FastFacts is a segment on our blog where we give you a quick rundown of facts or trivia related to our various locations. If there’s any particular place you want to hear more about, drop us a line at [email protected]
We always hear about the Tour du Mont Blanc being one of the most beautiful trails, but what exactly is it? Today, we’re gonna give you a few FastFacts on the TMB!
What is it?
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a 170-kilometer trek around the Mont Blanc Massif and crosses through 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. The Mont Blanc Massif is a mountain range in the European Alps and is located mostly in France and Italy but also partially overlaps into Switzerland.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a long-distance hiking trail, taking multiple days to complete. It circles the Mont Blanc massif and can begin from multiple starting points. There is no fixed route to follow, since the trails form a massive network that encompasses Mont Blanc and its surrounding areas, and the “official” route changes over the years. However, there are certain locations that are commonly used as starting points, namely: Les Houches, Chamonix or Les Contamines,Montjoie in France; Courmayeur in Italy; or Champex in Switzerland
Where to stay?
There is a multitude of accommodations all along the Tour du Mont Blanc circuit. Accommodation can range from refuges/rifugios (mountain huts), to gites (hostels), to good old camping, to full-fledged hotels. Basically, what you need to remember here is that you get what you pay for. The cheapest options offer the bare minimum of food and shared facilities, but of course as you pay more you get more amenities– and a little bit of luxury too. Camping in the Alps comes with many conditions due to environmental protections, so most people choose to stay at the refuges as the budget-friendly option.
What can I eat?
Food from the Savoie region revolves around cheese, wine, and preserved meats. The cuisine developed due to the harsh winters that the region experiences, leading to a culinary focus on preserved food.
One famous example of Savoie cuisine is raclette, a tasty melted cheese dish. Both the name of the cheese and the dish, a raclette dinner is made from potatoes, gherkins, picked onions and dried meats covered in melted cheese. Another sumptuous meal is tartiflette, a regional specialty, which is a mixture of potato, onion, bacon and chives and reblochon cheese melted on top of it.
But if you’re vegan or vegetarian, not to worry! More and more establishments are now offering menus for vegans and other who have specific dietary requirements. All that’s needed is to inform them beforehand.
While the high altitude makes it less ideal to create first rate wines, the Savoie region does produce notable reds and whites. There are 23 grape varieties planted in the region, and of these 23, there are 5 white and 2 red grape varieties. Between these, they offer a diverse range of compelling flavor profiles for wine, and provide something new for anyone wanting something more unconventional.