Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

10 Marathons in the most beautiful places on Earth

If you’re looking for the fitness trip of a lifetime, check out one of these 10 marathons with amazingly beautiful scenery.


Everest Marathon, Nepal


Photo credit: Bartosz Hadyniak / Vetta / Getty images

Of course, The Everest Marathon will give you one-of-a-kind views of the biggest mountain on Earth. Race organizers require runners to take an entire 26-day vacation in Nepal in order to fully acclimate prior to attempting the marathon. The good news is that once you make it to the Everest base camp for the start of the race, it’s basically downhill from there.


The Polar Circle Marathon, Greenland

No doubt about it, you’ll have to gear up for this frigid but gorgeous trek across icy Greenland. The Polar Circle Marathon features glaciers and expanses of tundra that are unique, breathtaking and actually pretty dangerous. If you’ve got the guts to do it, you’ll echo organizers in calling the race “the coolest marathon on earth!”


Inca Trail Marathon, Peru

Inca Trail, Peru

Image credit: poladamonte / iStock / 360

This marathon that traverses the famous Inca Trail on its way to Machu Picchu is a different kind of race. First of all, there is no “official” Inca Trail Marathon because the Inca Trail is a national park, so usually private companies form small groups of runners to complete the 26.2 mile trail rather than organizing a giant event. The benefit, of course, is that you get to enjoy spectacular views with fewer distractions.


Paris Marathon, France

If you’ve ever visited Paris, you know how badly your body needs exercise after carb-loading on crepes. The Paris Marathon is a gorgeous tour of the city’s most spectacular sites, and the race is rumored to treat its runners right. Word has it that you can stop for drinks and a foot massage a little after the halfway mark.


Athens Marathon, Greece


Photo credits: Goodshoot / Goodshoot / 360 / Getty images

Run the race where it all began more than 2,000 years ago! The Athens Marathon takes runners on a historical journey from the Greek town of Marathon into its capital city. You can bookend your trip with delicious moussaka and delightful Greek music.


Two Oceans Marathon, South Africa

Anytime a marathon dubs itself “the most beautiful marathon in the world,” you best pay attention. Two Oceans offers two different marathon lengths — an ultra and a half — across the spectacular Cape Peninsula of South Africa.


Honolulu Marathon, United States

The famous Honolulu Marathon hugs the coastline of gorgeous Hawaii for the length of the course. If you make it to the end, you get to enjoy a fab after-party, complete with music and sweet, sweet mai tais.


The Great Wall Marathon, China

The Great Wall

Image credit: m/photos/tango-/5762887776/” ti / Flickr / Getty images

Considered one of the most difficult courses in the world, The Great Wall Marathon challenges runners with thousands of stair steps on its winding course. If you can manage to look past your feet, you’ll see an expanse of forest and The Great Wall behind you.


Great Ocean Road Marathon, Australia

Australia’s coastlines are revered for their rocky and rugged views with giant waves crashing in on the beaches and cliffs. The Great Ocean Road Marathon offers runners 26.2 miles to soak in the natural and unadulterated beauty of Australia’s coasts.


Big Sur International Marathon, United States

You don’t have to globe-trot to find a marathon with amazing views. The Big Sur International Marathon will take you from Big Sur to Carmel along the rural Pacific Coast Highway. You’ll wind your way through redwoods, ranches and jaw-dropping ravines prior to traipsing across the finish line.

More from women’s health

Your pap smear isn’t enough to detect cervical cancer
Hot flashes at 30: What’s going on?
Spring cleaning: Detox vs. cleanse

Leave a Comment