If the first thing you do when you travel somewhere new is strap on your running shoes, we’ve got a real treat for you today. While there’s a joy in discovering the hidden back streets of new cities, there are a number of running travel companies taking this exploration to a whole new level for runners everywhere.
From planning challenging trail runs during the day to delicious dinners made from farm-fresh ingredients in the evenings, these companies specialize in fusing running and travel in a truly unforgettable way.
These running retreats, which range from a long weekend to full weeks, can be found all over the world. Take on UTMB, run through Patagonia, or get to know Spain’s coasts, all while meeting like-minded runners, travelers, and explorers.
While we could go on and on about each individual adventure, we know that these adventures couldn’t happen without the committed, creative running travel companies behind them.
To get you excited about your next running retreat or running adventure, we’re introducing you to a number of incredible running regions – and the running travel companies leading the way in each of them.
Let’s lace up and get going!
- Running travel companies for summiting Mont Blanc
- Discover Mexico with these running travel companies
- Take a tour of Africa with these running travel companies
- Take on the Dolomites with these running travel companies
- Running travel companies to explore Costa Rica
- Ascend through Asia with these running travel companies
- Running travel companies to enjoy South America
- Other running destinations to explore
Running travel companies for summiting Mont Blanc
Why run Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc, home of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, is internationally renowned for its punishing trail marathon. Aside from the challenge of a lifetime, it’s also a contender for the most scenic trail race in the world with a route that touches three countries – France, Italy, and Switzerland.
While thousands of runners dream of taking it on each year (and try their hand at qualifying), the official race is hardly the only way to get out and about Mont Blanc. There are a number of great Mont Blanc running travel companies that have put together comprehensive itineraries that recreate portions of the race – while also allowing for a little more wine-and-cheese time.
Our pick: Runcation’s Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Chamonix Running Vacation
9 days. 110 miles. 33,000’ elevation. That’s just the tip of the mountain for Runcation’s Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Chamonix Running Vacation.
Pair that with wine and cheese, a rest day in Italy, and evenings in comfortable lodges and hotels along the Tour du Mont Blanc Route, and you have a wonderful selection. To seal the deal, check out the good times and great vibes Runcation shares on their Instagram page, and don’t delay in signing up for their 2023 trail running retreat.
Honorable mentions for Mont Blanc running travel companies
There are plenty of ways to discover Mont Blanc, and plenty of impressive running travel companies able to lead you. Check out of a few of these other great options:
- Trail Running Movement offers 50km, 90km, and 170km Mont Blanc tour packages
- Trail Run Adventures has an 8-day, 165km trip through Mont Blanc
- Run The Wild puts on a number of 5- and 8-day tours of Mont Blanc
- Run The Alps offers 10-day Mont Blanc tours all summer long
Discover Mexico with these running travel companies
Why run Mexico
A vacation in Mexico can be about so many things, from tacos and tequilas to Aztec ruins. With a country whose natural resources are as diverse as its cultural offerings, it’s easy to see how a running travel company could package some truly incredible experiences.
Plus, Mexico is known for so many different regions, too, from the culinary hotspots of Oaxaca and Mexico City to the coastal cool of Baja California and the incredible jungles. Get those running shoes ready!
Our pick: Aire Libre’s Oaxaca, Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead. Authentic Mexican cuisine. Mountain running. Mezcal tasting. And trails in use for more than a thousand years. This is just the beginning of Aire Libre’s Oaxaca, Day Of The Dead running retreat.
Perhaps no running travel company blends the beauty of the outdoors with the essence of the places they travel like Aire Libre. This includes a number of trips throughout Mexico (you can also enjoy their Baja California running getaway or their Mexico City run trip) as well as trips to Patagonia, Scotland, and France.
Honorable mentions for Mexico running travel companies
The Aire Libre running trips don’t line up with your schedule? Looking for a running travel company that works in a different part of Mexico? Here are two other highly recommend options:
- Check out Rogue Expeditions Run Baja adventure for another take on Baja California
- Join Citla on a multi-day Mexico running tour of Mineral del Monte as a part of Go Running Tours
Take a tour of Africa with these running travel companies
Why run in Africa
We don’t have to tell you that the birthplace of humankind is also home to some of the world’s best runners, some of the world’s most incredible landscapes, and some of the world’s most diverse wildlife. So, who says no to a running adventure that could include aspects of all that?
