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On Your Marks, Get Set, Explore! The Top 10 Holiday Destinations for Runners

Fitness couple in bright clothing running on beach

Running enthusiasts, lace up your trainers and get ready for the ultimate fitness-friendly holiday this summer!

According to a new study, Spain has emerged as the top holiday destination for runners, scoring 48.26 in the comprehensive index, which analyses eight metrics across all European countries*.


The research, conducted by running experts at HOKA, measures Instagram hashtag data, Google search volumes, number of spas, pollution levels, average daylight hours, average temperatures, and the presence of national parks.

Spain secured the highest ‘Runcation Rating’ when averaging scores across all metrics, followed by Malta, Portugal, France and Finland.

The rising trend of “runcations” or running holidays has seen a significant 22% increase in Google search interest over the past year, with social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram showcasing the excitement of running in new and picturesque locations.

More than 288,000 running-related hashtags have been shared on Instagram by runners across Europe showcasing their stunning run routes and videos tagged with #runcation have amassed over 745,000 views on TikTok. 

Spain topped the index, thanks to its 14 national parks, warm average temperature of 14 degrees celsius, approximately 2,796 average annual daylight hours, and low pollution levels.

Malta secured the second spot with a Runcation Rating of 47.62, boasting the highest average temperature across all countries at 20 degrees celsius, coupled with over 30km of waterfront paths and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Portugal completes the top three with 46.65, followed by France and Finland which scored 44.44 and 44.11 respectively.

Despite Spain’s overall victory, Iceland stood out on individual metrics, showcasing the most spas per 100,000 capita – 18 – and Strava downloads per 100,000 capita – 3,461 – respectively.

Whilst Belarus scored highest on Google searches for “running” and “marathon” and Czechia shared the most running selfies, with approximately 98,000 Instagram post using #RunCzech.


As the rise of runcations shows no signs of slowing, beginner and veteran road runners are encouraged to choose a shoe that provides cushioning and support from the get-go.

In January, HOKA launched its all-new Cielo X1, the latest addition to its road racing lineup and highest energy return shoe.

Designed with dynamic cutouts for weight savings, the ultra-fast road racer features a winged carbon fibre plate between two layers of resilient PEBA foam for the ultimate running experience. 

The methodology involved scoring each European country a rating between 1 – 100 across the eight data points, with an average score determining the final runcation ranking. 

Find the full research here –

*Ukraine and Russia were excluded due to travel advisories from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (UK).