Via Valais


The Via Valais is one of the premiere multi-day trail running routes in the Alps!

This challenging high-mountain route was designed by our friends at ALPSinsight, specifically with trail runners in mind. You’ll traverse valleys and run over high passes and through meadows on your journey across the Switzerland’s Valais Alps, from Arolla to Zermatt.

Accommodations are hotels in rustic Alp villages or high mountain huts, where you’ll enjoy hearty local cuisine.

Above Moiry Lake heading up to the Corne de Sorebois on the way to Zinal. (PatitucciPhoto.)

Our version of the Via Valais starts in the beautiful Swiss village of Arolla, famous as a base for mountaineering. After a day of travel, we suggest kicking your adventure off with a day of trail running in this wonderful, remote valley, before heading off on the journey towards Zermatt, at the foot of the Matterhorn.

You’ll leave Arolla to head up to the Becs des Bossons mountain refuge at 3149m – your first “fast-packing” night, carrying a few extra items for a comfy evening at this high cabin. The next day you have a more undulating run, passing beautiful Moiry Lake, to your hotel in Zinal. As on some other days, there are options to make this route longer or shorter.

From Zinal, you say goodbye to French-speaking Switzerland and travel into the German-speaking region. Today’s route follows the last section of the famous Sierre-Zinal race course, before you head over the Col de la Forcletta to end your day at the Turtmann mountain hut.

Traffic jam, Via Valais style. (Photo: PatitucciPhoto.)

The next day you’ll reach the final valley on your journey to Zermatt – the Mattertal. After staying the night in St Niklaus or Täsch, you will run part of the Europaweg trail to the Fluhalp mountain hut where you’ll stay high above Zermatt. The final day of running takes you along cruisey trails around the head of the Mattertal – with plenty of café options along the way!

As part of this tour, one bag per guest will travel separately, and will be waiting for you when you arrive in each village hotel. During your nights at mountain huts, you’ll need to be self-sufficient, bringing a few extra items to spend the night. Run the Alps will provide all information on what to bring for your hut nights, including recommended trail running pack sizes for those fast-packing days.

Trail running high above Zermatt with big views of the Matterhorn (PatitucciPhoto).


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Self-Guided Tour FAQ

When you sign up to run the Via Valais, your self-guided trip will be planned in detail by the travel specialists at Run the Alps.

Taking a time out at Cabane des Becs de Bosson. (PatitucciPhoto.)

Our Via Valais self-guided tour includes the following components:

*In-country rail, bus and shuttle travel.

*Three-star hotel and mountain hut bookings.

*Thorough travel instructions, regional information, our Guide to Trail Running in the Alps, and detailed run descriptions printed on durable, waterproof paper, complete with a run profile, time estimates, bail-out options, emergency numbers, and a map. See a sample.

*Typical pricing is $1,990 for a six-night, seven-day Via Valais self-guided tour, assuming double occupancy. Single supplement fee is $860.

*Recommended start dates for the Via Valais tour are from June 15th – September 12th.

As we work with you to develop your self-guided itinerary, consider adding one of the many great Alp trail races into your plans. Please contact us to discuss trail race options and timing.

No matter where you are, on every self-guided trip, if a problem arises, Run the Alps and our booking partners at Alpinehikers are just a phone call away.

Fall colors on perfect singletrack along the Via Valais. (PatitucciPhoto.)

The full Via Valais route, as outlined on the ALPSinsight web site, is nine days. If your schedule allows for the entire route, let us know and we can provide a self-guided itinerary with cost.