In this post, we would like to encourage you to visit these 12 natural areas around Barcelona. Whether you’re just spending a few days at Centre Esplai Hostel, you live in Barcelona but are little lazy when it comes to going out on the weekends or you’ve come specifically as a tourist and love nature, we can enthusiastically recommend these locations to you. No doubt you’ll find some natural areas that are sure to impress you!
You may already be familiar with some of these 12 areas that we recommend but we encourage you to read on; you just might be surprised by a few little-known places close to the city. Escape the crowds for awhile and let yourself be seduced by the calm of the forest, the beauty of the landscape, the songs of the birds, the fresh air, the peacefulness and the magic of nature.
Are you ready to learn all about these places?
1. Montseny Natural Park
Montseny Natural Park is located between the Osona, Vallès Oriental and La Selva regions. It’s the oldest park in Catalonia and is also very important biologically. It was declared as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1978 due to its unique biodiversity, habitat variety, geology, climate and traditional economic activities. Turó de l’Home is its highest peak at 1,706 m.
2. Sant Llorenç de Munt i l’Obac Natural Park
This natural park is located in the Vallès Occidental region, very close to the municipalities of Terrassa, Castellar del Vallès and Sabadell. It’s known for being the location of La Mola, the highest mountain in the park, and the one that most faithfully demonstrates the elements of the landscape. La Mola’s topography is formed by layers of sediment with an erosion effect, resulting in the mountain’s composition being visible to the naked eye which is very interesting to see! Climbing La Mola is a typical activity for people who live in the area.
3. Montserrat Mountain Natural Park
Montserrat is one of the most emblematic mountains in Catalonia. It’s very close to the city of Barcelona (approximately 30 km away) and we consider it a must-visit destination for anyone touring Barcelona or any part of Catalonia. It’s characteristic features are the peak formations (the highest being 1,236 m) that create a very interesting mountain range with spectacular rounded shapes molded by erosion. Would you like to see it for yourself?
4. Montnegre i el Corredor Natural Park
The protected area of Montnegre i el Corredor Natural Park is located between the regions of Maresme and Vallès Oriental, and is made up by the El Corredor mountain range and the Montnegre massif. The sierra and the massif form a set of mountains with gentle slopes and a landscape remodeled by human activity. The area is covered in Mediterranean forest diverse with animals such as martens, bank voles, Eurasian woodcocks and toads, among many others.
5. Coastal Range Park
The Coastal Range Park is located between Vallès Oriental and Maresme. It’s a large green park with a maximum altitude of 600 m and its chain of mountains arose due to tectonic activity in the Paleogene and Neogene periods. Oak and evergreen oak forests prevail. As for the fauna of this area, you’ll find animals typical to Mediterranean forests as well as many migratory birds moving north and south in the spring and fall.
6. Serralada de Marina Park
Serralada de Marina Park is located between Alella and Santa Coloma de Gramanet. In fact, it is very close to the Coastal Range Park we previously mentioned. This park has an area of 3,032 hectares and its topography is quite rounded due to the erosion of the mountain range’s granite materials. You’ll find very similar flora and fauna to the Coastal Range, but with areas that are very natural and magical, ideal for enjoying the forest landscapes and sea views!
Pedra de les Orenetes in the Coastal Range Park.
7. Serra de Collserola Natural Park
Sierra de Collserola Natural Park is one of the largest and most important metropolitan parks in the world. It is located between Tibidabo and Turó de Santa María, and the Arrabassada highway passes through it. It is predominantly forest made up of coastal oaks and pine trees. As a result there are many different species of animals where mammals like wild boars, foxes, genets and squirrels prevail, but you’ll have to be very quiet if you want to see any wildlife.
8. Baix Llobregat Agricultural Park
The Baix Llobregat Agricultural Park is located on the floodplains of the delta and lower valley of the Llobregat river. You’ll find it in the Baix Llobregat region within metropolitan Barcelona. This park has an important objective, which is to consolidate and promote the region’s agricultural activity. To that end, there are programs in place that are committed to conserving the products of this agricultural area, and to local consumption. This area is perfect for cycling or walking!
9. Delta del Llobregat’s Natural Areas
Delta del Llobregat Natural Park is one of our favorite places since it is very close to Centre Esplai Hostel, where we organize bicycle tours into this area! The Llobregat Delta is located next to Prat Airport and is an essential enclave for many species of birds who use it as part of their migratory route. Want to learn more?
Serra de Collserola.
Delta del Llobregat Natural Park
10. Garraf Natural Park
Garraf Natural Park covers almost 13,000 hectares, and is located between 3 different regions: Garraf, Baix Llobregat and Alt Penedés. In fact, it’s bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Penedés depression. It’s a natural park characterized by its limestone landscape. It also has many caves and sinkholes due to its proximity to the sea. Mediterranean brush predominates, mainly made up of fan palms (a small palm tree native to Mediterranean regions), mastic trees and kermes oaks, shrubs that are all typical of dry Mediterranean limestone habitats.
11. Olèrdola Park
Olèrdola Park is located in the last foothills of the Garraf massif mentioned in the previous paragraph. In this park you’ll find Mediterranean landscapes with pine trees, caves and evergreen oaks. However, one of the most important features of this park is the monumental complex with remnants of Iberian, Roman and medieval civilizations. We would especially like to highlight the Iberian ruins of Olèrdola castle. We’re positive that you’ll love it!
12. Foix Park
Foix Park is a natural park located in the Alt Penedès region. The park has three important elements, those being the Foix River, the forests and the Bonelli’s eagle. This protected area is made up of lush white pine forests on a rather steep and dangerous landscape that makes it much easier for Bonelli’s eagles to nest. The area is also home to other species such as badgers, foxes, carp, turtles, etc.