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A male trail runner on the Mont Fortin Ridge in Aosta Valley, Italy.
Small chapel on the Tor des Giants route between La Thuile and Valgrisenche
A trail runner on a ridge in Aosta valley, Italy, with Mont Blanc in the background
A male trail runner on the Mont Fortin Ridge in Aosta Valley, Italy.
Small chapel on the Tor des Giants route between La Thuile and Valgrisenche
A trail runner on a ridge in Aosta valley, Italy, with Mont Blanc in the background
A male trail runner on the Mont Fortin Ridge in Aosta Valley, Italy.
Small chapel on the Tor des Giants route between La Thuile and Valgrisenche
A trail runner on a ridge in Aosta valley, Italy, with Mont Blanc in the background

The Wild Italian Alps: A Taste of Tor des Géants

4 - 7
Traverse the rugged mountains of the Gran Paradiso National Park in the Alps of Northern Italy. Each day we cross high passes, and run along lakes and rivers, leading to comfortable valley hotels.

The Alps of northwestern Italy are a quiet, rugged diamond in the rough. Literally just off the beaten track, this Aosta Valley region encompasses more than a dozen small, quiet valleys, with less-trodden trails, rustic villages and rugged passes.

The staff and guides of Run the Alps have fallen in love with this area. Now, we’re eager to take you there. Our new trip to this region follows the first section of the legendary 330 km Tor des Géants ultra endurance event, from Courmayeur to Cogne, Italy.

A trail runner running alongside a stream on the Tor des Giants route in the Gran Paradiso National Park.
Cruising along some sweet single track on the way to Valgrisenche (Photo: Doug Mayer)

We’ll be running long days through challenging terrain, with little or no option for bailing out. While the huts here are welcoming and cozy, they are fewer and farther between, compared to more traditional trail running routes like the Tour du Mont-Blanc or Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland. While this trip is guided, you’ll still need to be comfortable in remote and technical alpine settings, possibly during inclement weather.

Book this tour

Price: $4,390/person
Single Supplement: $600
Jul 29, 2024 - Aug 3, 2024
Guides for selected date:
Make it private guided
Your companions, your dates, your tour– we do the rest. Inquire here.


A cobbled street in Courmayeur, Italy

An old cobbled street in Courmayeur. (Photo: Rhodes)

Day 1

After landing in Geneva, Switzerland, you’ll take a two-hour shared shuttle to Courmayeur, Italy, on the “sunny side” of Mont Blanc. After meeting the group, enjoy dinner together in this rustic Italian village.

Accommodations: Hotel Croux
A male trail runner in the Aosta valley with Mont Blanc in the background

On the Mont Fortin ridge. (Photo: Milo Zanecchia)

Day 2

We’ll run up to Col d’Arp and onto an exciting ridgeline trail over Mont Fortin. We’ll finish the day by running down to the small mountain town of La Thuile. We get a transfer up the valley to our hotel at the historic Petit St Bernard pass, on the high border with France’s Tarentaise region.

Accommodations: Auberge Petit St Bernard
A meadow on the Tor des Giants route in Aosta valley, Italy.

Some flatter ground before the climb up to Haut Pas. (Photo: English Knowles)

Day 3

Our day starts with a warm-up, running to the end of the local valley. Then, we move up into the alpine zone, pausing for a treat at Rifugio Deffeyes. Next, we’ll climb to 2,857-meter high Passo Alto, then 2,826-meter Col de la Crosatie. A long descent past a flowing alpine river brings us to our overnight destination, Valgrisenche.

Accommodations: Hotel Giasson
Old stone buildings high in the Alpine pasture in the Gran Paradiso National park

Old summer farming residences are dotted high on the Alpine pasture. (Photo: Doug Mayer)

Day 4

Today, we enter Italy’s wild Gran Paradiso National Park. After a break at Rifugio Chalet de l’Epée, we climb over Col de Fênetre, then descend to the village of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame. Our second climb takes us over 3,002 m high Col d’Entrelor. Finally, we coast past alpine lakes and high alp farms, down through the forest to the charming Valsavarenche.

Accommodations: Hostellerie du Paradis
A high pass in the Gran Paradiso National park - Col de Lauson

High in the Gran Paradiso National park, on the airy Col de Lauson. (Photo: English Knowles)

Day 5

After an Alps breakfast, we’ll climb over 3,295 m Col du Lauson, the high point of the Tor des Géants ultra event. The descent is secured by ropes and chains, and brings us through pastures to Rifiguio Vittorio Sella. From there, it’s a long downhill run to the medieval village of Cogne.

Accommodations: Hotel du Paradis
An ibex on a rock in the Gran Paradiso national park

You may see Ibex – The Gran Paradiso Park was conceived to preserve these animals. (Photo: Doug Mayer)

Day 6

Today, we’ll bid arrivederci after our Italian alpine trail running adventure. An 8 am shared shuttle will take guests to Geneva Airport via the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

Meals: Breakfast

Regional map

What's included

5 nights of accommodation, All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, Trail nutrition from premium partners, Daily runs with a certified guide, In-tour transportation, luggage transfers, Group taxi from Geneva Airport to Courmayeur, Group taxi from Cogne, Italy to the Geneva Airport, License-free photography, Run the Alps Guide to Trail Running in the Alps.

Please arrive at Geneva Airport (GVA) no later than 1:30pm the day your tour starts, July 29, 2024. You will be taking a private group shuttle to Courmayeur, about two hours away. *We will book 1 shuttle for the whole group. Anyone who arrives on an alternate time or date is responsible for their own transportation to Courmayeur. We do our best to accommodate everyone’s flights so please keep us updated. If you have questions, please ask.

We’d suggest departing from the Geneva Airport (GVA) on the afternoon of August 3, 2024. We will arrange one group taxi from Cogne to the Geneva Airport that departs at 8:30am. It’s about a 2 hour and 30 minute taxi ride, but could easily be a bit longer if there is any Mont Blanc tunnel traffic. So, we recommend planning a flight departure for the afternoon, at the earliest. If you’d like hotel recommendations for an overnight stay in Geneva, please let us know.

All Run the Alps guests receive a copy of our Guide to Trail Running in the Alps to assist in preparing for their trip.

Terms and Conditions: Read up on Run the Alps’ Terms and Conditions and travel insurance.

Not Included: Flights, drinks with dinner, extra charges made at accommodations like room service or laundry, transport to or from trailheads if you choose to shorten a day, gratuity for your guide.

Concerned about being ready? We can help! We’ve teamed up with the wonderfully supportive team at to offer customized training plans tailored to each Run the Alps trip. Once you’ve signed up for a trip, we’ll email you all the details and your unique code for your FREE first month of training! In the meantime, you can start exploring the plans here.

Tour Balance: Your tour balance is due 90 days before your tour starts. We will send you an invoice about a month before that due date. However, you can pay your balance at any time. If you’d like the simplicity of paying in full sooner, or would like to pay in installments, please contact us.

Guides for this Tour

Tour dates: Jul 29 - Aug 3, 2024
Run the Alps Guide, Gideon Zadoks
Lead guide: Gideon Zadoks


Need a hand preparing?

Cartoon of person with word bubble
We offer pre-trip coaching as a benefit to our guests for a reasonable fee. Spaces are limited.