The 9 Best Hikes in Barcelona

Published by: Bounce25 January, 2022

Barcelona is known as one of the world's top cities to visit. Renowned for its stunning architecture, the city is home to incredible food, cultural highlights like the still-unfinished Sagrada Familia Cathedral, and is the capital of the fiercely independent Catalan culture.

What many visitors to Barcelona don't immediately realize is how many hiking trails that are both in and around the city. But given that Barcelona is situated where a pre-coastal mountain range meets the Mediterranean Sea, it's really not that surprising. The city itself contains lots of places where you can take an extended tour, and if you're looking for a long hike, a hiking daytrip from Barcelona lets you explore the Costa Brava and the spectacular nature around the city. Plus, the best hiking trails in and around the city are also some of the best free things to do in Barcelona. So don't forget to pack your hiking boots on your next trip to Spain.

While you're at it, remember that Bounce provides affordable and convenient luggage storage in Barcelona and in cities around the world. Leaving your bags behind means you can travel light and focus on enjoying your walk.

Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Barcelona

Montjuic

No one could accuse this area of being unknown, but its popularity is well-deserved. The smallest of the hills that surround Barcelona, Montjuic nevertheless offers a scenic park and tons of hiking spots to explore. Take the trail through the Grec Gardens to the castle at the summit of the hill, and you'll be rewarded with impressive views that will make you feel like you're a long way from the city even when you're not. Close enough, in fact, that you can easily head back into town and enjoy the best brunch in Barcelona .

Tibidabo Mountain

You don't have to go far from Barcelona to get a decent hike in. Tibidabo Mountain is easily reached from the city, and as the tallest mountain of the Serra de Collserola park, it offers a stunning view that takes in the whole of Barcelona.

The mountain and the park that contains it has several different hiking trails to offer, so whatever your fitness level, you'll find something appropriate to your needs here. A trail of around four kilometers leads from Baixador de Vallvidrera metro station to the summit of the mountain, and from there, it's a steep climb to the 512 m peak. The mountain and the park it sits within also offer gentler trails for those who would rather take a more relaxing route. Plus, there's even a funicular railway to the top, making this a great location for the whole family to explore.

At the summit, you'll find the iconic Sagrat Cor church, a communications tower, and one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe. That makes this easily one of the best family hikes in Barcelona, and a great natural park to hike in not far from the city.

Bunkers del Carmel

Located just to the west of the city, these bunkers dating back to the Spanish Civil War are something of a hidden gem in Barcelona. You can reach the bunkers on foot from the center of Barcelona or from Guinardó i Hospital de Sant pau Metro station, making them easy to get to. And the view from the bunkers over the city is one of the best you're likely to get. Expect to spend around an hour and a half on this trail, making it a relatively easy option for exploring Barcelona on foot.

Besos River

If you're looking for an easy way to stretch your legs without going on an extended hiking daytrip, consider a gentle walk along the Besos River just to the north of central Barcelona. This riverside path is part of a trail that completely encircles the city, and you can follow it all away to the coast if you like. It's a great option for a relaxed day visit that's easily accessible and will get you some exercise while avoiding any really strenuous hiking.

Montserrat National Park

A daytrip from Barcelona will bring you to the stunning scenery of Montserrat National Park. In this breathtaking landscape nurtured by the Llobregat river, you'll encounter beautiful oak tree forests, tropical and Mediterranean shrubs, and over 1250 species of plants, along with local wildlife. A day trip to Montserrat is one of the best ways to experience the mountain ranges around Barcelona and get a taste of the natural side of Spain without venturing too far from the city. In fact, Montserrat is accessible by train, and if you're wondering how to get around Barcelona, it's nice to know the city's public transport network can even bring you to places like this.

The park is famous for its many monasteries as well as its incredible scenery. One of the most popular hikes leads from the Abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat to Sant Jeroni, the park's highest peak at 1236 meters. If the height sounds intimidating, you'll be glad to know this walk is easier than it sounds. Still, at around four km with 460 m of ascent, it's a better choice for intermediate or advanced hikers than it is for beginners. Luckily, there's also a funicular railway that will take you part of the way to the peak, making the amazing views from the summit more accessible for a broader range of people.


