Looking for walks with nature across the Iberian Peninsula? – Check these 10 Epic hikes in Spain everyone should try.
10 Most Epic Hikes in Spain
Hiking is one of the best travel habits for me. Being in nature is simply the best remedy in our modern gadget-overloaded world, it helps to reduce stress and disconnect from the daily buzz for a while. We all need it, don´t we?
While I have had a passion for discovering new places since I can remember myself, initially my expat life in Spain has mostly rolled around visiting cute small towns, unknown villages, or secret museums. Hiking was quite occasional.
Nevertheless, the pandemic has made me transform my travel habits for good. Having most of the places closed for so long has made me search for the alternative wanderlust sources. Adventurous books and travel-related activities at home might be entertaining for a while, but one can´t fuel a soul on them forever (or at least I can not). Therefore, hiking has become a priceless solution to keep seeing new things with so many travel limitations around.
Nevertheless, soon the addiction to beautiful natural landscapes has become real for me (and surprisingly, for my small kids too). So, now most of my weekend getaways to different Spanish regions must include at least one hike per trip. Seeing a new region without experiencing its nature does not seem authentic enough, does it?
This is basically how I ‘ve collected tonnes of hiking adventures for my memory box and can share with you these 10 amazing and unique hikes in Spain.
1. Sendero el Bosque Encantado / Tenerife
Sendero el Bosque Encantado is a unique Spanish hiking trail, which provides one with an otherworldly experience of walking through a magical forest in real life. It is located in Anaga Forest Nature Reserve, one of the hidden gems on the Spanish island of Tenerife, the eye-candy of my favorite Canary Islands.
Keep in mind, that local authorities limit the number of hikers per day for this particular trail and you need to book your access permission in advance via Cabildo de Tenerife. But the route itself is so worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime. It is a circular 6,7-km-long trail. You can also find it under the name of Sendero El Pijaral.
Also read: My Favorite Places to Go in Spain
In case you don’t succeed with the permission, let me cheer you up a bit with a few well-worthy alternatives – El Sendero de la Hija Cambada or Bosque de Los Enigmas.
Also, the most visited trail of Anaga Forest Nature Reserve, Sendero de Los Sentidos (nearby a parking lot and visitors center), does not require any previous permission and it is suitable for kids (even partially adapted for disabled and baby strollers).
Another quite similar to Anaga Forest location is Garajonay National Park at the nearest La Gomera island. Aside from the picture-perfect Canarian nature, it is also known for the romantic legend behind it.
2. Ruta de los 7 Lagos de Astun / Huesca
The hiking trail of Ruta de Los 7 Lagos de Astun (also called 7 Ibones de Astun) was one of the highlights of our recent weekend in the Spanish Pyrenees. Aside from the jaw-dropping mountain peaks and crystal-clear lakes, this route makes you cross the Spain-France border a few times in one single day.
The trail starts at the Astun Ski Station, where you take the lift towards Ibon de Truchas, the first lake. If you are traveling with small kids this hike might be a bit challenging. But even just taking the ski lift and visiting the first lake is totally worth it.
Also read: Spain in Winter – Best Places to Visit
Also, keep in mind that you will be hiking at an altitude of 2100 m, which means less oxygen. While the trail is only 13,55 km – long, this hike is not for everyone. Ruta de Los 7 Lagos de Astun is often described as a hike for all types of public, but in my opinion, it is not. Yes, none of my family is a professional sportsman, but we had lots of hiking experiences in the Province of Castellon during the last year. So, I guess it served us as training for the Pyrennes trip.
In case, you’re up for a small challenge, the hike Ruta de Los 7 Lagos de Astun will take you through spectacular landscapes, starting from Ibon de las Truchas, via Ibon de Escalar/Collado de Monjes/Lac Bersau/Lac Gentau/Lac Miey and backward to the Astun Ski lift.
3. Ruta por el Cañon de Añisclo / Huesca
While Ruta por el Cañon de Añisclo, is an easy 45-min walk (2km) the natural setting around is so unique that it made it to my list of favorite hikes in Spain. This trail belongs to one of the most impressive national parks in Spain – Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido.