The number of running retreats in Africa is growing quickly, with countries like Kenya, South Africa, and Morocco already having a number of them – a trend we’re sure we’ll grow.
Our pick – Nomadic Experience Tanzania Trail Running Adventure
For an unforgettable blend of cultural interaction, African wildlife, and world-class running, this 12-day adventure with Nomadic Experience in Tanzania should be on every runner’s bucket list.
You’ll combine six days of running around Kilimanjaro, Arusha National Park, and Ngare Nanyuki before heading on a safari to Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park. From sampling coffee directly from its farmers to seeing elephants, lion prides, leopards, giraffes, buffalo, and packs of wild dogs, this trip is packed.
Honorable mentions for Africa running travel companies
As mentioned, the running retreat scene in Africa is developing quickly. Take a look below at our favorites:
- To be your best, it’s time to train with the best with a Kenya run adventure. This could take the form of the pure running camp in Iten or running retreats around seeing the Big 5 animals like Rogue Expeditions’ Kenya trip or Trail Run Adventures’ Kenya run experience
- Want to explore Morocco? Rogue Expeditions offers both their their Gorges & Sahara trip as well as their Backroads of the Atlas trip, while Run The World Adventures has their own Atlas to Sahara running adventure
- For a Tanzania trail running challenge, try Nomadic Experience’s Kilimanjaro Stage Run for 8 days and 260km of fun in the shadows of Africa’s tallest mountain
- What better place than the Land of a Thousand Hills to get in some hill workouts? Check out Remarkable Rwanda by Wildrun Africa for a nine-day trail running adventure
- To cruise the coast of South Africa, you could try Wildrun Africa’s Wildcoast adventure or Rogue Expeditions’ South Africa adventure in Cape Town…
- Or consider combining your trip to South Africa with Wildrun Africa’s Namibia Crossing trip, a five-day journey through ancient mountain wilderness and across borders
Take on the Dolomites with these running travel companies
Why run the Dolomites
Trail for trail, there may be no better terrain in the world than the Dolomites. From well-maintained trails, high alpine views, a mix of relaxing flats and crushing ascents, your body and mind will get pushed to the limits.
Then in between the peaks, forests, and valleys, you’ll have your fill of great Italian wine and cuisine to recover, all on trails that are a little bit less traveled than the popular Mont Blanc region.
Our pick: Holimites’ Dolomites Trail Running + Wellness Retreat
6 days and nights of breathtaking trails, delicious dining, and four-star hotels in a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a good start. Add on top of it your chance to work with the running travel company that specializes purely in Dolomites adventures, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better experience than Holimities Trail Running + Wellness Retreat.
Looking to tackle a specific trail? They’ve also got you covered with the weeklong Alta Via 1 running adventure and the weeklong Alta Via 2 running adventure.
Honorable mentions for Dolomites running travel companies
Just like there are a seemingly endless number of Dolomites running trails, there are plenty of cool adventures offered by local running travel companies. Take a look at a few of our other favorites:
- Amazing Running Tours offers their own take on the Alta Via 1 route in this 5-day running adventure
- Runcation offers a pair of Dolomites-related running retreats, including their Dolomites + Slovenia Trail Running Vacation and their Guided Dolomites Hut-to-Hut Trail Running Vacation
- Run Wild Retreats has a 7-day women-only Italian Dolomites Trail Running Retreat
- Run The Alps offers daytrips and their own 8-day inn-to-inn Dolomites tour
Running travel companies to explore Costa Rica
Why run Costa Rica
Costa Rica has coastal access, volcanic mountains, jungles, and more – all with plenty of well-maintained trails and the occasional simian onlooker. With plenty of other natural delights around, like swimming holes and hotsprings (perfect for cooling down and loosening up those tight muscles), taking a rest day away from the trails might feel like a crime.
Our pick: Run The World Adventures South Pacific Jungle
This adventure is not for the faint of heart, and that’s exactly what makes it so special. To see Costa Rica in a way few ever get to, this Run The World Adventures Costa Rica Tour has you running 160km, or roughly 7 hours each day, as you go from El Cerro de la Muerte to the Osa Peninsula in the Pacific.
While there may be a lot of running, there’s also a lot of fun with stops at swimming holes, freshly roasted Costa Rican coffee, and a sense of accomplishment and adventure that set this Costa Rica running retreat apart.
