Whether you’re desperate to top up on vitamin D, make a head start on your New Year’s resolution to stay fit, or escape the post-Christmas winter woes, Spain has a wealth of walking holidays that make it the perfect getaway. In today’s post, the Lanzarote locals from Optima Villas are bringing us their favourite Spanish walking routes, to help you plan your next hike in the sun.
Translating to “Orange Blossom Coast”, Costa del Azahar, north of Valencia, is famed for its early spring blossom and world-famous oranges. The coastal province boasts picturesque trails and breathtaking mountain walks – and when the walking is over, you can choose to immerse yourself in the local culture or relax on any one of the beaches. The walks around this area vary in difficulty, making this the perfect place to start if you are just finding your hiking feet.
Also known by its English name of St. James’ Way, this legendary pilgrim route to the shrine of Apostle James is famous around the world for its wealth of culture, spiritual impact and stunning country views. The entire route can take a whopping 30-40 days but can be shortened into a weekend or week-long getaway that still promises to be an unforgettable experience. With over 190,000 visitors in 2012 alone, this destination is a hit with adventurers around the world and, with a variety of trails and towns, there’s something for everyone.
Andalucía, home to Spain’s highest range of mountains, is known for its quintessential Spanish way of living and diverse history. From bullfighting to castle ruins, Andalucía is a rich and enchanting cultural hotspot for both locals and tourists alike. The southernmost territory of Spain, a visit here can take you anywhere from magnificent mountain tops to beautiful beaches – with routes to suit everyone. Don’t let the high mountains of Sierra Nevada deter you from exploring. Thanks to the breathtaking waterfall, meadows and Roman turf of Alcornocales, there are plenty of easier walks for you to tackle.
Famous for their geographical immensity and diversity, the Canary Islands are home to highly variable landscapes – including Mount Teide volcano, forests, sand dunes and vibrant nature reserves. Increasingly popular among active tourists for its lunar landscape and diversity, Lanzarote is home to hikes that are perfect for the family as well as the adventurer. Caldera Blanca, one of the lower volcanos in the Parc Nacional de Timanfaya, can be reached through a scenic drive from the capital, Arrecife – and hikers can enjoy a few hours walking among the mountainous views and herded goats. Allegedly the inspiration for Treasure Island, La Graciosa is a similarly accessible volcanic island 2km north of Lanzarote. With its beautiful beaches and coastal treks, this island is best explored on foot.
A western Spanish region bordering Portugal, this remote province of forests and lakes is brimming with weird and wonderful wildlife. Largely unspoilt, Extremadura is quickly becoming popular with tourists, making now the perfect time to book your trip. With its unrivalled flora and fauna, and diverse birdlife, Extremadura is the ultimate destination for both nature and adventure lovers. With varying levels and lengths of walks, this region is perfect for anyone looking to get lost in nature.
Spain is a diverse and rich nation with something for everyone. From the buzzing nightlife at the bottom of Mount Teide to the bullfights of Andalucía, Spain is an amazing destination for hiking, as well as after the walking boots come off. The world is at your feet. Viva España!