Experience the full range of trail running around the Mont Blanc region! Trail run inn-to-inn through three countries, finishing in Chamonix, France during one of the most exciting times of the summer-- the Mont Blanc Marathon race series.
June 19 - 26, 2023
8 days, 7 nights
Inn-to-Inn and Village-based
$3,790 per person
$500 single supplement, available in Chamonix and Courmayeur only
Seven nights in hotels along the route of the second half of the Tour du Mont-Blanc and in Chamonix, all breakfasts, trail snacks, six dinners, daily guided trail runs, Geneva-Courmayeur and Chamonix-Geneva transfers.
This unique tour is a chance to experience so much of what the Mont Blanc region has to offer when it comes to trail running!
We’ll start in the rustic Italian village of Courmayeur, on the south side of Mont Blanc. We’ll enjoy a day of trail running along high pastures and through the bucolic hamlets of the Val Ferret, all within full view of the glaciers of the Mont Blanc massif.
Our route over the next few days will then take us over the border to Switzerland and along the second half of the Tour du Mont-Blanc. We’ll cross Grand Col Ferret and then it’s on to the Alps villages of La Fouly and Trient.
From Trient, we’ll run over Col de Balme on the French-Swiss border, and descend to Chamonix, the world’s epicenter of trail running. No place has more trail running history, or is more alive with mountain runners– and we’ll be there right for all the excitement of the legendary Mont Blanc Marathon series of trail races, which range from 10 km to 90 km. Many of the world’s best trail runners will be on hand. A limited number of race entries are available through Run the Alps.
Chamonix is known as, “La Vallée du Trail,” and we’ll take full advantage, sampling some of the best runs, through the Aiguille Rouge nature preserve, onto the high balcony routes on either side of the valley, and even the thrilling “Kilomètre Vertical.”
Typical distances are 6-12 miles, with about 3,000 feet of climbing. Many days include the option to extend or shorten the day, based on personal interests.
Guiding this trip will be Alistair Crompton, an International Mountain Leader. Read more about his guiding experience and skills here.
Arrive in Geneva, and transfer to the quiet, “sunny side” of Mont Blanc in Courmayeur, Italy. An airport pickup is included, making this an easy and relaxing two-hour journey. Enjoy impressive views of Mont Blanc, with time to relax at our charming Courmayeur hotel before joining the group for our trip meeting, followed by dinner.
We’re off to sample all that the Mont Blanc region has to offer trail runners– and that’s a lot! Today, we’ll run our first section of the Tour du Mont-Blanc around the range to Chamonix, France. It’s a breathtaking day with sustained ascents, smooth, runnable single track and the grandeur of the Val Ferret. We’ll make the most of Italian hospitality en route, enjoying stops at fabled mountain huts. The day ends with transport back to our Courmayeur hotel.
Switzerland and its French-speaking Valais region beckon as we head over the trip’s high point, the dramatic border crossing at Grand Col Ferret. There are lots of runnable sections to follow as we wind our way down to the quiet end-of-the-valley village of La Fouly. We’ll pace ourselves and include plenty of hut stops for photos and treats.
Time for some valley cruising! Today we’ll start by running along La Drance de Ferret river, passing through rustic Swiss hamlets. After a short climb, we’ll have lunch along the lake in Champex, before tackling the climb up to to Bovine, finishing with a reward of homemade cake and drinks amidst the impressive and hardy Val d’Hérens cows. The day ends with a downhill run to the mountain-ringed village of Trient.
Time we run into Chamonix, France! We’ll climb up to the classic refuge on the Swiss-French border at Col Balme. From here, options exist to take mountain transport back to Chamonix– or run through the valley’s numerous villages.
We’ll be arriving just in time to take in a lively long weekend of trail racing, another part of the world-famous Chamonix trail running scene.
At the end of the day, we can wander into old Chamonix to watch some of the best runners in the world finish the tough 90-km ultra race, or tackle the steep Chamonix Vertical Kilometer.
You’ll be on your own tonight for dinner, allowing a chance to wander the pedestrian walking routes of Chamonix and pick one of the many open-air restaurants that fill the village.
Today is race day for one of Europe’s oldest trail races, the venerable 23-km Cross du Mont-Blanc, and a more recent 10-km trail race. Run the Alps has entries available for trip participants who want to enjoy a classic Alps trail race!
For those of us watching, there are great locations to which we can run and cheer on the runners with an “Allez-Allez!” or “Bravo!” In town, we’ll cheer on some of the world’s best trail runners as they arrive in Chamonix.
Today, you’ll have the option of running the famed Mont Blanc marathon. For those of us not racing, we’ll tackle another of Chamonix’s great trail runs, perhaps taking a gondola to the Swiss border at Col Balme, and running high into the alpine zone to the French Alpine Club, Albert Premier, on the side of a glacier. An option exists to cheer on racers as they run along the scenic Aiguillette des Possettes. We’ll end the day with a celebratory farewell dinner in Chamonix.
It’s time to take leave of the Mont Blanc region, and all of the trail running it offers. Your shuttle will take you directly to Geneva for the flight home. An option exists to stay additional nights in Chamonix, using Run the Alps’ self-guided materials for additional trail running.
Plan to arrive the day your tour starts, at the latest. Note that flights from the US usually arrive on the following day, so schedule accordingly. The closest airport is Geneva, about two hours away. This tour includes individual airport pickup in Geneva.
For those wanting to spend a few extra days in Chamonix, the “Vallée du Trail” with over 500 kilometers of trail running, we can assist in extending your time and providing self-guided trail running materials, either before or after the tour.
Plan your departure for the day the tour ends at the earliest. The Geneva airport is one and a half hours from Chamonix by shuttle, so it’s possible to leave the day the tour ends as long as your flight is not too early. This tour includes return transfer to the Geneva airport. Please discuss options with us if you’re unsure about your departure plans.
More options for this tour:
Self-guided: Everything but the guide… custom tour design, trail runs, and all the details.
Private: Make it private! Your companions, your dates, your tour– we do the rest.
Contact us for details.
All Run the Alps guests receive a copy of our Guide to Trail Running in the Alps to assist in preparing for their trip.
Run the Alps Stories:
Kilian, Mira, Alex and 21,000 others: Chamonix’s Skyrunning Weekend
CMBM: The Club at the Heart of Trail Running in Chamonix
Want a helping hand to get ready? Run the Alps offers pre-trip coaching at our cost as a benefit to our guests. To read about our Personalized Prep Program, start here. Spaces are limited and this program routinely sells out. Contact us if you’re interested!
Terms and Conditions: Read up on Run the Alps’ Terms and Conditions, Covid-19 policy, and travel insurance.