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Experiences Walking and Trekking Walking in Europe Walking in Spain

Walking in Spain

Spain to many is simply about sun, sea and sangria, yet this fascinating country is a treasure trove of culture and natural beauty, and as such lends itself to fantastic walking and trekking adventures. Spain’s mountain ranges are in fact the second highest in Europe after Switzerland. Diverse scenery awaits visitors keen to explore this remarkable country on foot, not just on the mainland but also off shore on the Balearic and Canary islands.

Mainland Spain boasts deep valleys and limestone peaks in the northern ranges. The impressive Pyrenees form a natural border between Spain, France and Andorra, while the more intimate, yet equally dramatic, Picos de Europa remain Spain’s best kept secret and are a superb spot for both summer walking and winter snowshoeing. Those with a love of gastronomy and wine find Spain full of treats at the end of a busy day on foot, with the opportunity to taste fines wines from various regions or sample some of the gastronomic delights hidden away in Basque country and in Catalunya.

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From its start deep in the Pyrenees, the Camino de Santiago is a legendary route that crosses northern Spain and sees countless pilgrims making their way to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The route’s most scenic section crosses the high plains of the Castillan meseta and the Galician mountains en route passing through the medieval cities of Burgos and Leon as well as traditional mountain villages with cobbled stone roads.

Further south the rolling hills of Andalucia are home to the little visited Sierra Aracena, Spain’s second largest national park, complete with ancient trails through undulating, picturesque scenery made up of olive groves and vineyards, and sprinkled with quaint white-washed villages.

Off the coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean, Spain’s Canary Islands offer a surprising range of dramatic landscapes, far removed from the typical beach resorts the islands are widely known for, and perfect for walking year round thanks to the pleasant winter climate. Spain’s highest peak, Pico de Teide (3718 metres), crowns the island of Tenerife, while Gran Canaria, La Gomera and La Palma each have their own inspiring landscapes. Similarly, although Mallorca is best known for its beach scene, the island is a natural gem. Coastal pathways link traditional villages and take walkers through citrus groves and fertile valleys along the Sierra de Tramuntana range that runs from the south west to the north east of the island.

A destination largely underrated and always full of surprises, Spain never ceases to amaze walkers and trekkers with its richness of culture and tradition as well as wealth of natural beauty.

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