Also read: Top Things to See in Huesca
Ruta por el Cañon de Añisclo starts at San Urbez parking, but to get there you take an absolutely stunning local road HU-631 through the canyon of Añisclo. This beautiful drive felt like a separate experience itself. You can check the views at my Pyrenees Reel and Highlights on IG.
During the route, even in the summer months, you’ll be hidden from the annoying heat by the spectacular local greenery.During the hike, you’ll encounter the remains of an ancient watermill Molino de Aso, a waterfall, the cave-church Ermita de San Urbez, and the Medieval bridge Puente Medieval de San Urbez.
Prepared hikers have a few options to make this route longer by taking another trail near Ermita de San Urbez towards the village of Sercué, La Ripareta and Fuen Blanca (you might have up to 5-6 hours one way).
4. Ruta Pico del Teide / Tenerife
No list of top hikes in Spain can ignore the mount Teide in Tenerife, on the marvelous Canary Archipelago. Teide is one of the most iconic national landmarks of Spain, as it is the highest peak in the country and the highest volcano in the whole of Europe. Every Spain Bucket list somehow includes Teide and many adventures set this trail as a personal challenge.
There is even a local mysterious Spanish legend reassuring that from the top of Teide one can see the secret 9th island of The Canary Archipelago. Surprisingly, you can find the 9th island on lots of ancient maps from the XIII century till 1755, but no one ever has been able to prove its existence. The strange island is supposed to be located near El Hierro.
Also read: 10 Best Spanish Islands to Visit
If you aim to reach the Teide peak and marvel at the views with your own eyes you’ll need to file for permission in advance. To reach the trail you will take a lift teleferico and then follow the 8,3km-long route to the top. This is a challenging route with an unevenness of 1350 m.
But don´t let this trail discourage you from hiking in Teide National Park. Even if you can’t do the trail to the Teide peak for some reason, hiking across the moon-like otherworldly landscapes of Teide is once in a lifetime experience. Alternatively, you have 41 other itineraries listed on the official Spanish government website, including the beautiful Ruta de Siete Cañadas (16,6 km) and Roques de Garcia (3,5km).
5. Caminito del Rey / Andalusia
Caminito del Rey is one of the most picture-perfect hikes in Spain, and one of the top places to visit in Andalusia.
Caminito del rey or The King´s Little Path is an iconic walkway pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, in the province of Malaga. It was re-opened in 2015 and often ranks globally as one of the world´s most dangerous walkways ever since.
Also read: Blue Smurfs Village – Juzcar, Andalusia
There are two types of entrances available – guided and non-guided. However, one of the significant drawbacks of El Caminito del Rey for spontaneous travelers is that the tickets are often completely sold out a few months in advance. Alternatively, you can take the guided tour via one of the local agencies, in case it´s all fully booked on the official web.
Another detail to consider for family travelers – kids under 8 y.o are not allowed at the Caminito del Rey trail.
6. Ruta del Cares / Asturias
Ruta del Cares (or The Cares Trail) is one of the most beautiful hikes in Spain, located inside the iconic Picos de Europa National Park in Asturias. This trail is still in the plans for me, as on my last trip to Asturias the weather was completely against me and my walks with nature ended with a stressful drive in a complete fog towards the lakes of Covadonga.
Also read: The Most Beautiful Villages in Asturias
Initially, this hiking trail was designed to bring supplies to the workers of a local hydroelectric plant in Camarmeña. But nowadays it is one of the most popular hikes in Spain thanks to the dramatic landscapes, which include rock tunnels, bridges, and spectacular heights of the Cares gorge. Ruta del Cares is 12km long and begins at Poncebos taking you to Cain (or vice versa). However, doing it in one single day means you will need to walk almost 25km in one single day. Another option is to arrange a transfer for a way back to the parking at Poncebos (or Cain, depending on where you started a trail).
For this popular hike, try to avoid the summer peak season or the Easter week.
