The beauty of some of the best hikes in Spain undoubtedly lies in how delightfully sunny the country is. So much so that us visitors from all over Europe (and indeed the world over), unfailingly make the annual summer pilgrimage in search of said sunshine and warm weather.
To put it simply, we all love ourselves a good old-fashioned, sunny, Spanish holiday.
It’s just so much more fun to go on a hike when the weather’s great and once you throw in the fact that Spain is actually home to some spectacular and rather varying landscapes (the dense green forests of the Basque Country looks nothing like the dry and arid landscapes further down south in Almeria – google “Tabernas Desert” and you’ll see exactly what I mean).
It is so much easier to flock to Spanish cities (I mean, it is where the airports are after all) but if you want to try to explore Spain in all its beauty and sink your teeth properly into Spanish culture, then a hike here is absolutely something that you need in your travel plans the next time you’re in Spain.
With that, here are the 12 best hikes in Spain you need to go on!
1.) Ruta del Cares
More popularly known as The Divine Gorge, this 12-km hike is fairly moderate and leads you along a winding path carved into the side of the gorge’s rock that crosses over a number of rather picturesque streams.
Beginning in Poncebos and ending in Cain, this is typically known by many as not just one of the best hikes in Spain but also as one of the best in all of Europe!
2.) Pico Sobarcal
At just over 2,200 meters, Pico Sobarcal is fairly moderate for the majority of the hike, after which it swiftly changed to difficult / expert level towards the summit.
The good news with that, of course, is that you don’t have to do the entirety of the hike and can always turn back once you feel out of your comfort zone.
For those who are skilled enough to scale the rocks up to the very top, you’ll find yourself rewarded with quite a spectacular panoramic view of the French Pyrenees Mountains.
Suffice to say, this viewpoint makes for quite an excellent spot to stop to rest up, perhaps even energise yourself on whatever hiking treats you’ve brought up with you and essentially slowly take in those amazing views before beginning the scrambling descent back to the bottom.
3.) Camino de Santiago
Also known as the Way of Saint James, this is not only one of the best hikes in Spain but also one of its most famous.
There are a number of different spots where you can begin your journey so you have a fair bit of flexibility as to where you wanna be based when you do this.
On this hike, you essentially follow a path that has served as an ancient route for religious pilgrims making their way to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Why? Well, this is rumoured to be the final resting place of Saint James, who served as a faithful disciple of Christ.
4.) Camino del Rey
Also known as the King’s Road, this is a strenuous 3-km hike that is not recommended for anyone with a fear of heights as the pathway for this hike will see you literally clinging to the side of a spectacularly beautiful gorge.
A lack of repairs once made this a very dangerous path in a fair few areas (it was actually dubbed the world’s most dangerous walkway), however, following years of restoration to drastically improved the trail’s condition, this hike was officially re-opened in 2015.
Suffice to say, if adrenaline fuelled hikes aren’t your thing (and it really doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t), then this is really not the hike for you.
This is a fairly easy yet fun hike to do. That being said, allow anywhere from three to four hours to complete it.
As it’s located just outside of Madrid, it makes sense to tie in a visit to the city with this hike. (Though it can get pretty hot in the middle of summer so be sure to check the weather forecast before you head out).
The path takes you on a tour through Penalara Natural Park, which contains a number of glacial peaks that can be climbed if you’re looking for more of a challenge.
6.) Via Ferrata de la Cala del Moli
A Via Ferrata essentially translates in to “Iron Path” (confusingly) from Italian. There’s a good reason why the whole Italian thing as essentially, Via Ferrata have kinda existed informal ways in the Alps but it was the Italians who essentially made it more mainstream following their use of it during the war.
Completing a Via Ferrata essentially involves you strapping yourself to a steel cable (for safety) and scaling a mountain and it can range from rather easy to ridiculously hard. (We did an easy one to start with so when I saw it’s easy, I really mean it).
The Via Ferrata de la Cala del Moli will lead you on a sheer drop pathway over the Mediterranean Sea, as well as over scenic bridges and wooden pathways.
Now, although you are able to do this hike without a professional guide, if you’re totally new to rock climbing (or indeed, just unfamiliar with the general area), you will get far more out of it by opting for a guided hike.
7.) Route of the Volcanoes
Located on the island of La Palma, this 17.5-km Canary Island trek is fairly difficult, leading you to volcanic craters just waiting be explored.
The otherworldly rock formations here (it’s absolutely beautiful) coupled with volcanic lakes and even active lava flow is enough to make you feel as though you are on some sort of amazing alien landscape.
Suffice to say, as you’re hiking amongst volcanoes here, getting a guide who’s familiar with the area is most definitely recommended.
Located in Catalonia, Montserrat Mountain is home to Santa Maria de Montserrat, an abbey has many sacred connotations. Not only is it the location of La Moreneta, or the Black Madonna, some even believe this may be the hiding spot of the Holy Grail!
A short walk from the Abbey will lead you to a nearby cave where it is said that La Moreneta originally appeared in a vision to a group of young kids.
It’s also one of the best hikes in Spain thanks to its easy access from Barcelona, making it great for a day of exploration outside of the gorgeous city. (If you are in Barcelona though, here’s what you need to see in the city).
The Abbey and cave are pretty amazing but it is worth noting that the spectacular views from the summit are also pretty great reasons to head up this mountain hike.
9.) Beas de Granada
As the name of this hike implies, this route will take you between Beas and Granada through a rather scenic mountain ridge.
Fairly easy in pace, it does take about two days to complete, with stunning views to be taken in along the way as your reward for doing this rather long hike.
The main highlight of this hike is without a doubt the panoramic views of the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range.
It is also worth noting that although the trek is more difficult in the winter due to snow and ice, it is also arguably prettier, as the snow-capped mountains are something out of a postcard. (I’d actually just recommend doing this hike in warmer months and if you’re really into that amazing view – come back in winter and just drive up to it. 😀 ).
10.) Mount Teide
At over 3,700 meters, this is the tallest mountain in all of Spain! Located on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Mount Teide is not a cake-walk and you need to allow at least a day or two to make the difficult climb to the top, where you can explore lava chutes and walk along the rim of a gigantic caldera.
The view from the top of Teide are absolutely stunning (as you can probably imagine, given its height) and is arguably one of the best views in the Canary Islands for those willing to make that hike to the top.
11.) Cami dels Bons Homes
This trail begins in France and ends in Catalonia, and is one of the best hikes in Spain for its fantastic mix of history as well as sheer natural beauty!
Also known as the Path of the Good Men, this is the ancient road that was used by Cathars who were seeking refuge from the brutality of the infamously bloody Inquisition.
Over a span of five to six days, you will go through ever-changing landscapes from forests and meadows right through to deep valleys. Be sure to keep your eyes out for deer and other wildlife as you make your way through.
12.) Los Cahorros Monachil
This is one of the best hikes in Spain as its brilliant for hikers of all ages and abilities.
On the Los Cahorros Monachil hike, you will find yourself traipsing through the hanging bridges that span over Los Cahorros Gorge, along a moderately easy pathway that provides you with everything from pretty impressive waterfalls to rock tunnels and pools that are without a doubt much welcome cooling-off spots during the summer heat.
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