La Puda de Montserrat Abandoned Thermal Baths ruins
Former luxury spa and bathhouse with sulphated water from nearby natural spring for its health properties. Known for its urban graffiti art. Private ruin.
Catalunya has incredibly green natural parks. Unlike the southern parts of Spain (which are a savannah type landscape) the natural spaces in Catalunya have much greater bio-diversity with some beautiful forests, mountains and deltas.
On this page I have included train or bus accessible walking routes for all levels of hikers. Additionally, there are some famous routes and natural parks that are worth the effort of hiring a car to visit.
Click on any of the below photos to find the details about how to repeat my trails. Each one comes with useful information about:
- Relevant history about the area and any ruins or geological interests that you may come across
- Best time of year to visit
- weather forecasts
- My recomendations for what to pack in your hiking rucksack
- Getting to information with train or bus route downloadable PDF maps
- Wikilok hiking trail
- Complete photo gallery
- Where to eat and get snacks
- Difficulty ranking of route (easy, Medium, Hard)
Montserrat is probably the number one tourist trip for Barcelona visitors. It is the religious centre of Catalunya with a monastery, basilica, Museums, restaurants and a hotel. It is a mountain top religious centre and world famous pilgrimage destination.
Montserrat is also a mountain range and natural park with very unique geology and ideal for easy and beginner hiking and climbing with its flora, fauna and abandoned hermitages.
Getting to Montserrat monastery is very easy. It is about 1 hour by train from Barcelona with the option of completing the last leg from Monistrol up to the monastery via a cremallera racked railway or a cable car.
From the Monastery there are well established trails to Sant Jeroni summit and around the many hermitages such as Santa Anna, Sant Onofre, Sant Miguel and Santa Cova. Click on any of the images below to read about that route, view the photo gallery and find public transport maps for the relevant train or bus network that will get you to the start and finish of each section. Additionally there is a wikiloc walking route for each activity.
Behind Barcelona is the sierra de Collserola mountain range and the 84.65 square Kilometer Collserola parc natural where there lies a wealth of woodland, fields and rivers in a protected park with a wide variety of Mediterranean flora and fauna. Collserola is often referred to as the lungs of Barcelona.
Carretera de les Aigues is a walking, running and cycling path on the city side of collserola parc below the ridgeline that has purpose-built viewing points for superb views of the city. Collserola also contains traces of early settlements, including the Iberian village of Serra del Moro, the Gothic castles of Castellciuro and El Papiol, old farmhouses, such as the famous Villa Joana, abundant natural springs, including La Budellera and an abandoned casino hotel complex. Collserola was also mined heavily for natural stone and aggregate used for construction.
Click on any of the images below to read about that part of the park, view the photo gallery and find public transport maps for the relevant train or bus network that will get you to the start and finish of each section. Additionally there is a wikiloc walking route for each activity.
The Montseny natural park is a protected area in Catalonia of outstanding natural beauty. In 1978, UNESCO included it in the MAB (Man and Biosphere) World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Monseny is a combination of mountain summits, cliffs, rivers, waterfalls, plains and woodland areas visible from many parts of catalunya known for the beauty of its scenery.
Montseny has a broad amount of bio-diversity due to the varying conditions with dark green Mediterranean trees of holm and cork oaks and Atlantic climate trees of clearer green such as beech, maples and white beams which become yellow, red and ochre in autumn.
The differences in humidity and temperature permit vegetation such as ferns that that thrives in the shade of the forests. Montseny has diferent zones according to altitude. Typical Mediterranean plants are found in the lower parts (Holm oak, pine and cork oak). Middle mountain types that thrive in rain are higher up (Oak, holm oak, chestnut). At altitudes over 1,000 metres, there are Beech, silver fir trees. Near to rivers and waterfalls are White willow, Hazel and Common alder.
In winter, sometimes snow covers the highest parts of the Montseny summits. The best season for a visit to Montseny is Autumn and early winter. October, November and December are the best months.
Aigüestortes, Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici Parc Nacional, is a mountain range with peeks rising to just under 3000 metres, large lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Aigüestortes is located in the central Pyrenees about three and a half hours from Barcelona and is my favorite National Park to visit in the Summer. I consider Aigüestortes to be one of the most beutiful places I have visited in Catalonia. Parc Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici is one of Spain's nine national parks and the only one in Catalonia.
The Catalan Pyrenees mountains are a beautiful place to go to escape the summer heat of Barcelona and to do winter sports such as skiing or snow shoe hiking. The Pyrenees has two resorts that are easily accessible by train - Vall de Nuria and La Molina. The pre-Pyrenees are small mountains before the Pyrenees with rivers, waterfalls and meadows for hiking, camping and swimming
Click on any of the images below to read about that part of the Pyrenees or Pre-Pyrenees, view the photo gallery and find public transport maps for the relevant train or bus network that will get you to the start and finish of each section. Additionally there is a wikiloc walking route for each activity.
Osona is an area in the north of Catalunya with the capital of this area being the medieval market town of Vic. Vic is a former Roman town surrounded by plains carved by the river valley of Ter. It is surrounded by mountains with great hiking territory. The area of Osona straddles the Regions of Barcelona and Girona with Vic being in Barcelona and the more northern and eastern towns being in Girona.
Osona is served by the R3 Rodalies line via Vic and some bus routes. Some of these hikes are only accessible via car but well worth the price of hiring a car.
Behind Tarragona is the Catalan Coastal Mountain Range consisting of Llaberia Natural park, Montsant Natural Park and Prades Mountains.
These are dry mountains charaterised by chalky rocks with coastal wind and rain erroded sheer drops, huge cliffs and ravines.
These Mountains have Holm oaks, common Oak, Aleppo pines, Scots pine and kermes oaks with thick scrub of rosemary and heather. Woodpeckers and birds of prey are plentiful here, as are green frogs and salamanders in the few rivers and watercourses. There are also various species of snake and lizard. Mammals such as greater horseshoe bats, wild cats or Spanish ibex; birds of prey such as Bonelli's eagle, golden eagles, peregrine falcons or kestrels, as well as other birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates or fish inhabit the parks.
These mountains have a height above sea level of about 1000 metres and are great for autumn and winter hiking because they do not get too cold and rarely see snow.