Chamonix Classic Trails
Chamonix Classic Trails
Chamonix Classic Trails
Chamonix Classic Trails
Chamonix Classic Trails
Chamonix Classic Trails
Chamonix Classic Trails

Chamonix Classic Trails


Trip Overview

In just a few years, Chamonix has become a 'world class' trail running destination and there's no wonder why!

The views, the conquest of Mont Blanc, it's easy access and vast choice of trails are just a few of the reasons each year trail runners from all over the world seek to explore Chamonix's 'Classic Trails'.

Get to know the Chamonix Valley on this 4-day guided running break. Designed for regular runners simply wanting to maximise their 'time on the trails' with the option of a luxury hotel base.

Highlights

  • 4 'Classic' Chamonix Trail Runs
  • Run 15-25km per day
  • Led by an experienced trail running guide
  • Run then relax in the heart of the French Alps
  • Traditional 3* mountain hotel with pool and spa facilities
  • Private rooms available
  • Option to join without accommodation

Situated in the heart of the French Alps sharing borders with both Italy and Switzerland Chamonix is now known as the 'running capital of the world'. Run sections of the famous Mont Blanc Marathon & Mont Blanc Ultra Trail, reach mountain summits, run ridge lines and get off the beaten track whilst surrounded by awe-inspiring vistas.

At the end of each day relax and soak up the Alpine environment in our traditional French mountain hotel perfectly situated at the foot of the famous Glacier des Bossons.

Bespoke trail running training

Our coaches are experienced in racing many sporting distances and disciplines. As well as our guided run along the Mont Jura, through Provence & the Verdon Gorge and around Mont Blanc we offer bespoke training and coaching for ultra marathons, triathlon and ski racing. So if you have a specific goal in mind and would like personal training or private guiding on the routes then we can help you. Please contact us with any questions.


The moment you arrive in Chamonix, you realise you should have booked this trip years ago. The scenery is stunning, you're so well looked after, it's a fantastic opportunity to meet other like minded people and getting out running in the mountains truly disconnects you from day to day stresses. Julia has a knack of imparting a wealth of knowledge and sharing her obvious passion for the beautiful surroundings, whilst making sure everyone enjoys themselves and doesn't feel too far outside their comfort zones.  We had a great time and came back feeling happier, healthier and rejuvenated. 

Itinerary

  • Our group hotel for this trip is the 3* Hotel Aiguilles du Midi. Situated at the foot of the famous 'Glacier de Bossons' there's no wonder why we've chosen this charming family run hotel for this trip. Relax and unwind by pool or in the spa then enjoy the first of many tasty meals to come. Your trail running guide will meet you at your hotel this evening and brief you on the days ahead. Massages are available and can be arranged through your coach or hotel reception.

  • The Chamonix Valley has running trails at all altitudes and the Petit Balcon Nord & Sud (facing each side of the valley) are located at the lowest elevation making this the perfect warm up day. The valley is serviced with an excellent bus and train service so it is possible to adapt this day making it shorter (or longer!) at various points. Enjoy excellent views of Chamonix and it’s surrounding peaks whilst passing through delightful villages farming communities along the way. From our hotel we cross the Arve River to join this classic Chamonix trail. We soon arrive to Les Gaillands lake and rock climbing area which offers some of the finest views of Mont Blanc the surrounding peaks and glaciers. We have just run the first few kilometres of the famous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc! We pass through Chamonix picking up easy trails through the pine forests and old village of the Bois du Bouchet to reach Les Tines. A wide riverside trail takes us to the alpine ski village of Argentiere (1250m) where we can have a coffee break and soak up the mountain scenery.

    Leaving Argentiere we complete our circuit by joining the Petit Balcon Nord, on the opposite side of the valley, and wind our way back towards Chamonix. All on excellent ‘balcony’ trails and descending most of the way the route picks up the Mont Blanc Marathon course and passes through the quiet less visited village of Le Lavancher.

    Distances: 12km-24km. Total: Ascent/Descent for the 24km option +450m & -450m.

