacuzzi, and spa, or take in the views while relaxing on the wonderful terrace. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up to get you through your final days on the trail, this is the hotel for you.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast available for an extra fee

Budget/Mid-Range: Auberge la Boerne

This inviting guesthouse is conveniently located along the TMB route in the tiny hamlet of Tre la Champ. While the accommodation is rather basic (dormitories and shared bathrooms), the traditional mountain charm makes it a memorable stay for many TMB walkers. There is a communal kitchenette available if you choose to self-cater.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-board optional

Budget/Mid-Range: Gîte Le Moulin

If you continue a bit past Tre la Champ, you’ll reach the town of Les Frasserands, which is also quite convenient to the TMB route (albeit a short walk from the trail). This cozy gite offers simple dorm-style accommodation with a nice lounge area and good showers. The real highlight of Gite le Moulin, however, is the fantastic food. Don’t miss the fresh croissants at breakfast!

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash 
Meals included: Half-board optional

Refuge la Flégère/Refuge du Lac Blanc

While Refuge la Flégère is the traditional stop along the main TMB route, many walkers opt instead for the variant to Refuge du Lac Blanc. Both refuges are cozy and comfortable. If you’re looking for convenience and an easier hike, Flégère is your best bet. If you’re looking for spectacular scenery, it may be worth the extra climb to Refuge du Lac Blanc.

Mountain Refuge: Refuge la Flégère

Refuge la Flégère can be a bit off-putting at first glance, given its position next to a giant cablecar station and ski area. However, once you settle into the charming and recently-renovated building, take in the panoramic views from the terrace, and enjoy some of their delicious food, you’ll surely warm up to it. It’s important to note that potable water is not available at the refuge. You can fill up inside the cable car station during its opening hours, and you can also buy bottled water at the refuge.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-board 

Mid-Range: Refuge du Lac Blanc

To reach Refuge du Lac Blanc, you’ll need to follow the signed detour from the main TMB route which leads up a very steep path to the lake. Your efforts will be richly rewarded with the stunning views across tranquil Lac Blanc to the region’s most majestic sights: Mer de Glace, the Aiguilles Vert and Charmoz, and the Grandes Jorasses. This is a basic refuge set in the remote wilderness. There’s no potable water (bottles are available for purchase or you can bring a lightweight filter like this one), no wifi, and only three outlets for the 43 beds. You’ll also need to pack out all of your trash.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-board
Hikers take in the view from Refuge la Flegere, TMB accommodation
Refuge La Flegere.

Refuge Bellachat

Looking to savor your TMB experience with one last night spent on the trail? Then check-out Refuge Bellachat, which is the final refuge you’ll encounter on your descent into Les Houches.

Refuge Bellachat

Tour du Mont Blanc Accommodation Basics

There are accommodation options along the TMB to suit every budget and travel style. While not all of these options are available at every stage of the route, you can certainly customize your itinerary to fit your needs.

The TMB is certainly famous for its remote mountain refuges, located throughout the route in high alpine environments with stunning views. In addition, you’ll also find hotels, gites, and campgrounds along the route, each with their own personality and benefits.

We’ve provided a brief explanation of each of the options below:

Hotels

Typically small and independently owned, the hotels along the TMB provide a welcome dose of luxury to weary hikers. Unless otherwise noted by the hotel, expect all of the usual amenities (hot shower, private bathroom, breakfast offered, linens and towels provided, etc).

Hotels typically cost upwards of €65 per person (extra supplement for singles). For an additional fee, many hotels offer half-pension (AKA half-board or demi-pension) which includes dinner and breakfast. A few hotels along the route have dortoirs in addition to private rooms. Dortoirs are dormitories that offer a good budget option.

Gites d’Etape and Auberges

These are simple guest houses offering basic, dorm-style accommodation. Half-pension (dinner and breakfast) is typically included in the price. There are shared bathroom facilities with hot showers. Bed linens are usually provided. These are a good option for those who want to stick to a smaller budget, but don’t want to carry camping gear. Expect to pay around €65 per person for half-pension. 

Mountain Refuges

We consider a stay in a mountain refuge (aka mountain huts or rifugios) to be a highlight of any TMB trek. Set in stunning and remote locations, the ambiance at the refuges can’t be beat. Half-pension gets you a bed in a dorm (linens not provided), a delicious communal dinner, and a basic breakfast. Some refuges also offer private rooms (with shared bathrooms). Expect to pay around €80 per person for half-board in a dorm. 

