Self-guided hiking in Spain
Spain is rightly regarded as one of Europe’s premier hiking destinations. Few countries can match its perfect hiking conditions of good weather, beautiful landscapes and well-marked trails. Spain’s credentials are no secret to the avid hiker, being home to perhaps the most famous pilgrimage path of all, the Camino de Santiago. But there is so much more to hiking in Spain than the Camino.
Spain is a country that is truly continental in its variety and diversity of landscapes. From the rugged mountains of the north to the quiet valleys of Andalucía in the south and from the rural landscapes of the Mallorca to the glittering collection of World Heritage Cities and atmospheric medieval towns. A country of contrasts, with a wealth of native and unique flora and fauna, Spain is full of surprises. In fact, Spain’s greatest natural wonders are not in mainland Europe at all: the Canary Islands suffer from an image of mass tourism, but contain thrilling and at times incredible volcanic scenery, not to be missed by any serious walker. Tenerife alone offers a staggering variety of landscapes (including Spain’s highest peak), while nearby La Gomera is the greenest of the islands and a botanical paradise.
With a choice of mountain hikes, coastal routes or quiet rural landscapes and valleys, walking holidays in Spain really can be for everyone. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for hiking in most of Spain, when the weather generally isn’t too hot or too cold, although winter is the best time in the Canary Islands.