Monday, 30 January 2012


We all like to explore, whether it's a city or the countryside both require a bit of knowledge to make the most of your day.
Heading out into the hills in Spain to do some hiking is beautiful side of the country that most overlook and head straight for the beach. Spain has more mountains and hill than most other European countries, Switzerland aside. From Sierra Nevada in the south to the Pyrenees in the north.
the coast of Cartagena, south east

If you like to just pull up to the side of the road and start walking you won't be disappointed with the views and landscapes but if you want to really enjoy what an area has to offer try and get some information first.

Maps, the detailed topographical maps issued by IGN Instituto Geografico National have a good terrain fetchers but don't always have footpaths and tracks marked.
Other tourist maps like Editorial Alpina are better in this sense and there are also local maps that mart some 'suggested' routes. All this is very nice but most of the time you will find that things on the ground aren't the same.
Spain has a system of markings, yellow and white pequeñas rutas / small routes, that means from two hour walk to a day and red and white, grandes rutas that cross much larger areas.

Unfortunately there are so many they are not all indicated on the maps and when out in the open although the signs are visible often the route numbers aren't which is confusing if there is a crossroads in the middle of a wooded area.
the cross means wrong way

So some pre-planning will help you get to your destination and allow you to get the most from you walk.
There are also many books that cover different walks and mountain bike trails however you will need to find them for the region that you are in there is not a singular book that has them all.
Some areas have good sings but it's not the norm

Also if you like technology the hand held GPS, Garmin for example can help you plan your day out, but pre-installing a marked route, from Wikiloc or one that you have created from Ozi explorer can give you the right track and you can soak up the views without worrying if the path is properly marked.
Granada marks Mountain Bike routes with clear red arrows

Ozi explorer screen shot and track marked and used.
GPS courses to learn how to get the best from you gadget are available in Sierra Espuña; Murcia click to see what you could be doing.
isbn: 84 96396 04 5
rutas por murcia para bicicleta de montaña

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