Spain hiking trails

Spain Hiking Trails | 15 Most Epic Day & Multi-Day Walks

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Spain is a wonderful country to explore, home to extremely varied landscapes that range from snow-capped mountains to black sand deserts and volcanoes. With a fantastic climate throughout much of the country, amazing beaches, a fascinating culture, and a warm welcome in every village, Spain hiking trails are an incredible experience.

Spanish hiking trails come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from easy-going strolls to knee-trembling climbs along narrow mountain tracks! In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of Spain’s best hiking trails.

So, lace up your boots, grab your backpack, and let’s hit the trail!

Things to Keep In Mind When Hiking In Spain

Most major Spanish hiking trails are well-signed, with amenities along the way. However, some smaller, lesser-traveled paths can soon become quite confusing. As such, be sure to check your routes in advance, and use maps and apps to ensure you don’t get lost!

If you’re planning a multi-day hike, be advised that wild camping is tolerated in some parts of Spain, but illegal in others, so be sure to check in advance. You can find out more about wild camping in our handy guide.

The Best Time to hit Spain hiking Trails

Spain offers a good climate for hiking, with many routes open year round. However, it’s worth remembering that parts of the country, particularly mountainous areas, do experience snow and adverse weather in the winter. But, for the most part, you’ll need to make sure that you have decent sunglasses and plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.

In areas that do see bad weather, some routes may be closed from around October until April. On the flip side, the height of summer isn’t always the best time to hike in Spain. Temperatures rise quickly in the middle of the day, and the sun can become oppressive.

This can be a problem on hiking routes that don’t offer a lot of shade. If you do travel in summer, aim to hike in the early morning or late afternoon, and perhaps avoid the midday sun by taking a siesta!

Packing List: The Essentials

When you’re hiking in Spain, you’ll need all the usual gear, such as a decent backpacking backpack, sturdy boots, and comfortable hiking clothes that suit the conditions you expect to face. In addition, there are a few other essentials that you’ll probably need on Spanish hiking trails.

  • Good sunglasses;
  • Sunscreen;
  • A good daypack for day-hikes;
  • Wide brimmed hat;
  • Reusable water bottle;
  • GPS tracker for emergencies

We’ve only mentioned the bare bones here, but check out our multi-day hiking packing list for a more comprehensive guide.

Incredible Spain hiking trails to walk in a day

Spain is full of incredible hikes that you can complete in a day. Here are some top picks.

1. Caminito del Rey

  • Location: 60 km (37 miles) from Málaga
  • Distance: 10.3 km (6.5 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 526 m (1,725 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back

Known as the ‘Walkway of Death’, this iconic trek is one of the most well-known Spanish hiking trails. Winding through absolutely stunning scenery, the path follows a series of narrow boardwalks, fixed to the edge of the canyon, with sheer drops below! Recent renovations make the trail much safer than it used to be, but it’s still an exhilarating hike.

2. Ruta del Cares

  • Location: 110 km (68 miles) from Santander
  • Distance: 21.4 km (13 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 2,047 m (6,715 ft)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Type: Out and back

This trail is one of the best in the Picos de Europa National Park, boasting amazing scenery at every turn. The rugged path becomes narrow at times, as it clings to the side of the mountains, and proper hiking gear is recommended. Despite being a pretty tricky Spain hiking trail, it’s immensely popular, largely because of the incredible views of mountains, waterfalls, and vistas, along the way.

3. Peak of Mount Teide

  • Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands
  • Distance: 16.3 km (10 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 1,362 m (4,470 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate/difficult
  • Type: Out and back

This is a fantastic hike up to the summit of Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak, and an active volcano! The scenery is out of this world, and while the going can be tough at times, especially in the hot sun, the views from the top are well worth the effort. On a warm day, it’s an amazing trail to tackle in time for sunrise from the summit!

4. Pico Sobarcal

  • Location: 410 km (255 miles) from Barcelona
  • Distance: 14.6 km (9 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 1,090 m (3,576 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop

An incredible hike on the edge of the Pyrenees, the trail takes you right up into the mountains, eventually leading to the summit of Mount Sobarcal. Along the way, you’ll take in wildflowers, green sierras, and craggy mountains. The loop also crests the summit of mount d’Ansabere, before looping back on the other side of the valley, and eventually returning to the start point at Refugio de Linza.

5. Via Ferrata de la Cala del Moli

  • Location: 110 km (68 miles) from Barcelona
  • Distance: 2.74 km (1.7 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 72 m (236 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate/difficult
  • Type: Out and back

Via Ferrata more or less translates to ‘Iron Path’, and typically describes a protected climbing route. Strong, metal cables, rungs, and footholds make traversing tricky sections safe. This is one of the few Via Ferrata’s that is located on the coast, and it boasts magnificent views over the crystal clear waters below as you climb the orange granite cliffs of Sant Feliu de Guíxols. It’s definitely worth checking out and is definitely one of the most adventurous things to do in Spain.

6. Peak of the Mulhacen Mountain

  • Location: 90 km (56 miles) from Granada
  • Distance: 25.6 km (16 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 1,946 m (6,385 ft)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Type: Loop

Situated in the stunning Sierra Nevada national park, this fabulous trail takes you right up into the mountains. Along the way, you’ll encounter gently flowing rivers, rocky climbs, tranquil lakes, and beautiful mountain views. The path is rocky and steep in sections, so it’s good to be well-prepared, but the scenery is well worth the effort.

