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Col de Balme Refuge (2191m), Massif du Mont-Blanc

Traditional cottage refuge, half board accommodation

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This privately run refuge is based in a cottage that is actually just over the border in Switzerland. Having been built in 1877 the accommodation is pretty basic and there is no drinkable tap water available. Water is provided at an additional cost.

The refuge is open from the end of June until mid-September. The restaurant is open for non-guests to purchase drinks, snacks and lunches; the outdoor tables are on a grassy plateau overlooking the Trient valley - it is a popular lunch stop for hikers and mountain bikers.

Accommodation is on a half board basis only - evening meal, bed and breakfast. Sheets and bedding are provided. Showers are not included in the price but are available for a small extra charge.

Known to locals as the "dragon lady refuge" due to the charming disposition of the proprietress, it is worth a visit just to see how much wrath you can incur.

Please enquire directly with the refuge for this season's prices and opening/closing dates.

Worth knowing

This hut is open in summer only, there is no winter room available out of season.

Getting Here


You can access the refuge using the Charamillon gondola from the bottom of the Le Tour resort, followed by the Les Autannes chair lift. Buses run regularly to Le Tour from the centre of Chamonix. Please see bus timetables here.


  • Catering
  • Half-board
  • Lunch


  • Open Seasons
  • Summer
  • Address
  • Le Tour
  • 74400