If you’re looking for a running camp Portugal, you’ve probably got two things on your mind: a getaway from your regular run training routine and some of Europe’s best beaches.
Still, finding the right training camp for you is harder than just putting “my ideal run training camp in Portugal” in Google. The training camp should be one that fits into your budget and both your schedules (your training schedule and the rest of your life schedule… in that order!), while also giving you a chance to enjoy Portugal’s top-notch culture and nature.
(Because if you make it all the way to Portugal without having a pastel de nata, I don’t think we can be running buddies any more.)
As a runner based in Europe who’s raced internationally, I’ve experienced firsthand the joys of being able to use a vacation as a training camp. Instead of rushing through a country’s top tourist spots, you get to post up at a base camp, stay committed to your training schedule, and discover one or two places in a much deeper way.
So, let’s get to it. In this article, we’re breaking down what makes a running camp in Portugal such a good fit, along with some top recommendations for running camps in Portugal and Madeira.
Why Madeira? Because a guide to the best running camp Portugal wouldn’t be complete without including Madeira, an archipelago made up of 4 islands off the northwest coast of Africa that includes some of the toughest trails (and most delicious wines) in the region.
Time to lace up and dive in!
Why Train At A Running Camp In Portugal
Year-Round Beach Runs
Going for a run on the beach in Portugal is a year-round possibility and part of what makes running camps in Portugal so attractive.
In the U.S., running beachside in February anywhere but Los Angeles is a recipe for freezing. In the Algarve, the southernmost part of Portugal, the average high temperature in January and February is 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit).
Island of Madeira
For those who are looking up the difference between running in Portugal vs running on the island of Madeira, know that you’ve got two great options. What Madeira is known for its wine and its warm, subtropical climate.
Of the four islands, the main island of Madeira is a great one for running with its volcanic terrain, green and rugged, with high cliffs. For easy access to elevation training, great views, and delicious wine.
From its moderate winters, it’s also worth mentioning summers in Portugal are just as nice. In the south, the temperatures average 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit) in July and August. Compare that to places in the U.S. that regularly hit the mid-90s and low-100s through August, and you’ve got an easy choice to plan a spur-of-the-moment training trip.
Best Trail Running Camps in Portugal
To elevate your training, Full Potential has put together an impressive run training camp in the Algarve. Available in both 7- and 10-day versions, this camp is about taking your running to another level.
With daily coached running sessions, strength & conditioning classes, individual coaching sessions, evening seminars, and expert massage treatments, your running will get the intense focus it deserves.
And what about being in Portugal? Soak up the sunshine at the hotel’s outdoor pool, stroll the sandy, quiet beaches (when you’re not running them), and walk into town for some amazingly fresh seafood dinners.
Where Is It: The Victoria Sports & Beach Hotel in Falesia, Algarve, Portugal
Who’s It For: All levels of runners who are interested in improving their technique and their performance.
How Much Is It: From $900 (single room, 7 days) to $1,100 (single room, 10 days)
Where Do I Find Out More: Find Full Potential’s training camps here.
Running Camp Runner Up: Running Adventures
For a trail running adventure on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, check out Running Adventures’ Portugal Trail Weekend.
Not only are they focused on interesting trail runs through the beaches of Bordeira, Carrapateira Hills, and the dunes of Amado, but each night comes with a four-course meal filled with local Portuguese cuisine.
Best Trail Running Camps in Madeira
For a running camp that’s as full of stunning vistas as it is intense workouts, consider Trail Run Adventures’ Madeira Adventure.
On this week-long trip, you’ll explore the main points of interest on the island, like Pico Ruivo and other peaks, the beaches, and the capital city Funchal. In your down time, you’ll have access to a pool, gym, hot tub, massage room, and unlimited seaside views.
Now, for the training. In addition to charging your way up diverse mountains and volcanic trails, you’ll have runs that vary from 1-8 hours, depending on your needs and interests. Off the trail, you’ll have the chance to surf, do yoga, try canyoning, and of course, enjoy the local food and wine.
Where Is It: The Island of Madeira, Portugal
Who’s It For: This Madeira running camp is designed for all levels.
How Much Is It: These running camps range from $2,195 to $2,395 for a week.
Where Do I Find Out More: See Trail Run Adventures’ selection of Madeira running camps here.
Running Camp Runner Up: 2Madeira
Dedicated to helping Madeira realize its potential as a running and training destination, 2Madeira offers a week-long trail running camp at three different price levels.
Each day, you’ll enjoy a guided trail run as well as a comfortable stay at a 3, 4, or 5-star hotel.
Looking to piece your own trip to Madeira together? 2Madeira also offers 22 unique daily training runs.
Running In Lisbon & Porto
When looking at running camps in Portugal, the majority of them will take place in the Algarve along Portugal’s southern coast. For international travelers, you’ll likely arrive first to Lisbon or Porto before making your way down.
If you’re planning to spend a few extra days in Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, or the home of Portugal’s iconic wine, Porto, you can (and should!) still get some runs in.
- In Porto, there are a number of excellent guided run trips to show you the city. Some of our favorites include the 15k Cross The River Run Tour, the 6k City Wake Up Tour to the city center, and the 9k Old Town Run Tour.
- In Lison, you can check out the Baixa, Chiado, Bairro Alto and Alfama neighborhoods in the city center with the 10k City Centre Tour, enjoy a 13k Trail Run through Parque Florestal de Monsanto, or go long for a 22k Long Run Tour along the Tagus river.
Other Trail Running Camps You Might Like
If you’d like to keep the European running vibes going, you might also like our picks for great running holidays in Europe.
Staying closer to home? Don’t forget to check out some U.S. running retreats that might be right in your neighborhood!