Looking for lesser-known and secret hikes in Spain? – Let me share with you some of my favorite trails to enjoy the vibrant Spanish nature on your own.
- This post contains affiliate links from which I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you). For more info, please read my disclosure. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Secret hikes in Spain
Exploring Spanish hidden gems is what has fueled my inner adventurer for the past 15+ expat years. While I have previously shared a few posts about secret villages, secret museums, and secret monasteries, Spain’s best-kept secret is the diversity of beautiful landscapes across the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.
Currently, you can read the following articles about hiking in Spain on the blog: Unique National Parks in Spain Not To Miss, My Top Hiking Essentials On The Go, My Adventurous Weekend in the Mountains of Catalonia, 10+ Most Epic Hikes in Spain Everyone Should Try, The Coolest Hikes in Valencia, 10+ Epic Hikes in Castellon You Can´t-Miss, and Hiking in Castellon with Kids.
I plan to keep sharing with you all the secret walks with nature that I constantly discover during my Spanish road trips, in order to update this post with new secret hikes in Spain every few months.
Sendero Botanico de Hoz de Beteta / Serrania de Cuenca
Serrania de Cuenca Natural Park is one of the must-see places in the Castile La-Mancha region of Central Spain.
This natural park has three info points, which you can visit for travel advice and maps – in Tragacete, Uña, and Valdemeca. Check the schedules before going, since these three are not open all year round. Also, to get a quick glimpse of the park landscapes, head to the official video of Castile La-Mancha Tourism.
During our recent Cuenca Road Trip, I completely fell in love with Hoz de Beteta, one of the most unique natural settings of Serrania de Cuenca. The area was full of secret hikes in Spain.
We have only tested Sendero Botanico de Hoz de Beteta, an easy 2,6km-long trail full of wooden walkways and ancient Linden trees. Even though we traveled in December and it was obviously not the peak-greenery season, I still enjoyed the hike. When next time in Cuenca, we plan to test another trail, Sendero de las librerias, and visit a waterfall Cascada de Castro.
Also, while leaving our hotel early in the morning, we saw two deer crossing the road. This was obviously thanks to the fact that Serrania de Cuenca had not made it to the list of Spanish National Parks (each of these gets a fair share of international visitors every year). So far, I have only had a similar experience once, in Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park during our Pyrenees Road Trip.
Camino Natural del Rio Guadalaviar / Sierra de Albarracin
One of my favorite secret hikes this year has been the trail Camino Natural del Rio Guadalaviar near Teruel, one of the most underrated Spanish cities. The trail is a lesser-known alternative to the popular Spanish hikes that involve riverside walkways, like Parrizal de Beceite (explored during my trip to Matarranya) and Pasarelas de Alquezar (visited during my Aragon Road Trip).
Camino Natural del Rio Guadalaviar is an easy trail along the river Guadalaviar. The hike starts in the small village of San Blas. The whole itinerary is around 7 km and we enjoyed doing it with the kids.
Bosque de Carlac Trail / The Spanish Pyrenees
One of the highlights if my 2023 Spanish travels was a weekend in the Pyrenees of Catalonia.
The hiking trail Ruta del Bosque de Carlac has been one of my favorite secret hikes in Spain this year. You will find it in the tiny village of Bausen, close to the French border.
For some reason, I read on the Spanish websites that this hike was “an easy walk”.Well, I am glad I did not bring the kids with me. Don’t get me wrong, the hike is doable for family travelers: it was easier than the Astun lakes hike during our Pyrenees road trip with kids. But no way it was the easy walk.
Bosque de Carlac is an intermediate-level 6.5-km-long hiking trail with an elevation level of +275m. While it is a circular trail, we have done it clockwise (unlike all of the other travelers we met on the road).
What I loved the most about this hike was the fact that it was a rare combination of mountain and forest view on the go. You begin your itinerary in the small village of Bausen and go all the way up along the old and abandoned houses of the village (which honestly looked so mysterious). From the first minute you are surrounded by the mountain views of the stunning Spanish Pyrenees. Then, somehow the trail takes you to one of the magical forests in Spain – Bosque de Carlac. This secret natural setting was full of ancient trees. I am sure that if it was not for the remote location, Bosque de Carlac would have been featured in popular Spanish TV shows (due to the unmatched storybook appeal).
The Millenary Olive Trees Route in Castellon
The Millenary Olive Trees route (or “Ruta de los olivos milenarios” in Spanish) is one of the must-do experiences in the province of Castellon. This circular 5,8-km-long hiking trail starts in the small village of Canet lo Roig.
The hike takes you across the field full of 2000-year-old olive trees, most of which have been present in the region since the times of the Roman Empire in Spain.
You can still get a bottle of millenary olive oil in the local shops across the Castellon region. It is definitely one of the most unique food souvenirs from Spain.
Can you imagine how many generations have passed away during those 2000 years and the millenary olive trees are still here? Even though the Greek island of Crete is known for the oldest olive trees in the world (some of which are estimated at over 3000 years old), Canet Lo Roig has the largest number of Millenary Olive trees in Valencia (approx. 1 131 trees in 2019). Also, the nearby villages of Traiguera and San Mateu, have their own millenary olive tree routes.
You can read more about this hike in this post.
Which of these secret hikes in spain would you like to experience the most?
- Accommodation: For short stays, I usually book via Agoda, Booking, and Hotellook
- Tours&excursions: My favorites for guided tours are GetYourGuide and Viator
- City breaks&sightseeing: Go City helps to avoid multiple entry fees and paper tickets
- Travel Insurance: find the best trip insurance plans via VisitorsCoverage, EKTA, and Insubuy
- Flights: To find the best deals I like WayAway and Aviasales
- Airport Lounge: Get independent airport lounge access worldwide via Priority Pass
- Train&bus tickets: Currently, I book via RailEurope, Omio, and Busbud
- Car rental: To find the best deals I use Rental Cars, Discover Cars, and GetRentalCar
- Transfers: For individual transfer services I like Kiwitaxi
- For Foodies: Eatwith is great for finding culinary experiences with locals
- Cruise Reviews: To find the best cruise offer I check out Cruise Critic
- Suitcases&Luggage: To eliminate problems of early arrivals/late departures I find helpful Radical Storage
- Compensation for delayed/canceled flights: AirHelp is useful for all flight cancellation or delay claims
- To avoid roaming fees I use Airalo eSIMs around the world
- Budget-friendly stays: Check Hostelworld to find the best deals around the world
- Events: To find the best offers I use Ticketmaster and TicketNetwork
- Renting Bikes: to find motorcycles, scooters, quads, and bicycles I use BikesBooking
- Package Tours: head to CheapOair, Expedia UK, Tourhub, and loveholidays
- For Bloggers: To monetize my blog I use Travelpayouts