Guide to Walking in Spain

Experience the rich tapestry of 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 catering to various preferences and abilities. But where's best to explore, at what time or year and in fact why? Here's our guide to a walking holiday in Spain.

Highlights of a Walking Holiday in Spain

Step into a world where alpine landscapes, charming villages, and cultural treasures converge to create the perfect setting for an unforgettable walking holiday in Austria. 

Nestled in the heart of Europe, Austria beckons walkers with its picturesque trails that wind through majestic mountains, serene lakes, and storybook towns. From the Tyrolean Alps to the Austrian Lakes District, each region offers a unique walking experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of this enchanting country. Below are just three of the reasons of why Austria should eb your next walking holiday destination.

Stunning Scenery


The beautiful scenery and allure of this incredible nation is what initially draws travellers into its wonderful grasp. The Costa Blanca coastline boasts dramatic limestone mountains that stand proudly, overlooking its stunning mediterranean shores. Nestled within the grand massifs of the Picos de Europa, you can witness breathtaking, snow-capped peaks glistening splendidly under the warm sun's embrace. The awe-inspiring sight of a carved path through the limestone in the Cares Gorge is a testament to nature's artistic prowess. In the skies above Spain's remarkable national parks,  hawks, kestrels, and golden eagles gracefully soar through the skies, adding a touch of grace to the already magnificent landscape. The harmonious blend of these elements forms a picturesque tapestry, and the perfect backdrop for a walking holiday.

Cultural Immersion


Vibrant and diverse, Spain’s culture reflects a profound blend of influences from its multifaceted past. Flamenco, with its rhythmic beats and soul-stirring melodies, encapsulates the fiery essence of Spanish expression. Beyond Flamenco, Spain's streets come alive during festivals such as La Tomatina and the Running of the Bulls, where exuberance and joy manifest the Spaniards' penchant for revelry and collective celebration, reflecting an ethos of shared community spirit. The artistic legacy of Spain, echoed in the intricate designs of Gaudí and the masterpieces of Velázquez, speaks volumes about the country's creative brilliance, innovation, and an unparalleled depth of artistic expression that has left an indelible mark on the world. However, the true heart of Spain's cultural identity lies in the warmth and openness of its people, their dedication to family and community values, which forms the very core of the intricate fabric of Spain's cultural richness, inviting both locals and visitors to partake in its boundless charm and heritage.

Delicious Food


After a day exploring the impressive network of paths and trails that span the country, there's no better way to unwind and savour the day's triumphs than with a delicious, heartwarming meal. From the sizzling pans of paella along the coastal regions to the hearty cocido stew in Madrid, Spain offers a rich tapestry of dishes that reflect the country's regional diversity. The aroma of garlic and paprika infuses the air, signalling the creation of exquisite tapa. Olives, cured meats, and artisanal cheeses offer a tantalising prelude to the main courses, while the world-renowned jamón ibérico showcases the country's mastery of cured meats. Whether indulging in fresh seafood on the coast or savouring the earthy flavours of hearty stews inland, dining in Spain is a celebration of flavours, reflecting the passion and pride the Spanish hold 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 since the 1960s. However, beyond its renowned beaches lies a multifaceted island ripe for exploration. The Serra de Tramuntana, a rugged mountain range that dramatically meets the Mediterranean, offers an ideal terrain for hiking amidst breathtaking landscapes. The well-marked trails wind through this north-western coastline, revealing picturesque coves, charming villages like Deia and Fornalutx, and a taste of traditional hospitality. Fresh, delectable local cuisine further enriches the experience, providing a winning combination for those eager to explore while basking in the sun. Keen walkers can follow the historic Pilgrims Path, witnessing the majestic flight of Black and Griffon vultures at Cuber and find respite in the tranquillity of Lluc Monastery nestled high in the Serra de Tramuntana. For those seeking a blend of history and relaxation, the opportunity to immerse oneself in Palma's historical tapestry while unwinding on sandy beaches completes the diverse allure of this Mediterranean gem.

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 northwestern 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 mesmerising region that boasts limestone pinnacles and lush pastures. Traverse the breathtaking 1500-metre deep Cares Gorge, following a remarkable man-made cliff-side path that provides an awe-inspiring perspective of the landscape. Ascend above the dominating limestone peaks by cable car to unveil sweeping vistas that encompass the region's grandeur. This region has an incredible Explore the diverse flora and geology, which adds to the intrinsic beauty of the Picos. A hike to the base of the iconic limestone peak, Naranjo de Bulnes, promises an encounter with one of the most emblematic landmarks in the area. A week-long journey in the Picos de Europa promises not only exploration but an immersive experience that captures the essence of Spain.


Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca, nestled along Spain's eastern coast, stands as a captivating tapestry of sun-drenched landscapes and azure Mediterranean waters. Renowned for its picturesque sandy beaches and crystalline waters, this region enjoys a sublime Mediterranean climate with over 300 days of sunshine each year, drawing in travellers from across the world. Charming towns and villages dot the coastline, exuding a blend of historic charm and modern vibrancy. Embark on an extraordinary week of exploration through the lesser-known Sierras, offering a remarkable walking holiday in a region that basks in over 300 days of sunshine. The Costa Blanca's hidden gems include the awe-inspiring limestone mountains of the Sierra de Aitana, Serella, Aixorta, and Bernia, each presenting dramatic and rugged landscapes waiting to be discovered. Amidst these breathtaking terrains, experience the Mediterranean allure of the Alicante countryside, where the landscape offers a harmonious blend of picturesque vistas and serene ambience. The region's serene beauty, combined with its abundance of sunshine, sets the stage for an unforgettable and rejuvenating journey through the hidden Sierras of the Costa Blanca.


Canary Islands

Over 1000 kilometres away from Spain's mainland, the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago, 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. Additionally, Fuerteventura provides a unique cycling opportunity, leading cyclists through unspoiled ecosystems, desert oases, and vast dunes.


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 (March to May, October to November) 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 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 forgiving trails that meander throughout the nation, leading pilgrims through some beautiful and historic routes. These routes allow you to explore Spain at your own pace, with time to enjoy the local cuisine.

For those looking to push themselves on tricky trails with tough terrains, the Picos de Europe is home to iconic trails that lead you through continuous climbs towards towering summits. These paths reward adventurers with breathtaking 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. Meant for experienced hikers who embrace the challenge of long, consecutive and hilly 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


For those seeking alternatives to a walking holiday in 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 amid breathtaking Azulejo tiles 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 this 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. Delight in the sounds of Flamenco as you pedal through old southern Spanish villages, and 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. Whether it's the diverse landscapes of the mainland or the unique charm of the Canary Islands, cycling holidays in Spain promise a thrilling and immersive exploration on two wheels.

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