“I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bread by cities. . . it is enough that i am surrounded by beauty.”
Hiking through the Spanish countryside was actually my first introduction to Spain. The outdoors is what made me fall in love with this country, and with Galicia when I walked the Camino de Santiago in 2014. Needless to say, throughout the last year living in Galicia I have hiked regularly whether it be 3 km or 20 km. Hiking and the outdoors have a become a way of life for me and it is an easy life to live when you are surrounded by mountains and trails. I have decided that being outdoors is the cure for anything; stress, a bad day, and even a hangover. I plan on doing a lot more hiking this next year, but for now here are some of my favorite hikes that I took on this year. I hope to add more to this post as I hike more routes of the beautiful routes that Galicia has to offer!
Hiking through Galicia, Spain
Cabo de Udra
- Location: Province of Pontevedra, Galicia (Close to the city of Cangas)
- Length: 3 km, circular route
- Description: Close to Cangas, Cabo de Udra is an easy coastal trail, located on the Aldan Bay. The trail continues along steep cliffs and is very popular during the summer time. Mid-route there is a bar where it is perfect to stop and have a drink to enjoy the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.
Camino de Santiago (French Route)
- Location: Through hike through the Northern half of Spain from Roncesvalles, France to Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.
- Length: about 800 km
- Description: The Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) is originally what brought me to Spain 3 years ago and made me discover Galicia. Although, I only walked 250 km at that time. The hike is an ancient pilgrimage that has been walked by people from all over the world. The route has such a rich history that will inspire you to walk it whether it be for physical, mental, or spiritual benefit. I walked the original French route, but there are many routes to choose from that stem from all over Spain. For more information, click here.
Cañón de Sil and the Ribeira Sacra
- Location: Province of Ourense, Galicia
- Length: 3 km—there are many routes throughout this area, but this one takes you through the Parada de Sil area and the Balcones de Madrid.
- Description: You can also reach these spots by car and easily navigate the canyon. The area of the Ribeira Sacra is a vast portion of the Ourense province that is filled with old, abandoned monasteries and castles. It is a beautiful area that should be added to your list when visiting Galicia. There are boat and helicopter tours of the area as well. I went in the winter and the dark, snowy weather brought out the many shades of colors throughout the canyon. The water in the river almost a silver tone. For more information about the Ribeira Sacra, click here.
Ruta del Faro de Cies
- Location: Cies Islands, Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park
- Length: 6.5 km, circular
- Description: This was by far my favorite route that I did during my first year in Spain. The Cies Islands are the most beautiful place in Galicia, in my opinion. It is like a true paradise. There is crystal clear water, mountains, white sand, and the greenest landscapes. This is an easy and very well paved route that anyone in the family can handle. The end point of the route is the Cies Lighthouse. Once you have reached the top, you have a perfect overlook of the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic Islands of Galicia.
Monte de Santa Trega
- Location: A Guarda, Pontevedra, Galicia
- Length: 13 km, circular
- Description: The Santa Trega Mountain is covered with many small routes that make up the 13 km hike. The trails are filled with history of the Celtic roots in Galicia. One part of the mountain is covered in little huts that are of Celtic descent. At the top of the mountain, there is a small church and a few restaurants and gift shops. Also at the top are panoramic views of the River Miño and Atlantic Ocean delta. While the area is covered in historical monuments, there is enough green space to make it enjoyable for nature lovers.
Pozas de Melón
- Location: Melón, Galicia
- Length: 6 km, circular
- Description: Pozas de Melón is an easy route that an outdoorsman of any level would enjoy. Take your time to enjoy this 3 hour walk through the Galician hills and forest, then cool off in one of the many pozas and natural pools.
Ruta del Ría de Aldán
- Location: Aldán, Galicia
- Length: 20.35km, circular
- Description: A coastal route that goes through the Aldan Bay (opposite of the Cabo Udra Route). It is a long route and moderate route, but very beautiful. It is well marked, but there are areas where you can opt for walking and climbing on the rocks that line the coast. You will make your way to the Faro de Punta Couso (lighthouse).
Ruta do Xabrina
- Location: Covelo, Galicia
- Length: 16 km, circular
- Description: Ruta do Xabrina is a hiking route that is located close to the small pueblo of Covelo. It is buried deep in the mountains of Galicia. The route is lined with old fashioned mills and small water falls. Parts of it follow along the Xabrina River, hence the name.
Ruta Maxica de Oia
- Location: Oia, Galicia
- Length: 19.5 km, not circular
- Description: The Ruta Maxica de Oia is a beautiful route located in the small town of Oia. The route follows along the coast; however, you are way up on top of a mountain. The mountains in the area follow perfectly along the Atlantic which offers amazing panoramic views of the ocean throughout the entire hike. The area down below the mountain is filled with many bars and restaurants which serve for a great option when looking for lunch or a place to relax.
Ruta Mellor Banco de Rande
- Location: Rande, Vigo, Galicia
- Length: ?? I can’t find the exact information on this route, but I want to say it was about 7km, circular…maybe less, but no more than 7.
- Description: This is a short hike right outside of Vigo, in the suburb of Rande. Rande is the area of Vigo that is close to the famous Rande bridge. It is very easy to get through and there are many buses that go through the area. You can start at the bottom of the mountain across from a local seafood restaurant. If you need help finding the starting point, just ask a local! They will know what you’re talking about. At the top (end of the trail), there is a scenic overlook of the Ria de Vigo (Vigo Bay) and you can get your picture taken in the famous “Galiza, it’s different” bench.
Have you hiked any of these before, or any routes in Spain? Feel free to comment below so I can check them out and add them to my list of places to hike!