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Thanks to its mountainous landscapes, Spain is a nation full to the brim of scenic hiking routes. Many people head off to Spain for the sun and beach, but it’s arguably just as rich in diverse hiking trails as its more traditional holiday amenities.

Below is a list of scenic routes in Spain; some famous, others not.

Camino de Santiago: From Santiago to Finisterre

The route from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre is an extension of the Camino de Santiago, leading to the “end of the world” coastal scenery. This journey has a bunch of great stops like Negreira, Muxía, Monte do Gozo, and the iconic Finisterre lighthouse. 

Hikers are rewarded with spiritual fulfillment and breathtaking sunset views over the Atlantic, an ocean less explored by holidaymakers. The path has a lot of historical significance, which helps bring meaning and reflection to your walk. The combination of coastal beauty and symbolic milestones makes this a hike you’ll remember.

GR 11: Pyrenean Trail

The GR 11, also known as the Pyrenean Trail, spans 820 km from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a very long one that heads through the majestic Pyrenees, so you may want to just pick a portion of it. This route has stunning mountain views, glacial lakes, and a broad range of flora and fauna, which is no surprise given how far the trail stretches. 

On your trip, you will pass Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, as well as Torla, a small quaint village. The trail is challenging, though, so be prepared. It has a fairly rugged terrain that rewards hikers with amazing views of the landscape. It is ideal for seasoned hikers seeking more extreme adventure and nature.

Ruta del Cares

Situated in the center of the Picos de Europa National Park, the Ruta del Cares is a 12-km trail that arguably has some of the best scenery in Spain. The path winds along the dramatic Cares Gorge, with vast cliffs on one side and a lovely river below. 

Highlights include the cliffside path itself, which was something of an engineering feat. This day hike is perfect for those seeking a memorable but concise adventure with lots of nature.

Camino de Santiago: Portuguese Coastal Route

Starting in the pretty city of Porto, the Portuguese Coastal Route meanders along the Atlantic coastline. Eventually, you will end up reaching the historic Santiago de Compostela, as per all the Camino routes. 

This route offers a peaceful, less crowded alternative to the traditional Camino paths. Along the way, you’ll pass fishing villages, world-class beaches, and historical landmarks that scream about the region’s history. Things to watch out for include Viana do Castelo (impressive medieval architecture) and the serene Galician beaches (ideal for a relaxing break).

GR 7: Andalusian Trail

The GR 7, part of the European trail network, starts from Tarifa. Hikers will experience coastal regions and the Sierra Nevada, crossing the Alpujarras, Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, and the historic town of Ronda. This trail is perfect for those who want to see southern Spain and enjoy the hot weather.

Ruta de Don Quijote: La Mancha

The Ruta de Don Quijote is an extensive route that lets hikers immerse themselves in the iconic landscapes described in Cervantes’ classic novel. This trail winds through the stunning La Mancha region, where windmills and castles are dotted around quaint traditional Spanish villages.

One of the highlights is the town of Consuegra, where you will see a line of windmills believed to have inspired Don Quijote’s battle with the giants. The trail also leads through the Tablas de Daimiel National Park, a perfect wetland area for bird watchers. 

Camino del Rey: El Chorro

The Camino del Rey, which is known as the King’s Path, is an interesting route that has its fair share of adrenaline. Located in the El Chorro gorge, the trail used to be considered one of the most dangerous in the world. But don’t write it off just yet – recent renovations have made it much safer without compromising its worldly views.

The path clings to the side of a steep gorge and has a good view of the Guadalhorce River below. Hikers will walk through narrow walkways and suspension bridges, experiencing the sheer vertical walls of the canyon. 

Sendero Sulayr: Sierra Nevada

The Sendero Sulayr is a circular trail that covers over 300 kilometers and loops around the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It’s named after the Arabic term for “Mountain of the Sun,” reflecting the region’s historical roots.

Sierra Nevada National Park is one of Spain’s top national parks, with both great diversity and mountains. The trail also goes through nice villages like Capileira and Trevélez, where you can grab lunch in a traditional whitewashed house.

TransAndalus: Andalusia

The TransAndalus is a long-distance trail that spans the entire Andalusian region. This route is a cyclist’s dream, but it is also accessible to hikers (or at least a portion of it). It covers around  2,000 kilometers, making the TransAndalus a comprehensive tour of southern Spain’s diverse landscapes – just be wary of the heat in summer.

You’ll get to see various national parks along this trail, as well as Seville, Córdoba, and Granada – all of which are lively and have strong histories of their own.

Costa Brava Coastal Path

The Costa Brava Coastal Path (commonly referred to as the Camino de Ronda) is a scenic trail along Catalonia’s coastline. Stretching from Blanes to the French border, this route offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, hidden coves, and charming fishing villages.

Hikers can enjoy a dip in the lush waters, all with the backdrop of dramatic cliffs along the way. The path also passes through the Cap de Creus Natural Park, a protected area full of unique geological formations.

Conclusion

Spain is a very large country. Its hiking routes are diverse, and your experience can vary depending on whether you head north, west, or south. Trails are a great way to see the country, and you can always hop on the highly efficient train lines if you need to get from one route to another.

Related: 10 Best Multitools for Hiking

Liya Kravchenkin
About the Author: Liya Kravchenkin

Liya Kravchenkin is an experienced portrait photographer. She has worked with clients worldwide and has even traveled to more than 50 countries. Liya loves photography because it allows her to capture a moment that can never be repeated. Liya also enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures, and seeing the world’s unique natural wonders. Her favorite travel memories are from swimming with dolphins in the Galapagos and eating cheesecake in New York City.

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