Short guide to canyoning in Spain

walking through small canyon

canyon crossing ©stvcr/Flickr

As canyoning is gaining more and more popularity around the world, fans of this sport are looking for new canyons and gorges to explore. And Spain might just be one of the most inspired choices. Don’t let yourself mislead into believing the beaches and urban architecture are the only interesting things to see in Spain. The country has some serious canyoning potential, and what better way to spend your vacation than climbing, hiking and abseiling through Spain’s gorgeous canyons? In my short guide to canyoning in Spain I have included some recommended destinations, as well as some advice on how to get there.


The Spanish Pyrenees have some very nice canyons, especially in the region close to the French and Andorra borders. One canyon in this region that is not only beautiful, but also accessible to the common folk is Barranco de Lapazosa, part of a national park called Ordesa y Monte Perdido. The village of Torla is the way to get into the canyon, but the common practice is to hire professional guides: the weather conditions are always impracticable in the mountains, and you’ll also need the equipment.

rafting trip

canyon-galicia ©AndyRobertsPhotos/Flickr


Sierra de Guara

Also part of the Pyrenees, the mountain range known as Sierra de Guara deserves its own section of my short guide for the simple reason that it has best canyoning spots in the country, and some would say even in Europe. These mountains gave been blessed with an abundance of canyons, of which Aigueta de Barbaruens and Formiga offer the most adventurous trips. It might take several hours to climb, abseil, and jump through these canyons, but in the end you’ll feel imply rejuvenated. The main entrance gate into ‘Canyon country’ is Alquezar.

walking through small canyon

canyon crossing ©stvcr/Flickr

Sierra Nevada

Another great option for those who want to try canyoning in Spain is Andalusia, and more exactly the Sierra Nevada mountains. Andalusia is one of the hottest and most arid areas in Spain, but the dry, sunny weather is exactly what makes it so suitable for canyoning. You’ll also be needing some canyons, of course, and with heights that reach 3000 meters, the Sierra Nevada have some really spectacular ones.

canyonying trip

Canyon Spain ©AndyRobertsPhotos/Flickr

Three canyons that are frequented by canyoning fans are Los Madroñales, Rio Verde and Garganta Verde. These are is easy reach from the city of Granada. Although some smaller canyons become dry in mid summer, one great advantage of canyoning in Andalusia is that the season opens in late spring and closes in mid autumn.



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