Spain is a great place to go walking, trekking and hiking throughout the year, with many different places to visit. The map opposite shows the main walking areas in Spain, these being The Pyrenees, the Picos de Europa in northern Spain, the Tramuntana Mountains in Mallorca, or the volcanic islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands.
The Pyrenees are a narrow band of wild mountains that form a natural border between Spain and France. The GR11 long distance walking path traverses the Pyrenees from Irun on the Atlantic coast to Cap de Creus on the Mediterranean coast, and is 820km long. There many areas of great beauty with the Pyrenees, including two National Parks, which are Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park and the Aigüestortes National Park.
The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park provides some of the best walking and hiking in the Pyrenees, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage designation. Ordesa is famous for its 3,000m deep glacial valleys that are capped by Monte Perdido standing at 3,355m high.
The Aigüestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici National Park consists of hundreds of lakes and waterfalls, as well as many peaks over 3,000m high. Here there are many easy walks around the lakes or longer and harder walks in the mountains.
The Cantabrian Mountains are located in the northern coastal area of Spain. Here there are two great walking areas, the Picos de Europa National Park, and the Ubinas massif mountain range. The Picos have a great network of clearly signposted walking routes throughout the National Park, where you will find lakes, gorges and the highest peak of Torre de Cerredo (2,648m). The Ubinas massif mountain range has 45 peaks over 2,000m high and is easily accessible from the main towns in central Asturias in northern Spain.
Mallorca has a huge network of trails and paths, which includes the GR221 that traverses the Tramuntana Mountains from Port d'Andratx in the south west to Pollenca in the north west of Mallorca. The GR221 long distance path generally follows dry stone terraces that are lined with olive groves, and is known as the “GR221 Dry Stone Route”. There are many more trails in the Tramuntana Mountains with many peaks over 1,000m, including Puig Major (1,450m).
The Sierra de Gredos is little known outside of Spain but is less than 2 hours’ drive to the west of Madrid. The Sierra de Gredos mountain range is a granite massif that contains the highest and wildest mountains in central Spain. The highest peak is called Almanzor at 2,592m. However the walking in the Sierra de Gredos is not just about high mountains, as there are 5 major valleys that offer easier walks through pleasant meadows.
Andalucia in southern Spain is surprisingly mountainous with the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west of Granada, and the Montes de Malaga to the north of Malaga. With their close proximity to the holiday resorts on the south coast these mountain ranges are ideal to include a few days walking as part of your general holiday.
The Canary Islands offer a great range of walking and hiking opportunities. The GR131 long distance walking path links all 7 Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, Fuerteventura, La Palma, Lanzarote, and El Hierro) to create a walking route of intense diversity. As well as the GR131 walking path, all the Canary Islands have a great network of waymarked walking trails that are both long and short.Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and it offers a great range of walking and hiking opportunities. Tenerife is home to Spain’s highest mountain, the dormant volcanic mountain of Mount Teide at 3718m high. Tenerife also offers some spectacular coastal walks around the Island amongst valleys, hidden beaches, steep cliffs and even banana plantations.