Trail running

Tailormade Trail Running Trips


Tailormade Trail Running Trips

Trail Running in the mountains is a wonderful way to enjoy the stunning vistas provided by the alpine ranges. You can enjoy running along historic routes, and over high passes while soaking up the pure mountain air. We find that many 'runners' come to us for private trips because they would like to be able to run at their own pace, on their own chosen dates, and at a daily distance which suits their fitness. 

By booking a bespoke trip you are ensuring that you have your own private running guide who as well as being a passionate runner, will also be a qualified International Mountain Leader and well able to look after you in the mountain environment. Your guide will also be versed in how to improve your running technique to deal with the 'ups and downs' of the alpine trails. 

Our experience has shown that many of you will join us for a running trip with a view to expanding your knowledge and improving your performance, because you have one of the worlds famous 'Ultra Marathons' as a goal, or for a combination of both. We are very happy to help with tips and tricks for making the very best of your mountain running holiday.

Any of our Scheduled Departure trips can be adapted to a bespoke trip. Please also take a look at the Itinerary section above for just a few ideas which may help you to make a start. Or if you already know what you want then get in touch with our office. 


I loved my three days of trail running in Chamonix. I had the most amazing guide and couldn’t have been in a more beautiful place. I couldn’t recommend Tracks and Trails enough.

You and your team helped make my transition to trail running so easy and loads of fun. I learned so much and I can hear your voices in my head whenever I go trail running telling me how to tackle the terrain. You helped ignite a spark that is still shinning brightly! 

Thanks so much for organising our trip.  We had a fantastic time and will happily be using Tracks and Trails again. Two elements made a big, positive difference to us, Al’s professionalism and manner as an instructor, of which we cannot speak highly enough; and the speed and clarity of your responses to our emails!

I wanted to give you an update on progress after the great half day of running you guided me through. A week after returning from Chamonix I broke 18m for 5k. Best time since 2007 and my main running aim of the year. At the weekend I completed a 70-mile stage race. Came 5th in 13h 25m. It had 4000m of ascent and really felt as if your descending tips made a huge difference. So thank you for contributing to a successful running year!

Itinerary

We can create bespoke adventure itineraries to suit most requests. We have extensive experience in the European Alps, and in particular in France, Switzerland, and Italy. In Scandinavia in winter we also have a breadth and depth of knowledge of running trips in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. 

We will soon be giving suggested itineraries for your corporate event, but in the meantime please contact us to discuss your requirements. 

  • The mountains of the world offer amazing running experiences and we are lucky enough to work and run in some of the best. Views that defy description, it's simply a case of having to see them for yourself, peaks that soar to the blue skies above, and 'apres run' comfort of cosy characterful hotels, and excellent local food. 

    Chamonix is a perfect base to explore trail runs in three different countries. A drive of no more than 30 minutes links this world famous alpine town with Italy and Switzerland. It is also home to the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc perhaps one of the most famous mountain ultra marathons in the world. Each August it plays host to a whole week of running events attracting up to 10,000 runners from around the world. 

    We would suggest that Chamonix is an ideal venue as a running base with a wide range of accommodation on offer from 4/5 star luxury to cosy 2 star family run hotels. Below are just some of our suggestions for running while based here. 

    France: Choose from the numerous valley trails or head for the high plateaux above alpine villages such as Les Houches and enjoy running with views of snow capped mountains, including the highest in Western Europe, Mont Blanc. Or visit Vallorcine, the Valley of the Bears, and run through the forests on a carpet of pine needles before enjoying a trail side drink at one of the cute and characterful 'buvettes' that serve refreshments to hikers and runners. Plaine Joux which is a feature of the Trail du Tour des Fiz race is another great option as a starting point. From here you have without doubt some of the best views of the glaciers and peaks that line the valley. We also have a new luxury thermal spa in town where you can relax after your run.

    Switzerland: With another country just a short drive away it seems a shame not to pop over the border for the day. We can use the historic Mont Blanc Express train to hitch a ride towards the frontier, and then switch to human power to ascend some of the excellent trails above tiny alpine villages such as Finhaut or Les Marecottes. The local architecture is beautiful and you really will feel like you have arrived in 'Heidi Land'. If you want to experiment with 'altitude' then setting off from the Emosson Dam will definitely work your lungs. 

    Italy: Land of gelato, cappuccino, and loudly gesticulating locals! We love Italy and it also delivers some great trail running. We can drive through the famous Mont Blanc Tunnel to Courmayeur and enjoy a day on the 'sunny' side. There are some fabulous runs which take in a ridge line high above Courmayeur called the Mont de la Saxe ridge. This does in fact feature in the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc and will really make you appreciate the scale of some of the climbs the participants have to deal with. Don't worry we can find easier routes as well, where gelato and coffee feature in the day. You might want to end the day with a visit to the famous thermal spa at Pre St Didier which surely has to be the best cure ever for tired muscles. You will feel re-born after a few hours soaking up the thermals. 

     

     

  • We find that many of our bespoke running trips are based on the Scheduled Departures which we already offer on this website. Simply browse the Scheduled Departures and decide which one you would like as a private trip. The itineraries can be adjusted to suit your needs with 'rest' days inserted where appropriate, and the number of trip days either extended or shortened. In this respect we find that the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail Run, and the our Trail Run the Dolomites trip are popular as private trips. 

     

    What we would add is that the less famous, but equally as beautiful, routes are quieter in terms of less people on the trail and accommodation is easier to book, especially if you are considering a last minute getaway. Please consider all the trips rather than just the ones you have heard off, we promise you will be pleasantly surprised at the possibilities! We are very happy to discuss our trips with you and advise you of the options. 

