The travel

The new edition of the Sahara Marathon 2025 will be held on Tuesday the 25th of next February as every year in the Sahrawi refugee camps, near the Algerian town of Tindouf. The race is organized with the collaboration of different local institutions and the Sahrawi Athletics Federation, based in the Sahrawi refugee camps.

The race will start between the Aaiun camp, Auserd and with the finish line in Smara, as usual there will be refreshment tables along the route and a team of volunteers and first aid.

In addition to the 42km race, there are other 21km, 10km and 5km races that are alternative races for everyone, experts and amateurs.

All participants in the race will receive a t-shirt, a medal made by Sahrawi women in a local ceramic workshop in the Aaiun camp. In addition to a special prize for the top three female and male finishers in each category.

Sahara Marathon 2025 Trip and Race Information

Location: Sahrawi refugee camps, in southwestern Algeria near the town of Tindouf.
Race date: February 25, 2025.
For those traveling on the charter flight, managed by the organization of the event, the trip will be between 22nd February 2025 and 1st March 2025, departure from Madrid to Tindouf. (The flight departure and departure time will be communicated one week before the flight by the agency).
The organization is in charge of managing the visa for all travelers on the charter flight.
Personal luggage must not exceed 15kg.
To bring any type of donation and aid material intended for the local population, the organization must be informed in advance.
In the case of people traveling on their own on scheduled flights, they must arrange their own visa.
Important: before applying for your visa you must register for the race.

How to register

Starting this year, the cost of participation will become more modular and flexible to cover the different needs and travel plans of the participants, maintaining the principle that it is necessary to cover all the expenses of the Sahrawis, organization, accommodation and transportation.
For this reason, the costs will be divided into TRIP (to get to the camps), STAYING (accommodation for a week with a Sahrawi family, with meals and water), RACE (participation in the race and related activities), VISITS (visits to the interest and lunch in the dunes on the last day)


The Sahrawi camps (one hour from the Algerian city of Tindouf) can be reached in two ways:

1) With an organized charter flight departing from Madrid, direct to Tindouf, lasting approximately 3 hours, which includes:
– visa for Algeria
– travel insurance
– transport
– accommodation and maintenance
– registration in the race and bib number
The price is €840 (€770 if you do not participate in any of the races)
Children under 14 years old: €740 (€670 if they do not participate in any of the races)
The participant who has already been to the camps and has a preferred family may indicate them.

2) On a regular flight, via Algiers, the price of which must be calculated based on the city of departure. The participant must independently apply for the visa, the cost of which is approximately €100, and take out their own travel insurance.
The participant who arrives at the camps with a regular flight will have to pay:


The cost is €70 per participant, and includes accommodation with a Sahrawi family who will also take care of two meals and breakfast.
Once you arrive at the camps you must be hosted by a Sahrawi family for the duration of the week.
The participant who has already been to the camps and has a preferred family may indicate them.


The cost is €100 for participants of the 42km or 21km, and €70 for participants of the 10km or 5km.
Each participant will receive a t-shirt and a ceramic medal produced at the camps.
The race is free for Sahrawi athletes.
For volunteers or operators who have lived in the fields for at least a month, the cost is €50 for the marathon and €30 for 10km or 5km.


The cost is €30 and includes organized visits to various points of interest in the Sahrawi camps, some with bus transportation, and lunch in the sand dunes on the last day.


Some participants who have already been in the camps already have contact with a family and some groups are organized independently, paying directly to the family.
These people can organize themselves independently, but if their families do not live in Smara they will have to independently organize transportation to and from the airport and to Smara for the day of the races.
If these people who pay directly to the family travel on the charter, they will receive a €70 discount. If you travel with a regular flight, you will not have to pay the €70 for accommodation to the organization.

It is no longer possible to register for the race directly the day before the race.
A participant will have to register using the online form before the registration deadline on 10th January 2025
If registration occurs after this date, the cost increases by 10%.

Registration guarantees priority, but registration will only be carried out after receiving payment, which must be made before the date of 10th January 2025

The organization cannot guarantee the departure and return times of the charter flight. There may be delays in departure and return. If you need to book a connecting flight for your return, even if your return is on Saturday, we recommend booking it at least late Sunday morning.

If the participant requests to cancel participation after 10th January 2025, 100% will be refunded (less transfer costs)

If the participant requests to cancel participation after 1st February 2025, the flight will not be refunded, only the accommodation fee and part of the race fee, for a total of €100

The organization can only provide proof of entry, in no case can it issue invoices because the airline does not provide invoices for individual tickets.

In the event that we are forced to suspend the race for any reason beyond our control, the total cost will be refunded less €50 for management costs.

Both the day scheduled for the race and the visiting program during our stay in the camps may vary depending on weather conditions, strong winds or siroccos. In this case, the organization, together with the local authorities, reserves the right to modify: the place, date and route of the race, both departure and arrival, in case of worse weather conditions.

