Itinerant Camp: The Tour du Mont BlancUne version adaptée aux enfants du mythique itinéraire du Tour du Mont Blanc a pied.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a breathtaking, multi-day mythical hike that circumnavigates the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps. Kid-friendly, meaning short days and less steep climbs, the trek offers a chance to immerse yourself in the area’s rich natural heritage. We will walk about 3 hours every day, sleep in tents and mountain huts, build camps, participate in afternoon activities, and learn unique facts about geology, biology, and astronomy. It is a journey of discovery and personal fulfillment that leaves a lasting impression and inspires a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature.
Why should I attend this camp?
Outdoor hiking trips offer children the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone, explore new environments, and make meaningful connections with others. As many of our alumni say, in many cases the bonds you create with other camp participants run deeper than those in school. The Tour du Mont Blanc is a program specially adapted for students looking for exploration, but at the same time in a safe and predictable environment. The tour is probably the most breathtaking 7-day hiking trip in continental Europe, its route is a mythical path through the Mont Blanc massif through forests, glaciers and high plateaus. This camp builds confidence, develops new skills, and teaches you to appreciate the beauty and value of nature. It also allows children to disconnect from technology and participate in activities that promote creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Overall, this camp shapes our students’ personal growth and helps create the foundation for a lifetime of meaningful experiences.
The camp consists of several one-week sessions: Session 0: 02.07.23 – 09.07.23, Session 1: 08.07.23 – 15.07.23, Session 2: 15.07.23 – 23.07.23, Session 3: 23.07.23 – 30.07.23, Session 4: 30.07.23 – 6.08.23, Session 5: 06.08.23 – 13.08.23 and Session 6 : 13.08.23 – 20.08.23. Attendees can participate in one or more consecutive sessions. And for those who want longer camps, we have many other 2 and 3 week camps (especially in Switzerland and elsewhere).
For Swiss participants, the meeting point for all the different sessions of the camp is at Parc Bourget in Lausanne. From Lausanne transport is organised to the start of the camp in Chamonix for 1 day of multi-activities before the start of the camp. Another meeting point will be organised from Geneva airport for international participants as well as Genevans wishing to come directly from Geneva. Transport will also be arranged from there.
The return point at the end of the camps is again at Parc Bourget in Lausanne where a small barbecue and farewell party will be organized and offered to participants and parents.
Ages & Languages
We offer this camp in 2 versions, one for 9 – 11 year olds (itinerary and activities adapted to needs) and the other for 12 – 16 year olds. In addition, we have enthusiastic 16-18 year olds participating to help manage camp tasks, in case you want to come as a helper, please contact us at email@example.com. We believe in bringing together an international community, which is why the languages spoken at the camp are French and English, which is what we have seen from our past experience and the huge benefit of mixing Francophones and Anglophones and learning from both groups.
Itinerary and activities
Day 1: Chamonix to Trient
We embark on an enchanting adventure starting from the picturesque village of Le Tour, starting an ascent through the green mountain pastures to reach the Col de Balme (2191m), located on the French-Swiss border. From here we enjoy one last look at the beautiful Chamonix valley and the imposing Aiguilles Rouges massif before descending through green pastures and dense forests, finally arriving at the charming village of Trient (1326m). We settle in for the night at the picturesque campsite of Col de la Forclaz.
Elevation gain: 600 m, elevation gain: 600 m
Day 2: Trient in La Fouly
We climb into a lush forest overlooking the Rhone Valley and Martigny, reaching the peaceful mountain pastures of La Bovine (1987m), an idyllic place for our picnic in the middle of the Hérens cows. Then we descend to the Plan de l’Au, finish the route in Champex (1482m) and take a bus to reach the campsite of La Fouly, passing through charming traditional Swiss villages.
Elevation gain: 460 m, elevation gain: 500 m
Day 3: La Fouly to Val Ferret (Italian side)
After a short transfer to the bottom of the valley (1802m), we climb through the Swiss mountain pastures, to meet the shepherds and their flocks of sheep, as well as the famous grey cows with “bear’s ears”. Finally reach the Grand Col Ferret (2490m) on the Italian-Swiss border, with a breathtaking view of the south faces of the Mont Blanc massif and the emblematic Mont Dolent. The descent takes place in front of the magnificent glaciers of Pré de Bar and Miage, leading to the bottom of the Italian Val Ferret at Arnuva (1769m). We spend the night at the campsite in Planpincieux.
Elevation gain: 500 m, elevation gain: 600 m
Day 4: Val Ferret to Courmayeur
We embark on a delightful crossing of the Montagne de Saxe, starting from the hamlet of Lavachey (1650m) and reaching the mythical Walter Bonatti refuge. Through the charming valley of Malatra, we reach the passes “Entre deux sauts” (2521m) and “Col des Sapins” (2435m) before following the path of the Val Sapin to reach the hamlet of Villair Superiore. We then enjoy the delights of Courmayeur and a well-deserved ice cream, before heading to the Val Veny campsite.
