Hiking in SPAIN

Discover parts of Spain you have never heard before

Spain has around 25% of its area 1000m above sea level, being the second country with greatest extent of total mountain areas. Thousands of kilometres of paths, a huge diversity of landscapes and climates allows to explore Spain all year round. Hiking in Spain will give you an unforgettable experience

Beyond the coastal resort cliché, Spain has 15 incredible National Parks with hundreds of paths to discover glacial valleys, steep mountains, narrow canyons, dramatic volcanic landscapes, cliffed coasts and of course endless beaches. These are surrounded by historical villages from fisherman’s settlements to isolated rural Romanic villages in the Pyrenees. Hiking in Spain is an experience you cannot miss!

Practical Information

How to get around

To do hitch-hike in Spain is allowed as far as you are doing it on a secondary road. Hitchhiking in highways and dual carriageway is forbidden even doing it in petrol stations. For doing long distances is recommended to do hitchhike in the entrance of the motorways before the traffic signal that indicates that you are getting in the motorway. Travellers have to assume the risk of doing hitchhike knowing that is not entirely safe. In general, Spanish people believe that hitch-hike is not allowed and added to the distrust that has been rising between the population against hitchhikers make having a ride harder than expected. 

Blablacar is very used for medium-long distance travel, especially between cities and mountain regions. Also in the countryside where there are fewer buses and prices are higher taking bus than Blablacar. Normally between cities is cheaper with a bus.

The airlines Ryanair, Iberia and Vueling have national flights that can sometimes be cheaper than buses or trains.

The price of the petrol in Spain is cheaper than in many countries of Europe and renting a car can be really cheap if booking in advance.

Public transport

Finally for travelling between regions of Spain can be used bus companies as Alsa (the one that offers more connections), Avanzabus, Lycar, Daibus, Hife and Socibus.  

The train company Renfe is the one that operates almost all the trains. The company offers several types of trains that have a variety of names. The main ones are AVE (High-Speed trains), Long distance trains (Avant, Alvia, Alaris, Arco and Altaria) Media Distancia (Regional ones) and Cercanías (train service between the cities and suburbs). 

The price of the petrol in Spain is cheaper than in many countries of Europe and renting a car can be really cheap if booking in advance.

How to get

Spain is well connected with different ways of transportation as by plane, by boat, by train and by bus.

Flying to Spain is normally the fastest way to travel and many different Airlines connect Spain worldwide. The national airlines Vueling, Iberia and Air Europa and the foreign Airlines as Ryanair, Norwegian and Easy Jet are the most used to travel to Spain.

There are boat connections between Barcelona and Italy with Grimaldi Lines. Between the north coast and UK operates Brittany Ferries. Between the south coast and Morocco operate Armas and Trasmediterranea.

The connection by train is possible from France with high-speed trains and from Portugal with regular trains of the Spanish company Renfe.

Spain is really well connected with a wide road network that includes thousands of kilometres of motorways. The bus companies that operate between Spanish cities and the rest of Europe are Alsa, Eurolines and Flixbus.

Accomodation at mountain

Wild camping or bivouac is regulated by every town and rural municipality and it’s hard to know all the regulations but in general, is NOT allowed. At some natural parks is allowed to pitch a tent from 20:00 to 8:00 above a determinate altitude. There are also a few camping areas where is free but regulated to set a tent. Each area has its regulation and requirements.

Campings are very extended all around the geography. The price of these campings mainly depends on where it is located and the facilities it offers.

Mountain huts are found in Natural and National Parks and some of them are open and free. Others are owned by the Spanish Federation of Mountaineering (FEDME) or by mountain clubs and paying is required to overnight. The open huts are normally really basic and few of them have beds with mattresses and a nice fireplace.

In the guarded mountain huts you can have a shower, in some of them charge batteries and have a meal.

Accomodation at cities

Couchsurfing in Spain is useful and easy in general thanks to the number of hosts except in rural areas.

Hostels for backpackers are basically found in cities but in many villages, there are small hotels where a double room costs around 50€. At many villages,  Airbnb can be a good option to have in mind. If you still haven’t used Airbnb remember to register with the following link to get 25€ off for your next trip here!

What to see and do in Spain

Spain offers an infinite number of possibilities to hike and to discover its culture. Explore the cliffy north coast with the impressive green landscapes and with wild mountains as Picos de Europa and other Natural Parks. Take a rest hiking in Costa Brava surrounded by cliffs and transparent water after hiking in the Pyrenees.

In addition, escape from big cities and go to Montserrat, Sierra Nevada, Sierra de Gredos, Sierra de Cazorla or Sierra de Guadarrama and live the adventure of hiking in Spain.

When to go hiking in Spain

The best moment to hike in Spain is generally in Spring and Autumn especially, in low and medium altitude hikes. At summer temperatures can be really high. As a result, in the north coast, in the Pyrenees and other big massifs is recommended to hike during summer.

Weather

Spain has different climates that go from the Atlantic climate to the subtropical climate. The north has an Atlantic climate that makes a cool humid and rainy. The central part has a continental climate with cool winters and hot temperatures and dry weather during summers. Mediterranean coast has a mild climate where temperatures at winter are mild and at summer can be very high. In the south coast, temperatures can reach more than 40 C. The rainiest months are during spring and fall (March-April-May and October-November-December)

Dangers and tips while hiking in Spain

In the north of Spain is possible to see bears and wolves in the wildness. Attacks by these mammals are very rare to happen. Is possible to come across with Wild boars but they will escape from you. Five different species of snakes are venomous, for more information visit Iberia Nature.

Be aware of the weather conditions while hiking in Spain, heavy rain may cause flash floods in steep valleys and especially during summer in dry (torrents) where the water runs only the day it rains heavily but it can be really strong and powerful

Is recommended to avoid hiking during the hottest time of the day in July and August.

If you are planning to hike at high altitudes notice that snow can be above 2000m until ends of May and above 2500 is possible to find some permanent snow and even some glaciers all year round.

Also protect your skin from the sun, all year round. During summer when temperatures can reach 40ºC avoid hiking at midday.

 

Worth routes Hiking in Spain