  • Today we get up high to visit two of Mont Blancs glaciers, the 'Glacier des Bossons' and the 'Mer de Glace' or Sea of Ice. This second classic trail was also the venue for our youtube trail running video. Our hotel is situated at the foot of the 'Glacier des Bossons' allowing easy access to the trail head and start of our first major climb. Anyone wishing to miss the climb can join us up on the high trail as the route is also accessible by taking the first stage up the famous Aiguilles du Midi cable car. Our climb takes a path up through the cool pine forests all on good paths to reach the perfectly situated Refuge Plan d'Aiguilles at 2200m (and close to the cable car station). The gradient isn't steep but a steady walking pace should be expected and the use of poles for efficiency is recommended. As we gain height we start to see towers of ice appearing from the glacier and on the opposite side of the valley the Aiguilles Route. At the refuge we stop for refreshments and a panoramic view whilst sat below the summit of Mont Blanc! We now join the 'Grand Balcon Nord' (the highest of the balcony trails) and run an undulating path beneath granite rock spires. A rocky trail traverses for 6.5 kilometres to reach the Signal Forbes viewpoint at 2198m to view the famous Drus 4000m peak and the second of our glaciers, and the largest in France the Mer de Glace. Our trail drops down to meet the historic rack and pinion Montenvers Train. For those wishing to save their knees taking the train is the perfect way to return to Chamonix. Otherwise after a stop for refreshments this is where we begin a superb 870m sweeping switch back descent through the pine forest to reach the valley floor.

    Distances: 10km, 16km or 20km. Total: Ascent/Descent for the 20km option: +1300m & -1420m

  • We begin today by taking the picturesque Mont Blanc Express train to the neighbouring valley of Vallorcine at 1120m close to the Swiss frontier. Vallorcine, which means the valley of the bears, is a wide opened valley scattered with traditional farm buildings and cattle grazing in lush alpine meadows. We leave Vallorcine on another piece of trail that features on both the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and the Mont Blanc Marathon. Following the line of the river to le Buet the trail winds it's way through the pastures. We leave the main valley and climb for a short section through the hamlet of le Lay to enter the quiet Vallon de Bérard. Accessible only on foot our path soon reaches an impressive waterfall where we can take time to soak up what feels like entering another world. The trail continues close to the river to cross a bridge and leads up via several summer meadows known as 'alpages'. We continue to climb through the forests before breaking out onto the high alpage and Refuge Loriaz. These meadows are where the herds graze to a chorus of bells during the summer months. We can enjoy a coffee and cake at the chalet farm buildings enjoying the view across to Mont Blanc and over into the Swiss Alps. We descend from the chalet through the lush meadows to pick up a superb single track trail which leads leads us back down to the valley floor.

    Distance: 13km. Ascent: +850m Descent -850m.

  • Our final 'must do' Chamonix trail is to summit the 'Aiguillette des Houches' and 'Brevent' peaks. Perfectly positioned offering perhaps the best views of the Mont Blanc Massif we head in a new direction steadily moving up the mountain side all on good trails. As the valley below gets smaller the surrounding peaks begin to grow our efforts are rewarded around every corner. We pass the quintessential chalets of Plan de la Cry then reach the Chalets de Challioux where it almost feels like you can touch the glaciers! We are now above the treeline. After a break here our trail continues on a smaller mountain path up one more level to reach our first summit, the Aiguillette des Houches at 2285m. With panoramic views it is without doubt one of the perfect picnic spots! We are now up on a fun undulating ridge-line trail which leads us down to the Refuge Bellachat at 2152m for fine views of the 3 'Monts'; Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc. From the refuge to reach our second summit we have one final climb. The trail moves quickly onto rocky terrain as we pass the Lac de Brévent to reach le Brévent summit at 2525m for an unrivalled panorama from the 'roof' of Europe. The Brévent is a rocky peak within the Aiguilles Rouge popular for rock climbers, hikers and now wing suit flyers! In 1930 the town council put in one of France's first cable cars here enabling tourist access to this exceptional vantage point. So for those who wish to save their knees it's possible to take the cable car part or all the way down to the valley floor. From the summit our trail descends gradually downwards first along the ridge passing the Clocher de Brévent before picking up switch back bends to reach to Plan Praz mid station. We soon reach the pine forests as we wind our way back to the valley floor directly to Les Bossons and back to our hotel.

    Distance: 15km-23.5km.

    Total: Ascent/Descent for the 23.5km option: +1300m, -1800m OR 15km option +1200m, -800m.

  • Today is departure day and the package finishes after breakfast.

We always aim to complete the proposed itinerary, however it may be necessary for our guides to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In many cases we have known the management for years, and it’s like visiting friends. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender. 

However, on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number. Please contact us for details.

Hotel Aiguille du Midi - summer

Hotel

For this trip we stay in 3* Hotel Aiguilles du Midi, a traditional French mountain hotel perfectly situated at the foot of the famous Glacier des Bossons. The hotel is within easy reach of the centre of Chamonix and is ideally situated for the trails. The trip price is based on twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Single rooms may be available on request for a supplementary payment. However, these are limited in number and we recommend that you book early if you wish to be sure of a single room. Please contact us for details.

