BEST SEASON TO HIKE IN BARCELONA
We’re very lucky working and living in Barcelona, where we have the ocean and mountains on our doorstep, with an amazing Mediterranean climate. Every month is unique - snowshoeing in the Pyrenees, hiking & swimming the Costa Brava or enjoying the autumn colours of Montseny Mountain.
Hiking Barcelona & Catalonia in spring is the perfect time to visit, with nice spring weather between April - May, it’s an ideal time to adventure into the Mountains surrounding Barcelona.
With a high probability of snow in April in some of the higher peaks above 1500m, it’s still possible to discover the many mountain ranges close to Barcelona. Alta Garrotxa, Montserrat, Cami de Ronda Costa Brava, Collserola National Park, Serra de Montsant and the Parc de Garraf which borders the wine region of Penedes. Here you’ll find great conditions and trails completely in the wild away from the hustle of Barcelona. We even did a weekend hike in Alta Garrotxa, in December last year and although a little chilly in the evening, we had great warm sunshine during the day.
If you’re keen to venture further into the Pyrenees, it’s possible to ski in the morning and be on the beach in the afternoon, with resorts like Molina only a 1hr 30min drive away from Barcelona. Snow shoeing, Ski Touring and skiing will be possible until around April and this year we had a rare dump of snow in May.
Hiking in Barcelona also doesn’t need to involve a long day in the mountains. In spring it’s a great time to enjoy a pleasant walk in the countryside, enjoying the valley of Montseny National Park and combine with the Calcot Season, where you enjoy traditional delicious spring onions. These are cooked on the barbecue and eaten with a nutty sauce.
Summer in Barcelona can be hot and for the best hiking, it’s best to head into the mountains discovering much needed waterfalls and mountain pools. It is possible to do lots of hiking in the summer, but specifically the months of July and August, the temperatures can be up to 37 degrees at times.
Into the Pyrenean Mountains of Cadi-Moixero, Alta Perineu and the incredible Aigüestortes i Estany of Saint Maurici National Park, you’ll find some of the most incredible scenery and you’ll find the temperatures considerably more manageable. Climbing, hiking, whitewater rafting, sleep in a mountain refuge, canoeing, paddle boarding on the the mountain lakes. There’s so much to do. In the mountains you’ll actually find it a lot quieter, with the majority of people descending to the beaches of the Costa Brava or near Tarragona.
Barcelona throughout the summer is incredible if you can handle the heat, where the evenings will come alive with locals not eating dinner until 10pm and shops open until late. In addition towards the end of June, is the Festival de Sant Joan, where the Catalonians celebrate in honour of John the Baptist. In Barcelona it’s a night of fireworks, where people will head to the beach to party. It’s a bigger party than New Years.
Autumn and Spring my favourite time in Barcelona where you find it a lot quieter in Barcelona and the weather still warm enough to sit outside in the evening and enjoy a nice dinner.
September and October are great months for hiking Barcelona, in particular Garrotxa the volcanic region of Catalonia, where you can follow various trails on offer and combine with a hot air balloon, for a birds eye view of the various craters. In addition autumn is particularly good for Catalonia’s vast amount of bird life. In Catalonia we have various different habitats which makes the area the largest in Spain for different types of species.
In Montseny National Park the autumnal colours will be blooming from October to November, with mushroom picking at it’s peak time. A favourite wild mushroom are Bolets which can be found throughout Montseny and are a favourite at the various mountain restaurants.
Winter in Barcelona and Catalonia is stunningly nice with the temperature rarely dropping below 10 degrees. The beaches become deserted where it’s possible have a rare stroll along the beach in the morning. It’s possible to walk your dogs on the beach in the winter and also kitesurf, which is not aloud throughout the busy summer months.
My favourite beach is Bogatell in winter and further up towards Marbella Beach - always quieter than Barceloneta for example. A great walk is to walk along the beach in the morning and enjoy the peace and quiet, very rare throughout the year in Barcelona.
A favourite mountain to hike near Barcelona is Montserrat, where it’s possible to take the train from Placa Espanya, which takes around 50min. Although sometimes a bit colder in the morning, to sometimes 2-5 degrees, it always warms up in the afternoon. If you’re up for a challenge it’s possible to hike from the base to the top and back down, which takes around 5-6 hours for people with good fitness. If you’re keen for something more gentle, it’s also possible to drive or take the funicular to the Monastery and either walk to the top Sant Jeroni at 1236m elevation or just have a gentle walk around the Monastery. Something more gentle would be to walk to the Cross of Sant Miguel, which has great views of the valley and Monastery below.
Christmas in Barcelona is very different for me personally coming from Scotland and although there is some Christmas markets, they don’t compare to markets you’d find in the Uk. Catalans biggest day to celebrate is on the 5th & 6th of January, where the Three Kings (Tres Reis Mags) arrive with presents for the children.
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