Culinary Trail Tour of the Alps
|Jul 17, 2024 - Jul 24, 2024||8 days - 7 nights|
The Alps have some of the best trail running in the world. They also have some of the best mountain cafés and restaurants!
Over the years, we’ve enjoyed many stops at these great eateries, sampling the local cuisine. Now, we’ve assembled some of our very favorite mountain cafés and restaurants into a unique trip that features great trail running– and great food and drink, too! Our trip takes in two of the iconic mountain towns of the Alps: Chamonix, France, and Zermatt, Switzerland. We’ll get a feel for the French culture of this Savoyard region before moving on to the Swiss-German cuisine of Zermatt.
Run the Alps will reserve tables at mountain cafés along each day’s route, so tables will be waiting for us when we arrive. We’ll also do our best to make sure that the desserts and lunches for which each café is known will be ready for us!
The trail running will be equally good, too! Chamonix is the undisputed world capital of trail running, with hundreds of miles of single track that wind through the valley under 4,810-meter high Mont Blanc. In Zermatt, we’ll run flowy single-track on each side of the valley, while the iconic Matterhorn looms 2,870 meters higher above the village. Many days include the option to extend or shorten the day, based on personal interests.
Guiding the July tour will be lead guide Giles Ruck, with assistant Sam Hill. Read more about their guiding experience and skills here.
Book this tour
$600 single supplement.
Let’s eat! (Photo: Kim Strom)
We’ll arrive in Chamonix, “La Vallée du Trail,” in the afternoon, then meet with the group and your guide for the week. After, we’ll head out to an excellent Savoyarde restaurant in town for a big welcome dinner.
Watching the sun go down from the Refuge Albert Premier. (Photo: Kim Strom)
After a hearty breakfast buffet, we’ll head up to the village of Le Tour to start our run up to the Refuge Albert Première with a climb to the Swiss border – stopping for café au lait and Tarte aux Myrtilles at Col de Balme.
Fresh blueberry tart – a hut stop favorite. (Photo: Kim Strom)
From the village of Les Praz, we’ll run up through the forest for coffee at La Buvette du Chapeau, a quaint mountain café overlooking the valley. Next, we run along the rolling Petit Balcon Nord, to lunch in Argentière, at our favorite boulangerie in the valley.
Plenty of pie at Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille. (Photo: Meg Mackenzie)
Ready for more cafés and trail running? Great! We’ll take the cable car up to the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille, for lunch at the beautiful refuge overlooking the Chamonix valley. We’ll run the “Grand Balcon Nord” – a high traverse to reach Le Signal, overlooking the Mer de Glace glacier, then descend to the historic Refuge du Montenvers. Here, we’ll have dinner and spend the night at 2,000 meters, high above Chamonix.
The menu of the day at Cafe Caillet above Chamonix. (Photo: Doug Mayer)
After a traditional French buffet breakfast at our high hotel, we’ll run down through the woods to Chamonix. We’ll stop en-route at Chalet de Caillet for refreshments. Back at the hotel it will be time to pick up our bags and leave Chamonix for Zermatt, Switzerland, at the foot of the Matterhorn.
Hillary Gerardi running the Mettelhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland. (Photo: PatitucciPhoto)
We’ll head up the southern side of the Zermatt valley and follow a traversing trail high above town, stopping at one of the excellent high altitude restaurants in the region.
Moon and Matterhorn. (Photo: Steph Lefferts)
It’s time to venture to the other side of the valley! We’ll start with a fast hike up to Hotel du Trift at 2,337 meters. Here, we can enjoy some of their famous iced tea and tasty snacks before we continue on our run along a rising traverse, with the Matterhorn looming ahead of us.
Today we say goodbyes to Zermatt and the group, and take the train to Geneva, Zurich, or wherever your travels take you next!
What's includedThree nights at four-star spa hotel in Chamonix, France; One night at Chamonix's Montenvers mountain hotel above the Mer de Glace; Three nights at four-star spa hotel in Zermatt; shared shuttle transfer from Geneva airport to Chamonix at start of trip; All breakfasts; Snacks for daily runs; All dinners; Certified trail running guide; Run the Alps' Guide to Trail Running in the Alps and other supporting materials. Where possible, Run the Alps will reserve a table for our group, and will alert the huts to our arrival the night prior, so that hut’s speciality is available for us when we pass through.
The closest airport is Geneva, Switzerland. Run the Alps will arrange for a shared shuttle from Geneva airport to Chamonix, France, a 90-minute journey. Please try to arrive no later than 3pm in Geneva.
Plan your departure flight for late afternoon on the day your tour ends, at the earliest. The closest airports to Zermatt are Geneva and Zurich, both of which are a little over three hours away by train. If a morning flight is preferable, plan on a night at a hotel in your departure city. Please discuss options with us if you’re unsure about your departure plans.
More options for this tour:
Private: Make it private! Your companions, your dates, your tour – we do the rest.
Extending your stay: We can assist in extending your stay in the Alps either before or after this tour.
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:
Terms and Conditions: Read up on Run the Alps’ Terms and Conditions, Covid-19 policy, and travel insurance.
Guides for this Tour
Book this tour
$600 single supplement.