  • Our totally bespoke trips are those where you have the ideas and the dreams and we discuss how these can be achieved. They could feature an element of our Scheduled Departure trip itineraries, but also include other optional activities, such as mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoning, white water rafting and other adrenaline sports, or maybe something more relaxing and a visit to the beautiful spa at Pre St Didier in Italy, followed by compulsory gelato, to end your running trip?

    In other words 'Bespoke' means created and crafted just for you and your family or friends. A unique experience in the stunning mountains of the Alps or indeed farther afield in Europe such as Tuscany, Italy. Tuscany is the land of surprises, not the rolling green fields of Chianti country, but impressive limestone ridges which get you well off the beaten track. Our accommodation is a gorgeous Tuscan farmhouse filled with antiques and paintings, and just a hop from the swimming pool that lies in the landscaped grounds. We already offer this trip as a hiking trip in our Scheduled Departures, and it takes in several walks that feature sections of the Garfagnana Sky Race which takes place each July. 

     

  • The chance to spend a night in a mountain inn is an opportunity not to be missed. Accommodation ranges from ancient monasteries to rustic wooden farming chalets and even hotel style accommodation. You might want to consider including this option for one of the nights of your holiday? We can exercise during the day and reach our accommodation for the afternoon and enjoy a cool beer as we watch the sun set.

    Mountain huts, or 'refuges', as they are called in France, 'rifugios' in Italy, and 'cabanes' in Switzerland are scattered throughout the Alps and beyond. They really do offer a special experience allowing you to really get away from it all.

    Below we have given a couple of examples of what's on offer: 

    The Bonatti Rifugio, near Courmayeur in Italy enjoys stunning views of the Mont Blanc Massif from the Italian side giving another perspective to this famous alpine range. This is a new mountain hut which pays homage to the world renowned Italian mountaineer and photographer Walter Bonatti. It makes a fantastic overnight trip, with Italian coffee and pasta to match. 

    The Grand St Bernard Hospice, is very different again, neither refuge, rifugio or cabane, but a working Monastery which has offered shelter to travellers for over 1,000 years. The Hospice which sits on the frontier between Switzerland and Italy, about 45 minutes drive from the town of Martigny, is also home to the world famous St Bernard mountain rescue dogs. A visit to the Grand St Bernard Museum and Kennels is possible en route to the Hospice. There are some excellent running trails in this area which would allow us to incorporate a night with the monks.

     

Accommodation

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.


  • 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.

  • 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 and safety of the group.

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

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed 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.

  • This is a general statement with regard to luggage and is not specific to your trip. Please read on.

    Point to Point

    The majority of our point-to-point trips have luggage support which means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need to wear a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. 

    On some trips which feature a night in a refuge/rifugio/hut your main luggage may not be available that evening due to lack of vehicle access. Your rucksack should be of sufficient capacity to carry a few extra items required for this overnight. Your trip itinerary will indicate on which nights you do not have access to your main luggage. If in any doubt please contact us

    Centre Based

    For our centre based trips, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, do refer to the note below with regard to 'size' and the lack of elevators in some hotels. 

    Size of Luggage

    Please note that many hotels do not have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom. 

    On our point-to-point trips where your luggage is moved along the route by taxi we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Many of the taxi companies who move your bags impose a 15kg (33lbs) limit and restrict the number because they have to unload and reload the vehicle each day. If you take more than one bag you may be asked to pay a supplement. 

    Luggage on wheels is a good idea, and as stated you need to be able to carry your luggage to your bedroom which may involve climbing several flights of stairs.  

  • 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. 

  • 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.

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water which 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:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    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. 

  • If you wish to add on additional activities to your trip these can be arranged for you. In summer in the Alps there are a range of exciting challenges on offer. You may wish to try rock climbing, mountain biking, via ferrata, white water rafting, or canyoning?

  • 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. 


The date range given below indicates the months when the activity can usually be undertaken.  

Maximum Numbers To ensure that you make the most of your running experience we take a maximum of 10 people per guide. We can, of course, accommodate larger groups but for reasons of safety and enjoyment this would require an additional guide or guides depending on the group size. 

The Complete Package We can also quote you an all inclusive price which can include accommodation, luggage transfers if a point to point multi-day journey, the guides fees and expenses and all logistics. We can also add on other summer activities such as rock climbing, white water rafting, or whatever else you fancy!

We can accept payment in Euros by prior arrangement.

2019

Enquire Now

I loved my three days of trail running in Chamonix. I had the most amazing guide and couldn’t have been in a more beautiful place. I couldn’t recommend Tracks and Trails enough.

You and your team helped make my transition to trail running so easy and loads of fun. I learned so much and I can hear your voices in my head whenever I go trail running telling me how to tackle the terrain. You helped ignite a spark that is still shinning brightly! 

Thanks so much for organising our trip.  We had a fantastic time and will happily be using Tracks and Trails again. Two elements made a big, positive difference to us, Al’s professionalism and manner as an instructor, of which we cannot speak highly enough; and the speed and clarity of your responses to our emails!

I wanted to give you an update on progress after the great half day of running you guided me through. A week after returning from Chamonix I broke 18m for 5k. Best time since 2007 and my main running aim of the year. At the weekend I completed a 70-mile stage race. Came 5th in 13h 25m. It had 4000m of ascent and really felt as if your descending tips made a huge difference. So thank you for contributing to a successful running year!

Enquire Return to Search Print Trip Notes View All Grades

At a Glance

From Price What's your budget?
Holiday Type Tailormade
Duration How long do you have?
Minimum Age 18
Countries Visited Italy, France, Switzerland
View all Tailormade Holidays

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
Read More