Hiking in Spain?
Quick, what is the first things that come to mind when you think of Spain? Is it eating tapas? Taking a siesta? Maybe it’s Gaudi’s architecture, sangria, football, flamenco, or late night clubbing in Ibiza? If so, that’s not surprising, as Spain is world-renowned for all that, and more .
However there is a lot more to España than marvelous works of architecture, beautiful beaches, quaint Pueblos Blancos, ice cold adult beverages, and small portions of delicious food.
We spent a couple of months exploring Spain over the few years, immersing ourselves in its history, culture, and countryside. It took us awhile to realize that Spain was actually a great hiking destination. Maybe it was all the sangria we drank, or the siestas we took, but Spain always made us feel a little bit lazy. As it turns out Spain is full of amazing hiking opportunities.
Our 5 day on the trail in Catalonia goes down as one of our favorite travel experiences of the last few years. We were incredibly impressed with our jaunt through the foothills, valleys, and small villages of Pyrenees mountains and wondered how many other great hiking opportunities there might be in Spain. So we to ask some of our knowledgeable travel blogging friends about hiking in Spain, and what their favorite hikes in Spain were.
Great Hikes in Spain
The Camino de Santiago
Ok, truth be told you probably DO know about this hike. The Camino de Santiago is the most famous of all the great hikes in Spain, one of the most famous hikes in the world, as well as one of the great pilgrimages of the Christian tradition. It can start from various cities in Europe, and it ends at the shrine of the apostle St. James, in Santiago de Compostela.
This walk is considered a true journey of self-discovery: a place to let go of the past, find forgiveness, and make friends for life. Many people see the pilgrimage as a metaphor of the alchemy process used to transform base metal into gold. First, you add metals, or become aware of your issues. Then you have the time and isolation to deal with those issues, which corresponds to melting down the metals. Finally, you reach your destination and become a new being: the transformation into gold is completed.
Last year, we decided to walk the French Way, the most popular paths of the Camino. It starts from St. Jean Pied de Port, in the French Pyrenees, and unravels for little under 800km through the north of Spain. The whole walk usually takes between 30 and 35 days, so we guarantee it’s both a spiritual experience and a physical challenge! Piece of advice: remember to stretch