Our grading system explained
- Expedition Grade
With its golden beaches, endless sunshine, high-rise resorts and bargain deals, Spain has long been considered the prime destination for package holidays in Europe. But, travel beyond the well-known tourist hot spots and you’ll find a country full of fascinating cultural diversity, enticing Mediterranean cuisine and stunningly beautiful landscapes just crying out to be explored on foot.
Comprising 17 distinct regions, Spain is a country of enormous regional diversity. Borne out of ancient historical, political and social divides, modern-day Spain reflects the traditions and identities of its past. No more so than in Galicia in the northwest corner of the country and the Canary Islands – an archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa.
An officially autonomous region, Galicia has its own distinctive culture, cuisine and language with over half of the population speaking Galician as their first language.
Galicia’s landscape is characterised by its long coastline – 1660 km in total – rolling hills and large swathes of rural farmland. Its primary draw for visitors is the city of Santiago de Compostela, an attractive, vibrant city with pedestrianised streets, large plazas and impressive Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Central to the city is the imposing cathedral that has been welcoming pilgrims en masse for centuries. There are a number of pilgrimage routes to Santiago of which the Northern Way, the Camino del Norte, is considered one of the most beautiful and peaceful. The Northern Way is 817 km long and follows Galicia’s coastline until it turns inland at Ribadeo and cuts across a gentle, fertile landscape dotted with villages and monasteries, to finally reach Santiago de Compostela.
If you would like to complete your own pilgrimage, or just explore the delights of Galicia, then take a look at our Camino de Santiago – the Northern Way trek.
The Canary Islands – La Palma
Although an autonomous region of Spain, the Canary Islands are actually located in the Atlantic Ocean 100 km off the coast of Morocco in northwest Africa. There are seven main Canary Islands including: the well-known package destinations of Tenrife, Lanzarote and Fuereventura but alongside these are the smaller, less developed islands of La Palma, Gran Canaria and La Gomera, which are becoming increasingly recognised for the superb year-round opportunities they offer the keen walker.
Known as the beautiful island, La Palma is Mountain Kingdoms’ first venture into the Canaries. Designated a World Biosphere Reserve it is the greenest and most wooded of all the Canary Isles with a landscape that ranges across lush rainforest, high volcanic craters, terraced hillsides and dramatic gorges. Fringed by a rugged coastline there are none of the golden, sandy beaches that attract most tourists to this part of the world which means that La Palma is a genuine walker’s paradise with over 600 km of enticing waymarked paths. Among the highlights is the volcanic crater of Roque de los Muchachos – the highest point on the island at 2,426m, the lush rainforest of Los Tiles and the black sand beach of Puerto Naos.
You can discover the many natural treasures of La Palma on our La Palma - North to South walking holiday.View our holidays here