Walking Across Europe is superb so get on your walking boots to see the region at its very best and really get away from it all.
If you want to go trekking into the mountains, Spain is just what you need. It is ranked as one of the most mountainous countries in Europe.
In the north along the coast the Cantabrian range which merge further east with the Pyrenees. Northern Spain is the place to go for impressive mountains. You’ll be amazed by the range of huge mountains on northern the coast behind the port of Santander. The snow-capped peaks you’re looking at are the Picos de Europa, one of the wildest and most unspoilt regions of Europe – superb walking country and a wonderful place for spotting wildlife.
Along with nature there are the country’s most historic places in the North of Spain: Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Pais Vasco (Basque Country). Together they make up what is known as Green Spain – due to the large amounts of year-round rain, it is green everywhere.
Along the northern coast you’ll find endless stretches of long sandy beaches, many of them hidden down coastal valleys of the sort familiar to anyone who has visited Cornwall.
Andalucía is the second largest Autonomous Community in Spain, located in the South. It is home of Spain’s two most emblematic arts – flamenco and bullfighting. Both can be seen practiced everywhere, including youngsters in the streets and every village fiesta.
Andalucia is a great place for walking as it has a great climate, one of the highest mountains in Europe, and wild unfrequented areas filled with dramatic scenery. Here you’ll find some of the most interesting flora and fauna. Hiking is a relatively new attraction in many parts of Spain and as yet the south and Andalucia in particular have been largely overlooked by all but a few of Europe’s most enthusiastic walkers.
Another worth-mentioning walking areas of Andalucia are: the Alpujarras, the area that includes the Sierra Nevada and mountains between Granada and the sea, La Axarquita the area around Cómpeta to the north of Nerja, and the Montes de Malaga. For those of you who get bored just sitting by the pool we will also include a number of cliff top and beach walks, and trails in the Sierras de la Nieves and Mijas just inland from the Costa del Sol.
The best time to walk in Andalucia is in the late spring early summer when the flowers are in bloom, and in early autumn to observe the migration of birds. The region lies on the most important migration route for birds from northern Europe to Africa and many exotic species pass through, or are permanently resident. July and August are really too hot for all but the high level routes and shorter walks close to the sea (between beach bars and cold beers).
Since the 1980s vast areas of mainland Spain’s wildernesses have now been converted into Natural Parks. An excellent network of reasonably well signed hiking routes are now available along with a chain of visitor centres where you can get all information about the wonderful flora and fauna found in these parks. Whichever region you choose to visit, there will be several Natural Parks offering a wide variety of outdoor activities.
Don’t forget to visit Spain’s two island chains – The Balearic Islands and the Canaries. These areas have also become extremely attractive hiking destinations offering both beauty and very pleasant climates. Both are excellent winter walking destinations.