It smells like fresh grass, fields in bloom… It’s already spring!
Throughout the year you can expect blue skies in Spain. However, the spring is particularly attractive not only for the mild weather but also the colourful displays of blossom that you can see. Spain may boast very different landscapes across the country but in the spring, in almost every area, the blooms and buds will be out and even the drier southern landscape can be a sea of green.
For those people who enjoy walking, hiking and cycling this is the perfect time to be out and about. In this article we highlight ten different places in Spain where you can enjoy the scenery at any time of the year but particularly in the spring.
It’s not all about beaches in Spain. The beautiful countryside here can sometimes be overlooked in favour of the coastline. However, in every part of the country there are natural parks, nature reserves and routes for walking and cycling that can leave you stunned by their beauty. In spring these picturesque settings are definitely worth a visit if you have the time. Here is a selection recommended by ABC and ones we would definitely agree with.
Let’s begin with Galicia and the Cíes Islands, Islas Cíes. This is an archipelago that consists of three islands: Monte Agudo, O Faro and San Martiño. Monte Agudo and O Faro are linked together by a strip of beach and natural dunes.
If you like hiking then this is the perfect place to explore, offering four individual hiking routes. The route up to Monte Faro is particularly recommended for its spectacular views in the Spring. If you are interested in a little bird-spotting then you might prefer the route Alto del Príncipe as you can then watch the seagulls nest on the cliffs. For a walk through the forest, the Monte Agudo route is the one to take. To find out more about the walking routes and the area in general visit the website: lasislascies.com/en/walking-routes-in-the-cies-islands/
Urederra means beautiful water in Basque and this part of the Urbasa and Andía Natural Park can boast exactly that. The main trees you’ll see here are beech and you can take a 5km path bordering the river and enjoy the numerous waterfalls, pools and springs that break out from between the rocks. It’s a truly amazing experience.
This area is a nature reserve and access is limited to 500 visitors a day but you can book your visit in advance. The route starts from Baquedano which is a small village in the Améscoa Valley. To find out more: www.visitnavarra.es/en/source-ofthe-urederra
There are many beautiful spots in this part of Spain but the Muniellos Forest Nature Reserve is perhaps one of the most popular. It’s located in the towns of Ibias and Cangas del Narcea and is famed for its wildlife and oak trees. You can find roe deer, wild boar and even brown bears and wolves. There are three lakes that date back to the ice age – La Isla, La Honda and La Grande.
Remember this is a ‘reserve’ which means that it is closely protected and only 20 people a day are allowed to visit. In order to take your place amongst this special 20 you must apply for a permit through the Muniellos Reserve website: https://www.muniellos.es
You can also find out more information about it in English:
The Valle de Jerte hosts the most amazing display of cherry blossom every spring. Lasting 10 to 15 days, you can see the blossom at its best towards the end of March and the beginning of April. As the blossom comes out it coincides with the celebration of different local festivals – two reasons to visit the area at this time of year.
There’s plenty more to see here too including vineyards which still adopt the same methods of wine preparation as they did 50 years ago. There are several different ways in which you can take in the beautiful scenery and spectacular white blossom. You can either take a circular route through the mountains or follow the N-110 which runs parallel to the Jerte river:
There’s more blossom to be found in Cieza, Murcia. Murcia has areas which are considered to be ‘the garden’ of this part of Spain. Much produce is grown here and in this little part of it you can find plums, nectarines and peach trees. If you’re familiar with the ‘tapas route’ then why not try out the ‘floral route’ instead. This time follow your nose as you choose the different pathways through this rich Murcian garden.
In the Cañon de los Almadenes you can find a rich variety of trees and plants including poplar, ash and willow. There is also a variety of wildlife here such as eagle owls and otters. If you have plenty of energy you might even like to have a go at travelling down the river on a kayak:
For more garden experiences why not try the gardens of la Granja de San Ildefonso in Segovia. Here you will find more than 12,000 trees including poplar and chestnut along with a variety of ferns and other fauna. This is a man-made garden that includes fountains and statues and spring really is the best time to visit. The mixture of flowers in bud and water features mean you must have your camera at the ready.
The garden hasn’t just been thrown together. It is an 18th-century French garden which extends to 146 hectares and is enclosed by a wall. There is a labyrinth that children can enjoy and gardeners will appreciate the way in which different species are laid out at different levels. There are 26 monumental fountains and a large pond known as ’The Sea’.
A little closer to home for many of our readers are the Turia gardens in Valencia city. They populate what was the Turia river bed along 12 kilometres so you can be in the middle of the city but surrounded by countryside. They are one of the largest urban parks in Spain and are crossed by 18 bridges.
Whichever way you want to see them is up to you – you can go on foot or by bicycle and use it as a walkway towards the City of Arts and Sciences. If you need a break along the way you might want to stop off at the Palau de la Musica or the Gulliver Park where younger children can enjoy the slides. You can even hire a swan-shaped boat in Cabecera Park. Here you’ll find a variety of palm trees and orange trees, rose beds, aromatic plants, ponds and pine woods.
The Fageda d’en Jordà is just one of the 26 nature reserves in the La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. This is established on an area of volcanic activity and now comprises of a beech forest that is quite unique. You can see the 38 volcanic cones that surround it and to which it owes its unusual earth.
There are more than a thousand species of different plants with oak forests being particularly prevalent. In spring you can gaze upon the variety of flowers of different colours and hues and you can take one of the recommended routes to enjoy the scenery.
Unfortunately this island has been in the news recently as a result of the eruption of the live volcano, La Cumbre Vieja. However, volcanic activity is not new to the island and some of its most attractive features are as a result of seismic activity in the past.
The island has many beautiful areas that hopefully remain undisturbed. This includes the waterfall in the Barranco de las Angustias in the Caldera de Taburiente. The water here is rich in iron and although the original waterfall is difficult to reach, an artificial wall was built that allows easier access and means you can even bathe in the water there.
We couldn’t end this list without a feature on Madrid. El Retiro Park is the usual one to get the most coverage but the Parque de la Quinta de los Molinos also deserves a mention as an area to visit in the spring time. It’s located in the east of Madrid and you can enjoy the aspect of almond trees which look particularly beautiful in March. Other trees exist here too, including the olive, pine and eucalyptus.
The park itself has been arranged into two different areas. The north is considered to be designed in a more romantic landscape style and the south to have a more agricultural character. There’s even a 20th century palace here that is worth taking in on your tour. Sarah la Viajara tells us about her experiences in this beautiful part of the city:
Of course, these aren’t the only vantage points from which to enjoy Spain in the spring. Every town, village and corner will have something of beauty to take in. We’d love to hear about yours.Tags: Spain, Spring