Are you sick of the busy metro, jam-packed tourist attractions, and over crowded streets which make you feel like you should always be holding onto your stuff as tightly as you can? Sometimes Barcelona can be exhausting, and you need to take some time to chill out and appreciate the city away from the rush.
With some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country, and stunning mountain ranges just half an hour from the city centre, escape the hustle and bustle of Barcelona by visiting the following places.
1. Bunkers del Carmel
Located at the bottom of the Turó mountain, the Bunkers del Carmel are old civil war bunkers used previously as a military camp. These days, they are filled with people taking in the breath taking 360 views of Barcelona sipping drinks and chilling out with friends. This is arguably the best viewpoint in the city. A lot more people know about this spot than they did before, but don’t let that put you off- this truly is a spectacular place to escape.
2. The Route of the seven Waterfalls
If you’re looking to cool down in Barcelona as well as escape the busy centre, why not try this route. About an hour from Barcelona by car is the village of Campdevànol, close to Girona, and a spectacular walking route with seven waterfalls to find within. After walking for around an hour to begin with, you will come to the first waterfall. The next six are within 15 minutes walking distance of each other. An excellent way to keep cool and discover the beauty of surrounding Catalonia.
The Montserrat mountain range is home to the Santa Maria de Montserrat, one of the most important monasteries in Spain. There are also several hiking routes in the area. As many undertake a religious pilgrimage to the site, the area is full of tranquillity and seems like a totally different world to the centre of Barcelona city. The stunning surroundings are just as impressive as the incredible panoramic views
Pedraforca Mountain is part of the Cadi-Moixero natural park, and is great for experienced hikers or those that want to challenge themselves on their next outing. There are plenty of walking routes available with incredible views of the mountain, but we recommend going with an experienced guide of the area who will pick you up from Barcelona, and then drop you home at the end of the day. Pedraforca is the ultimate way to escape the hustle and bustle of Barcelona.
A little closer to home is Montjuïc, accessible by metro and full of great spots to explore like Montjuïc castle, a variety of green spaces, the Olympic swimming pool, and of course the National Art Museum of Catalonia. One of the most beautiful walking routes starts at Grec Gardens in Poble-Sec where you can discover some gorgeous flora. Start at the bottom of the mountain and work your way up, or take a cable car from the port to the highest point, and walk down.
6. Carretera de les Aigües
This hiking route isn’t too difficult and is great for those that want to spend a day in the country but aren’t super experienced in hiking. The route is roughly 10km, well sign-posted, and completely flat. We recommend avoiding weekends as the route becomes a hotspot for bikes and outdoor sport races, and heading down during the week. We also recommend bringing a picnic and making a day of it.
The so-called “lungs” of Barcelona, Collserola natural park offers some fantastic walking routes for all levels of experience. The mountains are just 20 minutes away from the city and Collserola is one of the most popular places to go hiking and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You can even hike all the way up to the top of Tibidabo from Collserola, the hike just under two hours and traversing over a range of different terrains. This is a great option for those that want to get out of the city, without actually leaving Barcelona.
8. Parc Natural del Montseny
Montseny mountain can be seen from Maresme and was previously used as a reference point for local fishermen. It is also a great place for hiking with spectacular views. The R5 route is one of the most popular routes taking roughly 6 hours, and starting and finishing in the village of Viladrau. This area has been a great inspiration for writers and artists, home to an impressive variety of flora and fauna that makes any hike here truly unforgettable.