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From the Pyrenees to Sierra Nevada.

From the wild flower

meadows

in Andalusia to the coastal viewpoints of Mallorca and Menorca.

From the alternative Celtic routes in Galicia to the forgotten mountains in the Basque Country.

All these hills, mountains,

fields, beaches and cliffs

have a careful network of trails,

mountain refuges

or simple pensions in small towns that contribute to making Spain the dream of thousands of hikers from all over the world.

All these proposals fit in a guide, that of

The best excursions in Spain.

60 day trips to nature (

Stuart Butler,

editorial Lonely Planet, 224 pages), a gem

with maps included

whose objective is to help us discover and enjoy the nature of our country.

It is

the second most mountainous in Europe for

a reason .

Next, we go through some of these unique landscapes that we have a stone's throw away.

THE PYRENEES

The imposing natural border

between Spain and France

is the main hiking destination in Spain.

The mountain range is of a sweetened beauty in the lower slopes and rugged and inhospitable in higher areas.

The Pyrenees are home to two outstanding national parks:

Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici

and Ordesa y Monte Perdido.

PICOS DE EUROPE AND NORTH OF SPAIN

The amazing and accessible

limestone mountain ranges

, with their unmistakable escarpments (also popular rock climbing destinations) preside over the first national park in Spain, the Picos de Europa, which extends through

Cantabria, Asturias and León

.

This is one of the best hiking areas in the country.

Elsewhere in the north, a network of trails wind up and down cliffs and link timeless inland villages.

Two hikers in the Picos de Europa. SHUTTERSTOCK

GALICIA

In summer, when half of Spain is roasting and

hiking

can be more an act of resistance than enjoyment, Galicia comes to the rescue of this practice.

Lush, humid and verdant

, the northwest corner of the country is a cocktail of tortuous coastline, old stone towns and hills upon hills.

Throughout its surface hiking is wonderful.

CENTER OF SPAIN

The central region of the country offers much more than

Don Quixote,

windmills and vast wheat fields.

The Sistema Central, a spine of rugged, rocky mountains rising more than 2,200 meters from the plateau, provides an oasis of enchanting

alpine nature

.

The people of Madrid are common on these mountain tracks, something that foreign hikers tend to overlook.

ANDALUSIA

The South surprises with its contrasts.

Here the walker can travel between the white villages

of the Alpujarras valleys

and the Cazorla and Grazalema mountains, climb snow-capped peaks and bathe in the exceptional Mediterranean beaches, some of which are unexpectedly wild.

This variety makes Andalusia a fabulous

hiking destination

all year round.

Panoramic view of the town of Cazorla.ANDALUCIA.ORG

MEDITERRANEAN COAST

While the Spanish Mediterranean coastline is perhaps best known for its sprawling resorts, there is wildlife beyond.

Its trails span cliffside routes to

idyllic beaches,

pilgrim paths and arduous hikes.

These warm, parched coastal trails are a great fall-to-spring

hiker's destination

, while the mountainous interior is cooler and better from spring-to-fall.

MAJORCA AND MENORCA

These islands welcome visitors with a wide

kaleidoscope of landscapes:

immaculate coves with turquoise waters, wooded gorges, stone gorges,

vertiginous cliffs,

pine and oak forests, vestiges of past cultures and

white sand beaches

.

Although some paths in Mallorca and Menorca are well-trodden, there are also paths to enjoy solitude.

Menorca is characterized by its coves with crystal clear waters. SHUTTERSTOCK

SANTIAGO'S ROAD

Although there are many paths that lead to Santiago de Compostela, the most popular is

the French

path , which stretches 770 kilometers through the north of the peninsula from the Pyrenees.

Its list of assets is impressive, as it is not only the first Cultural Route of the Council of Europe and the centerpiece of the Camino, declared

a World Heritage Site by Unesco

, but, for believers, it is a pilgrimage equivalent to visiting Jerusalem.

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