Europe

Tomlishorn, Alps, Switzerland
Tomlishorn, Alps, Switzerland

I pack my shoes everywhere I go and my favourite kind of run is one in a new destination. This means, I am often at the mercy of a local for running route advise and so, the route can be a gamble. Sometimes I get a mile loop when I was expecting a long distance, sometimes dangerous mountain biking trails, sometimes great advice. So to take the guessing and gambling out of destination running, here is a list of runs you can find in places I have traveled. It’s by no means complete, but my life goal is to keep running and traveling, so this page will continue to grow. Here are some great routes for Europe. I also have runs listed for Canada and the United States.

Prater Park, Vienna, Austria

Prater Park, Vienna, Austria
Prater Park, Vienna, Austria

A series of flat, gravel trails in the world’s oldest amusement park next to the canal. There is a tram station at the park entrance or you can run the canal to reach it.

Lucerne, Switzerland

Trails above Lucerne, Switzerland
Trails above Lucerne, Switzerland

Behind the Chateau Gutsch are well enough marked gravel trails for kilometers and kilometers of elevation training and stunning views. You can reach the trails by the funicular, bus or by walking (or running if you are hardcore) up the stairs next to the funicular.  The trails are well marked but a GPS is always nice. You will see rolling hills, the alps, cows.

Tomlishorn, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
Tomlishorn, Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

Tomlishorn summit on Mt. Pilatus – I took the Golden Round Trip tour (which is epic, I highly recommend it for the gondola and cog wheel train ride alone) that allows for about one hour of running at the top of Mt. Pilatus. This is NOT a running tour group – I just used the hour free time to run instead of walk around. Running in the Alps was a life time high.

Budapest, Hungary

Margaret Island, Budapest, Hungary
Margaret Island, Budapest, Hungary

Margaret Island has a 5km rubber track around the island that is a must if you are visiting – even if you are not a runner. The island has many attractions and concerts and is a treasure of Budapest. Running on a track that is not an oval inside a stadium, shows how much Hungarians love to run. The track is usually busy, but it’s easy to follow the flow, just run on the right of what ever direction you chose and harmony for all is maintained.

 

Heroes' Square, Budapest, Hungary
Heroes’ Square, and Park Budapest, Hungary

Hereos’ Square – Városliget Park has a surprisingly vast network of overlapping trails for a city park. The park is flanked by the city and very easy to navigate. The trails begin from the Hereo’s Square moment entrance and you can probably get a 10k in before you realize it, especially when you stop at the other two incredible monuments, the enormous “Timewheel” hour glass and the Memorial to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence monument, both breathtaking in artist creation and meaning.

Memorial to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence
The Timewheel is a symbol of Hungary becoming part of the EU.

After your run, you can go to the Szechenyi Baths, located in the middle of the parkt o soak in your glory and its beauty.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Path, Reykjavik, Iceland
Path, Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik has a great path along the city waterfront, that passes the Harpa Music Center and continues for 10kms plus (I think you could probably run it right out of town and just keep going, I ran a 10k). The water fountains are liquid gold, drink from them!

Water Fountain, Reykjavik, Iceland
Water Fountain, Reykjavik, Iceland
Heidmork, Iceland
Heidmork, Iceland

Hiedmork Park, Ellidavtn, is a 10km drive from Reykjavik (I had a rental car, so I am not sure about public transportation), and it’s a dreamy soft pack mixed trail run through wilderness and along the shore line. I ran here in November wearing about every piece of winter running gear I own and it was fantastic. You do have to pay attention to the trail markers as the routes can get you turned around and while there were people around, they were few and far between, so getting lost would be pretty sucky.

Brussels, Belgium

Atomium, Osseghem Park, Brussels, Belgium
Atomium, Osseghem Park, Brussels, Belgium

The Osseghem Park is an expansive park with wide trails. I started from the Atomium, with my back to the structure facing into the park and ran to the left, along the main roads and trails for 6kms round trip. You could do a 10-15kms in this park before overlapping too much. I do not know the Brussels running culture – but I thought it was strange that there were very few people in this park, running or otherwise, (besides the tourists at the Atomium). It was raining off and on, but for the most part it was a fine Saturday morning in late July. The vacantness made me a little uneasy – so if you are running here alone, I would look at the map before hand and find your route or hire a local running guide.

Versailles, France

Grand Canal,Versailles, France
Grand Canal,Versailles, France

The Grand canal is traced by soft pack trail and in parts, a concrete single lane road.  The perimeter around of the canal (its shaped like a cross) is 5kms. You could do 5k laps or run to/from the main stairs above The Latona Fountain (the famous frog fountain) for a route that is just shy of 8kms. I ran there on a Monday, the day the Palace is closed, so there were fewer people on the main grounds, and once I was out on the perimeter, there was almost no one around. It was beautiful.

Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Lush hills, steep climbs, leprechauns. I found 2 out of 3 on this great run along the coastal path, passed the basalt columns, up to the cliff line where the cattle graze and down into the town of Bushmills.

Bushmills, County Antrim
Bushmills, County Antrim

This route is stunning in scenery, and can be as difficult or easy-breezy as you choose by following the trail markers that are rated as easy/moderate/difficult. The rewards are plenty and my favourite comment of all time heard as I passed a group of furniture store employees who were standing on the street in Bushmills, “that guy knows the cops aren’t chasing him, right?! Only reason to run…”

Comment with your favourite European Running Route

Please add your favourite destination runs to the comment section or suggestions for runs that should be on this list. This page updates frequently, so book mark it for exciting running route around the world and follow me on twitter too, @selfierunner!

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