7. Bosque de Oma / The Basque Country
One of the most unique hikes in Spain is definitely Bosque de Oma, as it combines art and nature in a unique way. No wonder it is one of the top places to visit in Basque Country.
Note, that this trail has recently been temporarily closed, so check the opening schedules before visiting.
So, Bosque de Oma Was painted by the Bilbao sculptor and artist Agustín Ibarrola back in 1984. You´ll see thousands of pine trees are covered with colors, while revealing different images and compositions, depending on the angle you look at them. The complete circular route is more or less 7 km long. It could be done with kids, but it is not adapted for disabled people or baby strollers.
Read more: The Most Colorful Villages in Spain
Consider visiting it first thing in the morning (better in the offseason or weekdays). The Oma Forest feels like a Spanish magical forest, so no wonder it has lately become quite touristic. I was lucky to explore the area with no one around, but only half an hour later (around 11 p.m) it was flooded with loud tourists.
8. Perrizal de Beceite / Teruel
While I love visiting Teruel and its secret beautiful villages to escape the touristic coast of Spain, one of the top natural gems of the region is absolutely Perrizal de Beceite. It was on my bucket list for quite a while. Mainly because it´s not a match for the spontaneous stop on the road, as you need to get a ticket in advance. Although it´s honestly not as complicated, as with Anaga or Teide. In July, I got the tickets only the day before visiting.
In fact, the ticket you get online is for the parking near the trail of Perrizal de Beceite, which has a limited number of places. The trail of Perrizal de Beceite is one of the most unusual Spanish hikes as you walk on the wooden pathways most of the time. If you start your trail at the parking, it´s only 8 km both ways. You can check the views via my IG Reels from Perrizal de Beceite.
But in case you have a parking ticket, you can leave your car in the nearest small town of Beceite and then walk 5 km to the beginning of the trail. But in my opinion, it is not worth it, as the beautiful part of the route is the one starting after the parking of Perrizal. Without a parking ticket, you add 10 extra km to your itinerary with nothing special on the way. Plus, the cars heading to/from the parking of Parrizal will pass by all the time.
I enjoyed Perrizal de Beceite so much that it ended up on my 2022 list of favorite travel experiences in Spain.
9. Ruta de Aqueducto Romano y Peña Cortada / Valencia
Ruta del Aqueducto Romano de Peña Cortada is one of my favorite hikes in Valencia, as it´s extremely unique – by following the trail you walk across an authentic ancient Roman aqueduct (not something you can do on a regular basis) and later on enter the impressive mountain tunnels. You can check the videos on my IG stories.
This route can be found between the small towns of Chelva and Calles. In my experience, most of the visitors reach Chelva and then follow a local unpaved road with indicator Peña Cortada towards the parking (also marked on Google maps). It will take you only 15 min of walking to reach the Roman Aqueduct and the tunnels – no wonder this area was packed with people on Saturday. Nevertheless, only a few visitors go on with the route, after enjoying the Spanish Roman Ruins. So I can´t say this hike is the busy one, due to the fact that most people turn back after the landmarks.
We´ve done a 16km circular route (check it on Wikiloc), but the distance can be easily reduced to 2km ( if you return after the aqueduct and the tunnels, by following back the same trail).
The only drawback of Ruta del Aqueducto Romano de Peña Cortada is that the trail is not child-friendly, as the Aqueduct has no protective barriers. Most people do it with kids anyway, but you´ll need to keep an eye on them all the time.
10. Ruta de las Caras / Cuenca
Ruta de las Caras or the Route of the Faces is a unique trail in the Spanish province of Cuenca, which includes 18 sculptures of different dimensions from 700cm to 4m tall. Being carved by the facade restorer Eulogio Reguillo and ceramicist Jorge Juan Maldonado back in 1992, the figures were inspired by Indian gods, Buddhas, templar crosses, and even Beethoven.
This trail is an easy 1,5 km-long walk, but you can convert it into a 14km-long circular hiking route by leaving from the town of Buendia towards Peña de la Virgen archaeological remains.