Spanish Pyrenees activity holidays guide

Something a lot of people notice after spending time in the Spanish Pyrenees is that when they return to ‘civilisation’, it all seems so much… louder. Wonderfully tranquil even in peak season, these mountains stretch 450km from the Mediterranean to the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic, through Catalonia and the Basque Country, and forming a natural border between Spain and France, with tiny Andorra tucked in between.
The Spanish Pyrenees is the type of place where, once you’ve discovered it, you find yourself going back, over and over again.
The Spanish Pyrenees lend themselves to a wide range of active breaks. You can walk here of course, in fact it’s probably one of the best places in Europe for walking, but you can also combine that with photography, wildlife watching, yoga, snowshoeing in the winter, or a whole swathe of other adventurous pursuits on a multi activity holiday. As Spain’s cities and coastal resorts swell with tourists, it’s little wonder that many people are now starting to look up instead. Find out more in our Spanish Pyrenees holidays guide.

The Spanish Pyrenees are…

an opportunity to enjoy a huge variety of activities, both sporty and cultural or, even better, a mix of the two.

The Spanish Pyrenees are not…

a good place for family holidays. They are a FANTASTIC place for family holidays.

Spanish Pyrenees map & highlights

The Spanish Pyrenees may feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere, but they’re actually pretty accessible. At the western end of the mountain chain you have Bilbao, and to the east you have Girona and Barcelona. Flying in requires an airport transfer of at least two hours, but getting around while you’re there is easy enough, as trips usually rely on transport provided by helpful hosts. If you’re headed to a central part of the range, such as Aragon, then the most convenient option is often to fly into Zaragoza, which also has fast rail links to major Spanish cities including Madrid. That means that you can easily add a few days on the beach after your mountain retreat, for instance, or explore Barcelona.

1. Albella

This picturesque mountain village boasts a pristine natural environment and a very non-touristy ambience. Several of the highest summits in the range are found nearby, including Monte Perdido, so it’s an excellent base for trekking and photography tours. With and abundance of small farms and producers nearby it’s also perfect for foodies, and language students have many chances to practise their lingo on willing villagers.

2. Girona

Girona is the gateway to the Catalan section of the Pyrenees, and the foothills north of the city are great for everything from self-guided cycling to visiting pretty medieval towns such as Banyoles and Besalú, Roman ruins and old stone churches. From here you can head up into the mountains for more challenging activities, to the coast, or to other well known destinations such as Figueres.
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

3. Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve shelters over 180 species of bird, including bearded vultures, as well as many species of butterflies, and wildlife such as chamois, marmots and praying mantis. You’ll find some of Spain’s finest walking territory here, with miles of trails through forests of beech and pine and alpine wildflower meadows. Guides can lead you to viewpoints over Monte Perdido, the Brecha de Roland or foaming waterfalls.
Sierra de Guara Natural Park

4. Sierra de Guara Natural Park

Another popular hiking destination, the Sierra de Guara is an atmospheric landscape of immense limestone gorges and rock formations, and ancient seabeds lined with fossils. Also frequently used for canyoning expeditions, the park has populations of wild boar and goat, and several attractive medieval villages, some of which are long abandoned.

5. Somontano

Situated in the foothills of the central Spanish Pyrenees, the name of this wine region translates to ‘under the mountains’, and they certainly do make a dramatic backdrop. Naturally, wine tasting in the many bodegas around here is the big draw, but there are also several romantic medieval towns to wander, and the Sierra de Guara National Park is a highly regarded location for canyoning.

6. Sort

Sort – Catalan for ‘luck’ – is another fabulous location for anyone wanting a multi activity holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees. In the Pallars Sobirà region, close to Barcelona and Aigüestortes National Park, it has experiences available nearby that range from rafting, canyoning and horse riding, to 4x4 jeep safaris and kayaking. Some people know Sort as adventure central, but most people don’t know it at all. What luck.

Our top Spanish Pyrenees Holiday

Spanish Pyrenees yoga and walking retreat

Spanish Pyrenees yoga and walking retreat

Yoga, Wild Swimming & Mountain Walks in the Spanish Pyrenees

From €1495 8 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2024: 4 Jul
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Spanish Pyrenees or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: ikeofspain] [Are/Aren't:] [Albella (Monte Perdido): Benjamin Gamblin] [Girona: Davidlohr Bueso] [Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park: Heparina1985] [Sierra de Guara: Abel Munoz] [Somontano: Tiomax80] [Sort: Diliff]