8 gorgeous places for hiking outside of Barcelona
Barcelona’s unique location on the Mediterranean and near the Pyrenees mountains offers an abundance of beautiful hiking destinations. Simply hopping on a train for an hour or planning a weekend trip will give you the opportunity to explore Catalonia’s rich topographical diversity. From moderate hikes for beginners to rigorous trails for more athletic types, here are 8 places to hike outside of Barcelona.
A day trip to Montserrat is one of the most popular destinations for a good reason. The unique rock formations and spectacular views make a great escape from the busy city. It is easily accessible by train and once there, you’ll have many options for hiking. There are a few routes up to the top so you can choose whether you want an easier ascent or a more strenuous one. There is also the beautiful Monastery that can be visited at the foot of the mountain.
The Costa Brava offers gorgeous seaside views for hiking alongside crystal clear waters and through perfectly placed coves. You can even reach the coastal trails by train, starting in Blanes and walking along to Lloret de Mar. The further north up the coast you go, the more beautiful it becomes!
Montseny Natural Park is another great place for an easy to moderate hike. There are many trails to follow, but one of the most famous is the Can Cuch Chestnut Loop which passes by an ancient and massive chestnut tree.
The Ruta del 7 Gorgs (route of the 7 waterfalls) in Campdevànol is a moderate hiking path that passes through a tranquil landscape and most importantly – 7 waterfalls with their crystal clear pools. It might be even more spectacular to visit in winter when the water freezes. This route can get quite busy during peak months, so if you can go during the week, you’re in for a treat.
From the town of Rupit, there are a few hiking trails and loops that lead you through gorgeous mountain views. The hiking route that takes you to the Mirador de Salt de Sallent can’t be missed as it features a waterfall accessed through a lovely forest trail.
La Garrotxa is a zone made up of 40 volcanic cones in one area making it an interesting terrain to lace up your hiking boots for. Several walking routes pass through the La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park’s most interesting parts and the mostly level terrain make it a good place for beginners. You can’t miss the beautiful forests, roman chapels, and thousand-year-old lava flows. You’ll also be close to the medieval towns of Besalú and Santa Pau if you want to explore those afterwards.
The Forked Mountain (from Catalan) is an unforgettable natural zone in the Pyrenees mountain range very close to Andorra. The Pedraforca loop is technically not a very long hike, but it can be difficult in the rocky parts, but well worth the stunning views of the forked twin peaks.
For those serious about hiking, there is nothing better than Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. About a 3-4 hour drive from Barcelona, you’ll want to spend a few nights in the surrounding villages to take in the trails. The park, which is settled deep in the Pyrenees, offers magnificent mountains, lush forests, mountain-fed lakes and 4 different vegetation zones.