Hiking and Skiing in Spain: The Pyrenees Mountains

Did you know that after Switzerland, Spain is Europe’s most mountainous country? Skiing in Spain and the Pyrenees seems a good trip idea? Let´s hike a bit about it.


The Pyrenees Mountains act as a natural border between Spain and the rest of Europe and extends for more than 400 km between Navarre, Aragon and Catalonia. It counts on an abundance of vegetation, numerous rivers and many, many villages nestling in the foothills. All these offer you a multitude of ways to discover a unique way of life. Are you ready to discover it?

Every year a lot of people visit Barcelona and Costa Brava. But fewer people visit the Spanish Pyrenees of Catalonia. What they don´t know is that this lesser known region of Spain offers a perfect place to escape from the crowded coast, whether you visit it in conjunction with the more popular spots or dedicate it an entire trip.

Ski Spain: The Pyrenees

In the Spanish Pyrenees you’ll find many ski resorts, a network of hiking trails and cycling paths, healthy Catalan food, medieval towns, and rich cultural attractions.

The Spanish Pyrenees of Catalonia is a great region for those who want to get out and explore nature, enjoy the peaceful rural countryside, or hideout in the mountains. It also offers a lot of outdoor activities, museums, festivals, hot air balloon rides, and an infinite amount of Romanesque churches.

Besides, if hiking the national park in the Basque Pyrenees sounds good, you came to the right place!


Spain is mostly known for its sun, sea and sand, but the idea of quality ski resorts in Spain is slowly warming up to tourists. Lately, many winter sports enthusiasts have jumped at the chance of visiting one of Spain’s ski resorts for their winter holidays.

The main skiing regions of Spain are found in Aragon and the Catalonian Pyrenees, the Cantabrian, Iberian, the Central mountains and the Penibetico mountain range in the south of the country.

Ski Spain: The Pyrenees Mountains
Ski Spain: The Pyrenees Mountains

The Aragonese and Catalonian Pyrenees are home to most of the leading ski resorts, although the Sierra Nevada located in the heart of Andalucia in Southern Spain ranks amongst the best.

Moreover, there is also a good choice of ski resorts near Madrid, Galicia, Leon and Cantabria in the northwest and La Rioja and Teruel in the mid-north.

Where can you go skiing in Spain?

The majority of skiing locations are to be found in the Spanish Pyrenees. There are almost 20 skiing areas in the Pyrenees, so you can pick from those.

There are also other locations in Spain that you can go skiing, like the Cantabrian Mountains (with 6 locations), the Iberian Mountains (with 3 locations), Sistema Central (with 5 locations), and the Sierra Nevada, which is also Europe’s most southernmost ski resort.

Skiing in the Aran Valley

Why ski in the Spanish Pyrenees?

The Spanish Pyrenees offer a vast range of ski resorts to suit every taste. Although they are not perhaps as well-known as other mountains from Europe, they have great snow, offer amazing value, and are easy to get to.

The resorts in the Catalonia region are picturesque and handful because most of them are within a two-hour drive from Barcelona. You get to experience fantastic Spanish food, prices are reasonable, and they aren’t too busy either! Make your next ski holidays here with us!

Ski in Spain

Best time to visit the Spanish Pyrenees

It´s hard to decide which is the best season to visit, skiing or hiking, but we would say probably fall (autumn) or spring as temperatures are pleasant, it’s less crowded, it is a great time for hiking and cycling, and most of the attractions will be open.

On the other hand, summer brings warmer temperatures, more festivals and attractions, but it also brings more crowds, higher lodging prices, and can be very hot.

Considering all these, those looking for snow holidays will want to visit in winter. Winter is best if you enjoy skiing and winter sports or if you are a keen fan of holidays.

Furthermore, the Spanish Pyreness are not nearly as crowded as many ski destinations in France and Switzerland.


