The Tour du Mont Blanc begins in Chamonix, France. The nearest airport, about an hour away, is in Geneva. The trail is so well-marked, you could easily complete it (or just hike for a few days) without a guide. The trekking guidebook Tour of Mont Blanc, by Kev Reynolds, covers everything you need to know, including how to book the huttes. Once in Chamonix, drop by the Club Alpine Français for the day’s weather conditions.
Hiking with a guide is wonderful too: Our guides, Florence Simond and Fabienne Ravanen, work out of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix (011-33-450-53-00-88; chamonix-guides.com). Outfitters in the U.S., such as REI Adventures, offer all-inclusive guided tours (800-622-2236; firstname.lastname@example.org).