Another year is upon us and we’ve chosen some of our favourite hiking adventures in Spain to give you inspiration for a healthy active holiday in 2019.
Explore the spectacular canyons of Ordesa, the limestone spires of the Picos de Europa or the undiscovered Puertos de Beceite – Spain has a wealth of mountain ranges to choose from.
Here’s five of the best adventures to take your mind off the cold weather and to start dreaming of hiking under the Spanish sunshine. One word of warning though – with the excellent Spanish food and wine you may not ending up shedding as many pounds as you hoped on our hiking holidays!
1. Picos de Europa
Spain’s oldest National Park and one of the most spectacular with sharp limestone peaks rising from alpine meadows. The famous Cares Gorge splits the massif in two and makes for a wonderful hike. On the southern side the Fuente De cable car whisks you up 700 metres for some great but accessible hiking in high mountain terrain.
At times it appears like a land that time forgot with shepherds still spending there summers in the high pastures, taking care of the herds and making cheese.
Our Picos de Europa guided holiday is dual centre allowing you to explore both the northern and southern sides of the park. With two hikes offered each day – an easier and a harder option this is an adventure suitable for all levels of fitness.
2. Hike the GR11 and summit Monte Perdido
If you’re looking for adventure start here! The GR11 is a monster 840km trail that traverses the Pyrenees from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic taking around 45 days.
For those without a month or so to go hiking our Refugio Week tackles a week section of the GR11 covering some of the most spectacular and highest legs in the Ordesa National Park and the Valle de Tena.
As a bonus, we’ll take a side trip up Monte Perdido – the third highest summit in the Pyrenees at 3355 metres.
3. Village to Village hiking in the high Pyrenees
A self guided adventure hiking between the traditional villages of the high Pyrenees. There’s a real sense of journey as you discover new sights each day. There are two hiking options each day so you can choose to challenge yourself and tackle a peak each day, or have a more relaxing experience walking through the flower filled alpine meadows.
We move your luggage each day so you just need to walk with a day pack. Detailed directions and hiking maps are provided which make navigation simple.
Choose between several hotel to hotel holidays, our Village to Village holiday in the Valle de Tena is amongst the highest mountains in the range, while the Village of the Guara hikes in the dramatic canyons of the pre-Pyrenees and is an excellent option for early season sunshine!
4. The Ordesa National Park
The canyons of the Ordesa National Park are an undisputed highlight of the Pyrenees. Huge glaciers carved out the Ordesa and Pineta canyons, while the Rio Bellos formed the Añisclo canyon. All three are over a kilometre deep and have spectacular hiking.
The park is a UNESCO world heritage site due it’s biodiversity and you’ll find the rare bone eating lammergeier here as well as ancient beech forests, beautiful orchids and lots of endemic flowers species.
5. Mar y Montaña
The Puertos del Beceite – the ‘passes of Beceite’ – rise up to 1400 metres and lie just 30 kilometres from the coast. Despite their relatively low altitude the area is surprisingly mountainous with both limestone and conglomerate canyons and cliffs. It’s an undiscovered part of Spain where we have the paths to ourselves while hiking.
Our Mar & Montaña holiday first explores the mountains of the Purtos de Beceite before heading to the fascinating Ebro Delta for some coastal hiking. Here you’ll find wonderful seafood and we’ll take a boat to an oyster and mussel farm for a tasting out on the sea – you don’t get much fresher than that!
Whichever adventure you choose you’ll be sure to find great hiking, and like us fall in love with the mountains, food and culture of Spain.
Happy hiking in 2019,
Phil and the Hike Pyrenees team.