Stage 7 of the Tour du Mont Blanc from Alpage de La Peule to Champex-Lac is mostly a valley walk. The trail rises and falls through pastoral landscapes in Swiss Val Ferret.
The stage ends at the lakeside village of Champex-Lac, which boasts some stellar accommodations with private rooms including Au Vieux Champex (midrange), and Hotel Splendide (midrange-luxury), and Hôtel du Glacier. Those seeking luxury and perhaps a rest day, should take a look at the incomparable Au Club Alpin.
From the Peule mountain pasture, the main TMB route follows the farm road down to the valley (Swiss Val Ferret). However, Kev Reynolds, author of Cicerone: The Tour of Mont Blanc, describes a more scenic alternative.
We opted for this alternative descent and rejoined the main TMB in Ferret.
The Tour du Mont Blanc continues through the valley to the small village of La Fouly, which has a helpful tourist office, ATM (where you can withdraw Swiss Francs), a sports shop, accommodations, and cafés.
Many trekkers choose to shave off some of today’s stage by taking a bus to Issert, or even all the way to Champex-Lac.
We took a bus from La Fouly to the village of Issert and then hiked the final stretch to Champex-Lac. Why did we take a bus? We were feeling pretty worn out and we wanted to rest up today so that we could tackle the Fenêtre d’Arpette variant the next day (TMB Stage 8). Other hikers took the bus all the way to Champex-Lac, which was actually a lot smarter. The Issert-Champex stretch wasn’t interesting.
Tour du Mont Blanc Stage 7 Hiking Guide: Shortcut Route
- Starting Point: La Peule, Switzerland
- Ending Point: Champex-Lac, Switzerland
- Distance: 10. 1 km (just the stretches we hiked)
- Time Needed: 3 hours
- Elevation Gain: 482 meters
- Elevation Loss: 534 meters
- Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
- Minimum Elevation: 1050 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 2072 meters
- Where to Stay in Champex-Lac: Au Vieux Champex (midrange), Hotel Splendide (midrange-luxury), Hôtel du Glacier (midrange)
- Self-Guided Hiking Tour: 10 Day Standard Tour du Mont Blanc (what we booked) / 10 Day Comfort Tour du Mont Blanc (private rooms only)
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La Peule to Champex-Lax Trail Map
La Peule – La Fouly – Champex-Lax Trail Description
Alpage de la Peule – Pramplo – Ferret (1:20 hours)
The La Peule (2071 m) signed trail junction shows two ways to Ferret: left via Pramplo and right via Les Ars.
Head left to Pramplo (40 minutes) and Ferret (1 hour) and follow the narrow dirt footpath along the alpine pasture fence.
This high trail is blissfully silent and offers excellent mountain, glacier and valley views.
After passing through a patch of larch forest, the trail crosses a grassy slope to a concrete hut at Pramplo (1928 m).
Follow the sign to Ferret (25 minutes). The trail slides down meadows and later larches to reach the valley floor.
Ferret to La Fouly (30 minutes)
Join the main TMB trail.
After a bridge crossing, the trail cuts across a hillside flanking the valley.
Ignore the left turn-off to Gîte de la Léchère and continue straight on to La Fouly.
Join the country road and continue north. After 10 minutes, turn right and hike back down to the valley floor, following the Chemin du Bouquetin (Path of the Ibex) trail sign. The trail crosses a meadow and a belt of forest.
When you reach the valley floor, cross the bridge and then follow the paved road all the way into La Fouly.
La Fouly VS to Issert by Bus
TMR Bus 272 runs a few times a day. We inquired about the schedule inside the tourist office. But, it’s also posted at the bus stop. You can pay the bus driver directly with Swiss Francs, or EURs.
La Fouly VS Bus Stop | Google Maps
Bus Schedule | TMR website – to find the timetable, locate the drop-down “Services” menu and click “TMR Bus Lines.” Next, select the Route.
Price | 6 Swiss Francs/EUR per person
How to Get to Champex-Lac by Bus | Take bus 272 from La Fouly to Orsières. In Orsières, transfer to bus 271 to Champex-Lac.
Issert to Champex-Lac (1:15 hours)
Again, if you’re planning on taking the bus, we suggest taking it all the way to Orsières, where you’ll transfer to bus 271 to Champex-Lac.
