Spain’s national parks offer breathtaking landscapes, vibrant colours and natural beauty. If you’re travelling to Spain not only to discover its rich history and vibrant culture, but also to explore some of the most stunning national parks in Europe, you should definitely keep reading.
From towering peaks to dazzling coastlines, these protected areas offer an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure, solace and a deeper connection with nature.
What to expect when hiking in Spain’s national parks
Spain is home to some of the best hiking trails in Europe. There are many different types of trails to choose from, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging treks. No matter what your level of fitness or hiking experience is, there’s a trail that is perfect for you.
Most of Spain’s national parks are located in the mountains, so you can expect stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The trails are well-marked and well-maintained, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenery without worry. Many of the trails wind through forests and meadows, offering plenty of opportunities to see wildlife.
Spain is a large country with a diverse climate, so be sure to check the weather forecast before embarking on your hike. In general, the best time for hiking in Spain is in the spring or autumn when the weather is milder.
Summer can be particularly hot, especially in southern Spain, so it’s best to avoid hiking during this time if possible. Winter can be cold and wet, particularly in northern Spain, but if you don’t mind braving the elements this can be a beautiful time to hike as well.
Spain’s best national parks for hikers
From the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees to the sun-drenched Mediterranean coastline, there are endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. And what better way to experience the natural beauty of Spain than on foot?
1. Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park
Hikers and nature enthusiasts love Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park in the Pyrenees. The park’s stunning scenery includes Añisclo Canyon, Europe’s largest waterfall.
Ibex, eagles and vultures are also frequently seen. Ordesa y Monte Perdido, with over 100km of defined trails, is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts in Spain.
2. Sierra Nevada National Park
Europe’s tallest mountains are in southern Spain’s Sierra Nevada National Park. Mulhacén, the park’s highest summit, offers breathtaking vistas.
Sierra Nevada has hiking and mountaineering trails for all abilities. The park has several endangered species, including the Spanish imperial eagle.
3. Aigüestortes National Park
One of Spain’s most popular hiking spots is Aigüestortes National Park in the Catalan Pyrenees. Glacial lakes and pine-fir forests fill the park.
Exploration is possible on almost 70km of defined paths, including a three-day climb to Pica d’Estats.
4. Picos de Europa National Park
You’ll find more stunning mountain scenery in Picos de Europa National Park in northern Spain.
Over 200km of defined paths include routes to Fuente Dé cable car station, one of Europe’s highest peak lakes, and Circo de Posets, Spain’s largest glacial cirque.
5. Garajonay National Park
Garajonay National Park on the Canary Islands is a stunning place with ancient lava flows and grassy plateaus covered in wildflowers and heathland flora.
The Canary Islands’ “green lung” has approximately 100km of hiking routes with stunning views of Los Llanos de Aridane and Hierve el Agua.
Spain is blessed with an abundance of national parks, each boasting its own unique beauty. From the stunning coastline of the Costa Brava to the snow-capped Pyrenees, there is a national park in Spain to suit every taste.
It doesn’t matter if you’re searching for a strenuous walk or a laid-back stroll, Spain’s national parks provide something for everyone to enjoy – so start planning your adventure!