Campgrounds

Although they are the cheapest accommodation option along the route, TMB campgrounds can still be quite luxurious. All provide sinks and toilets, and many offer hot showers and even WiFi! Expect to pay around €15 per person to camp.

Want to know more about camping on the TMB? Check out this in-depth post!

A cozy morning at Refuge la Flegere.
A cozy morning at Refuge la Flegere.

Get The FREE TMB Essentials Handbook

Our free PDF guide covers all the basics – when to hike, accommodation, typical costs, and more!

Should I reserve my accommodation for the TMB in advance?

This is a question that creates stress and anxiety for many hikers as they are planning for their TMB adventure. The short answer is that, yes, you should absolutely book your TMb accommodation as early as possible, but the longer answer is a bit more nuanced. We’ve broken it down for you here, so you can plan with more confidence and less worry.

When is your trek?

If you plan to complete your trek in peak season (July-August), it is almost guaranteed that all of the refuges and guesthouses will fill up in advance. Book as far in advance as you can, but at at minimum you’ll want to start booking 5-6 months before your trip. Many of the most sought after refuges will book as soon as they open in October or November in the fall prior.

Struggling to find accommodation for dates?

We can help!

We’ve worked one-on-one with dozens of groups who missed out on peak booking season, but still want to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc. A little creativity is always needed, but we can almost always find a way to help make your dream trip a reality!

Get in touch below and we can discuss how to make your trip a success!

Where do you plan on staying?

Mountain refuges are the most important to book ahead of time. Many of these huts are quite small, so they fill up quickly. Several refuges accept reservations year-round, typically allowing you to book up to 12 months in advance.

Some, however, do not respond to reservation requests during the winter months (September-March, typically). You should still try to email or call the refuge to reserve your spot as soon as you know your itinerary. When they finally get around to responding, they often fill requests in the order in which they received them.

Gites, auberges, and guesthouses should be your next priority when it comes to advance bookings. This is especially true in the smaller villages where accommodation options are limited, and/or if you have specific preferences for your lodging (ex; private room, linens provided, etc). In terms of when you should make your bookings, the rules are similar to refuges.

As soon as you’ve made your travel plans, reach out to the gite/guesthouse (or book online). For peak summer months, it’s optimal to have these bookings made by the end of November.

For larger hotels, you have a bit more wiggle room when it comes to making reservations. You should definitely still try to do it as early as possible, but they have more rooms and are often located in places with greater availability of lodging options.

You do not need to make advance reservations for any of the campgrounds on the TMB. In fact, we recommend that you don’t. This will allow you to maximize the freedom and flexibility that camping provides, and it will make it much less complicated to check-in at the campgrounds.

I waited until the last minute…Am I doomed?

Certainly not! You can still have an amazing TMB trek, but you may need to be a bit more flexible and creative when it comes to finding places to stay. The first thing you should do is contact all of the places you would like to stay to check if they still have availability. If some key stops are sold out, it’s always possible to make some tweaks to your itinerary.

For many of the popular stops along the way, you can utilize public transit to access additional accommodation options. Read our full post on transit along the Tour du Mont Blanc for additional details.

I’m more of the spontaneous type…Can I do the TMB without booking ahead?

Yes you can, and we admire your free spirit! The easiest way to hike the TMB without a set itinerary is to camp. For those who prefer to stay indoors, it is nearly impossible to simply show up and expect to find a bed. However, there are often some last minute cancellations that can be your saving grace.

If you’re hiking during peak times, get familiar with the transportation options and nearby villages so you have back-ups if your first choice of accommodation is full or consider bringing a lightweight tent just in case.

View of Chamonix on stage 1 of the TMB
The view back towards Chamonix on Stage One of the TMB.

TMB Accommodation Cost

Prices vary greatly from place to place, but generally speaking, here’s what you can expect to pay for accommodation along the Tour du Mont Blanc.

  • B&B/Guesthouse/Hotel: €65+ (per person/per night)
  • Gite d’Etape/Auberge: €55 (per person/per night w/half pension)
  • Mountain Refuge: €75 (per person/per night w/half pension)
  • Camping: €15 (per person/per night)

Read more: How Much it Cost Us to Hike the TMB

Hikers sitting in chairs and enjoying the views outside Refuge de la Flegere
No wifi? No problem! The views and camaraderie provide more than enough entertainment along the TMB.

