Running holidays: Marmaris, Turkey

Photo by Ryan Gargiulo (pausethemoment.com)

After amassing three injuries in a spring marathon training cycle, I’d lost my running mojo. Several months of tentative trots later, I joined Mediterranean Delights Fitness Voyages for a week-long wellbeing cruise from Marmaris to Fethiye, in Turkey, to kick-start my cross-training.

Itineraries vary for each MDFV cruise, but all include a daily yoga session and workout on the ‘fitness deck’ of Muhteşem A, MDFV’s traditional Turkish gulet (sailing boat), tailored to your needs and those of the other guests. Our yoga instructor, Sydney, opted for a combination of anusara and vinyasa to give us a heart-opening stretch or yoga nidra (a guided state of deep relaxation) at the end of a particularly busy day. Workouts took the form of explosive body-weight circuits for a powerful plyometric hit.

When we weren’t lunging across the deck or challenging our balance with one-legged warrior poses on the gently rocking boat, we’d disembark to explore the coast. Hikes through spectacular mountains provided a glute-strengthening workout and views you won’t get at the local gym, while the rocky trails were nature’s wobble board, giving the ultimate challenge for our proprioception – perfect for my injury rehab.

With all meals and snacks covered in the cost, our adventures were generously fuelled. From hearty Turkish breakfast spreads of bread, olives and spiced eggs to fresh fish caught from the boat for dinner, the crew gave us a truly authentic taste of the Mediterranean. Even on long hikes, our guide, Ali, brought Turkish delight for a carb boost – better than energy gels, any day.

While the prime focus was on fitness, there was also plenty of relaxation on the itinerary. Activities such as visits to mud baths and a hammam spa gave us space to relax, while an evening belly dancing class and raki tasting let us all unwind the traditional Turkish way.

When I took to Fethiye’s harbor for a run on my final day, my stride felt stronger than it had in months. As my confidence flooded back, I could finally reconnect with the joy of running. All in all, a week thoroughly well spent.

By the numbers

  • 6 yoga sessions on the boat’s stern
  • 2 dolphins spotted from the deck
  • 1 sunset yoga session on the beach
  • 6 heart-racing circuit workouts
  • 1 dodgy sports bra tan line
  • 45 minutes of champagne-fuelled belly dancing
  • 4 hikes through the Turkish mountains

The details

When: Different itineraries run from May to October. (Georgia went on Blue Voyage, which will run from June 1st–8th and September 28th–October 5th 2016)

Price: From £1,650pp, based on two people sharing a double room, including all meals, excursions and fitness activities

Get there: Flights to Dalaman from London Gatwick with Turkish Airways from £103

Contact: mdfvoyage.com