Travel and Sport

Adventure Sports in Spain: 10 Top Destinations

Travel and Sport Robert Nieuwland

Spain is the perfect setting for active and adventurous tourism thanks to the great variety of landscapes. From its countless coasts to imposing mountains and wonderful islands. Get inspired and in shape with our selection of 10 destinations and their most popular activities!

1. Asturias

Asturias is an incomparable natural paradise (with no less than 6 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves) and thus the perfect setting for countless adventure sports in Spain. Its mountains and coasts, bathed by the Cantabrian Sea, offer surfing, canoeing, horseback riding and much more.

Surfing in Asturias

The Asturian coast has some of the most beautiful beaches in northern Spain and is the perfect setting to enjoy surfing all year round. Many of its beaches are considered the best for surfing in Spain. From well-known beaches such as Rodiles or Xagó to Playa de La Grande, San Lorenzo, San Antolín, Santa Marina and Vega.

Horse riding in Asturias

Discovering magical landscapes and dreamy trails is even more interesting if done on horseback. Highly recommendable is the Somiedo Natural Park, the surroundings of Cabo Peñas or Lastres and, of course, the Picos de Europa.

Canoeing in Asturias

With the Descent of the Sella as one of the symbols of the region, it is not surprising that canoeing is an essential activity to practice in the Principality. The International Descent of the Sella gathers thousands of people annually at the beginning of August and has already become a sports festival to mark on the calendar. In addition to the Sella river, in Asturias you can also descend rivers such as the Cares, the Narcea, the Nalón and the Navia.

canoeing is an adventure sport in spain

2. Cadiz

Kitesurfing and Surfing in Cádiz

Close to the Strait of Gibraltar, Cádiz is an idyllic area for surfing given the quality of its waves and strong winds (and great beach bars!). El Palmar beach, Los Caños de Meca, Roche, Tarifa, Barbate, Bolonia beach... Just take your pick!

Hiking in Cádiz

One of the most precious jewels in the province of Cádiz is the Sierra de Grazalema. This Natural Park offers the perfect conditions for hiking. The Pinsapar route is without a doubt the most emblematic of the place. The Garganta Verde route is perfect for sighting vultures, the Majaceite river route offers a pleasant walk along the river bed and the Torreón, the highest point in the province, offers impressive panoramic views (on clear days you will see the coasts of Africa).

Canyoning in Cádiz

If you are looking for a refreshing adrenaline rush you should try canyoning. In the province of Cádiz you can rappel, swim and jump your way through the Guadiaro river gorge.

3. Lanzarote

Volcanic landscapes, a mild climate all year round, endless beaches and a pleasant, hospitable and relaxing lifestyle… Lanzarote is the perfect destination for outdoor activities.

Diving in Lanzarote

Diving is a must on the island. You will find a wide variety of options and should not miss the spectacle of seeing groupers, rays, moray eels and other native species for anything in the world.

Surfing in Lanzarote

Lanzarote is one of the surf capitals of southern Europe. The east coast, with smaller waves, is great for beginners. The west is where the daredevils go. The most famous beaches on the island are Famara, Arrieta and La Santa.

Hiking in Lanzarote

Known as the 'island of 300 volcanoes', Lanzarote offers some truly of this world landscapes. There are several hiking trails to discover its lunar plains and peculiar amphitheater-shaped vineyards. In the north, the routes Arrieta-Caleta Famara and Caleta Famara-Bosquecillo are top choice. In the center of the island you cannot miss the Caldera Blanca route.

4. Guipúzcoa

Another of the green jewels in Spain is the Basque Country. With a unique natural environment, marked by its landscape diversity, and a unique cultural identity, it stands out as a favorite destination for active travelers. In the Basque Country you will find coastal and mountain trails and beautiful beaches.

Trail running in Guipúzcoa

Trail running is a booming sport in Spain that consists of running routes on trails and mountain roads, usually of a rough nature, and with steep slopes. Thanks to the characteristics of its relief, the province of Guipúzcoa is a delight for lovers of mountain running.

Mountain biking in Guipúzcoa

In Guipúzcoa you’ll easily find different routes of varying difficulty to discover the beauty of the Basque landscapes on two wheels. Guipúzcoa has two mountain bike centers, one in the Tolosaldea region and the other in the Debabarrena region.

Hiking in Guipúzcoa

With a natural environment like that of Guipúzcoa, it is not surprising that hiking is an essential activity in the region. Highlighting two: The Ignatian Way recreates the route that Ignacio de Loyola traveled in 1522 from Loyola to Manresa. On the Dolmen Route, we can find numerous dolmens and burial mounds related to the ancestral funeral culture of the shepherds. A perfect way to combine culture, sport and nature.

one of the adventure sports in spain is hiking

5. Cuenca

In addition to visiting its towns full of history, its Hanging Houses and its magical Enchanted City, the Serranía de Cuenca is the perfect place to carry out a multitude of outdoor activities, from hiking to climbing to canoeing.

Canyoning in Cuenca

If there is one activity that highlights active tourism in Cuenca and that’s canyoning. The most famous options would be the Ventano del Diablo, Poyatos and the Strait of Gollizno.

Canoeing in Cuenca

The Júcar river is Cuenca’s central artery for canoeing with different sections for all tastes. Here you will find many options to go rowing and discover landscapes of great beauty.

