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Walking in Spain and Portugal

We are a team of trekkers here at Explore; we love getting out and exploring the world on two feet. We asked members of the Explore team about their time walking in Spain and Portugal and give some hints and tips.

Whereabouts in Spain and/or Portugal  have you walked?
I walked in the Sierra de Aracena in Spain and around the area of Mertola in Portugal.

What the walking like (i.e. terrain and difficulty)?
The walking on the whole was quite relaxed with even ground and some steeper sections. There were some slightly more rocky bits and a bit of a scramble in one place but on the whole it was fine for someone not used to walking holidays.

Any top tips for anyone thinking of booking a walking holiday to Spain and/Portugal?
Take layers, some days started very cold but were pleasant later in the day. It’s a good place to go if you haven’t done a walking tour before.
Hannah Green, Adventure Travel Consultant


walking portugal views

What are the lasting impressions your holiday?
Lack of tourists! I walked in quite remote areas of Portugal that really didn’t have many tourists/visitors at all.

Did anything surprise you about Spain and or Portugal?
Food! Great food in Portugal and, in most places you still get the menu del dia which is such great value and regularly included wine!

Any top tips for anyone thinking of booking a walking holiday to Spain and/Portugal?
Forget what you think you know about Portugal – package holidays in the Algarve – and get ready for some stunning scenery, amazing traditional food, some beautiful cities and just a lovely place to be.
Jo Rolls, Operations Manager


walking andalucia

Whereabouts in Spain and/or Portugal have you walked?
I hiked between Andalucia’s picturesque white villages (the ‘pueblos blancos’) and amongst the limestone mountains and ancient forests of the Grazalema National Park.

What the walking like (i.e. terrain and difficulty)?
There was quite a mix of terrain from country tracks to rugged and rocky mountain footpaths. The mountains reach up to around 1500m and I would say that the walking here would suit anyone who is reasonably fit

Any top tips for anyone thinking of booking a walking holiday to Spain and/Portugal?
Decent walking boots with ankle support and walking poles are great for the rocky terrain. And a tapas cribsheet would be useful!
Caroline Phillips, Walking Programme Manager


walking Portugal

Whereabouts in Spain and/or Portugal  have you walked?
All over! The Pyrenees, the Picos and the Alpujarras mostly.

What the walking like (i.e. terrain and difficulty)? 
The Picos obviously had ups and downs but, considering the big mountain views, it was not (quite) as energetic as you would expect.

Did anything surprise you about Spain and or Portugal?
Just how dramatic the Picos are – if you enjoy untamed, rugged nature then make a beeline. The local cheese also surprised me! The local cider is excellent too.  People tend to think of a Spain as a homogenous mass but in fact it is possible to return time and again to experience totally different mountain scenery
John Telfer, Operations Director


 

Whereabouts in Spain and/or Portugal  have you walked ?
I walked in Northern Spain on Explore’s Walks Wine and Tapas tour. This included walking sections of the Bay of Biscay, the Camino de Santiago and in the city of Barcelona.

What are the lasting impressions your holiday?
The lasting impressions of my holiday was the beautiful scenery along the way and how surprised I was at how much I enjoyed the walking element to the trip. I am not a seasoned walker, but loved seeing things I wouldn’t have otherwise seen if I hadn’t been on foot such as the endless vineyards and olive groves and hiking up old mule paths to the village of Siurana which provided stunning views of the reservoir.

Did anything surprise you about Spain and or Portugal?
I was really surprised at Bilbao – I had a preconception with it being an old shipping port; but in fact with the contrasting cobbled streets of the old town with the contemporary architecture of the Guggenheim and the Zubizuri Bridge, it would definitely be somewhere I’d like to visit again.

Any top tips for anyone thinking of booking a walking holiday to Spain and/Portugal?
My top tip for someone thinking of booking a walking trip in Spain: Do it! The Walks, Wine and Tapas tour would be a good starting point as it includes the food and wine element as well as walking which is great as you can indulge as much as you like and then walk it off!
Olivia Lewis, PR Executive


walking andalucia

Whereabouts in Spain and/or Portugal  have you walked?
I joined Explore’s Moorish Trails adventure.

What the walking like (i.e. terrain and difficulty)?
Well established tracks, easy walking under foot in the main, however the trail can be rough in places – good walking shoes / boots and walking pole(s) were useful .

What are the lasting impressions your holiday?
Stunning scenery in the Andalusian foothills, great food and wine!

Any top tips for anyone thinking of booking a walking holiday to Spain and/Portugal?
Definitely comes with a high recommendation from me. The tour is a moderate walking tour, with plenty of free time built in to discover Granada, Malaga or the coastal area of Antequera or just to relax.
Steve Rolls, Adventure Travel Consultant

Find out more about our walks in Spain and Portugal.

 

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