Vall de Núria

If you want to go hiking without all the fuss, the Vall de Núria could be the ideal choice for you. This gorgeous green valley operates as a ski resort during the winter, and is where many of Barcelona's winter sports enthusiasts go to enjoy pristine powder. But in the summer, this valley is home to dozens of hiking trails that will allow you to explore history and culture as well as nature. Note that there are no roads into the valley, so you can only get there by foot or by train. That means no cars in the park, making it an incredibly serene place to explore.

The Pic de l'Agila trail is easy enough to do with the whole family, with a ski lift that will take you close to the summit for your walk. Attempting the Puigmal summit is more suitable for hikers of moderate skill, since its 900 m elevation gain will get your heart pumping. And if you really want a challenge, l'Olla de Nuria is a highly technical trail with an incredible 1700 m elevation gain that should only be attempted by experts.

Montseny National Park

Forty kilometers northeast of Barcelona, Montseny National Park is an amazing place to hike that isn't as well known as some of the more coastal options. Founded to protect the Montseny massif mountain range, this region is known for its many natural springs that provide half of Spain with its bottled water. You'll find tons of lakes and waterfalls in this area, along with gorges and canyons to explore and an almost limitless selection of hiking trails.

For example, a walk from Montseny village to the Hermitage of Sant Marti offers a shaded six kilometer path that is suitable for just about everyone. If you're looking for more of a challenge, you can tackle the Turo de l'Home, one of the highest peaks in the park, on a seven-kilometer trail that will take you to a height of 1700 m. Advanced hikers can take on the Montseny section of the GR5 trail, which stretches for 22 km and reaches an altitude of 1268 kilometers.

Perhaps best of all is that you can reach this park without a car. Take a train from Barcelona to Sant Celoni, and from there you can catch a number of bus routes that will take you to different parts of the park depending on what you want to explore.

Parc del Garraf

At only 30 minutes from Barcelona by car or train, Parc del Garraf offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean landscape and the Sitges coast. The park is also known for some unusual cultural attractions, including a Buddhist monastery and the ancient Castle of Campdasens, which is now run as a private retreat offering yoga and meditation classes. There are many hiking trails in this area, with the Coastal Path being a popular option with visitors. The park's trails are popular with both hikers and cyclists, so be warned you may have to share the trail. The gorgeous views, serenity, and slightly unusual attractions make this park worth exploring, and since it's so close to the city, there's really no excuse not to visit.

Costa Brava

Located to the north of Barcelona, the Costa Brava, which translates to rugged coast in English, is an area of outstanding natural beauty that should not be missed on your visit to Spain. The Costa Brava begins in Blanes, 60 km northwest of the city, and continues all the way to the French border. Along the way, this stunning coastline is home to quaint villages, medium-sized cities, white sand beaches, secluded coves, and sweeping vistas of the Mediterranean Sea. You could spend months exploring this region, and still never run out of new places to go and things to see.

One favorite coastal foot trail is the Camins de Ronda. This footpath was originally built along the coast to help Spanish officials catch smugglers and pirates, but now, it's a popular tourist attraction and the ideal spot for a hiking day trip from Barcelona. Offering incredible views of the Girona Pyrenees as well as the coast, this trail stretches 43 km, or you can make a looped trail of 140 km for an epic multi-day journey. Alternatively, you can just explore sections of the trail, which you can pick up in the fascinating city of Girona. Fans of the Game of Thrones TV series shouldn't miss the chance to explore this underrated city, along with all the natural wonders it has to offer.

The best easy hikes in Barcelona

Those new to hiking will be glad to know you don't need to take an adventure through the mountains to enjoy walking in the city. Beginners can explore the bunkers of Carmel, the Besos river, and Montjuic without expending too much energy. Even the more remote national parks offer several routes and hiking spots that are ideal for novice hikers, so you can enjoy a hiking day trip near Barcelona without being an expert.

The best intermediate hikes in Barcelona

For a more advanced hiking trail, the countryside surrounding Barcelona has plenty of options. Turo de l'Home in Montseny National Park offers incredible views and a chance to test your skills amid mountain scenery. The Puigmal summit in Vall de Nuria is also a great option for intermediate hikers.

The best difficult hikes in Barcelona

The Catalonian countryside is home to many mountain ranges and a rugged coastline that will test even the most experienced hiker. The GR5 trail in Montseny is a big challenge, and l'Olla de Nuria has enough elevation to make anyone's legs a little shaky.

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