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Hiking in Catalonia

Hiking, or rambling, is a very popular activity with a long tradition in Catalonia. It provides the visitor with an enjoyable way of discovering the history and customs of the land, as well as the nature of the culture and its heritage.

Here you will find an overall description of the terrain, the produce available, their characteristics and a summary of the suggested itineraries.

This booklet has been designed to complement the online guides available, which provide more detailed information and more precise descriptions of the routes we describe here. The web page www.turismedecatalunya.com/hiking, is easy to navigate and includes route maps, descriptions, and downloadable GPS tracks of each stage together with images of the areas you will pass through.

Access to both forms provides the visitor with a quality product tailored to hikers' specific needs.

In short, in this guide we provide a unique option of how to discover and enjoy the natural resources of Catalonia by way of hiking

Catalonia is a land of contrasts, and as such, it has become one of Europe's most attractive and popular tourist destinations. Below, we offer a taste of some of the natural areas that we recommend you visit. This is by no means an exhaustive inventory of wnat is on offer for hikers in Catalonia, but merely some specific proposals we have taken the liberty to suggest to you.

The road is long and the views are spectacular. Enjoy the trip! Hiking, traditionally practised in Catalonia as trekking, is a physical activity that provides walkers with the opportunity to interact directly with nature, and one, which is becoming more and more popular in Catalonia. Practising hiking in Catalonia is the ideal way to combine physical exercise with discovering and exploring this land, Travelling the sign-posted trails on foot, you can appreciate and admire the beauty of the landscape unfolding before you. The wide variety of trails, long distance (GR), gran recorregut, short distance (PR), petit recorregut and local (SL), senders locals, makes it possible for anyone to practise hiking, thus making this the ideal sport to share with your family or friends.

The array of geographic formations in Catalonia is rich and diverse, resulting in scenes of breathtaking beauty. The benign climate, the array of landscapes, the basically mountainous character of-Catalonia, together with the remarkable natural, architectural and cultural splendour of the area places the Catalan hiking trails among the most interesting in Europe.

The trail markings have been there since ancestral times. Over the years, these trail markings have been revised and improved several times, and these improvements have made the trails accessible to more people and therefore increased the popularity of hiking. The Centre Excursionista de Catalunya-Club Alpi Catala was founded in 1876 ana is one of the oldest in Europe. The club has sown the seed from which a huge number of centres have sprouted ano in its impressive one hundred and thirty years in operation, it has catered for hundreds of thousands of hikers. 1975 saw the beginning of the marking of the first officially aporoved hiKing trail in Catalonia, the GR-7, which covers the . journey from Andorra to Fredes in Valencia over 399 Kilometres.

Currently, the Catalonia network is one of the most important in Spain, thanks to the generous work of multiple hiking and rambling associations. There are more than 5,000 kilometres of signposted long distance trails connecting the Pyrenees with the peninsular inland and France, not to mention the extensive network of local trails and short distance trails which all together, makes Catalonia a privileged destination for hikers and hill walkers. From the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean, the wealth of natural resources and heritage of this land is within easy reach of all those who enjoy active tourism in the heart of nature.

Types of trails

Catalonia joins up with the European and Peninsular networks thanks to almost 9',000 kilometres of signposted trails, many of which are ancient trails that have been reclaimed. Currently there are three different types of trails:

The long distance hiking trails, or GR, are a network of trails; paths and tracks, which cross Europe in every direction joining countries and towns and are suited for pedestrian tourism. The European Ramblers Association (ERA) is the organisation responsible for coordinating the entire network.

The short distance trails or (PR) are more local or regional itineraries and cannot exceed 50 kilometres in length.

The local trails or (SL), as the name suggests, are short local trails no longer than 10 Kilometres.

The itinerary of officially approved trails is signposted and marked throughout. These markings may appear in the form of directional signs, posts, or markings painted on trees, rocks, or other natural elements.

There are three types of markings: those indicating the continuity of the trails, a sudden change in direction, or those indicating discontinuity.

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