Zermatt and the Wild Engadine

Summary

We'll trail run in car-free Zermatt, under the Matterhorn, ride Switzerland's Glacier Express through the Alps, then run through the wild Engadine region. There's even the option to run the new Engadin-St. Moritz Ultraks trail race!

Date

July 2 - 8, 2018

Length

7 days, 6 nights

Tour Category

Village-based

Fees

$3,395 per person
$300 single supplement

Whats included

Six nights at village hotels, all breakfasts, trail snacks, four dinners, guided runs, Zurich-Zermatt and Pontresina-Zurich Swiss rail transfers, Glacier Express booking, all transfers to and from trailheads, luggage transfers.

Description

This seven-day guided trail running tour starts in Zermatt, home of the incomparable Matterhorn and numerous glaciers. After trail running in this car-free valley, we’ll travel on the Glacier Express, enjoying panoramic views as we cross the Swiss countryside toward the quiet mountain town of Pontresina, a trail running paradise surrounded by impressive peaks. As our trip comes to a close, we’ll have a chance to run Engadine Ultraks, one of Switzerland’s great new trail races in this stunning region. Run the Alps reserves entries for this race, so if you like to trail race, you’ll have your choice of which of three events to enter.

Zermatt: Sometimes it’s hard to know where to focus!

Our typical day starts with a continental buffet breakfast at our hotel, with delicious fresh baked bread and croissants, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, coffee and juice, giving us the energy needed for a day of trail running. Soon we’ll be out on the trail, running through the Alps. Options exist to lengthen or shorten each day, to suit a variety of trail running abilities. We’ll provide a variety of trail running refueling options for the day, too.

We’ll take time to enjoy breaks at some of the many huts and mountain cafes in the region. (Patitucci Photo.)

During our runs, we’ll stop in at mountain huts and cafes for fresh-baked treats, take time for photos, and enjoy our time on the trails. Most runs finish around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax, and take in some sights around town before dinner. Most nights, we’ll enjoy dinner together at our hotel or another local restaurant. These are usually multi-course feasts, featuring both local and international specialties like chicken, fish, or cheese fondue. Our hotels enjoy excellent reputations for their fine cuisine. We’ll leave two dinners free in Pontresina for you to explore on your own.

Day-by-day
Day 1

You’ll arrive in Switzerland, then transfer by train to our meeting point in Zermatt. Zermatt is a world-famous resort, delightfully car-free and extremely walkable. Enjoy the atmosphere of this classic mountain village, with the massive Matterhorn dominating the landscape. We’ll meet and talk about our trail running adventure before settling in to our comfortable 4-star hotel on the edge of town.

  • Europe Hotel & Spa
  • Dinner
Day 2

Taking quiet trails through the pastures and forests above Zermatt, we have a range of choices as we trail run to the wide ridge of Gornergrat, past marmots and small glacial lakes, to one of the finest viewpoints in Europe. The jumbled mass of the Gorner glacier stretches out before us, and behind that, Dom, Monte Rosa, the Breithorn and the Matterhorn form a spectacular backdrop.

Running under the beautiful, iconic Matterhorn.

  • Europe Hotel & Spa
  • Breakfast, Trail Snacks, Dinner
  • 6-10 miles, 3,000-5,000 feet of climbing.
Day 3

We’ll leave Zermatt in the morning on the world-renowned Glacier Express train. With 91 tunnels and 291 bridges, the Glacier Express is an engineering marvel.  Our comfortable first class cars and giant picture windows give us a chance to sit back and relax on this full-day journey across Switzerland to Pontresina and the wild Engadine region. En route, we’ll enjoy a catered lunch.

  • Hotel Steinbock
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4

We’ll trail run today with local guest Julia Bleasdale, who represented Great Britain in the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter races at the London Olympics. There are many lovely, wild options right outside the door in Pontresina that make for great trail running! One of our favorites leads up the Val Roseg, where a short, steep climb leads to the Swiss Alpine Club’s Coaz hut. It’s an impressive destination, right next to a glacier with dramatic views down the valley to Pontresina.

Julia Bleasdale in the wild Engadine region.

  • Hotel Steinbock
  • Breakfast, Trail Snacks, Dinner.
  • 6-10 miles, 3,000-5,000 feet of climbing.
Day 5

Today, we’ll rest in preparation for taking part in the festivities of the Engadin St. Moritz Ultraks trail race series. You’ll have the option of a full day of relaxation, enjoying the beautiful Pontresina region, or trail running on a portion of one of the trail race routes.

 

  • Hotel Steinbock
  • Breakfast, Trail Snacks.
  • Rest day, or the run of your choice.
Day 6

Today, it’s time to take in one of the truly superb trail races in the Alps. Engadin-St. Moritz Ultraks features three courses: 16 km, 30 km, and 46 km. When you sign up for the trip, you’ll have the option of selecting any one of these three races. Or, if you like, take in the lively atmosphere of the race from any point along the course. We’ll even bring the cowbells for you to ring! With race day concluded, we’ll share our stories of the event over a celebratory, final trip dinner.

Trail running on the course of the Engadine St. Moritz trail race. (Race courtesy photo.)

  • Hotel Steinbock
  • Breakfast, Trail Snacks, Dinner.
  • Distance of your choice.
Day 7

Today, we take our leave of the Engadine. After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll say our good-byes and leave for our post-trip destinations.

  • Breakfast
Arrival

Plan to arrive the day your tour starts at the latest. Flights from the US usually depart the day before. Zurich is the closest airport to Zermatt.

 

Departure

Plan your departure for the day after your tour ends, at the earliest, from Zurich. Consider one night at a hotel in your departure city if you prefer not to rush.

An option exists to arrive earlier or stay longer, to extend your trail running time with our self-guided materials or a second tour. We can help with these arrangements.

Reserve this tour With our booking partner at Alpinehikers
Questions

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Additional Information

Video: Trail running in the Engadine

Engadin-St. Moritz Ultraks Race Director Interview

Race Report from Ambassador Maartje Bastings: St. Moritz Engadin Ultraks

Trail running in the Engadine: Julia Bleasdale’s Story