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Trail-Running Vacations: 5 destinations in 3 continents

Miércoles, 13 de Julio de 2016 23:00 || Escrito por Redacción CdM

Trail running is quickly becoming one of the most popular adventure holiday options available. Image by Run the Alps

 

Every year more trail & mountain enthusiasts are making trail running vacations part of their holiday plans.  We discover what some of the tour operators are offering. Check out our 5 suggestions in 3 continents.

With growing interest in adventure holidays & an ever increasing number of trail racing events taking place around the globe, trail running vacations are fast becoming a popular choice for adventure holidaymakers seeking new experiences. Let's take a look at some options available.

We previously made reference to these trips in our article, Trail-Running Vacations: a new way to see the world.

tour mont blanc 1

 

In this article, we'll be highlighting 5 examples of trail running vacations available around the world. 1 in Africa, 2 in Europe, 1 in North America & 1 in South America.

We'll also try to answer some of the questions about these holidays, such as:

 

Can I run an ultra-race & combine it with a vacation? 

Yes, more than likely. Many race organizers provide, or at least recommend, local accommodation on their websites for you & your partner/family before, during & after the event itself.. If you're objective is to run one of the big internationally recognised events, like UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc) FranceTdS (Tor des Geants) ItalyMDS (Marathon des Sables) MoroccoThe Spine Race (UK), Leadville Trail 100 Run (USA), Western States Endurance Run (USA), Jungle Marathon (Brazil), La Diagonale des Fous (Reunion Island), Andorra Ultra Trail Vallnord (Andorra), Transvulcania (Spain), there are many more these days..... then obviously your choice of vacation will be more about the race event itself than anything else.

However, if your goal is not to compete, buy simply enjoy the trail running experience, then you might want to think about planning your own vacation with one of the many tours available.

 

Who are trail-running vacations aimed at ?

Anyone really! Are you used to running at least 5 miles, two or three times a week? Then you should be ok!  You're likely to be running for at least 8 km a day (5 miles) for 5 consecutive days, so a reasonable level of fitness is desirable. If you like being out on the trails, getting plenty of fresh air, challenging yourself, meeting new people, discovering new places....then a trail-running tour is probably just what you're looking for.

Trail running tour participants are varied: you're likely to be running with companions of all ages and backgrounds: from students in their early 20's to seniors seeking new challenges!

 

Will I have to run out of my comfort zone?

Most operators offer different levels, so lack of trail-runnning experience may not be an issue. It's important though to make sure that they can accommodate your running abilities. Remember, it's not just the distance & mileage you'll be running, but also the fact that you'll be doing so for a number of days on the trot. Make sure you review the "required running ability" section of the vacation offer carefully, before making your choice. 

To summarize, the enjoyment you'll get out of your vacation will more than likely be greater if you're realistic & don't overestimate your running ability.

 

What's the daily mileage? 

Each tour will indicate overall running distance, as well as daily mileage & elevation gain. Participants are expected to run at least 5 miles, though more challenging vacations can exceed 20 miles a day. If you're new to trail running, there's sure to be a shorter, easier option available to you. 

 

What's included in the package?

Most tour operators include the full guided trail running tour, all accommodations, meals, transport of gear & general tour logistics. In most cases, accomodation is on a double occupancy basis, so you'll pay a bit more if you require a single room. You'll also have to built into your expenses the cost of actually getting to the place of departure. 

 

Can I take my family?  

A number of trips provide easier routes for partners (perhaps trekking or hiking a few miles daily), as well as a sightseeing alternative for companions/familiy members. 

 

Will I have time to take in the sights?

Absolutely. You're not going to be racing... so part of the enjoyment of the tour will be stopping to take a picture here & there, as well as visiting places of interest along the way. Most tours include highlights & places of interest, so it's not just running the trails....

  

  

America: Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu (Peru)

 Andes 1

Operator: Andes Adventures

Name of Tour: Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu

Country/Zone:  Cusco – Peru

No. Days:  9

Time of Year:  3-11 June, 2017. 5-13 August, 2017.

Total Distancia:  42km (26 miles)

Elevation gain: 3170m (10,400 feet)

Expertise: For experienced runners.

Accommodation: 3 & 4 star hotels.

Partner/Family friendly? Yes. Accommodation for companions.

Trip highlights: Visit to Machu Picchu

Price per person: $3.150 

You can find more information about this trip here.  

 

 

 Africa: Kilimanjaro Stage Run (Tanzania)

 Kili Stage 1

Trip to the highest mountain in Africa, with the best known Tanzanian trail runner, Simon Mtuy. Designed for experienced trail runners of most levels.Groups are set up of different levels. Each group has its own guide.  There is no minimum pace and no need to keep up with faster runners.  "Most people like to run slowly to enjoy the experience and conserve energy through the days.  If we have runners of different paces we break up the team into smaller groups.  Each group has at least one running guide - nobody runs alone".  "We intentionally keep the group small to enhance the individual experience, group cohesiveness, and limit our environmental footprint (and literal footprints!) in the fragile wilderness".

