The unique diversity of Spanish landscapes never fails to amaze me. After all these years of traveling across the country, I still can´t believe the Southern charm of sunny Andalusia and the Northern ocean cliffs with its rigorous weather could actually exist within the same borders of the Iberian Peninsula. Let´s check these must-see magical forests in Spain to fuel your wanderlust!
–See Magical Forests in Spain
Forest is officially one of the best places for walks with nature and finding your inner peace. As I´ve already confessed to you in my Huesca travel story – after years of hiking and nature getaways, I´ve recently started to develop a connection between my current mood and the landscapes I seek to experience (no matter how strange it might sound).
No wonder that one of my current nature obsessions is finding the unique ancient trees, like the millenary olives of Canet Lo Roig or Tenerife´s Drago Milenario. Can you imagine these silent giants, rooted deep in the earth and stretching to the sky, the eternal witnesses of things that happened long before either of us were even born? If you´re feeling the same way don´t miss – El Roble Valentin in Asturias, La Encina La Terrona in Caceres, El Tejo de Barondillo in Madrid.
Also read: The Largest Palm Grove in Europe – Elche
If you´re reading this post, you might already be suspecting that Spain is the land of mystical legends, dreamy castles, fairytale locations, and landscapes that look out of this world. Right you are. Being an expat in this beautiful country for so long has made me rediscover my inner beliefs in magic while exploring countless secret villages and beautiful gardens on the Iberian Peninsula.
As Albert Einstein once said “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Let´s go for the second option, shall we?!
Who said enchanted forests don´t exist in real life?
Hayedo de Otzarreta / The Basque Country
Hayedo de Otzarreta at Gorbeia Natural Park is absolutely a must-stop on every Spanish Road trip through the Basque Country. While everyone claims that this place is especially charming in the autumn months, I got a chance to visit Hayedo de Otzarreta in the summer peak season. It was such a magical moment with no soul around.
I will share more details about my trip to Basque Country in one of the upcoming posts.
Anaga Forest Nature Reserve / Tenerife, Canary Islands
Anaga Forest Nature Reserve is one of the hidden gems on the Spanish island of Tenerife, the eye candy of my favorite Canary Islands. It is a beautiful forest, full of top Spanish hiking trails of distinct difficulty and length. Keep in mind that some of them (for ex. Sendero El Bosque Encantado) might have limited access and you´d need to ask for permission online in advance.
However, the most visited trail Sendero de Los Sentidos (nearby a parking lot and visitors center) does not require any previous permissions and it is suitable for kids (even partially adapted for disabled and baby strollers). Just check the weather and bring a jacket (the temperature surprisingly dips in this area) and comfortable shoes (better hiking boots). Read more…
Another very similar to Anaga Forest location is Garajonay National Park at the nearest La Gomera island with its romantic legend behind.
The Painted Forest of Oma / The Basque Country
*updated in 2022 – note that The Oma Painted Forest has been temporarily closed for a while – check the opening schedules before visiting
Painted by the Bilbao sculptor and artist Agustín Ibarrola back in 1984, The Painted Forest of Oma represents the ultimate connection between nature and art. Thousands of pine trees are covered with colors, while revealing different images and compositions, depending on the angle you look at them.
Unlike the first two magical forests, where you could literally park your car nearby, The Painted Forest of Oma is a popular Spanish hike (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, at least for now. Once you´ve reached The Painted Forest of Oma – you need to walk the stairs downwards, the rest is quite plain.
Read more: The Most Colorful Villages in Spain
All the way back home I was wondering whether The Painted Forest of Oma felt so magical because of its strange paintings or its solitary location. A bit of both, I guess.
If visiting – go there first thing in the morning (better in the offseason or weekdays), as the Oma Forest 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, and the magic was honestly gone.
More Spanish magical forests on my bucket list?
- Fageda d en Jorda/Catalonia
- Monumento Natural de las Sequoyas del Monte Cabezon/ Cantabria
- El Rivet / Castellon
- Fragas do Eume / A Coruña
- Fageda de la Grevolosa / Catalonia
- Dehesa del Saler / Valencia
- Bosques de Ambroz / Caceres
- El bosque de Muniellos / Asturias
- Faedo de Ciñera / Leon
- Selva de Irati / Navarra
- Hayedo de Tejera Negra / Castile-La Mancha
- Parque Natural De Carrascal la Font Roja / Alicante
- Bosque de Carlac / Vall D´Aran
For more travel tips and ideas about Spain check my Pinterest board Travel to Spain.