With the end of September comes the close of Tour du Mont Blanc Month! While all the entries are being gathered for the choosing of a winner for our Tour du Mont Blanc Month raffle, we wanted to take a look at what makes the Tour du Mont Blanc such an awesome trek to go on.
Haute Savoie Food
Winters in the Alps are cold and can sometimes be especially harsh, so the people in this region learned to adapt by processing and preserving all their bounty and relying on vegetables that stored well, while also making sure that this food was nutritious enough to sustain them through the long, cold season. These conditions led to the development of Savoie cuisine, where food like ham, cheese, potatoes, and pasta (all easily stored or preserved) play a large part.
On your Tour du Mont Blanc hike, you are guaranteed to eat your fill of mouth-watering dishes like Tartiflette, a dish made from cheese, potatoes, onions, and lardon, which is a strip or small cube of bacon; Croûte Savoyarde which is a layer of bread soaked in wine and covered with a mix of cheese, meat, mushrooms, and cream; and Raclette which is a type of cheese melted over a pan and poured on top of meat and vegetables.
Walking the TMB is like walking through a painting! The scenery is dramatic at any time of year, but our favorite time to trek is late spring! This is definitely the TMB at its most stunning. The greens of all the trees and grass and mountains are vibrant with life as they move into the bright summer months, a sprinkling of the last of the winter snow, and the sky is the vivid, joyful blue of warm weather.
So if pictures paint a thousand words, then our photos are an outright epic! If you follow us on Instagram (and we hope you do!) it’s plain for anyone to see how beautiful the Tour du Mont Blanc really is. The photos we post are from our own treks and adventures, so we can guarantee that the TMB really IS all that!
The Mountain Lodges
Many of the mountain lodges along the trail are family businesses, with many being run by the families themselves. As a result, staying at the lodges is always so welcoming, cozy, and homey. Many adventure tour operators work with these lodges as well, but our friendships with families in the area allow us to offer accommodations or provide services that would otherwise be unavailable.
Each mountain lodge has its own unique aesthetic, features, services, and even its own versions of local dishes. But one thing they all have in common is the scenery. Many mountain lodges are perched on the mountainside or in the middle of wide valleys, so you’re not getting views only while walking, but you’re also getting those amazing views even while sitting and resting!
The Diverse Cultures
The Tour du Mont Blanc takes you through three different countries: Switzerland, France, and Italy. Not only do these countries as a whole have decidedly different cultures in of themselves, but even the different towns you pass through each have their own distinct local culture. Chamonix is not quite the same as Argentiere, and neither of them are like Courmayeur or Champex.
On your next TMB trek, try paying special attention to the subtle differences between each town! You’ll notice that even if they’re in the same region, or even the same country, each has its own local flavor and customs.
The Adventure Itself
Walking the TMB is an amazing highlight in of itself! You’ve managed to circuit through 170 kilometeres and climbed a total of 10,000 feet of ascent and descent!
12 days full of sweat, laughter, love, fun, friendship, amazing views, sweeping valleys, steep slopes, cows, sheep, that Alpine air, French food, Italian food, Swiss food, all that CHEESE, all that ham, all those aches, and all those pains; all culminating into one unforgettable adventure. Cheers to our hikers who have gone before, and cheers to all our hikers yet to come!