Spain for Walkers – Where to Go

Rodalquilar, Cabo de Gata, Spain

View from Rodalquilar, Cabo de Gata

Many people tend to associate Spain with beach holidays in the Costas and city breaks in the great cities like Barcelona, Granada, Seville and Madrid.

But for people who like to walk, cycle or just generally explore the countryside, there is so much more.  Impressive mountain ranges.  Unspoiled stretches of coastline.  Desert landscapes.  Traditional white villages.  Mediterranean vistas.

Matt and I have had many walking holidays in Spain – both on the mainland and on some of the islands.  Here is a very brief review of a few of our favourite areas, based on the places we have visited.

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Cabo de Gata

This is our favourite area, and we have returned several times.  The stark emptiness really appeals to us, though it may not suit everyone.

Cabo de Gata is situated in the southeast of the country, and can be easily reached by car from Alicante, Almeira, Granada, Murcia or Malaga airports.

The Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park consists of a desert landscape and completely unspoiled coastline.  There are some great walks and deserted beaches for strolling or swimming.   You can explore fascinating deserted mines and a botanical garden at Rodalquilar.  There are attractive and uncrowded coastal villages with restaurants on the beach.  And you can see flocks of wild flamingos at the Salinas salt lagoon.

Watch out for a more detailed post coming soon.

Uncrowded beach, Cabo de Gata, Spain

Typically uncrowded beach

Desert track, Cabo de Gata, Spain

Desert landscape

Sunset, Cabo de Gata coastline, Spain

Sunset over the coast

Picos de Europa

The Picos are a small but very impressive mountain range situated in Northern Spain.  The most convenient airport is Bilbao, though they can also be reached from Madrid.

The range is characterised by deep gorges and limestone pinnacles with impressive paths, some of which need a head for heights.  We stayed at the Hotel Picos de Europa in Arenas de Cabrales.  This made a very comfortable and convenient base.   Potes would be another great place to stay.

For a wide choice of accommodation in the area see  For ideas for walks see the Sunflower Guide: Picos de Europa.

Potes, Picos de Europa, Spain

Potes (photo obtained from

Picos de Europa mountains

Picos de Europa mountains (photo obtained from

Picos de Europa hiking path

Fantastic path above a typical gorge (photo obtained from

Alicante Province

Most people passing through Alicante Airport are heading for the Costa Blanca, and are unaware of the beautiful mountain landscapes a very short distance inland.  There are lovely traditional villages linked by networks of ancient trails, perfect for walking.

Accommodation can be found in numerous small towns and villages.  Look out for a more detailed post coming soon.

Mountains in Alicante Province, Spain

Mountains inland from Alicante

Biar, Spain

Biar – a typical hilltop town

Alicante Province, Spain

Typical landscape


We have had several holidays in this lovely area.  You don’t need to go far from Malaga or Granada airports to be in fantastic walking country.

There are many towns and villages that make great bases for walking.  We particularly recommend Grazalema and Ronda, though there are very many more.

The area contains the cities of Seville, Malaga, Granada and Cordoba, the Sierra Nevada mountain range and of course miles of coastline including the Costa del Sol.

Watch out for a more detailed post coming soon.

Andalucian white town, Spain

Andalucian white town

Reservoir, Andalucia, Spain

One of several reservoirs

Ronda, Spain



We have had three walking holidays in Mallorca, and stayed in Port de Soller each time because we like it so much.

The Tramuntana mountain range is a great area for walking, and there are also many lovely unspoiled coastal paths.

Watch out for a more detailed post coming soon.

Port de Soller, Mallorca

Port de Soller

Rugged landscape in the Tramuntana Mountains, Mallorca

Rugged landscape in the Tramuntana Mountains

Rugged coastline, Mallorca

Coastal view

Gran Canaria

Matt and I had our first foray to the Canary Islands this year (see Gran Canaria, Maspalomas and San Bartolome.)  We didn’t manage to do much walking, but we saw enough to convince us that we need to return, and also visit some of the other islands.  Watch out for future updates!

Pine trees and mountains near San Bartolome, Gran Canaria

View of the mountains through the pine trees

Lagoon at Dunas de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

The Maspalomas lagoon

Cruz Grande, Gran Canaria

Cruz Grande

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