trail running routes in Spain

11 trail running routes in Spain

Spain has the privilege of being one of the trail running pioneers, so it is only logical that it also has many of the most beautiful trails.

It is also one of the countries where this outdoor activity grows faster worldwide. And it is not just the feeling of the unevenness, the soft ground under our feet and the constant attention needed to terrain accidents. It is passion, nature, pure air and, above all, lot of health to whom practice trail running.

As more and more runners go out to enjoy this way of running away from the asphalt, from Walkaholic we propose 11 of the best trail running routes to be run in Spain.

Aigüestortes (Lleida)

 trails through Aigüestortes, Spain
Aigüestortes trails / photo by Joan Garcia, License (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Aigüestortes National Park is one of the favorite places for trail running enthusiasts.

There is a magnificent route of 480 meters of slope, which starts from the Cavallers Dam and ends at the Llac Negre. It is a 2 and a half hours run, through several beautiful Catalan landscapes of lakes and eroded granite.

Camí de Cavalls (Menorca)

The famous Camí de Cavalls that surrounds the island of Menorca has also become one of the favorite trail running routes of local and visitor athletes.

Following it in its 185 km length, the island can be circumvented admiring its beaches and coves in 7 or 8 days. But it can also be ran any of its sections, either the north in three or four stages (96.65 km) or the south (88 km) in three stages.

The decision is yours, while this jewel of the Balearic Islands waits for your steps.

Cares (Picos de Europa, Asturias)

Spectacular trails through Cares, Spain
Cares trails /photo by John Mason, License (CC BY 2.0)

The Cares Route between Caín and Poncebos is one of the trail running routes that adds spectacularity to its 25 kilometers of trajectory, with about 500 meters of slope.

Cares has the special charm of the famous “Divine Gorge”, a route carved by the waters directly in the mountain rocks, which is the pride of the Picos de Europa with its wild nature, its mountains, its meadows and the water cooing.

Cuerda Larga (Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid)

This is a Madrid mountains classic tour, which begins in Canto Cochino on the banks of the Manzanares River and runs through pine forests, the northern slope of the Cancho de los Gavilanes, the Collados de Matasanos and the Loma del Pandasco.

Then it surrounds the Alpine ski resort of Valdesquí and goes down to the hill of Guarramillas, to conquer the Maliciosa summit and descend through the Casiruela forest and until returning to the starting point.

It is a route of 30.4 km, with a slope of 2,020 m that demands a lot, but rewards more.

El Yelmo (Madrid)

El Yelmo, Madrid
El Yelmo / photo by Jacinta Lluch, License (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Also near the capital we can opt for this 10-kilometer circular route, to be done in 4 or 5 hours. It is listed as easy – medium, with the incentive of the proximity to the city and the excellent views it provides.

It also begins in Canto Cochino, but this time it goes to Tolmo and then the rock of El Yelmo is conquered. It can be done at any time of the year, and allows us to admire the local fauna and places like La Pedriza, El Pájaro or Los Fantasmas. Except for the sheer final stretch, it is a simple trail running route.

Guipúzcoa starting from Zarautz (Basque Country)

trails for running through Zarautz
Trails for running through Zarautz correr por Zarautz / photo by Ordiziako Jakintza , License  (CC BY 2.0)

If you like mountain routes along the sea, the Basque Country reserves a magnificent option for you in the circular route Zarautz-Urdaneta-Pagoeta-Aia-Agorregi-Zarautz.

This route of 800 meters of slope reserves us meadows, peaks and the opportunity to know a town that is considered the cradle of surfing in the region, all in a fabulous natural environment… that we can complement with the magnificent Basque gastronomic offerings.

The Enchanted City (Cuenca)

Trail for mail through the Enchanted City in Cuenca, Spain
The Enchanted City in Cuenca, Spain / photo by Triss2000, License (CC BY 2.0)

It is only a 3 kilometers long route, but in an environment whose peculiarity earned him since 1929 the title of National Interest Site. Therefore, it is one of the busiest running trail routes.

Its rock formations in the middle of pine forests of the mountains are its main attraction, with curious forms baptized by locals with picturesque names such as The Bears, The Turtle, Man’s Face or The Stone Sea.

Las Verdes (Leon)

With its 15 kilometers and its 750-meter slope, the Las Verdes race fulfills what it promises in colors, running through the heart of Castilla y León on a great variety of surfaces.

It goes from the town of Torre de Babia towards the Las Verdes lagoon, to retrace the road without monotony or pauses. It can be concluded with a taste of the local cuisine, to recover our energies.

Monte Perdido (Ordesa, Aragonese Pyrenees)

Trail for running through Monte Perdido, Spain
Monte Perdido, Spain / photo by Taquiman, License (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In the Aragonese Pyrenees this trail running route stands out. It begins in the Prairie of Ordesa and ends in the Góriz Refuge. The route goes for more than 20 kilometers and gets to the summit of Monte Perdido, with sections of hard slope, stretches through forest trails and very technical descents.

In short, a tour worthy of the most experienced mountain runner, through the perfect environment.

Montseny (Matagalls-Les Agudes-Turó de L’Home, Catalonia)

The Montseny
The Montseny / photo by Jordi Agustí, Liencese (CC BY 2.0)

The Montseny Massif has neither the high peaks nor the orography of the Pyrenees. But that is not a hindrance for its green nature, how easy it is to reach it and its landscapes, which make it a great place to practice trail running.

With 24 kilometers and a very hard 2,200 meters slope, the route that starts from Sant Bernat covers three of its main peaks: the Matagalls, Les Agudes and the Turó de L’Home. Few athletes dare, but it cannot be described the pleasure of conquering this path.

Monfragüe National Park (Cáceres)

View of the trails of Monfragüe
Monfragüe View / photo by Jose Antonio Cotallo , License (CC BY-ND 2.0)

With the Tajo backdrop, this Natural Park of Extremadura stands out for having one of the most popular trail routes in Spain. There are plenty of things to see on it: from historic areas to local wildlife.

This trail starts at Villarreal de San Carlos and arrives at the Castillo de Monfragüe through the Salto del Gitano, accumulating a 13 km round trip and a slope of 400 meters. It has a medium difficulty and can be done in 3 hours of running, in which shady and sunny areas alternate with a changing landscape along the entire route.

Are there no more beautiful trail running routes in Spain? Out of this list we have left hundreds, so if your favorite is not included, be sure to mention it in a comment for the benefit of all runners that belong to the Walkaholic family.

It is time to change hiking boots for running shoes. Maybe we meet in one of these Spanish trails and have a healthy competition.

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