To formalize the registration, payment must be made to the account number, which will be published in the month of May on the website and sent to all those who have registered through this form.

840€ full (770€ without participation to the races)
Less than 14 years old: 740€ (670€ without participation to the races)
YES - You can request a family of a past year
NO - If the family is not in Smara you must manage transortation to Smara on your own if you want to take part to the activities
YES - visits to the points of interest in Smara, and out of Smara and to the sand dunes with bus


All participants will be split in to small groups of 4-5 and will be hosted by Saharawi families in their tents. You can ask to join a particular group or create one, otherwia you’ll be assigned randomly.
All families will receive economical aid and supplies from the organization, and since for the saharawi hospitality is very important they’ll do their best to make you feel part of the family.
If you want you can bring small gifts to the family, possibly sharing the gifts amongs neighborood families and kids to help more people. We suggest small toys for the kids, flashlights, pens and colored pencils, utility tools…


The organization will offer a breakfast and a pocket lunch the day of the race. All other meals will take place with the respective saharawi families (lentils, couscous, salads, camel or goat meat, french fries, pasta)
Is very important to drink only the bottled water (we’ll take car of water distribution in each family), that is the same water used for tea that you can drink safely.


If you want to buy something you can use Euros (don’t bring large bills). There are quite a lot of shops where you can buy artisan articles and have a drink. You can also find locutories where you can call home. The best is to bring one of the childs with you so they can understand you better.


We’ll stay in a refugee camps in the middle of the desert, this means that we must forget a daily shower and all the commodities of our WCs.
Outside every house/tent there will be a small building with a wc, and you’ll always have available a basin with water to wash.
The day of the race, if we won’t have problems with water, everyone will have the chance to take a shower in the protocol building (bring your soap and towel).


Besides the normal weight limit of 15 kg per person please note that we bring a lot of material for the project. We ask you to not bring too much luggage.
Temperatures: during the day it is spring temperature (20º-25º) and at night is quite chilly (10º) so it is recommended to bring an anorak or a warm sweater.
You should bring:
– sleeping bag
– toilet paper
– sunglasses
– sunscreen
– sandals
– shorts
– hat

Do I have to vaccinate? It is not necessary, just enough care in food and water consumption (bottled only). It’s recommended to schedule a previous medical examination.
What temperature am I going to find? Between 8º and 28º. Fresh nights and spring days. Possibility of some sandstorms.
What will we eat there? Your family will prepare pasta, tortilla, cous cous, lentils or some meat (chicken, goat or camel).
What footwear do I run? The terrain is generally hard and stony with some sand. You can run with trail shoes or leggings, but usually the best are normal training shoes.
Is there a time limit for the race? No, there are people that walk all the way to the finish.
Are there feeding zones in the route? Yes, every 3 kilometers or less there is a place with water, fruit and some energy bar.
Can I change the distance to which I have registered? Yes, until the previous night you can change the distance by communicating it to the organization.
Do we have showers after the race? Yes, but only on the day of the race, in the jaimas you can clean yourself with water from tanks and buckets.
What currency is used there? The official currency is the Algerian dirham, but in most shops euros are accepted (small bills are recommended).
What traditions do they have? A very tolerant and hospitable Muslim society; we will often be invited to the tea ceremony.
In what language do they speak? Their language is Hassania, an Arabic dialect, but in almost every house there is someone who speaks Spanish because they study it in school and because many children have family in Spain or have come on vacation.
Do I bring a gift? It’s a good idea but keeping in mind that it must not be too bulky nor too heavy to carry. Children’s toys, school stationery, candies, flashlights, multi-pronged knives, pens … are all good options.
Can I use my cell phone? Yes, and it is possible to buy an Algerian card for about €15.

Download a useful map of the Smara camp

Download a useful Hassania to English/Spanish/Italian vocabulary

In collaboration

Ministry of Youth and Sports, is a government institution of the Sahrawi state, R.A.S.D, in charge of the execution of the Sahrawi government policy in terms of promotion, training and development of young people in refugee camps, in the Sahrawi territories under the occupation of Morocco and in the diaspora. Likewise, it is responsible for executing the Sahrawi government’s policy on sports, gender equality among young people, and the Vacations in Peace project for Sahrawi children in collaboration with Friendship Associations with the Sahrawi people in different countries.

The Sahrawi Athletics Federation is an organ of the Sahrawi Ministry of Youth and Sports, made up of young people who work on a voluntary basis and supervised by the ministry itself, whose mission is to promote athletics among young people in the Sahrawi refugee camps, program the annual agenda of sports competitions, plan activities of the same nature, direct and evaluate athletics in all its modalities in the Sahrawi camps.

The Athletics Federation, like the rest of the Sahrawi Federations, does not have an autonomous structure, as in the case of other international federations, due to the political and social situation of the Sahrawi people in the refugee camps.