The Chamonix valley is arguably the world’s epicenter of trail running. No place has more trail running history, or is more alive with mountain runners taking in the dramatic views from the town that’s the home of modern alpinism. We’ll be in Chamonix for the excitement of the legendary Mont Blanc Marathon and the International Skyrunning race weekend. Many of the world’s best trail runners will be on hand, racing one of the five classic trail races. A limited number of reserved spaces in the Skyrunning race series are available through our partners at Run the Alps.
During the long weekend of Skyrunning races, we’ll have the option to run or watch these drama-filled events. We may take a daytrip to sunny side of the Mont Blanc range to run or relax in the peaceful village of Courmayeur, Italy. Here, there are a few trail runs along the route of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc and through the bucolic villages of Val Ferret, taking in some of the local mountain huts in the area. For a relaxing break, we might have an option to soak in the hot springs at nearby Pré Saint Didier.
A typical day will start with breakfast, followed by a trail run up high to take in the dramatic scenery of the region. Chamonix is known as, “La Vallée du Trail,” for its wide variety of trail running opportunities, and we’ll sample the best runs, through the Aiguille Rouge nature preserve, up between the Taconnaz and Bossons glaciers, onto high “balcony” on the side of Mont Blanc, and even the short-but-thrilling Chamonix “Kilomètre Vertical.”
Chamonix – Arrive in Geneva, and transfer to Chamonix, the world-famous resort and mountaineering center in France. An airport pickup is included, making this an easy and relaxing hour and a half journey. Enjoy your first impressive views of Mont Blanc, with time to relax at the pool and outdoor patio of our charming Chamonix hotel before joining the group for our trip meeting, followed by dinner. (Hotel les Aiglons or similar)
Chamonix – It’s time to run! We’ll enjoy a full day of trail running and exploring high above the Chamonix valley, with the lunch at a mountain hut with views across the valley to Mont Blanc. As with the entire Chamonix valley, the option exists to use cable cars to reduce the climbing or descent, as you get your Alps trail running legs underneath you.
Chamonix – Our second day of running, and now’s our chance to experience the sunny, bucolic side of Mont Blanc. We’ll travel through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Courmayeur in Italy’s Aosta valley. Starting with a quick transfer to Italy, we’ll walk in the ancient, pedestrian-friendly town and run along the grassy valleys and ridges in and around Val Ferret, stopping for hearty lunch at a hut. The views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains are spectacular from this side, and the quaint and timeless atmosphere is unmatched. Return to our hotel in Chamonix for dinner and a good night’s rest.
Chamonix – Another great day of running in the famed “Valley of Trail Running.” Today, we’ll run to the Mer de Glace glacier at Montenvers, stopping along the way at little Refuge de Caillet for a coffee and a treat. Then, we’ll run under Mont Blanc along the “Balcon Nord” to lunch at the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille, returning via the famous Aiguille Midi cable car to Chamonix.
At the end of the day, we can wander into old Chamonix to watch some of the best runners in the world finish the tough 80-km ultra race, or tackle Skyrunning’s steep Chamonix Vertical Kilometer race.
Chamonix – Whether you’re participating or just taking in the scene, our weekend will be filled with the excitement of some of the most famous trail races in the world. Today is race day for one of Europe’s oldest trail races, the venerable Cross du Mont Blanc. For those of us watching, there are great locations to which we can run and cheer on the runners with an “Allez-Allez!” or “Bravo!” In town or high atop Planpraz a thousand meters above Chamonix, we’ll watch racers as they finish the course.
You’ll be on our own tonight for dinner, allowing a chance to wander the pedestrian walking routes of Chamonix and pick one of the many open-air restaurants that fill the village.
Chamonix – Today, we’ll tackle another of Chamonix’s great trail runs, perhaps taking a gondola to the Swiss border at Col Balme, and running high into the alpine zone to the French Alpine Club, Albert Premier, perched high in the mountains overlooking the impressive le Tour glacier. An option exists to cheer on Chamonix Marathon runners as they run along the scenic Aiguillette des Possettes.
depart – It’s time say au revoir and leave Mont Blanc. A taxi shuttle will meet us at our hotel in the morning for transport to Geneva for flights home.
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