Selecciona Edición
Conéctate
Selecciona Edición
Tamaño letra

Ten vertiginous walks in Spain and Portugal

Dizzyingly high mountain trails that offer spectacular views of valleys and rivers on the mainland, in the Balearic Islands and the Canaries

  • Located on Tenerife’s northeast coast, the path out of the village of Bejía, on the northern slope of the Anaga massif (above), offers plenty of photo opportunities. Moderately difficult, the trail is four kilometers long and follows the Bejía canal through the Seco ravine that eventually drops down to Punta del Hidalgo. The walk can be circular – and longer (7.5 km) – if you climb the ravine from Punta del Hidalgo and come up from the bottom of the valley to Bejía.
    1Bejía Canal, Anaga, Tenerife Located on Tenerife’s northeast coast, the path out of the village of Bejía, on the northern slope of the Anaga massif (above), offers plenty of photo opportunities. Moderately difficult, the trail is four kilometers long and follows the Bejía canal through the Seco ravine that eventually drops down to Punta del Hidalgo. The walk can be circular – and longer (7.5 km) – if you climb the ravine from Punta del Hidalgo and come up from the bottom of the valley to Bejía. UWE KRAFT AGEFOTOSTOCK
  • In one of the most spectacular belts of Ordesa, there is a challenging trail across the valley that requires some rock climbing. It takes about eight hours but the effort is rewarded by breathtaking views.
    2Faja de las Flores, Pyrenees, Huesca In one of the most spectacular belts of Ordesa, there is a challenging trail across the valley that requires some rock climbing. It takes about eight hours but the effort is rewarded by breathtaking views. FLICKR
  • Hiking in Portugal has been turned on its head by the construction of wooden stairways, walkways and suspension bridges that blend with the environment. The Pasarela del río Paiva is an easy nine-kilometer walk that is both peaceful and inspiring.
    3Paiva River Footbridge (Portugal) Hiking in Portugal has been turned on its head by the construction of wooden stairways, walkways and suspension bridges that blend with the environment. The Pasarela del río Paiva is an easy nine-kilometer walk that is both peaceful and inspiring.
  • Accessible and amazing, this magical 12-kilometer walk is carved into the edge of the mountainside in the Picos de Europa. Known as the Cares trail, it connects the Asturian town of Poncebos with Caín in León, offering the kind of views that have made it one of the most popular hikes in the national park. The trick is to have a friend walk from the other end so you can swap car keys midway through the hike and avoid having to trudge the 12 kilometers back to your vehicle!
    4Cares Route, Picos de Europa, Asturias y León Accessible and amazing, this magical 12-kilometer walk is carved into the edge of the mountainside in the Picos de Europa. Known as the Cares trail, it connects the Asturian town of Poncebos with Caín in León, offering the kind of views that have made it one of the most popular hikes in the national park. The trick is to have a friend walk from the other end so you can swap car keys midway through the hike and avoid having to trudge the 12 kilometers back to your vehicle! GETTY
  • There are plenty of exciting and secret climbs on the peninsula of Alcudia in Mallorca, like the trail to Penya Roja from the Victoria sanctuary that hugs the cliff face and is dizzying enough to require a handrail. The highlight of this walk is the Atalaya crossing (above), a narrow 15th-century tunnel designed to protect access to the fort at the top. The climb not only leads you to the ruins of this fort but also gives you a magnificent view of the Mallorcan coastline.
    5Penya Roja, Mallorca There are plenty of exciting and secret climbs on the peninsula of Alcudia in Mallorca, like the trail to Penya Roja from the Victoria sanctuary that hugs the cliff face and is dizzying enough to require a handrail. The highlight of this walk is the Atalaya crossing (above), a narrow 15th-century tunnel designed to protect access to the fort at the top. The climb not only leads you to the ruins of this fort but also gives you a magnificent view of the Mallorcan coastline. GETTY
  • For a long time, the Caminito del Rey – King’s Path – was considered one of the most dangerous trails in the world, but the construction of a brand new footbridge over the old and deteriorated trail in 2015 now allows walkers to safely cross the vertiginous 100-meter-high Gaitanes stretch over the River Guadalhorce. A real treat.
    6Caminito del Rey, Málaga For a long time, the Caminito del Rey – King’s Path – was considered one of the most dangerous trails in the world, but the construction of a brand new footbridge over the old and deteriorated trail in 2015 now allows walkers to safely cross the vertiginous 100-meter-high Gaitanes stretch over the River Guadalhorce. A real treat. GETTY
  • Just minutes from the center of Granada, the Monachil River runs through a narrow gorge at the base of the Sierra Nevada massif where an exciting mountain trail – three hours long and moderate to difficult – climbs above the ravine (above), taking you to a suspension bridge that’s 63 meters long and a passageway that forces you to crouch at the part known as The Pigeons’ Cave.
    7Cahorros de Monachil, Granada Just minutes from the center of Granada, the Monachil River runs through a narrow gorge at the base of the Sierra Nevada massif where an exciting mountain trail – three hours long and moderate to difficult – climbs above the ravine (above), taking you to a suspension bridge that’s 63 meters long and a passageway that forces you to crouch at the part known as The Pigeons’ Cave.
  • The most hair-raising part of this walk that takes you along the Mont-rebei gorge – 500 meters high and barely 20 meters wide – has a steel handrail to stop you falling into the abyss. Running through the gorge is the River Noguera Ribagorzana on the border between Aragon and Catalonia in the Montsec mountain range. The round trip is 14 kilometers, with the footbridge of Montfalcó providing the dramatic ending. You can hire mountain guides if needed from the Montfalcó hostal. (www.guiasdelmontsec.es).
    8Congosto de Mont-rebei, Lleida, and Pasarela de Montfalcó, Huesca The most hair-raising part of this walk that takes you along the Mont-rebei gorge – 500 meters high and barely 20 meters wide – has a steel handrail to stop you falling into the abyss. Running through the gorge is the River Noguera Ribagorzana on the border between Aragon and Catalonia in the Montsec mountain range. The round trip is 14 kilometers, with the footbridge of Montfalcó providing the dramatic ending. You can hire mountain guides if needed from the Montfalcó hostal. (www.guiasdelmontsec.es).
  • The ‘graus’ that crisscross the Montsant mountain range, such as l’Escletxa (above), are narrow trails with sudden ascents. The most vertiginous one is Barrots – 5.5 kilometers of moderate to difficult hiking – which follows terraces that cling to the rock faces overlooking the Priotat vineyards.
    9Grau de Barrots, Montsant, Tarragona The ‘graus’ that crisscross the Montsant mountain range, such as l’Escletxa (above), are narrow trails with sudden ascents. The most vertiginous one is Barrots – 5.5 kilometers of moderate to difficult hiking – which follows terraces that cling to the rock faces overlooking the Priotat vineyards. ALBERT FLICKR
  • The last stretch of the River Mao drops 600 meters in just a few kilometers, creating a stunning series of small waterfalls before it snakes through a narrow valley. A wooden walkway built into the hillside takes you to the point where this tributary meets the River Sil. The walk is an easy two kilometers that leaves from La Fábrica, an old power station that has been converted into a lodge.
    10Mao River Footbridge, Ourense The last stretch of the River Mao drops 600 meters in just a few kilometers, creating a stunning series of small waterfalls before it snakes through a narrow valley. A wooden walkway built into the hillside takes you to the point where this tributary meets the River Sil. The walk is an easy two kilometers that leaves from La Fábrica, an old power station that has been converted into a lodge. ANXO RIAL