The 12 best hikes in Spain that you have to experience – only with hand luggage
The beauty of some of the best walks in Spain undoubtedly lies in how gloriously sunny the country is. So much so that visitors from all over Europe (and even the whole world) will inevitably succeed in the annual summer pilgrimage in search of the sunshine and warm weather.
To put it simply, we all love a good old, sunny, Spanish holiday.
It's just so much more fun to hike when the weather is nice and considering the fact that there are indeed some spectacular and varied landscapes in Spain (the dense green forests of the Basque country do not look dry and dry out) Landscapes further south in Almeria – google "Tabernas Desert" and you'll see exactly what I mean).
It's so much easier to flock to Spanish cities (I mean, there are the airports), but if you want to explore Spain in all its beauty and really immerse yourself in the Spanish culture, then this is definitely a hike You will need it in your travel plans the next time you are in Spain.
So here are the 12 best hikes in Spain you need to keep going!
1.) Ruta del Cares
This 12-kilometer hike, popularly known as The Divine Gorge, is fairly moderate and takes you on a winding path carved into the cliff face and crossing a series of picturesque streams.
It starts in Poncebos and ends in Cain and is considered by many to be not only one of the best walks in Spain, but also one of the best in Europe!
2.) Pico Sobarcal
At just over 2,200 meters, Pico Sobarcal is quite moderate for the most part of the hike, whereupon it quickly changes to the summit to a difficult / expert level.
The good news, of course, is that you will not have to cover the entire hike and be able to reverse any time you retire from your comfort zone.
For those skilled enough to climb the rocks to the top, you'll be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the French Pyrenees.
Suffice it to say that this vantage point is an excellent place to stop to rest, perhaps even take in the hiking adventures you have brought along, and basically enjoy those breathtaking views slowly before you begin the descent down.
3.) Way of St. James
Also known as the Way of St. James, this is not only one of the best walks in Spain, but also one of the most famous.
There are a number of different places where you can start your journey, so you have a degree of flexibility about where you want to be when you do this.
On this walk, you will essentially follow a path that served as an ancient path for religious pilgrims on the way to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Why? It is rumored that this is the final resting place of Saint James, who served as the faithful disciple of Christ.
4.) Camino del Rey
This strenuous 3km hike, also known as the King's Road, is not recommended for those with vertigo, as you literally cling to a spectacularly beautiful gorge on your way to this hike.
Lack of repairs made this route a very dangerous route in a few areas (it was called the most dangerous footpath in the world). After years of restoration to drastically improve the condition of the road, however, it was officially reopened in 2015.
Suffice to say, if adrenaline-packed hikes are not your thing (and it really does not matter if it's or not), then this really is not the hike for you.
This is a pretty easy but fun hike. Apart from that, you should plan for three to four hours.
As it is located just outside of Madrid, it makes sense to join this walk with a visit to the city. (Although it can get pretty hot in the middle of summer, read the weather forecast before you drive off.)
The trail takes you through the Penalara Natural Park, which contains a series of glaciers that can be climbed if you are looking for a bigger challenge.
6.) Via Ferrata de la Cala del Moli
A via ferrata essentially means "iron path" (confusing) from the Italian. There is a good reason why all Italian climbing in the Alps existed informally, so to speak, but it was the Italians who made it mainstream through their use during the war.
Filling in a via ferrata essentially requires that you tie yourself to a steel cable (for safety reasons) and climb a mountain. This can be pretty easy to ridiculously difficult. (We made it easy when I saw it was easy, I really mean it).
The Via Ferrata de la Cala del Moli leads you on a steep path across the Mediterranean, as well as over picturesque bridges and wooden paths.
Although you can do this hike without a professional guide, you will have much more if you are not yet familiar with climbing (or if you are unfamiliar with the general area) by choosing a guided hike.
7.) Route of the volcanoes
This 17.5 km long hike on the island of La Palma is quite difficult and leads you to volcanic craters just waiting to be explored.
The otherworldly rock formations here (it's absolutely beautiful), paired with volcanic lakes and even active lava flow, make you feel like you're in an amazing alien landscape.
If you walk between volcanoes here, it is definitely recommended to get a guide who is familiar with the area.
On the mountain Montserrat in Catalonia is Santa Maria de Montserrat, an abbey with many sacred connotations. It is not just the place of La Moreneta or the Black Madonna, some even believe that this is the hiding place of the Holy Grail!
A short walk from the abbey will take you to a nearby cave where, allegedly, La Moreneta originally appeared in a vision for a group of small children.
It is also one of the best walks in Spain, as it is easy to reach from Barcelona and is perfect for a day out of the beautiful city. (However, if you are in Barcelona, you should consider the following in the city).
The abbey and the cave are quite amazing, but it is worth noting that the spectacular views from the top are also pretty good reasons to start this mountain hike.
9.) Beas de Granada
As the name of this hike suggests, this route between Beas and Granada takes you through a scenic ridge.
The pace is relatively easy, it takes about two days, and breathtaking views are the reward for this rather long hike.
The highlight of this hike is undoubtedly the panoramic view of the entire Sierra Nevada.
It is also worth mentioning that the hike in winter is more difficult due to snow and ice, but also prettier, as the snow-capped mountains are something of a postcard. (I would really only recommend doing this walk in the warmer months, and if you're really looking forward to this fantastic view – come back in the winter and just drive up.)
10.) Climb the Teide
At over 3,700 meters, this is the highest mountain in Spain! On Tenerife in the Canary Islands, the Teide is not child's play, and you need to plan at least a day or two to make the difficult climb to the summit where you can explore lava slides and wander along the edge of a giant caldera.
The view from the top of the Teide is absolutely breathtaking (as you might imagine in view of its altitude) and is arguably one of the best views in the Canary Islands for those willing to take this hike up.
11.) Cami dels Bons Homes
This route starts in France and ends in Catalonia and is one of the best walks in Spain for its fantastic blend of history and natural beauty!
Also known as the Path of the Good Men, this is the ancient road used by Cathars seeking refuge from the brutality of the bloody Inquisition.
Within five to six days, you will be crossing new landscapes from forests and meadows all the way to deep valleys. Be careful not to watch out for deer and other wildlife when setting out.
12.) Los Cahorros Monachil
This is one of the best walks in Spain as it is great for hikers of all ages and abilities.
On the Los Cahorros Monachil trek, you hike through the suspension bridges that stretch across the Los Cahorros gorge, on a moderately easy path that offers everything from stunning waterfalls to rock tunnels and pools that are undoubtedly a welcome respite are -off spots during the summer heat.
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