When you hear ‘Spain’ most people think of the crowded and touristy Costas, or the Balearic or Canary islands, but there is so much more to this country than its typical seaside resorts.
One of the best ways to uncover all that it has to offer is to go on a walking tour – and there are certainly plenty to choose from. We’re going to give you a rundown of three of our favourite options, but if you’d like to see a more comprehensive list click here.
Walking in the Picos de Europa
The Picos de Europa National Park is one of Spain’s hidden gems in terms of walking destinations. This vast protected area (which is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) spans 64,660 hectares and encompasses beautiful wilderness areas, agricultural land (where traditional farming techniques are still used) and small villages.
There are towering mountains, serene lakes, verdant forests and fertile valleys for you to explore on foot here. Among the highlights of a walking tour in the national park is the chance to get close to the Naranjo de Bulnes peak – a huge orange-coloured mountain that dominates the landscape – and a trek along the Cares Gorge, a 12 km long cleft in the landscape that is over 1,000 m deep in places.
Hiking in the Sierra de Aracena
The Sierra de Aracena National Park is another of Spain’s wonderful natural attractions that deserves to be explored on foot. This too is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with the landscape primarily made up of rolling hills and valleys, with a large amount of forest coverage. In fact, this is one of the biggest areas of protected forest in Europe.
Hiking allows you to truly appreciate the untouched beauty of the place – you’ll make your way along winding trails in the valleys that will bring you to pretty villages or lead you past steep gorges and through thick swathes of woodland.
One of the nice things about going on a trekking tour in this part of Spain is that you’ll have the option to explore some of the country’s most picturesque villages, as well as one of its most stunning cities – Seville. There are good transport links to the Andalucian capital, making it easy to arrange a day trip to discover its sights and sounds – don’t miss the cathedral or the Royal Alcazar of Seville.
Gastronomy and hiking between Bilbao and Barcelona
This route between two of Spain’s amazing cities – Bilbao and Barcelona – is the ultimate choice if you’re something of a foodie. Over the course of ten days you’ll hike through the Basque Country, La Rioja and Catalunya, stopping along the way to sample locally produced wines and regional delicacies.
As if all that wasn’t enough, there’s plenty of history and culture thrown into this trip, not only thanks to the time spent in Bilbao and Barcelona, but also because you’ll follow a section of the famous Camino Santiago pilgrimage route. Among the places you can visit along the way are the Santa Maria de Real monastery, the Ontanon Wine Museum, the monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the pretty village of Siurana, which was one of the last Moorish strongholds in Spain.
You’ll round off your trip with a couple of days in Barcelona – an amazing city that boasts plenty of art, culture and history, as well as outstanding restaurants, lively bars and beautiful beaches.
If you have any other fantastic options for hiking in Spain, let us know!