Top 10 walking trails of Spain this fall

Hiking is an activity that has been extended worldwide and proposes an incredible mix of sport, cultural recreation and nature. This amazing activity creates quicklinks between humans and the environment, respecting cultural identity and National Heritage.

Spain has lovely environments of over 60,000 km from route; so many that you will lack the time to visit them all. If you are in love of this activity, from Walkaholic we propose 10 walking trails to do this fall and enjoy in the coming months.

Runs through the magical Spain autumn

Fall, with its explosion of colors worth to admire and pleasant temperatures, is the ideal time to walk. The routes we present you next have been selected among the most popular for this season, all of them documented in our app.

1. By the roads of Navarre: the Irati jungle

Located in Navarre excels the Irati jungle, the second largest European forest after the German Black Forest. You can access this place almost pristine from Ochagavia or Orbaitzeta. This Forest of beech and spruce has nature reserves as Lizardoia, proclaimed World Heritage Site. You can also enjoy the route to the crystalline waters of the Cubo´s river waterfall.

Irati jungle Navarre spain
Selva de Irati / Instagram @anderr235

Continue reading Top 10 walking trails of Spain this fall

Different ways to sleep if you go hiking

Unless you plan a really short trip, one of the aspects to consider when you go trekking is which of the different ways to sleep you can use in this type of adventure.

Many novice hikers must learn the importance of choosing the right one in the hard way, and that involves much more than a bad night.

If you do not rest properly, you will not be able to have the necessary energy to keep on the pace in the next day. That becomes critical for trails in which you must take extreme caution: a steep and difficult terrain, where you must decide quickly and effectively at each step or compromise your balance, is not compatible with a tired hiker.

Let’s analyze then the different ways to sleep that a hiker has access to, so you can decide which is the most suitable for the route you plan to face.

ways to sleep if you go hiking
Before you embark on the adventure, plan where you are going to sleep.

Ways to sleep while hiking: pros and cons

Each of the options that a hiker has to spend the night has its particularities, benefits and usefulness in certain conditions.

The most suitable form depends on many factors. Among them are the weather conditions, the terrain, the season, the hiker economic possibilities, the size of the accompanying group and much more.

The shelter

This settlement is usually the best bet, because it provides the minimum comfort conditions to have a good rest after a day of walking.

Located in strategic regions of each route, the shelters or hostels usually have bunk beds, blankets, health services, information on the area and supplies.

Many have solar panels or electricity generators, so they are an excellent place to replenish your device batteries.

Some of them remain open throughout the year, but sometimes they close in the winter or when the route is not safe for hikers.

Another important aspect is that in the shelters you can obtain updated weather forecasts or attend emergencies.

All of them have means of communication and transport routes, which include rescue helicopters if needed. They can provide support if something goes wrong.

Refuge of Bujaruelo spain
Refuge of Bujaruelo / refugiodebujaruelo.com

There are different options of shelters that you could check in the Walkaholic web and app, both free (free of charge) and paid (or where a reservation is needed) to plan your route.

Usually you should contact them in advance and book your stay. There are several fares according to the route and the amenities offered by the refuge. In Spain, the shelters are managed by the FEDME (Spanish Federation of Mountain Sports and Climbing), by regional federations or hiking associations that offer differential prices for their federated.

If your route passes through one or more of these shelters, it is worth considering them to get a good rest, but they are not always available, it is recommended that you book in advance.

Depending on the route, you can find mountain refuges, charity hostels, pilgrim hostels, private organizations hostels, school hostels or tourist hostels.

Tent

The tent is one of the most popular and comfortable choices for hikers. It guarantees some protection against the elements if the weather is not extreme.

It gives the possibility to spend the night almost anywhere. However, to make your adventure more comfortable, we recommend the possibility to sleep in controlled camping areas, which in many cases have available fresh water, WC and/or barbecue zones.

The Walkaholic web and app also have information about controlled camping areas (cámpings).

The main problem of the tent is its transportation, since you should carry it in your back when in route. Therefore, we must choose it carefully which one is the best in your case.

sleep in tents on mountain trails
For your safety and comfort, look for controlled camping areas.

The first factor is the dimensions, depending on the number of people who will sleep in it. It is also vital to analyze its weight, because depending on the duration and type of travel we must transport it on our backs. In this particular, those that can be divided into sections are better and the whole group can help to transport them.

Finally, the choice depends on the use we want to give it. For mountaineering, it must be very resistant to inclement weather, while trekking and hiking tents offer protection, comfort and resistance alike. Finally, the camping cannot withstand storms or strong winds, but they are spacious and comfortable.

In any case, use as criterion that a personal tent for hiking should not weigh too much in order to not overloading your back.

The hammock

If the weather conditions allow it and we go hiking in a wooded area or the beach, a light and popular option to sleep is the hammock. This portable bed stretched between two supports can support weights up to 300 kg and more.

Depending on the weather, you would also have to use the sleeping bag inside the hammock. It depends on the cold, rain or wind.

We also recommend using a tarp: a strong, flexible and waterproof canvas that will cover you from the humidity and the rain.

ways to sleep if you go hiking
The hammock: a lightweight option to transport and easy to install.

They have the additional advantage that they allow you to separate yourself from the ground, so you will be safe from insects and other annoying terrestrial neighbors. If you like to protect yourself of mosquitoes and other flying insects, you can use a fly net.

When you buy the hammock, be sure that the fly net is incorporated, since not all the models have it.

The best hammocks are those that do not have crossbars that increase the weight made of waterproof materials such as nylon, with precise dimensions for your size and that have hooks and a bag to pick it up. Of course, they must also be lightweight.

The bivouac

Bivouac is one of the most used ways to sleep while hiking. It is overnight without further protection than a good sleeping bag.

