Interest on hiking has increased considerably in Spain. There are many new fans that day by day are eager to travel trails, discovering and enjoying the natural beauty that our country offers.
For both the most daring and amateurs there are a large number of long-distance footpaths (known as routes of Gran Recorrido, GR footpaths) that are recognized by the Spanish Federation of Mountain and Climbing Sports (FEDME), many of them belonging to the network of European Long-Distance Trails .
A long-distance trail means a route of more than 50 km in length, designed to be traveled in 2 or more stages.
These roads are marked by a white stripe on a red one, which are painted along the route in visible places such as trees, stones or specially placed supports to mark the route.
In Spain there are more than 200 major long distance trails or GR footpaths, each of them with several stages and many with variants, so the number of possible routes is enormous.
So, from Walkaholic we bring you some of those that we consider the best, and may be a wonderful memory if you decide to travel them this time of the year.
GR-1: the Historical Path
GR-1 , it begins at the ruins of Empúries in Girona and ends at the Atlantic, in Finisterre (La Coruña), going parallel to the GR-11 for 600 km and then merging with the Camino to Santiago, to travel the Iberian Peninsula along the north and going through the main cities during the Middle Ages in the crowns of Aragón, Castilla-León and Navarra.
GR-3: Central Path of Catalonia
This route is a project that aims to link almost all the Catalan long distance trails to make a circular circuit of about 1,000 kilometers that runs through the interior of Catalonia, with Lleida as starting and finishing point.
At this route you can see spectacular landscapes, which include the forests of Berguedà, Bages and Solsonès. As of today, there are 285 km marked, comprised of 16 stages:
- Vidrà – Els Munts
- Els Munts – Sant Bartomeu del Grau
- Sant Bartomeu del Grau – L’Estany
- L’Estany – Moià
- Moià – Monistrol de Calders
- Monistrol de Calders – Navarcles
- Navarcles – Manresa
- Manresa – Camps
- Camps – Saló
- Saló – Cardona
- Cardona – Clariana de Cardener
- Clariana de Cardener – Solsona
- Solsona – Madrona
- Madrona – Ponts
- Ponts – Agramunt
- Agramunt – Tàrrega
However, you can use the Walkaholic application to download a map with GPS positioning along the entire route, so you never get lost.
GR-8: Ulldecona-Villel Path
This route is part of the European E-7 trail, which starts in Portugal and goes to Romania. In Catalonia it begins in Ulldecona and crosses 50 km to the town of Beceite in Teruel, crossing the area of Matarraña (called by many the Spanish Tuscany) to end in Camarena de la Sierra, after a total of 353 km.
Ulldecona – Sant Joan del Pas – La Sénia – Refuge of Font Ferrer – Port of Tortosa – Provincial boundary – Beceite – Fuentespalda – Peñarroya de Tastavins – Aguaviva – Las Planas de Castellote – Bordón – Tronchón – Mirambel – Cantavieja – Fortanete – Valdelinares – Alcalá of the Forest – Mora de Rubielos – Valbona – La Puebla de Valverde – Camarena de la Sierra
GR-11: Trans-Pyrenees Route
The Trans-Pyrenees Route crosses the Spanish Pyrenees from West to East, with more than 800 km not suitable for beginners. On the western slope, it starts at Cabo de Higuer in the Cantabrian Sea to end at the Mediterranean Sea at Cape de Creus; running for 315 Km of high mountain and landscapes full of greens, grays and whites of Catalonia.
Each stage is a combination of magnificent natural spaces with the contrast of picturesque mountain villages, which make this tour an unforgettable experience.
For your trip, it is recommended to plan according to the route as it has 44 stages and more than 10 variants to travel.
GR-12: Euskal Herria Trail
The Euskal Herria Trail, it starts from Navarra, then crosses Guipuzkoa, passes through Álava and ends at the Port of Kruzeta in Belagua. Although badly marked in some sections, Navarra has made a great effort to recover and rescue it for hikers.
Their walks on the mountain ridges with landscapes are exceptional, all in a context where it is difficult to find inhabited places.
Its route is made up of 9 stages:
- Etxegarate – Lizarrusti
- Lizarrusti – Lekunberri
- Lekunberri – Gorostieta
- Gorostieta – Belate
- Belate – Aztakarri
- Aztakarri – Azpegi
- Azpegi – Iturzaeta
- Iturzaeta – Belagua
- Belagua – Belagua
GR-65: French Camino de Santiago
Undoubtedly a classic, the Camino to Santiago is the first European Cultural Route and Unesco’s World Heritage. Among the many trails that can be followed to complete it (the Northern Way, the Winter Way, the Portuguese Way, the Sea of Arousa, the Primitive, the English) highlights the French Way, which runs for just over 750 km between Saint Jean Pied de Port (France) and Santiago de Compostela.
Being the Jacobean route of more cultural, scenic and artistic richness, it is very well documented and has the complete infrastructure for a good spiritual search.