This stretch of the TMB isn’t scenic.
From the Issert bus stop, cross the road and follow the paved path uphill for a few meters.The TMB leaves the road at the bend.
Wrap around the meadow and hike into the forest.
The ascent follows footpaths and forest roads. Follow the waymarks, which are yellow-painted diamonds outlined in black, at the various junctions.
After passing a water fountain, the TMB climbs up a few serpentines. The gradient eases as you approach the Chem. du Tennis road, which connects Orsières and Champex-Lac.
Follow the road down to Lac de Champex.
Most restaurants, stores, and accommodations are located along the northern shore. We ate lunch at the lakeside Le Cabanon and dinner at Au Vieux Champex.
Stay in Champex-Lac
Where we stayed – Midrange | Au Vieux Champex offers spacious, modern, and well-equipped apartments with kitchenettes, overlooking the lake. There’s a supermarket in town if you want to cook your own meal. Otherwise, you can eat dinner at the traditional Au Vieux restaurant, located next door. We had a wonderful and restful stay here. The check-in is officially 4 pm.
Midrange-Luxury | Hotel Splendide is a charming hotel set in a historic building, perched above the valley. Stay here for the splendid views, lovely and comfortable rooms, and breakfast. Half board is available. Dinner is served at 7 pm.
Midrange | Located in the village center, Hôtel du Glacier offers single, double, and triple rooms as well as apartments. Breakfast is included. Guests can also eat in the hotel’s on-site restaurant.
Luxury | The flawless Au Club Alpin is a standout 5-star hotel with an on-site restaurant, spa, and indoor pool. If you’re thinking about integrating a rest day into your TMB itinerary, this would be the place to do it. Rooms are air-conditioned and have a kettle and minibar. Breakfast is included.
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Tour du Mont Blanc Essential Info
Read our Tour du Mont Blanc Hiking Guide to start planning your trek.
- Official TMB Length: 170 km (105 miles)
- Days Needed: 10-11 days
- Which Direction to Hike: Counterclockwise
- Where to Start the TMB: Chamonix, Vallée de l’Arve, France
- Closest Airport to Chamonix: Geneva Airport, Switzerland
- When to Hike the TMB: July – early September
- When to Book the TMB: January – February
- TMB Difficulty: Moderate
- Recommended Self-Guided Tours: 10 Day Standard Tour du Mont Blanc (private and shared rooms), 10 Day Comfort Tour du Mont Blanc (private rooms only), 7 Day Tour du Mont Blanc (shortened route with transit shortcuts), 15 Day Tour du Mont Blanc (leisurely-paced route).
TMB Planning Resources
- TMB Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone: Trekking the Tour of Mont Blanc guidebook
- TMB Trail Maps: L’Escursionista Tour du Mont Blanc TMB or IGN Tour du Mont Blanc Map
Tour du Mont Blanc Route Itinerary
The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is a captivating multi-day hike that circuits the Mont Blanc massif in usually 10-11 days, passing through France, Italy and Switzerland. Here’s our personal TMB itinerary.
- Stage 1: Chamonix – Le Brévent – Les Houches
- Stage 2: Les Houches – Les Contamines-Montjoie (Col de Tricot Variant)
- Stage 3: Les Contamines – Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme
- Stage 4: Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme – Cabane du Combal (Col des Fours Variant)
- Stage 5: Cabane du Combal – Courmayeur – Rifugio Bertone
- Stage 6: Rifugio Bertone – Grand Col Ferret – Alpage de La Peule
- Stage 7: Alpage de La Peule – Ferret – La Fouly – Champex-Lac
- Stage 8: Champex-Lac – Trient (Fenêtre d’Arpette Variant)
- Stage 9: Trient – Col de Balme – Aiguillette des Posettes – Tré le Champ
- Stage 10: Tré le Champ – Lac Blanc – La Flégère – Chamonix
More Guides about Hiking in Europe
- The Alps in Summer: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting
- Hiking in the European Alps
- Italian Alps Hiking Destinations
- Austrian Alps Hiking Destinations
- Slovenia Alps Hiking Guide
Multi-Day Hikes in Europe:
Hut to Hut Hiking: