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

Chamonix Classic Trails

Running holiday in France

In just a few years, Chamonix, in France has become a 'world class' trail running destination and there's no wonder why! This alpine town of international fame continues to hold its title as the world capital of adventure sports. Since the the very first Winter Olympics in 1924 Chamonix has been a venue for world class events. 

The views of sparkling glaciers, the history and 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 stunning valley of Chamonix on this 4-day guided running break. Designed for those you who run on a regular basis and who want to maximise holiday time on the trails, with the option of a luxury hotel base.


  • Four 'Classic' Chamonix Trail Runs
  • Run 15-25km (9 -15.6 miles) per day
  • Guided by a qualified mountain professional
  • Exercise and then 'relax' in the heart of the French Alps
  • Traditional 3* mountain hotel with pool and spa facilities
  • Single rooms available on request
  • 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 and Mont Blanc Ultra Trail, reach mountain summits, run ridge lines and get off the beaten track surrounded by awe-inspiring vistas.

At the end of each day you will have time to relax and soak up the Alpine environment in our traditional French mountain hotel which is situated at the foot of the famous Glacier des Bossons. From the terrace you can take in the mind-blowing scale of the mighty Mont Blanc which towers above the valley, the highest mountain in Western Europe at 4810m (15,776ft).

Bespoke Trail Running Training

Our coaches are experienced runners who race in various sporting distances and disciplines. As well as our guided trail 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. 


  • meet in
  • accommodation
  • airport
  • Today you will arrive in Chamonix, France. This evening you will meet your running guide at your hotel when they will be available to answer any questions about the next few days. 

  • The Valley of Chamonix has running trails at all altitudes and the Petit Balcon Nord and Sud, are located at the lowest elevation making this the perfect warm up day. 'Petit Balcon' dates to the Victorian era, and refers to it being an easy balcony walk, in other words it offers a wonderful balcony to view the mountains. The valley has an excellent bus and train service so it is possible to adapt the day making it shorter, or longer, at various points. Enjoy excellent views of Chamonix and it’s surrounding peaks whilst passing through quaint villages and farming communities.

    In the morning we will leave our hotel and take the bridge across the Arve River to join this classic Chamonix trail. We soon arrive at Les Gaillands lake and rock climbing area which offers some of the finest views of Mont Blanc and its peaks and glaciers. You will have just run the first few kilometres of the famous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc which takes place in the valley each August! We pass through the town itself picking up easy trails in the pine forests and then traverse the old village of the Bois du Bouchet to reach the hamlet of Les Tines. A wide riverside trail takes us to the alpine ski village of Argentiere at 1250m (4100ft) where we can have a coffee break and soak up the 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. We continue on excellent ‘balcony’ trails as the route picks up the Mont Blanc Marathon course and passes through the quiet less visited village of Le Lavancher. It's mostly gently downhill to home.

    Ascent: 450m (1476ft) Descent: 450m (1476ft) Distance: 12-24km (7.5-15 miles)

  • Today we get up high to visit two of the glaciers of the Mont Blanc Range, the 'Glacier des Bossons' and the 'Mer de Glace' or Sea of Ice. This second classic trail was also the venue for our Trail Running Film. Our hotel is situated at the foot of the 'Glacier des Bossons' with easy access to the trail and the start of our first major climb. Anyone wishing to miss the climb can join us 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 follows good trails through the pine forests to reach the perfectly situated Refuge Plan d'Aiguilles at 2200m (7216ft). The gradient isn't steep, but a steady walking pace should be expected and the use of poles is recommended. As we gain height we see towers of ice through the trees, and the glacier itself. At the refuge we stop for refreshments and a panoramic view below the summit of Mont Blanc! We now join the 'Grand Balcon Nord', the highest of the balcony trails, and run on an undulating path beneath granite rock spires. A rocky trail traverses for 6.5 kilometres (4 miles) to reach the Signal Forbes viewpoint at 2198m (7209ft). Here we have excellent views of the famous 'Drus' two immense rock towers, and we witness our second glaciers, the largest in France the Mer de Glace. Our trail then drops down to meet the historic rack and pinion Montenvers Train. If you want to save your 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 (2853ft) switch-back descent through the pine forest to the valley floor.

    Ascent: 1300m (4264ft) Descent: 1420m (4657ft) Distance: 10km (6.2 miles), 16km (10 miles), 20km (12.5 miles) 

  • We begin today by taking the picturesque Mont Blanc Express train to the neighbouring valley of Vallorcine at 1120m (3673ft) close to the Swiss frontier. Vallorcine, which means the 'Valley of the Bears', is a wide valley scattered with traditional farm buildings and cattle grazing in lush alpine meadows. We leave Vallorcine on another stretch of trail that features in 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 it feels like we have entered another world. The trail continues close to the river and continues upwards via several summer meadows known as 'alpages'. We continue to climb through the forests before arriving at 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 old farm buildings enjoying views to Mont Blanc and 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.