It includes a 3 course Dinner, Lunches, Bed and Breakfast and meals can be adapted to suit any dietary requirement. The hotel offers a spacious living and dining area, free wi-fi, spa facilities, massage room and garden with pool boasting wonderful views of Mont Blanc. Massages are available and can be arranged through your coaches and hotel reception.


  • Chamonix is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. For suggested travel links please refer to our Booking & Information pages for further details. Geneva is the closest international airport, only 75 minutes away by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.

  • Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be travelling in the mountains, you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. For further details, please ensure you have carefully read the Insurance section of our website.

  • Upon booking a comprehensive kit list will be sent to you. 

    To get the most out of your week you may wish to buy a copy of the French IGN: Chamonix Massif du Mont Blanc 1:25,000 map this is available on arrival or online.

  • This week will run once a minimum number of 4 clients have booked, we will take a maximum of 10.

  • Summer mountain weather can vary considerably. It is generally good in the Alps with lovely days, but it can deliver everything from glorious sunshine, to rain, fog, high winds and even snow. Temperatures can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) in July and August, but can drop to 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high passes, or 'Cols' as they are known in the Alps. Essentially you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°Celsius (59-77°F) in the valleys and 5-15°Celsius (41-59°F) on the passes.

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. You can read our full policy here.

  • Due to the specialised nature of our trips, we work with a select number of partners to help ensure your trip reaches its minimum group size to be guaranteed to run. The companies we work with reflect our own ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer to our guests. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2019

Wed 29 May - Fri 03 May
Code: CCT1 19
Price: £975 Book
Wed 29 May - Mon 03 Jun
Code: CCT1N 19
Price: £475 Non-accommodation Book
Wed 12 Jun - Mon 17 Jun
Code: CCT2 19
Price: £975 Book
Wed 12 Jun - Mon 17 Jun
Code: CCT2N 19
Price: £475 Non-accommodation Book
Wed 03 Jul - Mon 08 Jul
Code: CCT3 19
Price: £975 Book
Wed 03 Jul - Mon 08 Jul
Code: CCT3N 19
Price: £475 Non-accommodation Book
Wed 17 Jul - Mon 22 Jul
Code: CCT4 19
Price: £975 Book
Wed 17 Jul - Mon 22 Jul
Code: CCT4N 19
Price: £475 Non-accommodation Book
Wed 31 Jul - Mon 05 Aug
Code: CCT5 19
Price: £475 Book
Wed 31 Jul - Mon 05 Aug
Code: CCT5N 19
Price: £975 Non-accommodation Book
Wed 14 Aug - Mon 19 Aug
Code: CCT6 19
Price: £975 Book
Wed 14 Aug - Mon 19 Aug
Code: CCT6N 19
Price: £475 Non-accommodation Book
Wed 04 Sep - Mon 09 Sep
Code: CCT7 19
Price: £975 Book
Wed 04 Sep - Mon 09 Sep
Code: CCT7N 19
Price: £475 Non-accommodation Book
Wed 18 Sep - Mon 23 Sep
Code: CCT8 19
Price: £975 Book
Wed 18 Sep - Mon 23 Sep
Code: CCT8N 19
Price: £475 Non-accommodation Book

What's Included

All inclusive package

  • 4 full days of guided running by an International Mountain Leader who is also an experienced trail runner
  • Full board hotel accommodation including a 3 course evening meal, bed and breakfast and packed lunches for 5 nights
  • Accommodation is based on two people sharing in the 3* Hotel Aiguilles du Midi
  • Tracks and Trails souvenir
  • Guest card to include the local bus and train and one taxi pick up (if needed as part of your itinerary).

Coaching only package

  • The services of an International Mountain Leader who's also an experienced trail running for 4 full days of trail running
  • Tracks and Trails souvenir
  • Guest card to include the local bus and train and one taxi pick up (if needed as part of your itinerary).

What's Not Included

All inclusive package

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Massages
  • Cable cars
  • Maps.

Coaching only package

  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport transfers
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Massages
  • Cable cars
  • Maps.
The moment you arrive in Chamonix, you realise you should have booked this trip years ago. The scenery is stunning, you're so well looked after, it's a fantastic opportunity to meet other like minded people and getting out running in the mountains truly disconnects you from day to day stresses. Julia has a knack of imparting a wealth of knowledge and sharing her obvious passion for the beautiful surroundings, whilst making sure everyone enjoys themselves and doesn't feel too far outside their comfort zones.  We had a great time and came back feeling happier, healthier and rejuvenated. 
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Grade: Difficult

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At a Glance

From Price £475
Holiday Type Trail Running
Duration 6 Days
Group Size 10
Minimum Age 17
Countries Visited France
Meet In Chamonix, France
View all Trail Running Holidays

Chamonix Classic Trails