Guided hiking is perfect for visitors who want a worry-free experience. Skip all the research and map-reading and pick one of these guided trips:
- Montserrat is the spiky mountain that is under an hour outside Barcelona. One of the most breathtaking sights in Catalonia and perfect for a day's hike.
- Combine a trip to a Benedictine monastery with a four-hour hike in alpine forests.
- A five-and-a-half hour hike in the UNESCO-protected Montseny nature reserve.
- Hike for six hours in the Pyrénées, taking in the Nuria valley and the Puigmal mountain.
- A leisurely two-and-a-half hour trek from the medieval village of Rupit. Enjoy a three-course traditional Catalan meal at the end of your journey.
- What could be better than hiking with a view of the Mediterranean sea? The Costa Brava Coastal Hike is a three-and-a-half hour walk from the town of Platia de Castell, ending with a three-course meal.
The idea of gorgeous woods and scenery lurking just on the edge of a huge metropolis such as Barcelona might be a surprising one. But that's the case with Collserola Park, Barcelona's very own green oasis. A specially conserved eco-park acting as a lung and a getaway for city-dwellers—over 50% of Catalonia's population live within 10 kilometers of the park—Collserola is a great place to go rambling without venturing far from the city.
In fact, you can be in Collserola's wooded glades inside 20 minutes from Plaça Catalunya if you take one of the FGC trains. Good stations to jump off the train are Baixador de Vallvidrera, Les Planes, and La Floresta. There is beautiful scenery easily at hand from each, with well-marked senderos (footpaths) crisscrossing the area in all directions
Predominantly consisting of evergreen oaks and pines, Collserola's numbers are startling, with over ten million trees, 1000 plant species and 190 different kinds of vertebrate within its 8000 hectares.
The park occupies two ecological zones, the Euro-Siberian and the Mediterranean, meaning maquis shrubland rubs shoulders with grassy meadows and garrigues full of lavender and rosemary. Among the creatures you might spot are wild boars, beech martens, badgers, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, and genets. Bird-spotters might glimpse blue tits, warblers, treecreepers, bee-eaters, goshawks, sparrowhawks, and buzzards.
The Information Centre at Baixador de Vallvidrera provides a great deal more knowledge about the park and is a great place to start a walk, with several trails leading into the woods.