Turn almost any corner on the high alpine trails that criss-cross the Savoie Mont Blanc region and you’ll be met with a new and exciting adventure. Today, we’ve run perhaps no more than five miles, yet we’ve enjoyed a summer Alpine meadow, complete with bell-wearing cows, passed a well-positioned cafe tempting us in with coffee and cake and, of course, stunning views of mountains and lakes.
It's every trail runner’s dream. Of course, you’ll know the area because of the UTMB (Ultra trail du Mont Blanc). The World Cup final of trail running has grown to nine races with thousands of enthusiasts descending on Chamonix each August.
However, no visit is complete without an unbelievable run takes in Lake Bourget, the largest natural lake in France. The Grand Trail Du Lac in October can truly claim to be include some of the best views in any French race… and that’s saying something. And there’s still time to experience the incredible trails yourself on October 23 over 35km or 70km.
If racing isn’t your thing, and you just fancy a challenging day out, there are always those tempting, pristine trails that skirt along the base of Mont Blanc complete with mini glacier crossings, and, well, those oh-so-tempting mountain huts with their refreshments and welcoming hosts.
Pic credit: Monica Dalmasso
Or perhaps like us, you’re a bit of a townie. If so, head out of the bustling lakeside town Annecy head into the hills and explore. The well-marked forest paths leading up past Chuguet in this instance are easy to follow and, anyway, Lake Annecy is far below you as you climb into the foothills. It’s an easy run any trail runner will love but oh-so-satisfying. You’ll stop take and a thousand selfies as the backdrop is amazing.
Fancy something a bit harder? Well, there’s a fabulous vertical race to test any trail runner, new or experienced, a few kilometres south of Lake Aiguebelette. It starts in the village of Attignat-Oncin and, trust us, although it’s a tough, technical climb, the views are sensational. When you reach the Mont Grêle summit, stop and admire the fantastic view of the emerald waters of the lake far below you. Of course, tough runs need to be followed by easy ones, so next day lace up your shoes and run along the shores of Lake Aiguebelette. It’s a wonderfully serene experience as you click off a few kilometres watched only by local fishermen in their boats.
And we can’t leave you without at least one more visit to Chamonix. It’s an amazing, vibrant town that offers you something different every time you visit. Just pop by for the day, take one of the many cable cars up to the trails and soak up the views on an hour, two-hour or longer run. We loved kicking back for a drink at the Refuge du Montenvers, watching hikers amble by and climbers talk about their amazing achievements. Then of course finish your run by kicking back in one of the many amazing cafes that the town – and area - is so famous for. But don’t take our word for it, explore everything the Savoie Mont Blanc region has to offer.
Visit https://www.savoie-mont-blanc.com/en/outdoor-destination/trail-running-an-all-around-mountain-sport/ today to start your adventure.