Skiing in the great Pyrenees snow

Well, we know it is difficult to choose because every single resort has something very special to offer. But look at it this way: consider the Pyrenees as a different winter holiday destination and not only like a flight-bus-skiing experience type. Be ready to embrace the pretty surroundings while you get to enjoy great slopes too!

Good weather, softer winter, excellent ski resorts, good food and wine… Can you think of a better way to spend your vacation?


This extensive ski resort is developing a reputation as a top-class resort because the skiing is great, the slopes are snow sure and the food is a highlight.

Based on that there are three bases to choose from beneath the 160km of linked slopes, we’d recommended Baqueira Beret. It is the largest, has the best choice of bars and restaurants and is located right in the heart of the ski area.

The slopes mainly suit intermediates, but there are some good beginner zones, most notably on the Bosque plateau above Baqueira and on the edge of Beret. More advanced skiers and boarders should consider the upper bowls of the resort that offer terrain to rival the big hitters in the Alps.

Baqueira Beret in Catalonia (Spain)
Baqueira Beret in Catalonia (Spain)


Maybe your vacation plans include Barcelona and Costa Brava, but planning some time in this region is a great way to get off the tourist path. We love Barcelona, Girona, and the Costa Brava area because they are great places for culture, food, coastal hikes, and beaches. Nevertheless, these places are very popular international tourist destinations and can become very crowded, especially in the summer months.

The Spanish Pyrenees are a perfect place to escape and breathe and is great tourist destination, and is popular among Catalan, Spanish, and French travelers in particular. Many of the people who live in Barcelona and Girona come out to this area for a city break to ski, hike, cycle, attend festivals, and stay in second homes.

The Pyrenees hiking in Spain


Hiking in the Pyrenees can be the perfect way to escape the city and improve your mind and spirit. Besides, any sort of activity holiday is a great way to improve your fitness levels. A hiking holiday in the Pyrenees is a great introduction to high altitude climbing.

Hiking, running and climbing in the mountain environment takes a unique combination of stability, mobility, coordination, strength and endurance.

Hiking in Pyrenees National Park

There are numerous nature parks in the Spanish Pyrenees, suitable for walks from a few hours to a few days. You can go on your own, but an organized walking tour is of course also a possibility.

Explore Spain’s Pyrenees on a walking holiday


Being a natural border between Spain and France, the Pyrenees region offers magnificent scenery and outstanding trails for hiking and cycling.

Through rocky scenery, past blue lakes and through Medieval villages you get the chance to hike through the Central Pyrenees. While crossing the main crest, you get to know the Atlantic North side as well as the Mediterranean South side of the mountain chain. There is hardly an area in Europe featuring such an array of high-contrast landscapes, such as the ‘Gran Bucle‘. During your hiking holiday you not only come across unusual natural beauty, but also get to know the culture and history of the local people.

With idyllic pastures, and deep forested valleys that are framed by jagged snowcapped peaks, with the incredible alpine scenery elevated by the medieval castles, historic villages and hill monasteries that dot the landscape. Can you think of something more beautiful?

The Pyrenees hiking in Spain


Activities in the Pyrenees in Spain

Wander through Medieval cities, have a lot of fun in the snow, hit the ski slopes, visit museums and other cultural attractions, attend local festivals and fairs, eat tasty Catalan food, explore volcanoes… these are just some of the activities you may find among visiting the Pyrenees in Spain.

Guided vacations in the snow


Our guided holidays show you the best the region has to offer. At Carameltrail we organize routes, accommodation, meals and transport leaving you free to relax and enjoy your holiday.

We are passionate about the Pyrenees


We’re passionate about what we do and the area and love showing people the best there is to see. In fact, our enthusiasm for the Pyrenees is clear to all our guests! We know the region’s history, its stories, wildlife and of course all the best walks.

Let our team of guides show you how spectacular and special the Pyrenees are and we’re sure you’ll fall in love with these mountains like we did!

Other experiences that may be of interest…

El caminito del Rey Hike in Malaga (Spain)
Doñana National Park, UNESCO Natural site
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