TMB Refuges: What You Need to Know

What to Expect

Mountain refuges on the TMB are rustic and communal at heart. Many are set in remote locations that can only be reached by foot or pack mule; some actually get supplies dropped in by helicopter!

Due to their off-the-grid nature, they are relatively basic. Luxuries like hot water and electronics charging will be limited and will likely come at an additional cost. Wifi and cell service are virtually non-existent at mountain refuges. Most refuges are cash-only, so make sure you bring enough!

While a few refuges have a small number of private rooms available, by and large you will be sleeping in a dormitory with anywhere from 4-16 beds (mostly bunk beds stacked two or three high). You’ll be provided with a mattress, pillow, and blanket, but you will need you bring or rent your own sleep sheet.

Bathrooms are also shared and typically (but not always) separated by gender.

Staying in a mountain refuge is a magical and memorable experience. There is nothing like swapping stories with fellow hikers over a shared meal and taking in the sunset in some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery. Mountain refuges truly are one of the very best parts of the TMB!

A bunkroom inside a TMB refuge
A typical bunkroom in a TMB refuge.

What’s Included

Most TMB refuges provide half-pension (AKA demi-pension or half board). This includes your bed for the night, as well as dinner and breakfast. Dinner is often a lavish, multi-course affair. They can typically cater to vegetarians (notify them in advance), although other special diets might not fare as well. Breakfast is very simple and typically consists of cold cereal, bread, jam, and tea/coffee.

Alcohol and snacks can be purchased a-la-carte, and a packed lunch can usually be ordered for the next day (additional fee).

Expect to pay extra for a shower and if you’d like to rent a sleep sheet. Some refuges ask a small fee for electronics charging.

What to Pack

Most TMB refuges require you to use a sleep sheet or sleeping bag liner. While you can rent one in some places, if you plan on staying in several refuges, it is a good idea to bring your own. While there are tons of sleep sheets on the market, we really like the offerings from Sea to Summit, which are both comfortable and high-quality. We Won’t sleep in a refuge without ours! If you’re looking for something less pricey, we also like this version from Amazon.

Our Recommended Sleeping Bag Liner
Sea to Summit Silk-Cotton Blend Sleeping Bag Liner
$89.95

The Sea to Summit Silk-Cotton blend liner is perfect for mountain refuges. You'll get a spacious and comfortable liner that adds a touch of warmth without overheating.

06/19/2024 02:19 am GMT

Additionally, if you want to shower, you will need to bring your own towel.

In our opinion, good earplugs and an eye mask are essential for dormitory sleeping. There’s nothing more frustrating than being kept up by a loud snorer when you’re exhausted from a big day on the trail!

Boots are not allowed inside the refuges, so many provide slippers for you to wear while indoors. If you’d prefer to wear your own pair, make sure to pack them.

Finally, electronics charging is an important consideration along the Tour du Mont Blanc. This is important for keeping cell phones charged (especially if you’re using yours to navigate). While many refuges do permit charging, it can be total chaos when trying to get access to an outlet.

We HIGHLY recommend you avoid that craziness and simply back a batter backup/power bank to ensure your electronics are always charged. We always recommend the BioLite Charge 80, which is specifically designed for the rigors of hiking. Check it out below:

Our Recommended Power Bank
BioLite Charge 80 PD Power Bank
$79.95

The BioLite Charge 80 is our favorite power bank for hiking. It will charge your phone up to five times and won't weigh down your pack!

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
06/19/2024 12:13 am GMT

For a complete list of refuge-specific gear, be sure to check out our TMB Packing List.

Tour du Mont Blanc Refuges
TMB refuges may be basic, but they still have all of the essentials!

Travel Insurance for the TMB

We recommend all hikers purchase travel insurance for the TMB. Not only will this provide valuable coverage if you become ill or injured on the hike, but it can also come in handy in getting back accommodation costs if you aren’t able to stay for a covered reason.

Should your flight be delayed, you luggage lost, or any other potential issue, with the right travel insurance you won’t be on the hook for all those deposits you’ve paid at mountain refuges that you can no longer make! Well worth it in our opinion.