Elevation gain: 650 m, elevation gain: 700 m
Day 5: Val Veny aux Chapieux
Starting from the hamlet of La Visaille (1659m), we follow the sparkling waters of Lake Combal, gradually reaching the Italian-French border and the Col de la Seigne (2516m), bidding farewell to the Italian side of Mont Blanc. We descend through the picturesque Beaufortin mountain pastures, with their herds of goats and velvet-eyed Tarines cows, to finally reach Les Chapieux where we spend the night at the campsite.
Elevation gain: 500 m, elevation gain: 600 m
Day 6 : From Les Chapieux to Les Contamines
Today we embark on a hike to the Col du Bonhomme (2433m), crossing breathtaking mountain pastures with the potential for surprising encounters.
Day 7: Chamonix
Transport to Chamonix and multi-activities
Prices & Materials
With the help of our local sponsors we are able to provide a discounted price to all Swiss nationals: Swiss national: The price of a 1-week session is 670 chf. International participant: The price of a 1-week session is 1210 chf. This includes all of the participant’s expenses during the camp period, i.e. any public or private transportation during the camp, food, accommodation costs, and any common group equipment (tents and any other equipment related to the activities, harnesses and climbing equipment). Not included: transportation to and from the meeting point and any personal equipment (sleeping bag (contact us if you need it), clothing and other personal expenses). We offer a 20% discount to all participants coming with sisters, brothers and friends.
A typical day
What physical condition should I be in?
Since we will be participating in different outdoor activities throughout the trip, our students must have a minimum of physical fitness to participate in the Tour du Mont Blanc camp. But in our experience, this is the case for 95% of young people between 9 and 16 years old! In the months leading up to your trip, we recommend that you participate in physical activity at least once a week if you are not already doing so. Contact us if in doubt, we will be happy to guide you to the best camp.
What equipment should I bring?
- Sleeping bag, mattress and pillow
- Favorite Snacks
- Diapers for 4 days and 3 nights
- Hiking boots
- Reusable water bottle
- Several swimsuits and sunscreen
- Towels (Shower & Beach)
- Multiple sets of socks and underwear
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc.)
- T-shirts, shorts, pants and long-sleeved shirt
- A slice of house (photos, notes, stuffed animals, etc.)
*Note: A more detailed packing list will be emailed one week prior to camp*
Learning outcomes from this trip:
- Leadership & Teamwork
- Outdoor Survival & Camping Skills
- First Aid and Emergency Preparedness
- Environmental Awareness and Conservation
- Personal Values and Ethical Decision-Making
- Cultural understanding and respect for diversity
- Fitness & Healthy Habits
- Citizenship and Community Service
- The ultimate goal is to help our participants become responsible and well-rounded individuals, ready to make a positive impact in the world.
What if I don't know anyone else?
Most of our students come to Young Explorers Club without knowing anyone before their trip. You’ll start making friends as soon as you arrive at the airport (and our instructors will be there to help). Once the journey is over, you won’t want to leave your new community! Most of our students remain friends long after their summer is over. We firmly believe that life is about having new experiences and making the most of every moment. However, we also recognize that the most meaningful experiences often require stepping out of our comfort zones and venturing away from familiar surroundings. When we do this, we find ourselves in unfamiliar and challenging environments, which forces us to fully engage with our surroundings and truly live in the moment. These new places and situations often bring new perspectives and can inspire us to continue seeking out new experiences that push us to grow and broaden our horizons.
What are the other students like?
The teenagers who come to the Young Explorers Club are kind, welcoming, eager to learn and come from all over Switzerland, France, USA and elsewhere. Our groups are full of positive young adults who will work well with each other. Young Explorers Club places a strong emphasis on group dynamics and creating a supportive social environment, and our students reflect this.
Safety: Is this camp safe?
Do you have any other questions?
We believe in human-to-human interaction: write to us via our contact methods (https://youngexplorersclub.ch/contact/) and schedule a call or meeting with one of our employees. We will be happy to answer any doubts or questions you may have. Or find the list of all frequently asked questions on FAQs.
Preliminary Registration Form (free of charge):
I felt lost"I felt lost and unsure of my future before leaving for the trip to Mont Blanc, but afterwards I came back feeling refreshed, invigorated and ready to face the world. The staff were excellent, the scenery was breathtaking and the memories I made will stay with me forever."
I found acceptance"Who would have thought it would be around Mont Blanc where I found acceptance, friendship and a sense of belonging. The staff were amazing, creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. The journey was difficult, but it brought the group together in a way I didn't expect. I'm so grateful for this experience."
I also learned a lot about myselfHiking around Mont Blanc this summer was truly a life-changing experience. Not only did I learn a lot about hiking, but I also learned a lot about myself. I came back from the trip feeling more confident, empowered and grateful for the incredible memories I created."
My son was in good hands"As a parent, it was such a relief to know that my son was in good hands at this backpacker summer camp. The staff was well trained and always prioritized the safety of children. The trips were challenging, but also so much fun, and I was able to see my son's growth as he accomplished each one."
Explore new challenges in a fun, safe and caring environment"My son had an unforgettable time at this backpacker summer camp (Around Mont Blanc)! The staff was very knowledgeable and helpful, and the scenery was breathtaking. He learned a lot about nature and gained a new appreciation for the great outdoors."
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