It is often completed in 31 stages, starting from the French town of Saint Jean Pied de Port, it has a series of variants, including:
GR 65.2 Camino de Urdax- Baztán: It is one of the most beautiful alternatives in its route, both for hikers and pilgrims; joins Baiona with Pamplona and it is perfectly signposted.
GR 65.5 The Camino Catalán: with Tarragona as starting point, goes through Zaragoza crossing the Ebro route, to reach Logroño and then the Road to Santiago.
GR-75: Cantabrian Valleys trail
This trail with spectacular views crosses Cantabria starting at Castro Urdiales until arriving at Potes. It is divided into three sections: the oriental (from Castro Urdiales to Matienzo), the central (from Matienzo to Entrambasmestas) and the western (from Entrambasmestas to Unquera, ending in Potes). Any of these, you will surely love.
The GR 75 currently takes place through 4 stages:
- Stage 01: Matienzo – Bustablado
- Stage 02: Busted – Selaya
- Stage 03: Selaya – Entambasmestas
- Stage 04: Entambasmestas – Bárcena de Pie de Concha
This path used to mark the urban and commercial development during the Roman domination , being used also in the Middle Ages by pilgrims to reach Santiago de Compostela.
It traverses Spain, going from north to south, from Gijón in Asturias to Seville and Cádiz in Andalusia. The route covers nine provinces, namely: Asturias, León, Zamora, Ávila, Salamanca, Cáceres, Badajoz, Sevilla and Cádiz. Originally, the road joined the cities of Merida and Astorga and began to be built in the s. II a.C. covering 470 km, but the current full route is approximately 950 km.
Due to its longitude and lack of signaling it is very difficult to define stages, so it is recommended to consult directly according to the route you wish to explore. Even so, in the web rutadelaplata.com the Asturias stages are detailed.
The route of the Good Men or Cathars Path marks the exile that the Cathars traveled in the 12th and 14th centuries. They fled from Occitania, where they were persecuted as Catholicism heretics to Spanish lands.
The 211 km route passes through medieval villages, Romanesque churches and castles, starting at the Santuari de Queralt in the province of Barcelona and ending in France, in Montsegur (Ariége).
The GR-107 has five variants:
- GR-107.1: Font de la Bruixa to Molí de Feners.
- GR-107.2: L’Ospitalet and Merenç-de-las-Vals
- GR-107.3: Tuixén and Gòsol
- GR-107.4: Refugi dels Cortals to Bellver de Cerdanya by Pedra and Beders
- GR 107.5: Coll de l’Oreller to the Camí dels Planes
Stages of the GR-107:
- Stage 1: From Santuari de Queralt (Berga) to Gósol
- Stage 2: From Gósol to Bagà
- Stage 3: From Bagà to Bellver de Cerdanya
- Stage 4: From Bellver de Cerdanya to Porta
- Stage 5: From Porta to Mérens-les-Vals
- Stage 6: From L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre to Mérens-les-Vals
- Stage 7: From Mérens-les-Vals to Orgeix
- Stage 8: From Orgeix to Comús
- Stage 9: From Comús to Montsegu
- Stage 10: From Montsegur to Roquefixade
- Stage 11: From Roquefixade to Foix
Variants of the GR-107:
- Variant GR-107.1.1: Solsona – Odèn
- Variant GR-107.1.2: Odèn – Sant Llorenç de Morunys
- Variant GR-107.1.3: San Lorenzo de Morunys – Tuixent
- Variant GR-107.1.4: Tuixent – Gòsol
- Variant GR-107.2.1: Bellver de Cerdanya – Guils de Cerdanya
- Variant GR-107.2.2: Guils de Cerdanya – Porta
Full route in Walkaholic: https://www.walkaholic.me/route/1181120-gr-107-cami-dels-bons-homes
GR-160, Camino del Cid
To end our top 10, we present another classic. The Camino del Cid goes through the places reflected in the singing of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, the most famous medieval historical figure in Spain.
It is a cultural and nature itinerary that begins in Vivar del Cid in Burgos and concludes in Orihuela (Alicante), to travel a journey of 1,331 km, based on the figure of the Cid, historically linked to Roman walkways, trade routes and historic roads.
The route crosses eight Spanish provinces (Burgos, Soria, Guadalajara, Zaragoza, Teruel, Castellón, Valencia and Alicante) and four Autonomous Communities (Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Aragón and the Valencian Community), being an essentially rural itinerary, that traverse more than 70 protected natural spaces and 387 populations: some large cities such as Elche, Valencia or Burgos, but more than half with less than 200 inhabitants.
It is marked in 63 stages, which given the dimensions we recommend that you plan on each route. Do not worry about the signs: all the routes are signposted or at least a large part of them and you can always use our maps and GPS signaling to do it.
So, those are the best GR routes to do in Spain in our opinion.
If your favorite one is not included, leave us a comment with your choice, so we all have more options. Who knows? We may meet on any of these long-distance footpaths one of these days.