You can read more about travel insurance for the TMB here, but our recommended provider is World Nomads, which will provide a free quote for your trip below:

Our Top Pick for Travel Insurance
World Nomads Travel Insurance

We like World Nomads for all of our hiking and trekking adventures. They specifically include coverage for hiking, and offer comprehensive evacuation coverage. Highly recommended!

Pros:
  • Covers hiking & trekking
  • Offers policies with evacuation coverage
  • Easy online interface

How to Book

Booking your accommodation along the TMB can be a frustrating process. There is no single unified booking platform for the entire hike, so you’ll likely have to do it a bit piecemeal.

The Autour du Mont Blanc website has a platform that allows you to enter your starting location and date and create bookings for each stage of your itinerary. 

However, there are likely to be a few stages in your itinerary where your preferred accommodation is not able to be booked through the Autour du Mont Blanc platform. For these situations, you will need to reach out to individual accommodation providers to make a reservation.

You can always send your request in English. If the accommodation provider doesn’t speak English, they will often use Google Translate to send the reply. If you book by phone, make sure to ask at the beginning of the call if English is okay. If not, send your request via email.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to book your accommodation, you can check out the video below. If you want full access to all of the resources shown in the video, be sure to check out our Guide to the Tour du Mont Blanc!

Notable Exceptions:

There are still a number of accommodation providers that do not accept online bookings. For these, you’ll need to make a reservation by email or phone. We’ve included contact information for some of the most popular ones along the route:

Rifugio Elisabetta
info@rifugioelisabetta.com
 

Rifugio Bonatti
Must submit booking request on their website

Rifugio Elena
info@rifugioelena.it

Refuge du Col de Balme
+33 (0)60706163

Refuge Bellachat
refuge.bellachat@gmail.com
+33 (0)450534323

What to include in your booking email:

When you send an email to make a reservation request, make sure to include the following information:

  • Number of people
  • Room type (private, shared bathroom, dorm, etc)
  • Check-in and check-out dates
  • If you would like half board, full board, picnic lunch, or bed only
  • Special dietary requests, if reserving half board (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free)
TMB Accommodation Guide
When it comes to accommodation on the TMB, there’s plenty of charm to go around!

Let Us Make Your TMB Trip A Success

We have used our experience, research, and passion to create effective and trail-tested resources for all TMB hikers. If you plan to trek without the support of a tour company, our resources can help you with the logistics of preparing for the trip of a lifetime.

  • Camping Guide (Our Best Seller): If camping is more your style, our dedicated camping guide is just for you. It includes detailed campground descriptions and camping-specific itineraries.
  • GPS Digital Downloads (2nd Best Seller): Navigate the TMB with ease using our GPS files, updated yearly and compatible with most devices. The files cover the entire trek, including common alternate routes.
  • Guide to the TMB: Our comprehensive guide includes everything you need to know about the TMB. It’s available on our online planning portal and as a downloadable eGuide. The guide includes accommodation recommendations, offline GPS & maps, and video fly-throughs of the trail.
  • Custom Itineraries: We’ll help you design a TMB itinerary that fits your specific needs, including your trip length, accommodation type, hiking ability, budget, and more.
  • Custom GPS Files: For a truly personalized experience, we can create a GPS file customized to your specific itinerary, including your accommodations and route preferences.

As passionate hikers, we’ve made it our goal to empower you with all the information you need for your best TMB experience. We’ve helped over 2,500 hikers prepare for their trips, navigate on the trail, and simplify the planning process.

Additional TMB Accommodation Resources

  • Autour du Mont Blanc: This official TMB website has tons of excellent information, including a nearly-complete accommodation listing of all of the lodgings along the route and a booking portal that can be used for many refuges and smaller guesthouses.
  • Cicerone Guide Book: This guidebook is an indispensable resource that we recommend to all TMB hikers. It has a handy accommodation index in the back, as well as practical information for all aspects of the hike. Lightweight trekkers can download an e-book version on their phone or tablet.

What’s Next?

If you’ve read our Guide above, you’re well on your way to having an incredible experience on the Tour du Mont Blanc. However, you still have lots of preparation before you’re truly ready! Be sure to read our entire series on the TMB to learn everything you’ll need to know to prepare for your trip and don’t hesitate to comment with your questions below!

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