When you think of a trip to Spain, you might picture big cities like Barcelona or Madrid. But the country is also home to some of the most beautiful natural topography in Europe. So, what better way to get to know Spain than through one of these amazing hikes?
1. Los Cahorros Monachil
Only five miles from Grenada, this moderately easy hike is suitable for all ages and levels. The path follows the Monachil river and affords views of waterfalls, caves, and the famous hanging bridges spanning the Los Cahorros Gorge. Visit it during summer to cool off in the rock pools along the path.
2. Caminito del Rey, Malaga
This difficult, four-hour hike runs from Ardales to Alora. It was once considered the most dangerous path in the world but has since been renovated. Since its reopening in 2015, it has become a much safer, but no less breathtaking, experience.
3. Camino de Santiago
Also known as the Way of St. James, this is the most famous path in Spain. It is a flat and easy 500-mile pilgrimage route with several starting points at the French border. The paths cross many rustic villages and beautiful views.
Expect to see many fellow pilgrims socializing along the way. The Camino leads to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which is the traditional burial place of Saint James.
Related Article: The Top 10 Hiking Trails in Argentina
4. Cumbre Vieja, La Palma
This path follows the volcanic ridge on La Palma and is an otherworldly experience. Consider bringing a guide, since volcanic landscapes can be dangerous.
You can traverse all 93 miles, but if you are looking for a shorter walk, choose the Route of the Volcanoes in the south. It is a moderately hard path, snaking around craters, rock formations, and volcanic lakes.
5. Las Canadas / Mount Teide
Mount Teide, in Las Cañadas del Teide National Park in the Canary Islands, is the tallest mountain in Spain. You can make the difficult hike up the mountain itself (with a guide) to see the 80-meter crater at the peak or choose one of the other walking trails in the park. Either way, you will be in for some incredible volcanic views.
Easily accessible from Barcelona as a day trip, Montserrat Mountain is home to Santa Maria de Montserrat, an abbey steeped in religious tradition. Many believe Montserrat is the hiding place of the Holy Grail, and the abbey is also home to La Moreneta (the Black Madonna).
Related Article: Easy Homemade Vegan Pasta Recipe
7. The Mulhacén, Sierra Nevada
If you are looking for a day hike near Granada, consider the Mulhacén, which is the highest mountain in the Iberian Peninsula and has various trails at varying levels of difficulty. The southern face of the mountain holds the easiest trail which only takes a few hours to complete.
An easy and fun hike, the Peñalara takes three to four hours. It is located near Madrid in the Sierra de Guadarrama. The trail cuts through the Parque Natural de Peñalara, where you will see glacial peaks and lots of wildlife, including various reptiles.
9. Pico Sobarcal, Pyrenees
Pico Sobarcal is located in northern Aragon. The hike is of moderate difficulty and takes seven hours, but near the summit, the trail is difficult and should be reserved for advanced mountaineers. If you can reach the top, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the French Pyrenees Mountains.
Related Article: The Top 10 Hiking Trails in Italy
10. Ruta del Cares, Picos de Europa
Known as the Divine Gorge, this 7.4-mile hike is moderate, though mostly flat, and winds along the side of the gorge. The path crosses many bridges and beautiful streams.
The Ruta del Cares runs through the Picos de Europa National Park. This path is considered one of the most picturesque in all of Europe, affording views of dramatic limestone mountaintops, amazing wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes.