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Guide to Walking in Spain

Experience Spain's diverse landscapes and cultural heritage on a walking holiday that promises an immersive and enchanting journey. From the stunning Pyrenees in the north to the sun-kissed trails of the Canary Islands in the south, Spain offers a wealth of walking adventures that cater to various preferences and abilities. With so much choice, it can be overwhelming - where's best to explore, at what time of year and how challenging will it be? Here's our guide to a walking holiday in Spain to help you choose your Spanish adventure.

Highlights of a Walking Holiday in Spain

Step into a world where mountainous landscapes, charming villages, cultural treasures, delicious food and sunshine converge to create the perfect setting for an unforgettable walking holiday in Spain. 

Spain's diversity is truly a highlight of walking holidays here. Whether you're trekking through the majestic Picos de Europa, tracing the Camino through breathtaking countryside, exploring the rugged Sierras of Costa Blanca, wandering through the volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands or discovering the charm of the white-washed villages in Majorca, each destination promises a uniquely captivating walking experience.

Stunning Scenery


The stunning landscapes and charm of this amazing country attract travellers from across the globe. Along the Costa Blanca coastline, there are imposing limestone mountains overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean shores. In the Picos de Europa, you'll find snow-capped peaks shining under the sun. The carved path in the Cares Gorge showcases nature's beauty. In the Canary Islands, rugged volcanic terrain creates a unique backdrop, with dramatic cliffs and lunar-like landscapes. In Spain's national parks, hawks, kestrels and golden eagles gracefully fly overhead, enhancing the already impressive scenery. These elements create a picturesque setting, perfect for a walking holiday.

Cultural Immersion


Spain's culture reflects a blend of influences from its diverse history. Flamenco music, with its lively rhythms, embodies the passionate spirit of Spanish expression. Festivals like La Tomatina and the Running of the Bulls bring Spanish streets to life with vibrant celebrations. Spain's artistic heritage, seen in the works of Gaudí and Velázquez, reflects its creativity and profound artistic depth. Yet, at the core of Spain's cultural identity is the warmth and hospitality of its people, their strong family and community bonds forming the essence of Spain's cultural wealth, welcoming both locals and visitors to experience its enduring charm and heritage.

Delicious Food


After a day of exploring Spain's stunning paths and trails, there's no better way to unwind and savour the day's adventures than by indulging in delicious local cuisine. From freshly prepared paella and delightful tapas to Madrid's hearty cocido stew, Spain boasts a diverse array of dishes that showcase its regional diversity. Olives, cured meats, and artisanal cheeses are staples of Spanish meals, with jamón ibérico highlighting the country's mastery in cured meats. As you dine amidst the lively chatter of locals and fellow travellers, you'll come to realize that dining in Spain is more than just a meal - it is a true celebration of flavours, reflecting the passion and pride Spaniards have for their cuisine.

Best Regions and Iconic Trails for a Spanish Walking Holiday


Majorca, often hailed as the 'jewel of the Balearics,' boasts a sunny paradise with an average of 300 days of sunshine annually, attracting visitors seeking sun, sea and sand. However, beyond its famous beaches, the island is a treasure trove of exploration. The Serra de Tramuntana, a rugged mountain range that plunges into the Mediterranean, is perfect for hiking amidst stunning scenery. Trails wind through the northwest coast, revealing hidden coves, quaint villages like Deia and Fornalutx and a taste of authentic island life. Local cuisine adds to the experience, with fresh, delicious dishes to enjoy at the end of each sunny days. Adventurous hikers can trek the historic Pilgrims Path, catching glimpses of majestic vultures at Cuber and finding solace at Lluc Monastery nestled in the mountains. For a mix of history and relaxation, exploring Palma's historical sites completes the island's diverse appeal as a Mediterranean getaway.

Camino de Santiago


The Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, is an ancient pilgrimage route that traverses the stunning landscapes of Spain, drawing pilgrims from all over the world. This historic trail culminates at the revered Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in the north western region of Spain. The journey offers not only a profound spiritual experience but also a remarkable adventure through diverse terrains, picturesque villages and cultural encounters. Pilgrims embark on various paths, the most famous being the Camino Francés, which stretches across 500 miles from the French border, passing through regions such as the Pyrenees, the meseta and the lush Galician countryside. The routes are adorned with historic towns, romanesque churches, mediaeval bridges and roman ruin, which provides pilgrims with a glimpse of Spain’s fascinating history and culture.


Picos de Europa

The Picos de Europa is a captivating region known for its rugged limestone formations and verdant meadows. One highlight is the awe-inspiring Cares Gorge, where a man-made path clings to the cliffs, offering breathtaking views of the landscape below. For an even more expansive perspective, take a cable car ride above the towering peaks to admire the vast panoramas. Explore the rich diversity of flora and geology that adds to the area's natural charm. A hike to the base of the iconic limestone peak, Naranjo de Bulnes, provides an up-close encounter with one of the region's most iconic landmarks. Spending a week exploring the Picos de Europa promises not just adventure, but an immersive experience that truly captures the essence of Spain.


Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca, nestled on Spain's eastern coast, is known for its sandy beaches and sunny weather and attracts visitors from all over the world. Explore the lesser-known Sierras for a week of walking adventures, discovering hidden gems such as the rugged limestone mountains of Sierra de Aitana, Serella, Aixorta and Bernia. Amidst these stunning landscapes, enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Alicante countryside. With its abundance of sunshine and serene surroundings, the Costa Blanca promises an unforgettable journey.


Canary Islands

Over 1,000km away from Spain's mainland, the Canary Islands are nestled within the heart of the North Atlantic Ocean. Boasting stunning weather and picturesque views of the ocean, the Canary Islands attract visitors from across the globe. These beautiful islands are not just idyllic beach destinations but also present an array of world-class walking experiences in extraordinary landscapes. From exploring hidden deserts in Lanzarote to conquering Spain's highest peak in Tenerife and hiking through La Gomera's volcanic terrains, the Canary Islands offer a diverse and captivating walking experience.


What is the Best Time of Year for a Walking Holiday in Spain?


The best time for a walking holiday in Spain largely depends on the region and the specific conditions you prefer. Generally, spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) are ideal for walking due to milder temperatures. During these seasons, Spain offers pleasant weather with fewer crowds and a beautiful display of natural colours.

In the south and central regions, such as Andalusia and parts of central Spain (including areas like Madrid and the Camino de Santiago), spring and autumn provide more moderate temperatures, making it comfortable for extended walks and hikes. Summer in these areas can be scorching, so walking during this time might be more challenging due to high temperatures.

For northern regions like the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa,  summer can be a fantastic time for a walking holiday. The warmer months usher in milder temperatures, creating an inviting atmosphere for outdoor exploration. Clear skies and extended daylight provide the perfect conditions for long, leisurely walks, offering hikers stunning vistas of lush greenery and panoramic landscapes. However, snow can persist in high-altitude areas during early summer.

The best time to visit Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands in Spain, typically aligns with the late spring to early autumn months. The island enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny weather throughout most of the year. The peak tourist season in Majorca usually spans from late spring to early autumn, roughly from May to September.

The Canary Islands offer pleasant weather year-round. Spring and autumn provide a comfortable climate with fewer crowds which makes it the perfect time for a walking holiday. Summer is great for beachgoers but attracts more tourists, and winter is milder, though weather might be inconsistent, especially in the north.

How difficult is a walking holiday in Spain?


Spain has a hugely diverse range of paths and trails catering to walkers of all abilities - ranging from leisurely trails along smooth tarmac and well-trodden paths to tough, off-road routes. Less experienced walkers will enjoy the Camino de Santiago’s trails that pass through breathtaking countryside, leading pilgrims along beautiful and historic routes. Self-guided walking on the Canary and Balearic Islands also offer more leisurely to moderate walking routes with plenty of time to explore the surrounding towns and villages that you pass.  

For those pushing themselves on trickier trails with tough terrains will enjoy the Picos de Europe - home to iconic trails that lead you towards towering summits. These paths reward adventurers with awe-inspiring panoramic mountain views and a tremendous sense of accomplishment. This more challenging journey caters to those seeking a rigorous hiking experience, where the trail presents varying elevations and requires preparations for overnight stays at higher altitudes. Designed for experienced hikers who enjoy the challenge of long, consecutive days on foot, these demanding routes may necessitate carrying a heavier backpack with overnight essentials or equipment for higher altitudes. 

Alternatives to Walking in the Spain


France offers a captivating array of diverse walking experiences. In the Chamonix Valley, take in the breathtaking views of Mont Blanc, Mer de Glace and stunning glacial lakes during a centre-based walking week. Ascend to the Aiguille du Midi on the Mont Blanc massif via a spectacular cable car and explore beautiful segments of the renowned 'Tour du Mont Blanc.' For a change of scenery, immerse yourself in the glamour and beauty of the French Riviera, ascending Cime de Baudon for panoramic views of the glistening Cote d’Azur and Maritime Alps. Dive into the splendour of the region, from the majestic gardens of Menton and the grand Prince's Palace of Monaco to the romance of Luberon and the Alpine mountains, evoking the scenes of Van Gogh's famous paintings. Delve deeper into local life by visiting bustling Provencal markets and discovering incredible Roman ruins amidst a vibrant arts culture in Arles, offering a different but equally enchanting walking experience in the heart of France.



Embark on an unforgettable walking holiday journey through Portugal's diverse landscapes and rich cultural tapestry. Immerse yourself in the rustic charm of Alto Douro at your own pace, exploring the serene countryside. Begin your journey with a scenic rail adventure from Porto to Peso da Régua, the gateway to Alta Douro, and stay in tranquil villages, experiencing the warm embrace of Portuguese hospitality. Discover Porto's rich history before wandering through serene orchards, olive groves and vineyards with stunning vistas. Explore the hills of Serra de Sintra and the vibrant city of Lisbon on foot, delving into its history through a private guided tour. Visit the stunning Pena Palace with its tropical gardens, stroll along the wild Atlantic coast to Cabo da Roca, Europe’s western edge, and hike the coastal trails of Algarve during a week-long self-guided walking expedition. Immerse yourself in Lagos' Age of Discovery heritage, trek the Great Coastal Path to Ponta de Piedade, and witness the graceful dance of flamingos in Ria Formosa National Park.

Cycling in Spain


For those who have their heart set on Spain, why not consider exploring this magnificent country on two wheels? Discover the hidden gems of Costa Blanca during a self-guided cycling holiday, pedalling from Alicante to Valencia, away from the bustling crowds. Cycle through mountain landscapes to the vineyards of Xalo and explore the beauty and wildlife of Marjal de Oliva-Pego and Albufera Natural Parks. In Southern Spain, journey to Cordoba and Seville, experiencing the region's wonders on bikes, from olive groves to traditional towns like Lucena and Baena. Uncover the vibrant coast and rural hinterland of Majorca during a self-guided cycling holiday, revelling in stunning island vistas and the inviting turquoise waters of C'an Picafort. For more diverse cycling adventures, explore the fantastic cycling routes of the Canary Islands, particularly Lanzarote, known as the 'different island,' with e-biking adventures, offering a unique and dynamic way to experience the island's terrain. 

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