Spain is full of epic hiking routes that run the length and breadth of the country, but these can take weeks or maybe months to complete. If you don’t have the time or the inclination, then here’s our picks for the best day hikes in Spain.
Located in the province of Malaga, the Caminito del Rey was once famous for being the world’s scariest hike – a pathway clinging to the sheer rock face, pockmarked with broken stairs, missing pieces of pathway, damaged handrails and vertical drops. However, after a major refurbishment project which was completed in 2016, it is now completely safe, whilst still offering spectacular views. The route runs from the town of Ardales and ends in Álora and is almost 8 km (5 miles) in length.
The route of the Salto del Cabrero is located in within the Grazalema Natural Park, in the Sierra de Cádiz mountain range. One of the greenest parts of Andalusia, it’s a beautiful oasis dotted with rocky peaks and verdant valleys. The route measures 3.3km (2 miles) one way and takes around two hours and 15 minutes to complete. Among stunning vistas, this route is also ideal for viewing vultures.
The GR92 is the 822 km (511 mile) hiking route that runs from the French border all the way down the coast of the Costa Brava. Although the whole route takes more than a month to complete, one of the most picturesque parts of the path – between Calella de Palafrugell and Palamós – can be done in a day. This part is approximately 10 km (6.2 miles) long and passes some of the prettiest beaches, hidden coves and inlets along the coast, including the fabulous Platja Del Castell Palamós, as seen below.
The Camí de Cavalls is the trail that runs around the entire circumference of the island of Menorca, in the Balearics. An ancient pathway, it measures 185 km (115 miles) and is one of the best ways to discover this magical island. One of the most rewarding parts of the walk runs from the Cap de Favaritx lighthouse to the beach at Arenal d’en Castell. This section of the trail measures 13.6 km (8.5 miles) long and comprises of rocky coastline, small beaches and green pastures.
The GR99 runs all the way along the Ebro River Valley, beginning in Cantabria and ending in Tarragona at the Mediterranean Sea. One of the best parts of the trail starts in the town of Miranda del Ebro in Castilla y León and continues until the town of Haro in La Rioja’s wine country. 21.5 km (13.4 miles) in length, it takes around five hours to complete. At the end, why not reward yourself with a glass of red at one of Haro’s best wineries?
The famous Ruta del Cares lies within the great Picos de Europa National Park and runs alongside Cares River. Nicknamed ‘the Divine Gorge’, the small narrow pathway drops steeply to one side, offering dramatic views of the ravine below. 12 km (7.5 miles) long in total, it begins in Poncebos in Asturias and ends in Caín in León.
The GR7 is another of Spain’s epic hiking routes. It starts in the town of Tarifa, known for its water sports such as windsurfing and kite boarding, and runs all the way up to Andorra. Of course if you don’t feel like walking the whole 4,000 km (2,485 miles), then a day hike from Tarifa to the Parque Natural de los Alcornocales is the perfect part. Starting next to the windswept beaches, you’ll pass into the Parque Natural de los Alcornocales, dotted with beautiful cork forests. There’s no final ending point to this route, so you can just walk until you feel tired.