Trail running

Tailormade Trail Running Trips


Overview

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 our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. We are painstaking in our research to give you the best option possible and one that is good value. 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. 


  • 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. We also advise you to take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip for whatever reason. NB: The insurance referred to below should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed that your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    For ease of reference the clause relating to Insurance as set out in our Terms and Conditions is given 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 event 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, except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m. 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.

  • The standard of accommodation if based in a main town such as Chamonix, France, is entirely up to you and your budget. There is a range of accommodation on offer from 5 star luxury spa hotels, such as the Hotel Mont Blanc through to comfortable 2 star family run hotels. We can source whatever level of comfort you wish. 

    If you would like to include a true mountain experience and spend a night high in the mountains there are characterful 'refuges' perched in the most amazing remote locations. The accommodation in a refuge is basic, and more often than not the sleeping arrangements are dormitory style. An excellent 'bonding' experience! Some such as the fabulous Rifugio Bonatti, in Aosta Valley, in Italy offer a more comfortable experience with bedrooms available, hot showers, and excellent food and good wines. 

    If you are choosing to do a multi-day trail running journey such as the route of the world famous Ultra Trail Mont Blanc then accommodation will be varied depending on our overnight location. It will range from hotels, to more basic, but characterful refuges. If you are choosing a trail running trip to the Italian Dolomites then the rifugios are excellent and more like hotels than mountain huts, usually with private bedrooms available. We can advise what is on offer once you have decided on a country and location. 

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.


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!

2019

Wed 01 May - Mon 30 Sep
Code: TMT
Half Day: £210 Full Day: £275 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!

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At a Glance

From Price What's your budget?
Holiday Type Tailormade
Duration How long do you have?
Minimum Age 17
Countries Visited Italy, France, Switzerland
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