Spain is a soulful and diverse country. That is exactly the reason why it’s a top destination for many travelers who want to study or teach English abroad. If you finally decide to do a teach abroad program in Spain and want to explore the most beautiful natural destinations in Spain, here you will find the best national parks located across the country.
Spain is home to a total of 15 national parks located across the country, as well as in the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. There are parks ideal for wildlife watching, for hiking and mountaineering, for those who love the sea and beaches, and even winter sports lovers.
Located in the provinces of Granada and Almeria, the Sierra Nevada National Park is home to some of Spain’s highest mountain peaks, including Mulhacén, the highest in the Iberian Peninsula at 3,482 meters. It is also the largest national park in Spain. Besides adventure sports such as hiking and mountain climbing, it also plays host to one of Spain’s best ski resorts.
The ski season usually runs from late November to early May, making it a perfect destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
Picos de Europa, Asturias – Best Park for Mountain Hikes
This national park covers an area of more than 650 square kilometers and is located between the provinces of Asturias, Leon, and Cantabria in the Pyrenees. The panoramic highlight, and one of Spain’s finest walks, is the 7.5-mile Ruta de Cares that kinks through the steep-sided “divine gorge” with dizzying drops, precipitous cliffs, and dark tunnels punctuating the route.
Timanfaya, Canary Islands – Best Park for Feeling Like You’re on Another Planet
Situated on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Timanfaya National Park is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve characterized by its barren black and red volcanic landscape. Lava and magma have created a scene straight out of science fiction where, despite its severity, life continues to bloom.
It’s a unique experience that will make you feel like you’re on another planet.
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park – Best Park for Hiking
This park is a unique place situated in the north of Huesca, in the Aragonese Pyrenees. A natural paradise where you can explore meadows, enormous forests, incredible gorges, and glaciers, experience perpetual snow, and admire the unique karstic landscape formed over thousands of years.
The park offers several hiking routes ranging from easy walks to more challenging treks.
Doñana National Park – Best Place for Birdwatchers
Doñana is one of Europe’s most beautiful and important wetlands and ecosystems. It is situated in the southern region of Andalusia in the provinces of Seville and Huelva. What makes this national park so special is that you can admire different ecosystems at the same time: marshland, lagoons, pine groves, sand dunes, cliffs, and 30 kilometers of unspoiled white beaches. The park is also home to many European and African migratory bird species, including the Spanish Imperial Eagle. It is truly a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Cabrera Archipelago, Mallorca – Best Park for Water-Based Activities
The Cabrera Archipelago is part of Spain’s Balearic Islands and covers both land and water. It is known for its wealth of bird species and has one of the best-preserved examples of marine life in the whole of the Mediterranean Sea.
Cabo de Gata-Níjar, Andalusia – Best National Park for Beaches
Located in the province of Almería, Spain, Cabo de Gata-Níjar National Park is a natural paradise renowned for its unique beauty and biodiversity. As the largest protected coastal area in Andalusia, it offers visitors an unforgettable experience with its striking volcanic landscapes and the largest ecological reserve in the whole of the Western European Mediterranean Sea. The park’s coastline is marked by stunning cliffs, secluded coves, and pristine beaches, making it one of the best national parks in Spain for beach lovers. Whether you’re a fan of water sports such as scuba diving and kayaking or simply love to relax on the beach, Cabo de Gata-Níjar has something for everyone.
Teide National Park, located in the heart of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, is a standout among national parks in Spain. This park is not only home to the highest peak on Spanish soil — the Teide-Pico Viejo stratovolcano at 3,718 meters — but it’s also one of the best places for stargazing and exploring volcanic terrain. The park’s unique topography, a result of countless eruptions, creates an almost lunar landscape that’s breathtaking from every angle.
But when night falls, the real show begins. Thanks to its high altitude and clear skies, this wonderful national park in Spain offers some of the best stargazing opportunities in the world. Whether you’re an astronomy enthusiast or just love to marvel at the beauty of nature, Teide National Park is an unforgettable excursion that no visitor to Tenerife should miss.
Monfragüe National Park, or “Parque Nacional Monfragüe” as it’s known in Spanish, is a vibrant hub of wildlife nestled in the heart of Extremadura, Spain. This park is a beacon among parks in Spanish territories for its rich biodiversity. Renowned for its bird life, Monfragüe has become a premier destination for bird watching, housing an array of majestic species, including the Spanish imperial eagle and Eurasian black vulture. But the allure of this park extends beyond its feathered inhabitants. Its unique geological fold, stretching more than 30 km long and 7 km wide, is home to a diverse range of Mediterranean flora and fauna. With ancient rock art, captivating hiking trails, castle ruins, and rare wildlife sightings, Monfragüe National Park provides an immersive experience that captivates nature enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.
Nestled in the heart of Malaga, Andalusia, is the Sierra de las Nieves National Park. This incredible national park in Spain is a paradise of contrasts, boasting the deepest gorge in Andalusia, the GESM, and some of the most breathtaking scenic views in all of Spain. But the allure doesn’t stop there. Sierra de las Nieves offers an array of hiking trails that wind through its diverse landscapes, including a stunning 21-day, 435-kilometer trail that links the Mediterranean with the Atlantic, passing through six of Andalucia’s Natural Parks and protected areas.
As you embark on your journey of teaching English abroad in Spain with RVF International, make sure to seize every opportunity to explore the country’s exceptional national parks. From the mountainous terrains of Picos de Europa to the whimsical charm of Park Güell in Barcelona, every park in these Spanish territories offers a unique adventure that enhances your experience.