Climbing in Cuenca

The sickles shaped by the Júcar and Huécar rivers and the Valdecabra sickle form one of the most important climbing areas in our country. For this reason, and with its more than 1,000 routes, it is absolutely recommended that you come climbing here.

6. Lleida

The Catalan province of Lleida is one of the axes of active tourism in Spain. With the Pyrenees as a backdrop, Lleida stands out mainly for its rugged landscapes, ideal for hiking and mountain bike routes and, of course, its famous rafting descents.

Rafting in Lleida

The star sport in the province of Lleida is undoubtedly rafting, practiced especially in Pallars Sobirà, thanks to its magnificent Noguera Pallaresa river. This river is perfect for beginners and experts, as it is fast but of medium difficulty and without great risks.

Hiking in Lleida

It is worth mentioning the hiking trails of the Cinquè Llac, the Via Calda, the Seven Lakes Route of Colomers and Carros de Foc in the Arán Valley, which run through the National Park of Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici and its peripheral area with high mountain landscapes that will leave you speechless.

Horse riding in Lleida

Most of the routes are concentrated in the Pyrenees area, passing through dreamy landscapes, crossing lakes, valleys, hills... stuff for fairy tales.

7. Cantabria

The route through green Spain has another obligatory stop in Cantabria. This northern region, sheltered by the majestic Picos de Europa, bathed by the Cantabrian Sea on its 220 kilometers of coastline and with its more than 90 beaches is unique in Green Spain and a gift for those seeking an unforgettable active tourism experience .

Hiking in Cantabria

If you want to discover the authentic green beauty of Cantabria, the Hondojón hiking route in the Collados del Asón Natural Park and a visit to the Saja Besaya Natural Park, the most extensive in all of Cantabria and an ideal option for excursions.

Surf in Cantabria

With the Cantabrian Sea and its Costa Quebrada offering great waves most of the year, Cantabria pioneered the practice and promotion of this sport and that translates into a large number of schools and companies dedicated to this activity, especially in the municipalities of Ribamontán la Mar, Suances, and San Vicente de la Barquera. If you dare to surf in Cantabria, don't miss the beaches of Berria (Suances), El Sardinero (Santander), Somo, Canallave and Valdearenas (Liencres) or Los Locos (Suances).

Climbing in Cantabria

With the Picos de Europa in the background and a coast full of majestic cliffs, climbing is another top option. In Cantabria you can also find 6 vias ferrata, the most famous in Liendo, Matienzo and Ramales.

climbing is an adventure sport in spain

8. Huesca

Its peculiar landscapes will make you live a natural experience without equal. Mountain bike, canoe ... you choose!

Canyoning in Huesca

Both the Pyrenees and Sierra de Guara areas are ideal for practicing this activity, thanks to the large number of canyons. The central area of ​​the Aragonese Pyrenees, next to the National Park, would be the most recomendable.

Hiking in Huesca

Huesca has the Ordesa y Monteperdido National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and of incalculable beauty. So hiking is highly recommended in the region. You cannot miss the Pradera de Ordesa and the viewpoints of Revilla in the Gorges of Escuaín.

Mountain Biking in Huesca

The province of Huesca is a true paradise for mountain bike lovers. Here you will find a large number of routes of different lengths and requirements. The route of the Sanctuary of Loreto and that of the Valdabra Reservoir are especially recommended.

9. Mallorca

With its Sierra de Tramuntana and its impressive beaches and coves with crystal clear water, it is not surprising that here you can practice many adventure activities. Jump from the conventional and discover that hiking, cycling and diving on the island is more than recommended.

Hiking in Mallorca

The island of Mallorca is a gem when it comes to hiking, since it has a multitude of marked trails through which to discover impressive corners. The vast majority of trails are found in the Sierra de Tramuntana. The route between Sóller and Fornalutx, the route from Puig des Galatzó and the route from Deià to Sóller are especially recommended.

Cycling in Mallorca

Cycling is very popular on the island, almost at any time of the year. Cycling in Mallorca will allow you to discover inland villages of great beauty and a Mallorca totally unknown to the general public. Do not miss the Olive Green Route or the Inca - Selva - Lloseta Route.

Diving in Mallorca

With its crystal clear waters, its numerous bays and beautiful marine landscapes, it is understandable that the practice of this activity is booming. You can already find more than 50 diving companies scattered throughout the island.

10. Galicia

Traditionally known for all its cultural and gastronomic offer, Galicia has more than the almost obligatory Camino de Santiago...

Hiking in Santiago

Symbol of the entire region, the Camino de Santiago crosses the whole of northern Spain, ending at Santiago de Compostela. Other recommendable hikes would also be along the Costa da Morte, the Rias Baixas-Barbanza route and the Ribeira Sacra-Cañones del Sil route.

Rafting in Galicia

In the surroundings of Santiago you can find the Ulla, Tambre, Miño and Deza rivers, all with sections suitable for beginner and expert rafting.

Canyoning in Galicia

If your level is basic try the Barbanza River in A Pobra and the Varosa River in Barro. If you already have some experience then you will love the Férida River in Viveiro and the Xallas River in O Pindo.

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Robert Nieuwland

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