Just in case outdoor activities are your cup of tea, hiking in Spain will enthrall you in every way possible. There is no scarcity of destinations that you can pick to quench a thirst for braving the formidable and raw nature. So, what are some of the best hikes in Spain? Read on to find out!
Hiking in Spain – A Collection of Best Destinations!
A part of the famous Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, Peñalara houses Madrid’s highest mountain lakes and they are a sight to behold. The Peñalara peak is the highest peak of Sierra de Guadarrama and measures 2,428 meters above sea level.
The hiking trails are often considered as medium-hard considering the fact that there are barely any hard steeps but the terrain is pretty rocky. The lack of any special complications makes Peñalara a perfect hiking destination for people with all skill levels.
There is no need for any fee or special permission but once you set off for Peñalara, you do need to observe the rules of wildlife conservation.
Camino de Santiago
If you want to satiate your nomadic soul, Camino de Santiago hiking is a must for you. Technically, Camino is a network of trails but the most famous of all is the Camino Francés with the base camp at French Pyrenees and ends at Santiago de Compostela located in northwestern Spain.
The Camino de Santiago is a thru-hike version of Medieval Europe and it has been rigorously walked since the 19th century. Roman armies, Catholic pilgrims’ legions, kings and queens – all have walked this hiking route. Over 300,000 hikers completed the trek to Santiago using this route in 2017!
The Camino de Santiago has an unparalleled history and this is where people slow down and rediscover the human pace that is long lost in the race of evolving society.
Via Ferrata de la Cala del Moli
Via Ferrata de la Cala del Moli is all about an adrenaline rush. It is a walk above the waters through the formidable rocks that can be dangerously unforgiving if you lack protective gear and you don’t have ample upper body strength.
This is where you traverse mountains and cliffs with the aid of safety cables and harnesses. A helmet is a must to protect your head from the rocks falling from above. A sharp drop onto the cliffs will mark the beginning of the hiking until you reach the cliffs that lay directly below which are the dizzying waters.
It is an adventure that will make your heart race with fear, excitement, and thrill – all at the same time.
Caminito del Rey, Malaga
When it comes to finding the most famous hiking trail in Spain, perhaps Caminito del Rey in Malaga stands second to none! This 100-year old hike is one of the most spectacular ones that Spain has to offer. What makes it so special? It was once considered as the most dangerous pathway of the world that stood 350 feet above the winding river down below.
The hike was once a well-kept secret that was braved by adrenaline junkies and climbers but after recent restorations, it has become one of the most scenic hiking trails in Spain complete with glass-floored lookouts and wooden boardwalks.
If you are brave enough, you can jump off a canyon, albeit with safety cables! It is thrilling and it is dangerous at the same time. So, think before you jump off from the dizzying height!
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Pico Sobarcal, Pyrenees
With a difficulty level ranging from moderate to extremely hard, the Pico Sobarcal is one of the most sought-after hiking trails that will take you to the summit of 2,259 meters. Once you walk the trail and reach the peak, you will be greeted with breathtaking views of the mountains all around you.
The trail itself is not that difficult but when you approach the summit, things tend to become extremely difficult. Unless you are an expert mountaineer, reaching the summit can be a dream.
Ruta del Cares
If you are afraid of height, Ruta del Cares can be a little unnerving. With some bridges, narrow paths, and tunnels carved into the rocks, Ruta del Cares is one of the most beautiful and best hikes in Spain located in the Picos de Europa National Park.
The trail follows a beautiful river down below but the snaking trail often takes you close enough to the river. On your way, you will go through small mountain towns of Cain de Valdeon and Poncebos. Bear in mind that the hiking trail is long. You have a choice of hiking back or taking a taxi that will drive you back from the other side.
Mount Teide is the tallest mountain in the whole of Spain (including the mainland and the islands). Standing at 3,718 meters high, Mount Teide is located in the famous Las Canadas del Teide National Park.
There are numerous hiking trails out there and if you manage to brave one of them all the way up to the top of Mount Teide, you will be awe-struck by the view of the 80-meter crater. The only way you can see the crater is when you reach the top.
Mount Teide hiking trails will put you in the lap of raw and beautiful nature that you will end up appreciating forever.
Picos de Europa
You already read about the famous Ruta del Cares trail of the Picos de Europa but that isn’t the only one. There are 9 more with each of them having their own unique features. Some of the most famous ones being Covadonga Lakes, Brez Circular Route, Fuente Dé to Espinama, etc.
The shortest of all hiking trails are the Brez Circular Route, which is perfect for families with children. This particular route starts from and ends at Brez, a really pretty village.
If a day trip from Barcelona is on your mind, hiking Montserrat is perhaps your best option. Reaching the trailhead can be a little tricky but once you find it, the 5-kilometer trail will greet you with oddly-shaped rock formations and monasteries.
Montserrat is home to some of the most famous walking trails in Spain, with the most famous one being the one that leads to the Holy Cave monastery. But that’s not the only one! There are other famous trails like Saint Michael’s Cross Monastery, Hermites Ways, Saint John’s Funicular monastery, etc.
The Mulhacen is a part of Spain’s famous Sierra Nevada mountain range. Standing tall at 3,479 meters, it is the highest mountain in the Iberian peninsula and continental Spain. Needless to say, the Mulhacen is one of the best hikes in Spain that you can complete in two days or a single day!
Hiking is not that difficult but as you reach the summit, the elevation can become a bit tiring. Be prepared to be surprised by different temperatures as the altitude keeps increasing. As the ascent begins, the absence of trees will scream about the altitude that becomes starkly visible.
Nearing the summit, you will realize that dirty trail has turned into a rocky one, making things a tad difficult but worth braving!
Once you scale to the top, all the hardships will vanish in thin air and your senses will be filled with gratitude towards Mother Nature who will you with the inexplicable joy of the awe-inspiring views all around you!
Cami dels Bons Homes
The Cami dels Bons Homes or the Path of the Good Men is one of the most famous Spain hiking trails. It takes a staggering 5 days to complete this trail and should be trodden only by those who are experienced.
Starting in the south of France, the trail comes to an end at Berga, Catalonia. If you are ready to brave this trail, it will reward you with alluring views, breathtaking valleys, ancient ruins, and enchanting forests.
Just in case you want to experience a serene environment, avoid the peak season. Visit the place before the season begins or after it comes to an end!
Looking for the best hikes in Spain? Behold the Sierra Nevada! These mountain ranges offer an assorted collection of hiking trails, some of which are high difficulty trails while others are of medium difficulty or are easy hikes.
For instance, Trevenque (dubbed as The King), which is a 16 kilometers long walking trail, is the most formidable of all because of its difficult terrain.
If you want to explore the easy ones, Sierra Nevada has you covered with Cañada Sereno and Melegis with absolutely stunning natural settings and microclimates!
Even if you are the type of person who doesn’t have a big affinity for outdoor activities, you can try hiking in Spain at least once.
The country will not disappoint you and it may so happen that you may turn into an ardent lover of hiking! Whether you are looking for a long hike in Spain or you want to experience the best day hikes in Spain, the country’s vivid and rich geography can cater to all your needs!