Operator: Summit Expeditions and Nomadic Experience

Name of Tour: Kilimanjaro Stage Run

Country/Zone: Tanzania, around Kilimanjaro.

No. Days: 10 days trip. 8 days trail running

Time of Year:  August, 2017  

Total Distance:  260km  (162 miles)  with 10.000m (32,808 feet) elevation gain.

Distance Daily: 30km (18.6 miles)

Expertise: Experienced runners. Participants should have al least one ultra-race under their belts or have participated in multi-day trail run.

Accommodation: Camps and small lodges.

Partner/Family friendly? Yes

Trip highlights: Cross-cultural experience along with lots of great running.

Price per person: $2.175 (2016 price)

You can find more information about this trip here.

  

 

Europe: Artic Running (Iceland)

Iceland 2

Arctic Running offers trail running tours, mostly in the south part of Iceland, for people that like to exercise and enjoy nature at the same time. While on the go you get to explore the environment and the tours make sure that you enjoy the best of each season. They offer both day tours and longer overnight tours in Iceland. Also offered is full service for participation in trail races in Iceland.

Arctic Running specializes in combining running and traveling for people who have done some running and want to experience what Iceland has to offer. "Our guides are some of the most experienced runners in Iceland and frequently take part in trail running events and longer running tours. We provide wide selection of running tours, from demanding or strenuous runs with 20 - 35 km per day to moderate runs with 5 - 10km per day, all runners should find something that suits them for travelling around Iceland". All tours provide transport from/to your hotel or guesthouse, tour guidingand photos from the tour.

Operator: Artic Running Tours

Name of Tour: Laugavegur Trail

Country/Zone:  Iceland

No. Days:  up to 3 days

Time of Year:  From June to September

Total Distance:  53 km  (33 miles)

Distance Daily: Between 20 - 35km (12 - 22 miles) for demanding runs, 5 - 10km (3 - 6 miles) for moderate runs

Expertise: Different levels available

Accommodation: Volcano Huts 

Trip highlights: Running across glaciers and volcanoes

Price per person: Day tours: 77€. From 376€ for longer tours.

You can find more information about this trip here.

 

 

 America: Wine Country Trekking (California, USA)

 Wine Country 1

Sonoma Valley Runner’s Trek is a 5 day/4 night self-guided trek in the California Wine Country of the United States. Designed for the serious runner who also wants Wine Country luxury and pampering.  Set in the gorgeous mountainous area of Sonoma County.  This trek combines luxury 5 star inns with spas to relax tired muscles and fresh California cuisine. The trek also includes special wine tastings each afternoon, with vineyard tours and cave and mountaintop tastings. The trek includes 3 days of running 8 to 13 miles (13 to 21 km) in beautiful state and regional parks.  This trek is designed for those ages 21 and over. 

Operator: Wine Country Trekking

Name of Tour: Sonoma Valley Runner’s Trek

Country/Zone:  Sonoma, California (USA)

No. Days: 5

Time of Year:   All year

Total Distance:  Between 39km - 63km (3 days running)   (24 - 39 miles)

Distance Daily: From 13km - 21km (8 - 13 miles)

Expertise: Any level

Accommodation: Luxury 5 star inns

Trip highlights: Vineyard tours and cave and mountain top wine tastings

Price per person: $1700 per person double occupancy high season & $1500 per person double occupancy low season.

You can find more information about this trip here.

 

 

Europe: Tour Mont-Blanc Run (France, Italy, Switzerland)

Run the Alps 2

Run the Alps offers guided and self-guided trail running trips throughout the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps - some of the most iconic and beautiful trail running terrain anywhere in the world. Vacations range from four days, to multi-week adventures. Custom-tailored trips are available for individuals and private groups with particular needs or concerns. Tours for trail runners who wish to simply run for a few hours to experienced runners looking for challenging days in the mountains. Distances range from 10 km per day to 30 km or more, depending upon skill level and terrain.

Trip participants range in age from early 20’s to early 60’s, and include solo travelers, friends, couples and family groups. Run the Alps guided trips feature both village-based trips, and multi-day point-to- point adventures, with baggage moving separately, each night. 

Operator: Run the Alps

Name of Tour: Tour Mont-Blanc Run

Country/Zone: France, Switzerland, Italy

No. Days: 9 days, 8 nights

Time of Year:  July & August

Total Distance: 166km  (100 miles)

Distance Daily:  24km (15 miles)

Expertise: Intermediate level

Accommodation: Inn-to-inn tour

Trip highlights/Places to see: Visit to legendary mountain destinations like Zermatt, Grindelwald, and Chamonix, including the popular Tour du Mont-Blanc course. 

Precio: $2995 per person

You can find more information about this trip here.

 

 

 

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