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UTMB Chamonix 2017 bookings

How to book for the UTMB in Chamonix in August

Chamonix comes alive with trail running fever every August, when the UTMB comes to town. This unique set of 5 ultra trail races draws runners from across the globe and is the biggest event of the summer in Chamonix. 

Around 8,000 runners take part every year, bringing with them family, friends and support teams. Thousands of spectators line the streets, clapping and cheering the runners on as they arrive back into Chamonix to cross the finish line. 

If you're coming to the UTMB to take part, or just to watch the event, now's the time to start thinking about planning your trip and booking your accommodation.

How to get here

Flying into Geneva airport is undoubtedly the quickest and easiest way to get to Chamonix - use our flight finder to find a flight for your trip. Once you've arrived at the airport, one of the many airport transfer companies can bring you to Chamonix in a minimum of 1 hour 15 minutes and most of them will drop you at the door of your accommodation. Some companies only make drop offs in Chamonix Sud bus terminus, so check this out before you book; a bus, taxi or a further private transfer may be necessary to get you to your accommodation from here. 

If you're driving over, bear in mind that the public car parks will be exceptionally busy for the duration of the UTMB and there are limited places to park on the roads in Chamonix. Aim to find accommodation with parking places provided - many large apartment buildings and hotels have underground parking so your car will be secure once here. Motorhome parking is limited too so it's best to book a place in a campsite in advance. 

For alternative ways of travelling to Chamonix either by bus, coach or train, take a look at our Getting Here Guide for more advice and information. 

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Also see: How to Get to Chamonix, France

Where to stay

The UTMB hub and the finish line for all the races is in the centre of Chamonix at the Place triangle de l'amitié, by the tourist office. The event village is also in the centre of Chamonix at Place Mont Blanc and this is where you'll find lots little chalet-style stalls filled with all manner of suppliers of running paraphernalia and clothing. For these reasons, the majority of people coming to this event opt to stay in the central part of the valley as opposed to the other villages further out.

Official accommodation partners for the UTMB include Hotel l'Heliopic, Hotel Mont Blanc, Hameau Albert 1er Hotel, Hotel de l'Arve, Hotel Aveyron, Chalet Hotel les Campanules, Hotel Faucigny, Hotel du Louvre, Gare des Glaciers and the UCPA. In addition to these, there are lots of other central Chamonix hotels to suit all budgets, plus a great range of apartments and chalets to choose from. You may also find it useful to speak to one of the local rental agents who can help with your accommodation search. Don't forget to check about a parking space if you're bringing your car. 

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Also see: Accommodation in Chamonix, France

Where to watch

There are plenty of bars and cafes in the centre of Chamonix where you can base yourselves to see the runners heading towards the finish line and soak up the best of the atmosphere. The Bistro des Sports and La Terrasse are great spots to settle into with a drink or a snack. 

When the UTMB race sets off, you can see the runners pass through from the centre of town to the bottom of the high street, and onto the end of the valley. The atmosphere is electric as thousands of runners stream through the streets, watched over by the event helicopter, filming the spectacle from above. Buonissimo cafeCha Cha Cha and the Vagabond are good places to watch from, or as they reach Lac de Gaillands, the Vert is a great place to stop and watch. In Les Houches you can sit at La Chavanne, the restaurant across the road from the mairie, where there's always music playing and a pit stop for the runners so you can give them lots of encouragement as they pass by. 

You can also watch the runners on the mountain, literally anywhere on the trail routes or at the pit stops, just make sure you're not in their way! You'll be able to tell the nationalities of the runners from their race numbers, where a little flag will let you know whether to cheer "Keep Going!", "Allez!" or "Vamos!"

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Places to eat

The massive volume of people in Chamonix for the UTMB means that most restaurants are exceptionally busy, both for lunch and dinner so if you've got your favourite places to eat and don't want to miss out on dining there, think about making some advanced reservations. 

If you'd like to be in the hub of all the action and atmosphere, head to La Terrasse where you can pick up some great bar food and tapas, Le Bartavel where you'll get a tasty pizza at any time of the day with non-stop service, or the Bistro des Sports which offers good value local dishes and hearty portions. 

If you'd prefer to take a break from all the clapping and cheering then head to Chamonix Sud where you'll find Monkey and their amazing selection of burgers and Bighorn Bistro who offer a 'new style of American cuisine' and some nice craft beers. 

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More inspiration...

Chamonix has plenty to offer visitors in the summer, from hiking, cycling and mountain biking to some great visitor attractions such as the Mer de Glace, the Aiguille du Midi and the Tramway du Mont Blanc.

Find the opening dates and timetables for the summer lifts and these attractions to help you plan your visit. 

2018 subscriptions for the UTMB races are already open & next year's event has been confirmed as taking place from 27th August to 2nd September 2018. 


Location: Chamonix - Centre



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