Trail running

Tailormade Trail Running Trips

Tailormade Trail Running Trips

Trail Running in the mountains is a wonderful way to enjoy the stunning vistas of 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 custom-made 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 custom 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. 

There were no trips scheduled for the dates I was available. Tracks and Trails organised a private guide for me and it was so much fun! He took me on some wonderful routes I wouldn't have attempted on my own, and pushed me out of my comfort zone. I came away feeling exhilarated and more confident about my capabilities. I will definitely do this again.

- Kirsteen, Switzerland

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.

- Julianne, England, 2018

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! 

- Ashanti, England, 2018

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!

- Kate and Fergus, England

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!

- Jack, England, 2017


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. 


We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. All of our trips are based on two people sharing a bedroom, what we call a 'twin' means two single beds in one bedroom. If you are booking as a single traveller you will share with someone of the same gender. In many cases a single room is available for a supplementary fee, but these can be in short supply and require early booking. Note that it is very rare to have air conditioning in European mountain areas, and most bedrooms do not have this facility. If you have any questions about the accommodation please contact us.

  • With a tailor-made trip you can choose whatever standard of accommodation you require. If based in a town there is usually a broad range from budget, to luxury, everything from sharing in a dormitory to having a suite in a 4/5* hotel. 

    Once you have decided on your base for your trip we can easily advise you of the options available. Some towns/villages will have more options than others. 

    If you are embarking on a point-to-point journey you may find that there is no option or choice of accommodation as we are grateful to have anywhere to stay in the mountains. However, this does not always mean basic accommodation, some mountain locations offer wonderful, characterful and traditional mountain hospitality. 

    The choice is yours and we will prepare a quote for your trip based on the standard of accommodation chosen. Of course, you may want to choose and book your own accommodation and Tracks and Trails simply provides the guiding element. It is entirely up to you. 

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

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

  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it’s important to have the right equipment and clothing. We believe our kit lists cover the necessary items required relating to the weather you might encounter and for the accommodation you will be staying in.

    Your guide will help choose from the following items according to the weather on the day. Please ask if you require advice.


    • Trail running shoes - for a variety of trails
    • Running poles - highly recommended for long climbing and mixed terrain 
    • Running pack/vest - maximum 10 litres, ideally with a chest and waist strip. Test your pack for comfort once full
    • Rucksack cover/liner/bags - to keep contents dry
    • Water - container 1 litre/2 x soft flasks


    You must be able to cover yourself with 3 full layers on your upper body and 2 full layers on your legs

    • Waterproof jacket with hood - waterproof and breathable membrane designed for mountain use
    • Waterproof over trousers 
    • Mid length tights and longs socks or long running tights to cover the legs completely
    • Thermal top – long sleeves 
    • Thin fleece/lightweight down jacket
    • Running shorts/skort
    • Breathable t-shirt/vest 
    • Warm hat
    • Ear/headband
    • Baseball cap/sun hat 
    • Gloves - 1 thick pair & 1 thin pair 
    • Running socks 
    • Recovery socks/compression socks - optional
    • Scarf/buff for neck
    • Fleece/wind stopper waistcoat - optional


    • Lip salve
    • Sunscreen
    • Sunglasses – essential
    • Tissues/Toilet paper - biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
    • Snacks - running food such as bars/gels/energy drinks/trail mix/recovery drinks etc

    Personal First Aid 

    • Personal Medication - if required 
    • Blister Plasters
    • Normal Bandaids
    • Blister tape eg Strappal
    • Pain relief/anti-inflammatories
    • Glucose tablets 
    • 2 x Re-hydration sachets
    • A few throat lozenges
    • Anti-chaffing cream/Vaseline
    • Antiseptic cream/spray 
    • Bandage/Knee support - recommended


    • Cash – Euros
    • Credit card
    • Passport 
    • Waterproof bag for documents
    • Mountain Rescue Insurance - compulsory

    Additional Items

    • Camera 
    • Phone that will function in the countries you are visiting
    • Clothing for use in accommodation 
    • Clothing for any classes - such as yoga/stretching
    • Slippers for use in accommodation 
    • Swimwear for pool/hot tubs if available 
    • Ear plugs – recommended if room sharing 
    • Head torch - also useful when sharing a room
    • Maps can be bought locally - not essential
    • Heart rate monitor – optional
    • GPS watch/phone to track your route - if owned
    • Toiletries: soap/shower gel as not all accommodations supply this
    • Book/notepad & pencil for talks
    • Padlock for luggage being transported, if doing a point to point trip 

    We suggest you look at the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc website, 'Runners' section for further advice on:

    • weight saving ideas
    • how to waterproof your kit 
    • ideal trail shoes for the route
    • nutrition advice

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and will carry their own first aid kit

  • 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.

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

    Please note your guide 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. 

    Your trail running guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. For our trail running trips we employ International  Mountain Leaders who have a particular passion for trail running. Many of our trail running guides have competed in mountain marathons, and ultra marathons in the European Alps and further afield. 

    You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page. 

  • 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, the most important of which is food waste. In general our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you purchase your own snacks rather than throw away items from the picnic lunch which we would supply.

    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 the day. Buying snacks and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with local people and to practise your language skills.

    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 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. In all cases we would ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks the evening before you depart, and not in the morning 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 often only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    We encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for traditional food and where the menu reflects the best that the region provides.

    The hotels to there best to accommodate the dietary needs of our guest . If you are vegetarian this is not a problem as the hotel is used to being asked for vegetarian meals. If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance which will make you ill then the accommodation will cater for this as best they can but we would ask that you make it clear on your booking form of any food intolerance so that we can discuss your needs with the hotel at the earliest point possible. When using remote mountain huts the staff are usually able to offer breakfast and dinner which meet with the clients needs.  Packed lunches can be more problematic and so we do suggest that, if you do have a specific dietary requirement, you bring a range of suitable snacks to supplement the lunches.  If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet, gluten or lactose intolerance  contact us

    We request that you do not CHANGE your dietary requirements during the trip as we will have pre-ordered your meals.


    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel or mountain hut 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. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for the country you are visiting, paying attention to your citizenship. 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 ask that you carry a paper copy of your passport with you on your trip. We suggest keeping your passport in your rucksack, and a paper copy of your passport in any luggage you might have. If your trip is without luggage transfers then keep a paper copy somewhere in your rucksack, separate from your original document. 

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

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    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.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. 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. 

  • When creating tailor-made trips for our private guests we do not include the cost of any additional expenses such as transport, accommodation or cable cars which may required to complete your route due to itinerary changes. We always aim to complete the proposed itinerary that you have agreed with us. However, in terms of both safety and enjoyment the day by day route can only be followed when conditions and weather make it appropriate. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions. Any decision by your guide will be final and indisputable. We therefore ask that you are prepared to cover these expenses, if needed, for your group and the guide. It is rare that we need to apply this, but by operating on a case by case basis we avoid building these costs into your agreed trip price.

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 accommodate larger groups but for reasons of safety and enjoyment this would require an additional guide or guides depending on the group size. Groups of more than 10 people incur an additional organisational fee.

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!


The prices stated below are for trail running in the Alps. We can accept payment in Euros by prior arrangement. A half day is up to 3 hours and a full day is up to 6 hours. Please contact us for guide rates in the UK and for trips requiring longer guiding days or more specific training.

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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
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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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