    Ascent: 850m (2788ft) Descent: 850m (2788ft) Distance: 13km (8 miles)

  • Our final 'must do' Chamonix trail is to summit the 'Aiguillette des Houches' and 'Brevent' peaks. Perfectly positioned these peaks offer the best views of the Mont Blanc Massif. As we steadily leave the valley behind us and the summits get ever closer our efforts are rewarded round 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! After a break our trail continues on a smaller mountain path up one more level to reach our first summit, the Aiguillette des Houches at 2285m (7494ft). With panoramic views it is without doubt one of the perfect picnic spots! We are now up on an undulating ridge-line which leads us down to the Refuge Bellachat at 2152m (7058ft) for fine views of the three '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 onto rocky terrain as we pass the Lac de Brévent to reach the Brévent summit at 2525m (8282ft) for an unrivalled panorama. The Brévent is a rocky peak within the Aiguilles Rouge popular with 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 first along the ridge passing the Clocher de Brévent before picking up switch-backs to reach  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.

    Ascent: 1300m (4264ft) Descent: 1800m (5904ft) Distance: 23.5km (14.6 miles)

    Ascent: 1200m (3936ft) Descent: 800m (2624ft) Distance: 15km (9.4 miles)

  • Today is departure day and your trip ends after breakfast. 

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.


On all of our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, comfortable, characterful, family run accommodation. 

We take time to research, update and view the best options available to us on every trip. Detailed below are examples of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable at the time of booking we will use alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

The trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. However on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee.

Hotel Aiguille du Midi - Summer


For this trip we stay in the 3* Hotel Aiguilles du Midi, a traditional French mountain hotel perfectly situated at the foot of the famous Glacier des Bossons. The hotel, which has been run by the same family for generations, 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, in France is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. Geneva airport in Switzerland, 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.

  • You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    The insurance clause set out in our 'Terms and Conditions' is below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses, not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc, shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd, or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd, to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres (9840ft), except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m (10,877ft). You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Summer mountain weather in the European Alps can vary considerably, and in this respect it is no different to any mountain environment where the terrain influences the weather and it can change from valley to valley. 

    However, in the summer months it is generally good in the Alps, 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, as with all mountain journeys, 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.

    Even in mid-summer we can be faced with overnight snow especially when we have spent the night in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut at higher altitude. 

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and simply a case of sharing out a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. On a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    On many of our cross country ski trips to remote areas there will also be a few additional items to share such as the grip waxes/klisters, spare pole, and snow shovel. These items are shared in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • After we have processed your booking we will send you a comprehensive clothing and equipment list that is appropriate to your trip and activity. There will be some items on this list that we strongly recommend and others which are suggested. Our list is based on our experience of what is needed for any particular trip, but it is not the definitive article! If you have items you like to use then do bring them, but be aware of over-loading your 'day' rucksack with items that are heavy and therefore making the trip more challenging.

    Please contact us if in any doubt about what to bring.

  • For each of our trips there is a minimum number of guests required to book before we can 'guarantee' your trip will run. It depends on the particular trip in question, but it is normally 4. The maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. This trip has a single supplement of £250. 

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, and insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    Please note your guide/instructor has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    For our walking, family, and snowshoeing trips your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. For our running trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader, and an experienced mountain 'trail runner'.

    If you have booked on a cross country ski trip you will be with a fully qualified professional BASI Nordic Ski Instructor or equivalent. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors. 

  • For this trip where you are centre-based, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, please note that not all the hotels we use have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom and this might involve climbing several flights of stairs. We would suggest that luggage with wheels is generally a good idea. 

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons. We have found our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you choose and buy what you require. Buying supplies and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with the local people and to practise your language skills. 

    Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout your day of activity. If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this. 

    Each evening you can choose to order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market and whether you need to purchase items in the evening or if the shop/market is open early enough the next morning not to delay your start. In all cases we would always ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks in the evening before you depart, and not on the morning of your last day when there may be a queue.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • To get the most out of your week you may like to buy a copy of the French IGN: Chamonix Massif du Mont Blanc 1:25,000. The map number is 3630 OT and is available on line from Stanfords or you can buy it on arrival in Chamonix. 


  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. 

    If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness. 


    The countries we visit all have tap water that is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly. 

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    UK residents should obtain and bring with them the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • 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. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 

  • Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.

    There may be occasions when our partners have helped book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of one of our partners. 

    We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee, will also be the same. 

    We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 

Prices may vary depending on date.


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What's Included

All inclusive package

  • 4 full days of guided running by an International Mountain Leader, who is also an experienced trail runner
  • 5 nights full board hotel accommodation; 3 course evening meal, bed and breakfast and packed lunches 
  • Accommodation is based on two people sharing in the 3* Hotel Aiguille du Midi
  • Guest card; free use of local trains and buses in Chamonix 
  • One taxi pick up if needed as part of our itinerary
  • Tracks and Trails memento; a gift to take home

Guiding only package

  • 4 full days of guided running by an International Mountain Leader, who is also an experienced trail runner
  • Guest card; free use of local trains and buses in Chamonix 
  • One taxi pick up if needed as part of our itinerary
  • Tracks and Trails memento; a gift to take home

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


At a Glance

From Price £475
Holiday Type Trail Running
Duration 6 Days
Group Size 10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2525m (8282ft)
Countries Visited France
Meet In Chamonix, France
View all Trail Running Holidays

Chamonix Classic Trails

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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