Hiking and Biking
Hiking and biking in Spain brings the traveler in intimate contact with some of the most scenically exciting and unspoiled areas of the country that cannot be reached by motorized transportation. many climates and enormous diversity of terrains provide unlimited possibilities. You can observe wildlife in natural surroundings, traverse national parks, nature and game reserves, and visit places of exces "Green Spain" in the north, the Pyrenees, which separate Spain and France, the Sierra Nevada in the south, featuring the highest peak on the Spanish peninsula, ptional art and architecture, some in remote areas not accessible by other means. In every region of Spain you can set off on your own, or look into organized excursions that take care of all the practical details.
Spain is Europe's second most mountainous country, crossed by several mighty mountain ranges: the Cantabrian range, which crossethe Central Mountain chain, which cuts from east to west through Castile, and the Iberian Mountains that begin in the Basque Country and end on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. So much mountainous terrain means there are many options for hiking and cycling both in the high mountains and the gentler foothills. The Tour de France cycling marathon includes some of Spain's mountainous regions on its route because of the variety and challenge they present. Hiking and biking often follow similar paths. One popular route covers the foothills and idyllic valleys of the Pyrenees. The Picos de Europa in the regions of Asturias and Cantabria present exciting possibilities for rugged hiking in areas where no roads exist. The glorious Cares Gorge, for example, allows you to follow twelve kilometers of the gorge -a fairly long but not especially difficult trek- that follows the turquoise Cares River. Hiking and biking in central Spain offer many less arduous possibilities that are no less scenically exciting and culturally rewarding and include areas as diverse as La Rioja wine country, Soria and its "Black Lakes," and the phantasmagorical scenery of Cuenca. Also in the central region are the beautiful mountains of Gredos, home of the rare Capra Hispanica, and the gentle valley of La Vera. In southern Spain there are exhilarating adventures into the glorious Sierra Nevada, Las Alpujarras and its picturesque villages of Moorish flavor, or the forest-covered Cazorla and Segura mountains in northeastern Andalucía. Biking and hiking in Spain's Balearic Islands -especially the mountainous northern coast- and in the exotic volcanic terrain of the Canary Islands are other possibilities worth exploring.