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.