Trail running in Lisbon

Trail running in Lisbon  – Duratrail Race in Setúbal

Trail running in Lisbon is rather easy, both for just an enjoyable training or to participate in a race. Around Lisbon you can find a broad range of trail races withing 1 hour drive from the city. Trail running in Lisbon can be done for example:

  •  in Monsanto Forest Park in Lisbon itself
  •  in the Sintra Mountains, North of Lisbon
  •  in Northern Lisbon: Bucelas, Belas and Casaínhos
  •  in the mountains South of Lisbon: Arrábida

We were invited to participate in a race in Arrábida  – Duratrail – one of our favorite spots for trail running in Lisbon. The Duratrail starts in Setúbal, about 40 minutes drive South of Lisbon. Setúbal is know for its fishery and its’s located in a wine region too – Azeitão.

We opted to spent the weekend out of Lisbon and rented a cute apartment in Sesimbra, also located in the Arrábida mountains. The Arrábida Natural Park is a Nature Reserve and most of it is a protected área. In terms of flora, you can find parts that are rather rough with few trees and green, mainly rocks. There are also many trails that are surrounded by bushes. You’ll also find some pine tree forests and enormous eucalyptus. The best part of running here are the views. Along the trails you’ll reach several points with impressive views over the green mountains, deep blue Atlantic and bright blue sky.

The Duratrail race usually takes place on a Saturday in the end of October. All logistic are set up by the water front. Here you can check-in and get your bip number, start the race, finish the race, take a shower and have lunch after the race. The race has two distances: a short trail of 15km and a long trail of 30km.

We joined the short trail as it was the first trail race of my partner. It was a good choice as 15km may not sound long but with about 700m D+, it’s rather tough (check my Strava here)! Most trails were challenging single tracks in between the bushes. We came along many hills but you know that after a climb, most likely you’ll be compensated with a (literally) breathtaking view. One of the highlights was the passage on a very pretty beach, where we ran about 200m on the sand.

The weather was amazing. A very sunny day like we sometimes are lucky to have in the end of October. It was actually quite warm and after the race some runners used the sea to relax their legs. Both races counted with several aid stations, some only with water and sports drinks and others with plenty of food. Actually you would not even need to bring your own.

After finishing the race, we had a traditional lunch and a cold beer waiting for us. The lunch consisted of a delicious “massada de choco” – pasta with squid. After lunch, it was time to pick a nice beach to relax the resto of the day.

If you’re interested in knowing more about trail running in Lisbon or about Duratrail, feel free to drop us a line. We’re happy to help you out with some tips or even to meet for a run.


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