For more inspiration also check out our post on the 30 most incredible hiking trails of Europe

7. Simancón y El Reloj

  • Location: 130 km (80 miles) from Málaga
  • Distance: 9.7 km (6 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 767 m (2,515 ft)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Type: Loop

This is one of the Spain hiking trails that is not for the faint-hearted. Although the trail isn’t too long, it’s a tough one. You can approach it clockwise or counterclockwise, but either way, there’s a lot of steep climbing. It’s a great test of endurance, with amazing views to reward your efforts, especially when you reach the peak of Simancón. Expect rocky climbs and stunning wildflowers along the way!

8. Rio Chillar

  • Location: 60 km (37 miles) from Málaga
  • Distance: 12.4 km (8 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 413 m (1,355 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back

Following the Chillar River, this trail takes you through the Sierras de Tejeda and Almara National Park, eventually arriving at the fabulous Chillar waterfall. The trail gets a little soggy in places, with occasional ankle deep river crossings, and towards the end, there’s a bit of a climb, but nothing too steep. All in all, it’s a pleasant hike with excellent scenery.

9. Ruta Laguna Grande de Peñalara

  • Location: 65 km (40 miles) from Madrid
  • Distance: 10.5 km (6.5 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 625 m (2,050 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back

This is a brilliant Spain hiking trail for a moderate hike that takes in epic views of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park. It starts off fairly easy, winding through a gorgeous pine forest, before opening up to amazing panoramic views of the mountains. Look up to catch a glimpse of the famous Black Vultures. The route climbs up, eventually leading you to the stunning Peñalara Lake. In winter, the route is covered in snow, but it’s still accessible, and looks magical!

10. Beas de Granada — Granada

  • Location: Granada
  • Distance: 15.8 km (10 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 378 m (1,240 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Linear

This is a superb hike that takes you out of Granada and into the peaks that separate the city from the smaller town of Beas de Granada. It’s a one-way trail, but it’s easy to take a bus back to the start point. Accessible throughout the year, the views are fantastic, with snow capped peaks visible in winter, and rolling green vistas during the summer.

Amazing Multi-Day Spanish Hiking Trails

If you’d like to sink your teeth into a longer, more challenging adventure, there are some really awesome multi-day Spanish hiking trails to explore.

11. Camino de Santiago

  • Location: North Spain
  • Distance: 892 km (555 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 20,227 m (66,360 ft)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Type: Linear

This is arguably one of the most famous hiking trails in Spain, although the official starting point is actually in France. Beginning in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, the route soon leads into Spain, crossing forests, mountain passes, medieval villages, and stunning landscapes that sprawl for miles. This ancient Pilgrim walk through Spain is a real adventure, and a challenge that will generally take at least 30 days to complete.

12. GR131 — Canary Islands

  • Location: Canary Islands
  • Distance: 650 km (404 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 20,000 m (65,620 ft)
  • Difficulty: Difficult

The GR131 crosses all 7 of the Spanish Canary Islands, taking in amazingly diverse scenery, such as black sand deserts, tranquil beaches, volcanic mountain ridges, pine forests, and culturally rich villages and towns. You can choose in which order you want to do the 7 individual hikes in, and can of course split them up over the course of a few years. We’ve done our fair part of this trail already and so far these trails have definitely been among the best hikes we’ve done in Europe.

Click on one of the islands below to get access to the trail map in AllTrails:

13. GR92 — Costa Brava (via the Camí de Ronda)

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  • Location: Northeast coast of Spain
  • Distance: 582 km (362 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 632 m (2,075 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: 10 days

Spain’s Costa Brava (the wild coast) is a superb place to explore and stretch your legs on a moderate, mid-length multi-day hike. Along the way you’ll hug the beautiful Mediterranean coast, home to a myriad of secluded bays, and cool, inviting waters. This Spain hiking trail typically takes around 10 days, normally starting in the town of Portbou on the border with France, and ending in Pont de l’Olivar. About mid-way, you’ll pass through Barcelona.

14. Cami dels Bons Homes (GR107)

  • Location: The Pyrenees
  • Distance: 222 km (140 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 10,254 m (33,640 ft)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Duration: 13 days

This wonderful route follows the path taken by the last French Cathars, who fled to Spain to escape the inquisition. Starting in the French town of Foix, the trail leads through beautiful woodlands, before climbing into the Pyrenees mountains. Along the way, you’ll pass through medieval Cathar towns and villages, such as the legendary Montségur, immense mountain passes, rivers, and forests. The trail eventually ends in the historic town of Berga, and will typically take around 13 days to complete.

15. Pyrenees High Route (HRP) (Senderismo en el Alto Pirineo)

  • Location: West to east coast of Spain/France via the Pyrenees
  • Distance: 766 km (475 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 45,872 m (150,500 ft)
  • Difficulty: Very difficult

This epic trail is perhaps the best way to cross the Pyrenees in their entirety. Starting in the French town of Hendaye, on the west coast and on the Spanish border, the route winds in and out of Spain, France, and Andorra, before arriving in Banyuls-sur-Mer, on the French Mediterranean coast. Throughout this immense coast-to-coast hike, you’ll climb up into the Pyrenees, taking in spectacular views at every turn.

I hope you enjoyed reading through these 15 Spain hiking trails! If you have a question or want to recommend another epic hike in Spain, please let us know in the comments below!

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