Top 7 European Running Trails

From breathtaking cliffs to green parks and freeflowing rivers, our guide of top running trails in Europe covers your must-haves for a satisfying, energising and memorable run. Choose your favourite Spotify playlist and discover trails in a variety of lengths, landscapes and challenge levels to keep you fit on-the-go.

by Sonal Bhargava and Eleonora Betesh 15 March 2017

 

Nice, France
Run along the Mediterranean Sea on this 6.5 km carefully crafted route. Start right by the Tribunal Administratif and follow the Boulevard Franck Pilatte to gain a breathtaking view of the turquoise blue sea. Follow the path, passing Vigier Park, a gorgeous park consisting of several Mediterranean plant species and even palm trees. You’ll also pass Galerie Lympia, a stunning art gallery. If you love the seaside and want to experience some landmarks, this is the trail for you. After the run, head to Bagelstein for some nice breakfast. 

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Marbella, Spain
While the starting point of the run in Marbella happens to be the location of Spain’s highest concentration of luxury boutiques per square metre, that doesn't mean you can't power walk and window shop at the same time, at least for 10 minutes. We recommend you start your run at Puerto Banús’s harbour, then head over to Playa Rio Verde, totalling five kilometres return. You can relax at the beach when you’re finished or even stop at Playa Rio Verde for a quick dip in the sea, and run along the sun for higher resistance. In fact, Playa Rio Verde has been awarded the Blue Flag by the European Union for its excellent facilities and high standards for cleanliness!

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Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher are known for being one of the most outstanding landscapes in Ireland. You can enjoy the incredible view by jogging, walking or trekking the 20km coastal trail in Claire. The trail follows the line of the cliffs after starting on road from Liscannor and Doolin villages, and continues to the visitor centre. The cliffs get their name from an old promontory fort called Moher, or Mothar. It once stood at the southernmost point of the cliffs, Hag’s Head, now the site of Moher Tower. The cliffs are also home to several species of wildlife, with an estimated 30,0000 birds living here - a treat for wildelife lovers. Several different layers of rocks can be seen in the cliffs, as well such as beds of sandstone, with the oldest situated at the bottom of the cliffs.

 Cliffs of MoherCliffs of Moher, ireland

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Portugal

Cascais
This seven kilometre-long trail starts on Avenida Republica and follows along the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll even get to venture into the Quinta da Marinha golf course area at the end of the trail. Located 32 kilometres west of Lisbon, Cascais was once a fishing village and is now a popular coastal town with villas and beachside resorts. If you have time after your run, you can check out the Conde de Castro Guimarães Museum, a former palace. Refresh with a fruit sorbet at Santini Cascais.

Peniche
One of the largest traditional fishing ports in Portugal, Peniche was built on a rocky peninsula and is known for its long beaches. This six kilometre trail starts along the coast where you can enjoy the breeze from the Atlantic Ocean. Halfway through the trail, you’ll get to jog through the town of Peniche as well.  It is also a major hub for surfing activities so if you're sitll up for it after your power walk or run, head over to one of the local operators and sign up.

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Marseille, France

Marseilles is a dynamic, bustling port city with several splendid opportunities to run along the coast. The 6.5 kilometre-long run takes you through the coast and ends in Parc Borély, a public municipal park. The French Ministry of Culture also classifies this park as one of the Notable Gardens of France, so be sure to leisurely explore it after your run. The vibrant park has lots of places that make for perfect rest stops, and some fountains to refresh your face with as well.

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Salzburg, Austria

The Austrian countryside is mesmerising and full of trails at various resistance levels to suit every walker, runner or trek lover. There are more than 20 trails in this part of Bavaria, spanning more than 200 kilomteres. This nine kilometre run takes you right along the Salzach River. The Salzach river passes through Austria and Germany,  eventually merging with the famous Danube River. The Salzach River gets its name from the German word Salz, meaning salt, and the shipping of salt down the river was an important part of the local economy until the 19th century.  Enjoy the beauty of the river and the surrounding landscapes on this trail, and you’ll finish off in the heart of Salzburg where you can enjoy a bite to eat at Café Bazar

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