Honorable mentions for Costa Rica running travel companies
A country with as many natural gems as Costa Rica has its share of great running adventures, too. Check out some other interesting ways to run through the country:
- Aire Libre’s Costa Rica Running Retreat features runs through cloud forest trails, volcano hot spring chill-outs, and scuba diving
- Soul & Trail’s Costa Rica Running Retreat incorporates a centering blend of yoga, running, nature, and mindfulness
- For more vacation vibes, Vacation Races Costa Rica Central includes 6 days of running – plus the wildlife, ziplines, waterfall swims and more you’d expect from a Costa Rica adventure
Ascend through Asia with these running travel companies
Why run in Asia
While a continent is worth far more than just a paragraph, that’s a bit beyond the scope of this little piece. With the great diversity between island nations like Japan and Taiwan, the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia – among dozens of other incredible regions, running in Asia will give you a new opportunity to rekindle your love for running.
Our pick – Trail Run Adventures & Tour de Trails Bhutan Expedition
You had us at Land of the Thunder Dragon. This 15-day Bhutan trip by Trail Run Adventures and Tour de Trails is pure magic. Including 8 days on trails and 7 days in Shangri-La, this follows the Jomolhari Laya Gasa on the modestly described “most difficult treks in the world.”
Truly, though, this is an unforgettable way to experience the untouched Himalayan landscapes, see rare indigenous animals, and find yourself in one of running’s most remote destinations.
Honorable mentions for Asian running travel companies
Running retreats in Asia are on the rise, so check out some of the following adventures as a way to explore:
- Soul & Trail’s Bali Running Retreat is 6 days of Bali running bliss, from waterfalls and beaches to volcanoes, Hindu temples, and UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Similar to the Bhutan trip above, Run Wild Retreats’ women-only Bhutan Mindful Running Retreat features 10 days of trail runs, yoga, spas, and cooking classes
- To see Japan in a new light, try Trail Run Adventure’s Japan trip for 8 days of running that includes a Mt. Fuji summit
- Explore northern Vietnam and summit IndoChina’s highest peak with Soul & Trail’s Vietnam Running Retreat, a 6-day exploration of the Sapa area
Running travel companies to enjoy South America
Why run South America
From the epic mountains of Patagonia to the jungles of the Amazon and the trails to Machu Picchu, South America is full of running treasures waiting to be discovered. The only challenge is choosing just which challenge you want to take on.
Our pick – Amazing Running Tours’ Peru Running Tour
While there are quite a few contenders for best Machu Picchu running tour, Amazing Running Tours Peru Running Tour puts an emphasis on venturing past the well-trodden trails, showcasing rare ruins, and engaging with local communities (and llamas!) makes it a truly special trip. Adding onto the runs a can’t-miss hike to Machu Picchu seals the deal.
Honorable mentions for South American running travel companies
Picking the right South American running adventure comes down to two things: the destination you’re interested in, and the company you feel best about. More than other regions in the world (with the exception of perhaps France and Italy), there’s quite a bit of overlap. Below, we’ll share the destination and then the companies offering a great running adventure there.
- Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley – Runcation’s 8-day Run to Machu Picchu tour, Strive Trips’ 10-day Running to Machu Picchu tour, or Aire Libre’s Sacred Valley run retreat (you’ll have to book your Machu Picchu visit separately)
- Ecuador – Explore the Andes of Ecuador with Trail Run Adventures’ 8-day trail running adventure
- Patagonia, Argentina – Check out Go Running Tours’ Patagonia Running Holiday and 6-night Patagonia Adventure to see Patagonia’s glaciers, mountains and lakes, as well Runcation’s 8-day Trail Running El Chalten adventure.
- Patagonia, Chile – Explore Chile’s Lake District with Aire Libre’s Patagonia running adventure, go from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park with Rogue Expeditions Run Patagonia tour,
- Patagonia, Argentina & Chile – Get the best of both sides of Patagonia with Vacation Races’ 9-day run adventure in Patagonia
Other running destinations to explore
These are just some of the epic trail running adventures around the world, with a few of our other favorites including Tour de Trails’ Coast2Coast, Pub2Pub run in England, the Trails & Vines run in Rioja, Run The World Adventures’ Costa Brava Spanish trip, and even a few Australian coast runs for good measure.
If you’re looking to stay in the U.S., you might want to check out this complete list of running retreats for some local inspiration.