Spain really is one of my favourite countries to visit in Europe.
It’s so sunny, it’s so culturally vibrant, it’s got bucket loads of history but, most of all, the views and landscapes are out of this world.
And what better way to enjoy them than via one of the epic walks in Spain?
From mountain manoeuvring to coastal strolls, multi-day treks to day trip hikes, Spain has a ton of epic walks to choose from, with each offering something different in this highly diverse country.
Plus walking is, of course, the best way to get off the beaten track and see more authentic parts of Spain away from the tourist crowds.
So if you’re looking to enjoy a trip to this fantastic country that involves dusting off your hiking boots, then my list of the top 7 walks in Spain is the perfect place to seek some inspiration!
Let’s get stuck in…
- How to See the Best of Spain in a Week
- Ultimate 3 Day Barcelona Itinerary
- Perfect 10 Day Andalusia Itinerary
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#1 Camino de Santiago
Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias & Galicia
Coming on at number 1 on this list of the best walks in Spain, it is of course the famous Camino de Santiago.
Probably the most popular of the trails on this list, it was impossible not to mention, because this ancient multi-week walking route really is worth all the hype.
Spanning over 800km, there’s no question this is one heck of a long walk (taking most people around a month to complete), but actually, most of it is pretty flat and easy.
Comprised of several different routes, including a number of historic pilgrimage trails, the official start is in Saint Jean Pied de Port on the Spanish / French border, but you can actually begin your walk anywhere along the trail – even just enjoying a day or 2 of it if you’re not up to the whole thing!
If you do undertake the whole Camino, then you’ll pass through the great cities of Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos and León along the way.
And that’s because the main focus of this Spanish walk, and where all the 13 trails converge, is Galicia – home to the fabled Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and the shrine of the apostle Saint James.
If truth be told, this is not of the best walks in Spain if you’re looking to get off the beaten track – you’ll meet many other travellers / hikers / pilgrims undertaking it at the same time as you – but it is a deliciously iconic one that I couldn’t not mention on this list!
#2 Caminito del Rey, Andalusia
And now we move to something very different, both in terms of location, length and difficulty!
For starters, the Camino del Rey is a walk in the south of Spain in the wonderful region of Andalusia.
Closest to the fab city of Malaga – and easily accessible from there – this day walk is located in the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes – a gorge carved out by the river Guadalhorce.
An 8km trail formed from a series of walkways that hang 100m above the gorge floor on a 700m sheer cliff face, this is certainly not one for the faint-hearted!
But it is totally unique, utterly exhilarating and the views are incredible.
Once thought to be one of the most dangerous hikes in the world – there’s plenty of horror stories if you want to Google them, although I advise not! – the trail has now been completely restored and offers a much safer experience that still promises a real sense of adventure.
That said, you’ll still be required to wear a helmet to undertake it and allow at least 3-4 hours!
Definitely one of the best walks in Spain, this linear trail requires a ticket…. and they sell out fast so I really advise booking this one a few weeks / months in advance here.
If you want to take a guide to help you navigate the trail – which I certainly advise too – it’s possible to book a day trip to Caminito Del Rey, which includes transport to the trailhead… something which makes the whole experience a lot easier to arrange!
Check out these top options for more info…
- From Seville: Caminito del Rey Full-Day Hike
- From Granada: Caminito Del Rey Day Trip
- From Málaga: Caminito del Rey Full-Day Tour
Otherwise, you can also access the trail independently by taking a train from Malaga to El Chorro village and from there, a shuttle bus which will drop you off at the entrance of the trail.
#3 Ruta Del Cares, León & Asturias
Back in the north of the country now, the Ruta del Cares is absolutely one of the top walks in Spain you should certainly have on your bucket list.
Situated in the Picos de Europa – a mountain range that forms part of the Cantabrian Mountains – the Ruta Del Cares is a 12km day hike that spans the regions of León and Asturias.
Another linear trail, it begins in the village of Poncebos and finishes in the village of Caín.
Between these 2 points, you’ll be walking along a spectacular path cut into a natural formation known as the Divine Gorge… which should give you some idea of how impressive the scenery here is!
In a fairly remote region, it’s definitely best to attempt this hike with a car.
Having your own wheels will also give you the chance to explore many of the gorgeous villages and towns to be found in this mountainous area too.
#4 Gr221, Mallorca
If you thought the Spanish island of Mallorca was all about package tourists drinking cocktails by the pool, then think again!
The glorious Balearic gem actually offers a huge range of active adventures too – from cycling and sailing to, yes you guessed it, hiking.
The best spot to head if you want to enjoy a more outdoorsy trip that takes in the best of the island’s scenery, is the northwest of Mallorca, with its stunning Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.
And it’s here you’ll find the amazing GR221 trail, otherwise known as the Dry Stone Wall route, which certainly is the island’s top trail and undoubtedly one of the best walks in Spain too.
Traversing the whole range, at 135km this multi-day hike is not for the faint-hearted, but skirting the range, which ascends sharply from the beautiful coastline, this unique trail takes in gorgeous villages, local scenes and some pretty fabulous scenery to boot.
Beginning in Port d’Andratx and finishing at the coastal spot of Port de Pollença, this trail is usually completed in 8 sections, which means it’s just over a week of walking.
Along the way, you’ll pass the quaint towns of Esporles, Deià and Port de Sóller, which also have good eating and accommodation options.
Learn more about these spots and the island of Mallorca in general in my post about the 21 best things to do on this magical island.
