Beyond the architectural gems, the world-class art museums, the ‘tapas’ and the vibrant nightlife, there’s a lot more going on in Spain. With diverse landscapes that go from the rugged and wild Pyrenees to the stunning Mediterranean beaches of Mallorca, there’s plenty of opportunities for an active holiday in pure nature.
Planning an adventurous trip to Spain? Here’s our list to the best 10 outdoor activities to try in this amazing European country:
1. Rock climbing near Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the most incredible cities in the world. As the second largest city in Spain, is one of the frequent starting points for travel itineraries in the country (the other one is, of course, Madrid). This sunny coastal city is full of epic attractions, from Gaudi architecture to La Boqueria Market. Those who enjoy an active holiday will also find plenty to do in the surroundings of Barcelona.
Catalonia is hailed as one of Europe’s premier sport rock climbing destinations. At only 1h drive from Barcelona, the amazing playground of Montserrat and its rocky pinnacles provide some of the best multi-pitch rock climbing in Spain. Vilanova de Meia, a small village north of Lleida, is another must for rock climbing lovers, boasting imposing limestone walls in a wild environment.
Want to know more? Don’t miss our guide with the best rock climbing spots near Barcelona!
Canyoning is a thrilling aquatic adventure that often takes place on a river gorge and combines jumping, abseiling descents on waterfalls, swimming in crystal water pools and sliding in natural toboggans. Even though canyoning is quite popular throughout the country, the Sierra de Guara massif is the place where this sport started and it has it all to top the list as the best canyoning destination in Spain.
Sierra de Guara offers canyoning adventures that can be adapted for all levels: there are family-friendly canyons (allowed for children over 8 years old) and extreme canyons for those in excellent physical conditions! A guide is always recommended for this activity.
The Pyrenees form a natural border between Spain and France. With peaks around 3,000 meters, they offer a bunch of classic mountain routes for climbers. Reaching the summit of Mt Aneto (3,404 m), the highest mountain in the range, is definitely one of the highlights. Lying within Posets-Maladeta Natural Park, Mt Aneto also boasts the largest glacier in the Pyrenees.
There are three different routes to the top; depending which one you choose, the ascent can take one to two days. Climbing Aneto is an exciting introduction to mountaineering, which requires some glacier travel and rock scrambling.
Picos de Europa ―a large protected area in the north of Spain― is one of the top hiking destinations in the country. This group of magnificent peaks within the Cantabrian Mountains allow adventures for all types of travelers, from short day hikes to multi-day trekking tours.
Some of the most beautiful itineraries include the Covadonga Lakes, the Valdeon Valley and the spectacular Cares Gorge. Naranjo de Bulnes (2,519 m) is also one of the classics for those who explore the Picos.
This valley at the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees offers some of the finest ski touring in Spain. Thanks to its north orientation, Val d’Aran receives amazing powder snow. There are endless slopes for all levels, surrounded by a breathtaking scenery. The delicious local cuisine, cozy mountain huts and hospitable people only add to an unforgettable ski experience.
Val d’Aran is home to Baqueira-Beret Ski Resort, which boasts an immense off-piste skiing playground.
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