Hiking in Barcelona
Is hiking in Barcelona even possible? This is the question I had to ask myself when due to covid restrictions we couldn’t leave the city on weekends. Hiking along the Costa Brava or Costa Daurada or in Penedès, sure. But are there hikes in Barcelona?
So I did some research on where the city limits actually are and what hiking trails are within them. Thankfully, the neighborhood of Sarria-Sant Gervasi is surrounded by trails and so I invented my own loop hike, totally in Barcelona.
Barcelona Hike summary
- 347m elevation gain
- 4h -5h
- picnic tables
- views of Barcelona and Tibidabo
Highlights of the hike in Barcelona
- Monasterio de Pedralbes
- Carrertera de les Aigues
- Mirador del turó d’en Corts
- Villvidrera Reservoir
- Can Cuias
Prep for Barcelona hiking
- lunch, water
- extra layers
- hiking boots
Monasterio de Padralbes
Start your Barcelona hike at the Monasterio de Padralbes, number 22 on the tripadvisor list of things to do in Barcelona. The closest metro stop is Palau Reial and it is easy to get to. In case you wish to visit the monastery, here’s an insider tip: it’s free admission on Sundays after 3pm (at the time of writing).
Parc del Castell de l’Oreneta
From the monastery hike up the switchbacks through Parc del Castell de l’Oreneta, then continue after the park towards la Carretera de les Aigues and take a right once you reach it. Apparently water pipes used to run along this way and after the city removed them, Barcelona opened the path up for hikers, runners and bikers.
Carretera de les Aigues
The views of the city and the sea make up for the many people you will encounter here. It is very popular, probably because of the minimal elevation gain and panoramic views of Barcelona. But the charme of hiking in Barcelona, or anywhere for that matter, is to get away from people. So follow the signs to Turó d’en Corts up the hill on the left.
Mirador del Turó d’en Corts
This part of the Barcelona hike is one of the more challenging bits. It’s uphill, the trail is narrow and rocky, full sun exposure and you have to watch out for mountain bikers. But once you reach the top of the hill you will see a pine forest with nice spots for a water break. Past the pine forest is the lookout and its parking lot.
From here, continue onto Carrer del Mont d’Orsà and turn left at the bus stop onto Cami Santa Creu Olorda Vallvid. It starts as paved road but soon turns into a dirt trail. Two big switchbacks take you downhill. Notice how the vegetation around you changes. From dry pines and loose rock on the south side of the mountain rage before, now you will see leafy trees, muddy trails and spring water. This is why you need good shoes for this hike!
And here’s another warning I never thought I had to give when talking about hiking in Barcelona: Watch out for wild boars in this neck of the woods! We saw one near the trail in this valley and signs closer to Pantà De Valllvidrera warn of wild boars and remind you to leave no trace. Meaning, take your rubbish with you when you go 🙂
At the bottom of the valley you will see the Vallvidrera Reservoir, or Pantà de Vallvidrera. It gets busy here too, as it is close to public transport. On the far side of the damn you will see stairs leading down to six picnic tables. This is a perfect spot for lunch, because at this point you will have walked for about two to two and a half hours.
After lunch, hike up through the nighborhood onto Cami de la Reineta. This is the third time you will be surprised how uphill hiking in Barcelona can be. Slide left onto Carrer de Can Llavallol, which turns into a trail through the forest. Follow the signs to Can Cuias and enjoy the views of Tibidabo to your left.
When you reach Can Cuias you will see the parking lot, just off BV-1468. To avoid having to hike along this busy road you can stay on the trail Cami Santa Creu Olorda Vallvid to close the loop to the lookout Mirador del Turò d’en Corts.
Funicular at Vallvidrera Superior
From here you can either take the same way back down that you came up. Or, you can finish your Barcelona hike with another highlight: a ride on the monorail funicular. If you want to do this, you can take Carrer del Mont d’Orsa to the station Vallvidrera Superior. The funicular connects to the S1 and S2 trains that can take you to Place Catalunya in the center of Barcelona.