The Best Hiking in Spain

Part 8 of the Series: The Best Hiking in the World

The Best Hiking in Spain

The Best Hiking in Spain may sound like a smaller sampling than the rest of our offerings in this series.

While we have generally broken up the best hiking series into regions and continents, some areas were so well recommended that we just had to give them their own space.

The writers who wanted to share their stories didn’t disappoint with their submissions.

Not only do the trails deserve to be on a list of the best in the world, the articles are also written by some top-notch adventurers.

So, if you’ve never been to Spain (but you kinda like the music…) be sure to check out these fine hikes!

Mulhacen, Sierra Nevada National Park

by Linn Haglund from Brainy Backpackers

Photo Credit: Linn Haglund from Brainy Backpackers

Mulhacen (3479 masl) in Sierra Nevada National Park is not only the highest peak in mainland Spain but also the highest in the Iberian Peninsula. It is without a doubt one of the best hikes in Spain but with the incredible scenery and views of the entire national park, it easily makes it to the world’s best hikes. 

You can reach the top of Mulhacen on only a day in the summer months when the national park offers a bus shuttle from Capileira to Mirador de Trevelez. This is the highest point the bus is allowed to drive and way higher than any private vehicle is allowed to go. 

The bus picks you up 6 hours after drop off which gives you plenty of time to hike up to the top, have something energizing to eat, and snap a million photos.

For the more adventurous hikers, there are plenty of multi-day hiking options to reach Mulhacen too. You can walk from Capileira and camp at Refugio de Poqueira, then continue up to the peak early in the morning and do the whole hike down again. 

Other options are to combine it with Pico Veleta from Hoya de la Mora and stay at any of the refuges between the two peaks, or you can hike from Trevelez past Siete Lagunas and back down, or combine any of these with multiple overnights if you do not have to return to the same place.

There is a big chance of seeing mountain goats on all of these routes and the multi-day hikes all have natural water sources, though they may be scarce in the late summer.


Ruta de los Cahorros

by Joanna from Andalucia in My Pocket

Photo by Joanna from Andalucia in My Pocket

Ruta de los Cahorros is one of the most spectacular accessible hiking trails in the Sierra Nevada mountains, in Southern Spain. 

Sierra Nevada are the highest mountains in continental Spain, with plenty of gorgeous trails and ski slopes in winter. In fact, in Sierra Nevada you will find the most southern ski slopes in Europe.

Ruta de los Cahorros is a popular day trip from Granada, starting in the village of Monachil. The village can be reaches in 20 minutes by bus from the central of Granada or in 10 minutes by car. 

The trail is frequented by both locals and tourists. Locals love to walk to a waterfall, swim underneath and have picnics on the shore of the river. 

The trail is a lot of fun, as it has quite a few hanging bridges, including a 55 meters long bridge suspended at over 15 meters above the ground, over the waterfall. 

The trail continues through a narrow canyon and a cave, following the river Monachil high into the heart of the mountain. 

At the end of the canyon hikers can choose if they want to return on the same path, or continue further up the mountain, on a circular trail back to the village of Monachil. 

This is a steep trail, without any shade, but extremely rewarding in terms of views and wildlife. Often you will see here the Iberian ibex climbing up steep walls of rocks. –Joanna

Hike to Acebuchal, Andalucia

by Victoria from Guide Your Travel

Photo credit: Victoria from Guide Your Travel

The southern area of Spain is a paradise for hikers and those wanting to experience the great outdoors. 

One of the most underrated and beautiful hikes in the world. The path begins in the beautiful village of Frigiliana which is one of the most popular white villages in the area. 

The trail takes around 2 hours to complete and leads to the secret village of Acebuchal. Only very few inhabitants actually live in this mountain town and it’s definitely worth the trek. 

Acebuchal actually lay abandoned for more than 50 years after its residents left in the Spanish Civil war. In the early 2000s descendants of former residents rebuilt the village from scratch and used the ruins of historic buildings to rebuild everything. 

Today, Acebuchal is a flourishing little village with a popular restaurant that serves freshly baked bread. Stop here for a quick lunch and a refreshing cold drink before you make your way back to the trail. 

If you’re up for it you could hike even further to the bottom of the valley where a river flows. Let your feet cool down and enjoy the beautiful view. 

Make sure to bring plenty of water on the hike. It can get quite hot during the summer.


El Caminito del Rey, Andalucia

by Linn of Andalucia Hiking

Photo credit: Linn Haglund from Andalucia Hiking

El Caminito del Rey used to be the most dangerous hike in the world before it was rebuilt in 2015. The path is pinned on the vertical mountain through a narrow and dangerously dramatic gorge, Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes, in the Province of Malaga. As one of the most breathtaking hikes in Andalucia, it takes you through incredible scenery with a glittering river at the bottom of the gorge, birds diving from the cliffs, and finally crosses a bridge before the path ends at the other side of the gorge.

You can still see the old path under the new one and it is a good reminder of the lives that were lost before the rebuild. This is only a 2-hour hike, but truly a bucket list one!

Today, it is mandatory to wear a helmet, there is a security brief at the beginning of the path, and guards along the pathway. Entrances are restricted so not too many people are on the path at the same time, so you have to book tickets in advance and be there at the pre-booked time or you might not be allowed in. It is then good to keep in mind that the entrance is a good 20-50 minute hike from El Kiosko Restaurant in Ardales where you can park or where the bus drops you – depending on which route you take. The shuttle bus takes you back to the starting point.


Wrap Up

Wow! After reading these posts, who doesn’t want to get to Spain ASAP?

We want to give a shout out to these talented writers for such a great job. You took us along and have given us a basis for our own Spanish hiking trip.

If you would like to read more, be sure to visit each of their websites. They offer great guides in Spain and all around the world in some cases.

Don’t Take a Hike Just Yet

While we encourage you to get to know the above travel writers better, we have some other adventures we wanted to share with you.

Feel free to browse around for other great hikes in this series. Like the ones we collected all over Europe.

But if you are closer to the other side of the pond, be sure to read all about our favorite travel bloggers favorite hikes in the USA and some great Canadian trails too.

And whether it’s camping advice, road trip assistance, or more hiking guides be sure to check out our pages on each of these categories.

And if you would like to know when the next post comes out, we would love to let you know in our outdoor adventure newsletter.

We won’t bombard you with more junk in your inbox. We’ll just drop a note when we launch another post. Otherwise, we will leave you alone.