It may be a good idea to consider, because it allows you to rest quickly if something unexpected happens or if the route is very long.

To make bivouac, you need three main elements: a sleeping bag, an insulator and a bivouac waterproof sheath that allows perspiration. The good ones are somewhat expensive, but it is worthwhile guaranteeing the comfort to rest in hostile terrains.

Sleeping in the bivouac on the mountain
Pic de Creussans with Bivouac / Eduardo Salete

Some hiker advice for any of the ways to sleep

To sleep outside a shelter it is important to have a place that is flat, so it is not advisable to wait until the last light of day to find a suitable place. If there is a slope, always try to place your head towards the highest area.

If possible, turn your back to the wind and protect yourself with natural barriers. Never make your camp near cliffs, because if it rains, mudslides can happen that put you in trouble. The same goes for areas of possible landslides or avalanches. Also, do not choose sites very close to the riverbed. This way you will avoid a sudden flood, a bad encounter with an animal that came to drink and at least, the annoying mosquitoes.

But, above all, respect nature. Do not ignite fires that can be out of control if you leave them unattended, do not leave any garbage and inform yourself and respect the regulations of the trail you choose to go hiking.

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Chile unveils the Patagonian Route of Parks, a scenic trail of 2,800 km

On September 26th, all the walkers of the world received good news: the unveiling of the Patagonian Route of Parks as a Chilean tourism product. With around 2,800 kilometers long, through an extension of 11.5 million hectares, this scenic trial is ideal for those who seek direct contact with nature and trekking lovers.

This was announced by the executive director of Tompkins Conservation Chile, Carolina Morgado, which shows that this Andean country is betting strongly on responsible tourism and the preservation of the environment. The scenic trail covers an impressive biodiversity and natural landscapes, which includes forests, biosphere reserves, fjords, glaciers and much more.

Patagonian Route of Parks: a tour for brave walkers

The proposal extends from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn, connecting 60 communities that are integrated into the Southern Way, the Patagonian channels and the End of the World Route.

With this announce, Chile faces its greatest challenge and best opportunity: to become an example to follow in terms of conservation and environmental care, promoting a kind of tourism that educates and preserves our planet beauty.

This initiative, which was being prepared for 25 years, was developed by the Tompkins Conservation Foundation, in collaboration with Imagen de Chile.

Continue reading Chile unveils the Patagonian Route of Parks, a scenic trail of 2,800 km

Hiking Sierras de Cazorla – “Bosques del Sur” track GR-247

Hiking Sierras de Cazorla can be perfect for a weekend, or for an exigent multiday trek. In the inner province of Jaén, in Andalusia, we found one of the most well renowned natural parks of Spain. The Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. And in the heart of this natural paradise, there is the long GR-247, or “Bosques del Sur” track, which is divided in 21 main stages.

Hiking Sierras de Cazorla (Maximo Lopez CC BY-ND 2.0)

Fauna and flora spotted while Hiking Sierras de Cazorla

Here you can enjoy of the very beginning of the Guadalquivir river. A varied range of wild animals like:

  • Deers
  • Mountain goats
  • Wild boars
  • European mouflon
  • Fallow deer
  • Griffon vulture

    Hiking Sierras de Cazorla – Volture ( Ramón Portellano CC BY 2.0)
  • Golden eagle
  • Bearded vulture or ossifrage
  • Spanish algyroides or Valverde’s lizard
  • Foxes

    Hiking Sierras de Cazorla – Fox ( Ramón Portellano  CC BY 2.0)

Continue reading Hiking Sierras de Cazorla – “Bosques del Sur” track GR-247

Glen Rosa via Brodick Castle – An introduction to Scotland’s stunning day walks

There’s no doubt about it: Scotland is one of the best countries in Europe to enjoy hiking of all sorts. From short strolls in and around the bustling Central Belt (the area spanning from Glasgow in the West to Edinburgh in the East, where two thirds of Scots live and work) to more challenging ascents up the Highlands’ many munroes, walkers of all ages and fitness levels can find something to suit their needs. With over 2,000 walks available over the country, you can virtually go for a walk every week for forty years, and seldom go through the same place twice! And yet, having lived in Glasgow for over three years, I have to admit that I’ve fallen in love with some particular spots, to the point where I’ll shamelessly do the exact same walk multiple times. Whether it’s because I want to take visiting friends there, or experience familiar landscapes in a different weather or season, some Scottish walks have become favourites of mine. And so, for my first post on this blog, I’ve decided to tackle a walk I’ve done several times on the beautiful Isle of Arran: a short walk to Glen Rosa that takes in the stunning gardens of Brodick Castle and the adjoining Highland cattle pastures.

The Isle of Arran is often dubbed “Scotland in miniature”, and for good reasons. From small, tranquil fishing towns to sheep- and heather-covered moory hills dominated by dramatic basalt peaks, Scotland’s largest island features many of the breath-taking sights that have become associated with the country. Add to this the fact that it’s one of the easiest islands to access from Glasgow, and you’ve got the perfect location for a whole range of day walks to tackle with your dog, your family, or your more athletic friends looking for a quick climb.

Getting to Arran

Getting to Arran
Approaching Arran

Getting to Arran from the Central Belt is an incredibly easy process: Scotrail trains and Caledonian ferries have teamed up to synchronise their journeys, meaning that transferring from train to ferry and back is pretty much stress- and hassle-free, and is all covered by a single, incredibly cheap ticket (just over a tenner for a return journey). All in all, it usually takes as little as a couple of hours from taking the train in Glasgow Central station to your arrival in the small port of Brodick on Arran. Continue reading Glen Rosa via Brodick Castle – An introduction to Scotland’s stunning day walks