Like most multi-day treks in the world, the Tour du Mont Blanc has numerous baggage transfer companies that will gladly transport your bag to your overnight accommodation. With the recommended day pack weight being merely 10kg, those of you who are not the lightest packers might need to think about booking a Tour du Mont Blanc luggage transfer.
So how do Tour du Mont Blanc baggage transfers work, how much are they and do you really one? We’ll cover all of this in our post below. As ever, if you have any questions ping us an email or find us on Instagram.
Did you know that uphill climbs along the entire Tour du Mont Blanc circuit add up to more vertical climb than tackling Everest! Yep, trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc is pretty epic stuff. So start thinking about what will be on your back, because when you’re digging in to summit yet another 1000m in a day, your bag is going to feel a whole lot heavier than it did when you set off with a swing in your step after breakfast.
The reality of what needs to be in your backpack
The first thing you need to do when figuring out if you need to book a Tour du Mont Blanc luggage transfer is to have a look at our recommended TMB packing list. This extensive list will sober you slightly to the reality of what needs to be in your backpack.
This 35 litre backpack on the left is standard as the minimum if you want to trek the Tour du Mont Blanc without a luggage transfer.
I cannot emphasis this enough. Take as little as possible.
If you are capable of paring down your Tour du Mont Blanc packing list to the bare minimum you can get away with not organising a baggage transfer.
For those who find it hard to pack light a Tour du Mont Blanc luggage transfer will be your saviour.
How do Tour du Mont Blanc luggage transfers work?
Tour du Mont Blanc luggage transfers help ease the pain of carrying a heavy bag along the strenuous TMB route. Booking a bag transfer allows you to trek with a small to medium sized backpack whist a bigger backpack gets ferried around the trail and re-joins you at most of your overnight accommodation. But not all.
As the trail contours some pretty inaccessible high mountain passes, luggage transfer vehicles will not be able to drop your luggage to you every night. They cannot access the high mountain refuges because there are no roads. On these occasions you need to pack you day bag for an overnight stay.
How much do Tour du Mont Blanc luggage transfers cost?
Luggage transfers on the Tour du Mont Blanc are pretty hefty in price. Understandably so. The support vehicles have to drive much further than you to get around the mountains. The price of bag transfers comes down to how many people (or bags) are in your group and how many accommodation drops you want.
Don’t expect to get any change from a €200 note if you’re trekking solo. The price decreases the larger the group so for 4+ hikers, the price can drop as low as €134.
What refuges aren’t included
The high mountain refuges that aren’t accessible by road are not included in bag transfers for the Tour du Mont Blanc. These generally include but not limited to Refugio Bonatti, Rifugio Elisabetta, Rifugio Elena, Refuge Croix du Bonhomme, Cabane Combal, and Refuge Lac Blanc. Many baggage transfer companies won’t deliver to Les Chapieux even with there being an accessible road. Hikers who have booked through a tour group generally have a much more flexible bag transfer deal with bags being delivered to more stops than if you booked independently. For example private tour groups do get bags delivered to Les Chapieux.
Which companies can we recommend?
Mont Blanc Bags is a most welcome new Tour du Mont Blanc baggage transfer company with an easy to use, simple website. Prices are a flat rate with bag weight limit being 18kg each. A single bag costs €199 to transport for up to 15 days on the trail. The price reduces if more bags are booked onto the service, for example 4 bags for up to 15 days costs €134 each.
Another company that receives rave reviews from TMB hikers is Besson Taxis. With over 40 years of experience this local company knows everything there is to know about luggage transfers. Their rates might not be the lowest but they are reliable. Bag weight limit is 15kg. Prices are based on how many accommodation stops you want on your tour.
A much more affordable option is through CVT. Chamonix Valley Transfers charge approx €65 per bag per person for the classic TMB route with 6-7 baggage drops. For groups of 4 trekkers, the price decreases marginally to approximately €55 per person per bag. There is no weight restriction per se but the driver must be able to comfortably lift the bag! There is no info on CVT’s website regarding TMB luggage transfers but trust me, they do operate this service. Give them a call or message them direct (the company is run by English so language will not be an issue).
Mule baggage transportation
Did you know you can actually hire mules to trek the Tour du Mont Blanc with you?
We were in awe to see for the first time on our Tour du Mont Blanc mules trekking down from the Grand Col Ferret, and since then I’ve tracked down who and how you book through.
You need to have a minimum of 8 bags (maximum 16 bags). The cost is €20 per bag per stage plus the payment of the board and lodgings for the mule driver. The maximum weight per bag is 7-8 kg.
The mule must be accompanied by a mule driver, so you cannot just take the mule and lead it yourself. This means that it would be a minimum of €160 per stage if you had 8 bags + the cost of the refuge & food/drink for the mule driver. This makes it only cost effective if you are a large group trekking together.
Email Marco – firstname.lastname@example.org
Reservations must be made at least 20 days in advance, however if you have your heart on using mules as transport, book early. They have two mules available.