Tips for running in Font-Romeu

Font-Romeu is THE destination for altitude training in France and Europe. Font-Romeu was selected in the 1960s as a training center for the French team for the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Even today, the best runners in the world, such as Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe, Mahiedine Mekhissi, and Bob Tahri, often do part of their training at this Pyrenean resort.

Want to run in their footsteps? Need to know where to run or stay? Below are some tips. The town center of Font-Romeu is at an altitude of 1750 meters, and the track is at 1800 meters.

It is advisable to allow for an initial week of acclimatization, where you should do easy jogs to gradually get your body used to the altitude. Since the air is drier, be sure to stay well-hydrated throughout the day.

How to get to Font-Romeu?

Having a car is essential for a training camp in Font-Romeu, whether you drive directly or rent one locally from agencies in the town center.

You can take a TGV train to Perpignan, then a train to Font-Romeu or a €1 bus provided by the General Council, which reaches the ski resorts in 1.5 hours.

Alternatively, you can fly to Barcelona or Toulouse and rent a car at the airport. The drive from there takes a little over 2 hours.

Where to run in Font-Romeu?

While Font-Romeu has an athletics track 1 kilometer from the town center, you often need to drive to reach various running routes.

Lake Matemale

The loop around Lake Matemale offers many advantages. Running at 1550 meters altitude is easier, especially during the first days when you feel the lack of oxygen. Ideal for a first fartlek a few days after arrival.

The lake loop (mostly flat) is about 8km, but the possibilities in the forest are endless, allowing you to run nearly 20km without repeating the same path. For a training camp in April, the Matemale forest is likely snow-free, whereas Font-Romeu might still have snow. The only downside is that the lake is 20km from the center of Font-Romeu, requiring a 25-minute drive.

Pyrénées 2000 Routes

Closer to Font-Romeu, at 6km away, the cross-country ski tracks of Pyrénées 2000 (1750 meters altitude) are pleasant for easy runs. Here too, the route possibilities are nearly endless; be careful not to get lost at the beginning. You can park on the left side of the road in the large parking lot for the ski tracks.

Paula Radcliffe fitness trail

Paula Radcliffe, a regular on this trail, lent her name to it. Located 2km from the Font-Romeu track towards the Calme plateau, this very hilly trail is 1.7km long. At 1950 meters altitude, you can run in the footsteps of the marathon world record holder, who now resides in the Pyrenean resort.

Plateau de la calme

At 2100 meters altitude, the Plateau de la Calme allows for training with even less oxygen. The loop is about 2km, and fartleks can be performed after a week of acclimatization. The plateau is 10km from the town center.

Around the Font-Romeu track

Some cross-country ski tracks are around the Font-Romeu athletics track, with loops of about 2km and slightly hilly.

Hill workouts

You’ll have no trouble finding places for hill workouts, with all possible profiles available.

Strength training workouts

There are well-equipped gyms at the Colette Besson center and the climate school.

Where to Stay in Font-Romeu?

Depending on your budget and the number of people, you have a variety of options.

Full board at the Climate School

Depending on the time of year, you can stay full board at the climate school, right next to the athletics track. The rate is around €50 per night all-inclusive, or €350 per person per week.

Vacation residences

Being a ski resort, Font-Romeu has at least 4 to 5 vacation residences. Prices vary by month, but you can get apartments for 4 people for €200 to €300 per week. These often include a pool and a small gym, ideal for groups of 4 to 5 people. In the off-season and to a lesser extent in summer, you can find excellent promotions to fill the residences.

Apartments and houses

Prices are quite similar to vacation residences, with varying quality. Houses often offer the best value for groups of more than 6 people. You can find options on Airbnb in Font-Romeu.


With options for full board or room only, prices vary widely depending on the hotel category but can be attractive for 2 people.

Where to eat in Font-Romeu?

There are numerous restaurants and at least 2 small supermarkets in Font-Romeu, with larger supermarkets in Egat (Super U and Lidl) and Bolquère (Casino), both 5km from Font-Romeu.

What to do around Font-Romeu?

Besides training, you might want to relax a bit. The options in Font-Romeu are somewhat limited but include a small cinema, a casino, and a mini-golf course. In Bolquère, 5km away, there’s a bowling alley, and you can find hot springs for relaxation in Llo, Saint-Thomas, and Dorres (all about 20 kilometers away).

We wish you a very good training camp in Font-Romeu!