Running and Hiking with Wine in Vully and Côtes de l’Orbe

Switzerland has at least two running races modeled after the famous Marathon du Medoc in France: the Vully Run and the Semi-Marathon des Côtes de l’Orbe. With pit stops serving local wines and amuse-bouche to runners and hikers, these events have a festive atmosphere. You can focus more on the journey, rather than crossing the finish line in record time.

Heddi Nieuwsma
Gameret and Gruyère along the VullyRun course (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Abell)


Semi-Marathon des Côtes de l’Orbe

Date: Usually held in late September
Location: Arnez-sur-Orbe, Vaud, Switzerland (about 30 minutes by train from Lausanne)
Courses: Half-marathon (21.1 km), La Désirée (11.6 km); both courses available for walking
Cost: about CHF 30-40

Along the course by Cave de Murailles, Arnex-sur-Orbe

At the 2014 Semi-Marathon des Côtes de l’Orbe, I ran the half-marathon, but didn’t take the time to stop and enjoy the food and wine along the way. It’s a beautiful course through the scenic hillside vineyards and villages of Côtes de l’Orbe. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes during the race, and you can select a bottle of wine for your prize at the finish.

More information:

Vully Run

Date: Usually held in late August
Location: Salavaux, Vaud, Switzerland (at the southern end of Lac de Morat)
Courses: Walking/running course (9.8 km)
Cost: about CHF 30-35

Hillside vineyards overlooking Lac de Morat along the VullyRun course

For the 2015 Vully Run, I wanted to take advantage of the food and wine pit stops that I missed out on at the Semi-Marathon des Côtes de l’Orbe one year earlier! For this reason, a friend and I signed up for the “Walking/Gourmet” route for the inaugural edition of this race.

At the check-in table where I picked up my number, race officials handed me a wine glass. I had such a great time walking the course, and we lucked out with a perfect summer day. We tried at least seven different wines (I started losing track!) and sampled local dishes, like Friture de sandre (a fried local lake fish) and Gâteau du Vully (a yeasted cake). In 2015, the VullyRun gave participants a complementary bottle of wine at the finish line as well.

More information:

A run or hike with beautiful scenery that’s partnered with local food and wine—it’s my idea of a perfect afternoon. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Updated: December 28, 2022

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