The Swiss Alps could be considered the home of trail running. Mountain runners have been weaving their way along alp paths for decades, and are practically exalted here. Be prepared to be greeted with an Allez-Allez! or a Bon Chance! when you run by local farmers. With a fantastic network of trail and huts, and a long history and appreciation of running, Switzerland is a trail runner’s dream. We’ve been running around the Alps on our own for years, and we’re very excited to team with Doug Mayer from Run the Alps to offer what we think are the best guided trail running vacations in the Alps.
The Eiger Ultra Trail Race is just three years old, but already it quickly fills to capacity each year. It’s understandable why – consisting of a 16 km, 35 km, 51 km, and an epic 101 km course, the Eiger Ultra incorporates unrivaled dramatic mountain scenery. Run the Alps has reserved spaces for our clients in these races, including a private gathering with Eiger Ultra race managers. There’s a distance for every level, and we look forward to sharing this stunning race with you.
Our week starts with two nights in the car-free mountain village of Mürren, which offers a wide range of high-elevation running through alp pastures in stunning surr9ounding. We’ll follow this with four nights of trail running in and around Grindelwald, at the base of the North Face of the Eiger. We’ll run through some of the most scenic terrain Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland has to offer. Saturday is race day, with participation entirely up to you. Care for a rest day? Hike or run and cheer the rest of our crew on!
Our typical day starts with a continental buffet breakfast at our inn – delicious fresh baked bread, local cheeses, cereal, fruit, coffee and juice – which gives us the energy needed for a full day of inn-to-inn trail running. Soon we’ll be out on the trail, perhaps 6 miles for those who want a more casual day, or an all-day outing of 12-15 miles for the more ambitious runners. Each day there will be options for an easier or more ambitious run. Each morning, we’ll bring out a variety of trail snacks for you to choose from, and many of our runs will include stops at mountain huts or alp farms where we can tank up with a hot soup or fruit torte.
Most of these stages can be hiked in a full day or run in half a day, and we should finish each day with plenty of time to wash up and relax. You will have your own bedroom every night. In the evening we’ll enjoy dinner together at our hotel. These are multi-course feasts, often featuring local Swiss specialties, and will definitely be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious. We will leave one dinner in Grindelwald free, where you will have a chance to explore on your own.
Mürren – Arrive in Switzerland and transfer by train and to our meeting point in the mountain village of Mürren. A gem of a village in one of the most beautiful locations in the Alps, Mürren is a quiet and peaceful place, and has remained blissfully car-free.
We’ll meet in the evening and talk about the week to come over dinner tonight. Our home in Mürren is the friendly and scenic 3-star Hotel Bellevue. (Hotel Bellevue or Edelweiss)
Mürren – One favorite run takes us to the back of the Lauterbrunnen valley, a nature preserve, to the idyllic Obersteinberg inn, surrounded by mountains and waterfalls.
There you’ll have the option for a shorter return along the valley floor, or a long, spectacular high traverse around the back of the valley. Return by cable car to our car-free, clifftop village. (Hotel Bellevue or Edelweiss)
Grindelwald – Located at the at the base of the Eiger, Grindelwald is set in one of the most stunning locations in the Alps, and is surrounded by miles of unbelievable trails. The Eiger is the most famous mountain, but the Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn are just as impressive, towering over the rolling green meadows.
We might decide to run here from Mürren, on a delightfully quiet trail beneath the Jungfrau mountain to the bustling Kleine Scheidegg pass. Descend beneath the stunning vertical cliffs of the Eiger mountain to Grindelwald. (Hotel Derby or Gletschergarten)
Grindelwald – One favorite run, and a classic trail in the region,starts with an historic cogwheel train ride to Schynige Platte, perched high on a ridge with incredible mountain views to the south and birds-eye lake views to the north.
The trail traverses a high ridge above Grindelwald, with a pair of conveniently-placed huts for stops along the way. Detour up to the peak of the Faulhorn for unforgettable 360 degree views of the region. We’ll run to the beautiful Bachalpsee lake with the option to descend to town by gondola or on foot. (Hotel Derby or Gletschergarten)
Grindelwald – Again we have many choices for our trail run today depending on the weather and the mood.
The Eiger trail is a classic choice, starting from the small mountain inn at Alpiglen, and weaving high into the mountains to the base of the Eiger’s dramatic North Face. The trail leads to Kleine Scheidegg where our views are filled with mountains, glaciers and waterfalls. Finish with a mellow, flat run to Mannlichen where we descend to town by gondola. (Hotel Derby or Gletschergarten)
Grindelwald – Today is race day, and we have a limited number of guaranteed spaces if you want to join one of the three Eiger Ultra races (16, 35, 51 and 101 km). Check with us if you would like to race, or you can take the day off to relax, watch the races, or take a separate run around the valley.
The Haslital is a beautiful valley just over the Grosse Scheidegg pass from Grindelwald, and offers miles of quiet alpine trails, with small lakes, rustic dairy farms and impressive mountains. (Hotel Derby or Gletschergarten)
depart – Today we say our good-byes before hopping on the train to your post-tour destinations.
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