#5 Mulhacen, Andalusia
For number 5 on this list of the best walks in Spain, it’s back down to the south of the country and my favourite region of Andalusia.
Yes, sorry if I’m a bit biased, but I really can’t get enough of this region with its amazing coastline and historic cities.
But one thing most travellers heading here don’t realise, is that the region is also home to a famous mountain range known as the Sierra de Nevada.
Close to Granada, it’s easy to get to this fabulous elevated area care a day excursion from the city.
And top of the day hikes available here is Mulhacen, which at 3479m high is not only the tallest peak in mainland Spain, but also in the entire Iberian Peninsula.
The peak of Mulhacen is an important destination in Islam, as legend has it that one of the Moorish kings of Granada is buried there – in fact the peak is named after him.
An undeniably tough hike, the easiest way to do this in a day is to take a bus from Capileira to the lookout at Mirador de Trevelez where you have a roughly 3 hour hike up to the summit.
To get to Capileira from Granada you can either drive or take a bus – Alsa are the company to go for and tickets can be booked here. The bus journey takes about 2 and a half hours and cost 7€.
I highly recommend tackling the hike up Mulhacen in the warmer months only.
For more ideas of things to do in and around Granada, check out this article I wrote.
#6 Pico Sobarcal, Pyrénées
One of the top walks in the Pyrénées National Park near the French border, the Pico Sobarcal is also one of the best walks in Spain overall!
Another challenging one on this list, it’s suggested you really need good mountaineering skills to reach the summit, especially for the last section that has you ascending up to a height of 2,259m.
The total trail length is 14km, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with the most incredible views from the summit.
You’ll really have to rent a car to access this remote spot, but if you’re road tripping Spain this could be an itinerary highlight.
Please come prepared however and don’t attempt this trek unless you have the relevant mountaineering skills and gear.
#7 Montserrat, Catalonia
And now, for the final entry on this list of the top walks in Spain, we come to the lovely northeastern region of Catalonia.
Famed for the magical city of Barcelona, there’s actually a whole heap to see in this region, and when it comes to hikes, the village of Montserrat should not be overlooked.
Easy to enjoy as a day trip, it’s the hike up Montserrat Mountain to the UNESCO-listed monastery at the top (which has many sacred connotations for Catholics including the Black Madonna) that really puts it on this list.
There’s several different routes up the mountain, but the best is probably the Sant Jeroni, which includes a funicular ride to help you on your way!
From the top, you can enjoy lovely views of the Pyrenees and the valleys of the surrounding national park, plus a visit to the Monastery itself.
It’s possible to get to Monserrat from Barcelona by train, otherwise check out these top-rated day trips that organise everything from you and include a guide to fill you in on the historical and religious significance of this magical place.
- From Barcelona: Montserrat Monastery & Natural Park Hike
- From Barcelona: Montserrat Monastery, Easy Hike & Cable Car Ride
- From Barcelona: Montserrat Tour with Guide
- From Barcelona: Montserrat Monastery and Hike with a Local
- From Barcelona: Montserrat 6-Hour Hike with a Choice of 3 Levels
How to Get to Spain
If you’re coming from an international destination, particularly one further away, it’s likely you’ll be flying into Spain.
The country has many international airports, and as always, I suggest Skyscanner for bagging the best flight deals.
Otherwise, you can also use buses or trains to travel from Spain from nearby countries easily including France, Portugal, Italy etc. In the long run coach or rail travel may prove more cost-effective for getting to Spain and will certainly be better for your carbon footprint.
I highly recommend Trainline for booking all train and bus journeys to Spain, as they make it easy, quick and simple to compare hundreds of rail and coach journeys to the country from across western Europe.
When to Go Walking in Spain
No question in my mind that the best time to visit Spain for walking is during the months of April through June, plus September and October.
This is when the warm weather will allow you to take full advantage of the country’s beauty at its best, but you won’t be wilting in the summer heat, which regularly sees temperatures in parts rising to 40+ degrees.
5 Packing Essentials for Walking in Spain
- UV sunglasses
- Good trail shoes for walking
- Natural 30 SPF sunscreen
- Good insect repellent
- Sony A6000 camera
To learn more about what to pack for your trip to Spain, check out this full checklist post I wrote.
Best Travel Insurance for Hiking in Spain
I wouldn’t dream of travelling anywhere these days without proper coverage and always recommend travel insurance from World Nomads which I’ve used during my time across Spain and Europe generally.
World Nomads are actually one of the few companies that will insure you for a huge range of outdoor activities as standard – essential for a region like Andalusia.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker looking for travel insurance with Covid-19 cover, then look no further than Safetywing’s great Nomad Insurance policies.
These guys will cover you at some seriously great prices, including if you have to quarantine!
Where To Travel After Spain?
If you still have time for more travelling after Spain (and lucky you if so!), then you may want to head to France, Portugal or Italy – all top destinations within Europe that can easily be reached from Spain either via driving or via public transport.
Check out these articles for some inspiration…
- Ultimate Guide to Visiting France’s Alsace Region
- Ideal 7 Day Itinerary for Sicily
- 21 Best Things to Do in Portugal
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So there you have it folks, my list of the top 7 walks in Spain.
I hope I’ve inspired you to explore more of this country beyond its usual tourist cities and to make the best use of this country’s fantastic weather.
And tell me, do you have a fave Spanish trail that didn’t make the list?
Just drop it into the comments below if so. I’d love to hear them…