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You’ll happily put some mileage on your hiking boots on the Iberian Peninsula and adjacent Islands. Feast your eyes on panoramas of volcanic rock washed with waterfalls, see the ocean from the mountains, and explore miles of stunning coastline in Spain and Portugal.
A paradise for hikers, Spain offers diverse landscapes and serenity wrapped up in a pleasant climate almost all year round. Whether you seek a long distance cultural path, such as the Way of Saint James or nature-filled trails, you’ll find them on mainland or on the Balearic and Canary Islands. Walk across Medieval bridges, Roman roads, magic valleys, or along stone pathways on the banks of rivers, seeing castles or walking through vineyards; every region of Spain offers trails to take you on the most intimate exploration of its natural beauty and cultural diversity, at the same time requiring whatever level of exertion or outdoor expertise you want. The Pyrenees are particularly spectacular for climbing and hiking; imagine finding hidden waterfalls or an unexpected view of the ocean in the far distance.
In the Minho, walking and hiking are the best way of exploring the greenest of Portugal’s regions. Explore the stunning landscape of the Peneda Gerês Natural Park on any of its various routes. Head past dolmens and Roman remains. You’ll also come across animals indigenous to the park, such as wild horses and birds of prey, and the friendly ‘Gerês Garrano’ pony, which has been domesticated for riding. In Madeira walk through a forest of age-old vegetation set in the middle of the ocean. Amble through the forest by following the water channels known as "levadas", and you will discover all kinds of rare species of fauna and flora. It is said that the world’s first orchid grew here. Those in search of excitement can climb up to the mountain peaks of Pico do Areeiro and Pico Ruivo where they can walk above the clouds and look down at the island below.
The Iberian Peninsula has been inhabited for at least 1,000,000 years.
Come along on our overview of the islands of no fewer than 18 European countries.
The Mediterranean Region defies description; so rich is it in dramatic history and bewitching scenery.