Friday, 7 October 2011 9:40 AM
If you are keen to really get away from the hustle and bustle, walking holidays in Spain can be a marvellous way to do so. Indeed, while you may initially think of its busy cities or stretches of sand, the country is also home to some fantastic rural landscapes that are perfectly suited to this kind of break.
Walking in Catalonia, for example, will give you the chance to explore the foothills of the Pyrenees, where you'll have an authentic experience of Spain, as well as enjoying some beautiful scenery.
Furthermore, because your walking holidays in the Pyrenees are independent, you can simply make your way in your own time, using the maps and detailed notes provided by your tour operator to forge your own adventure. As your luggage is carried from hotel to hotel for you, you also will not need to worry about hauling weighty bags.
You will explore the glorious La Garrotxa region, with its ancient trails, wonderful wilderness and fine regional cuisine. Your first route is a great way to be introduced to the area, taking you through both pastureland and woodland and providing you with marvellous vistas out over the Pyrenees.
After leaving the woodland, you will make your way to the lovely medieval village of Beget. En route, you will pass through a pretty valley peppered with streams, as well as walking along a woodland gorge - a day of impressive sights to start your break with.
The following morning, you will descend into the valley of the River Beget before climbing up through woodland. At the top, you will be afforded fantastic views out over the terrain below, as well as the mountains behind.
After lunch, you will make your way to Coll Joell, where you'll find a picturesque spot to stop and decide if you would like to take a detour to the Sant Miquel d'Hortmoier, before travelling on to Can Pei.
Leading you to Castellfollit de la Roca, your next trail will take you into the Zona Volcanica, where you'll find wild woodland and valleys. As you get closer to the end of your route, you'll be afforded increasingly excellent views of your beautiful destination. When you reach the old town, you can take a bus or a taxi to Olot.
Walking amid volcanoes, your next itinerary is certainly thrilling. Because of the trees that surround them, the volcanoes' magnitude is somewhat shrouded until you reach a crater - and look down into a vast drop spanning hundreds of metres. Your destination for the day is Santa Pau, one of the prettiest villages in the region.
The following morning, you'll set out walking through the wilderness - but the paths will be well marked, so you don't need to worry about losing your way. One of the highlights of the day will be climbing up to a ridge between two valleys, where you'll enjoy magnificent views out over the villages and volcanoes, before reaching Can Jou.
From here, you'll set off the next day on the final walk of your holiday. Making your way through uninhabited uplands, you'll take in the scents of wild herbs growing around you before passing the ancient sanctuary of San Ferriol. Your last leg will take you along the valley of Fluvia, and across a charming medieval bridge into Besalu, where your getaway will come to an end.