At Backroads, we’ve been exploring Spain for decades. These are what we think are the 6 best hiking destinations in Spain, suitable for a wide range of activity levels.
1. Camino de Santiago
Nearest city: Santiago de Compostela
For: History buffs eager to hike a section of a famed pilgrimage
Also known as the Way of St. James, the Camino de Santiago was a prominent Christian pilgrimage route during the Middle Ages. Today, hikers from across the globe travel the Camino to experience the rich history and stunning landscapes. For many pilgrims, this journey is a communal experience, so expect a welcoming atmosphere and some friendly conversation along the way.
The Camino isn't a single path: it's a meandering journey from multiple destinations to the city of Santiago de Compostela. While the French Camino, which begins in the French Pyrenees and travels across Northern Spain, is very popular, we love the Portuguese Camino, which travels north from Lisbon and Porto. Our Backroads tour starts in Porto, journeys into the Galician countryside and treks past fragrant eucalyptus forests, verdant pastures and small hamlets. Check out our A Taste of Camino Backroads tour.
2. Costa Brava
Nearest city: Barcelona
For: Lovers of tree-lined trails and craggy peaks which tower above spectacular coastal coves
Costa Brava translates to ‘rugged coast’—and with its steep cliffs and rocky coastal coves, it’s easy to see how the jaw-dropping region of Spain earned its name. For hikers, the Costa Brava offers a chance to explore the best of the Mediterranean by foot. Hike the impressive coastline and follow centuries-old footpaths from cliffs to secluded bays. Be enchanted by pristine beaches and crystal-clear water cupped by forested hillsides. Sip local wine and cheers to hiking scenic coastal trails on our Costa Brava Walking tour.
3. Spanish Pyrenees
Nearest city: Barcelona
For: Hikers who adore mountain lakes, magnificent valleys, and of course, majestic mountains
Venture into the foothills of the Pyrenees, which extend over 300 miles and create the border between Spain and France. Enroute pass alpine villages, herds of goats, and farmers tending their crops. Trek to mountain lakes described in legends as the tears of Hercules, shed for his beloved Pyrenee. Journey between the two countries among mountainous topography, pine forests and alpine lakes. Come see for yourself on our Spanish Pyrenees Multi-Adventure Tour.
4. Basque Country
Nearest city: Bilbao
For: Off-the-beaten path travelers interested in hidden mountain villages and lively beach towns
Basque Country, located in the western Pyrenees, is a part of France and Spain unlike any other. It has a distinct history, culture and language. From the peak of La Rhune to the beaches of Biarritz and every enchanting village in between, come fall in love with this unique enclave. Hike in the foothills of the Atlantic Pyrenees and across the border from France to Spain. Follow trails through green rolling hills and sheep-dotted pastures visiting traditional villages along the way. Visit the tiny hamlet of Zugarramurdi and discover its spellbinding history and caves. Join us on our Basque Country Hiking Tour.
5. Island of Mallorca
Nearest city: Palma
For: Beach-lovers drawn to golden sands and jewel-toned seas
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, located in the Mediterranean to the east of the Iberian peninsula. The name ‘Mallorca’ is derived from Latin meaning, ‘the larger one.’ This stunning Spanish island is famous for its beaches. Hikers visiting Mallorca will be spoiled for choice with spectacular trails and walks. Head to the dramatic Serra de Tramuntana, a World Heritage landscape. Trek beside striking cliffs and silvery-green olive groves en route to Galilea, a lovely village perched in the mountains. Visit the Sa Trapa ruins, an ancient monastery reachable only on foot. If you love the laidback energy of island life and majestic Mediterranean scenes, our Mallorca Hiking Tour is for you.
6. Rioja Wine Region
Nearest city: Bilbao
For: Oenophiles looking to visit vineyard-laced landscapes
Spain’s most prestigious wine region, Rioja, is located in the north of the Iberian Peninsula and is home to only about 316,000 residents. The Rioja Wine Region has over 500 wineries. Walk the high plains and valleys of the Pyrenees and toast the light and superb wines of La Rioja. Rural beauty surrounds us in La Rioja wine region, where hundreds of ancestral wineries have thrived for generations. Walk on centuries-old cobblestone streets in historic villages like Laguardia and Elciego. Hike around prime grape-growing country and traverse Rioja Alavesa. Wine-lovers welcome on our French Pyrenees to Basque Country Walking Tour.