The GR1: Spain's Sendero Historico

Across Northern Spain from Leon to Catalonia

A step by step guide to walking the 1250km long Sendero Historico (the GR1) across northern Spain. Travelling from west to east, the GR1 starts at the Puerto de Tarna, on the border of Asturias and Castilla y León, heads east along the southern flank of the Cantabrian Mountains and the foothills of the Pyrenees before finishing on the Mediterranean coast near L'Escala. Arguably one of Spain's best long-distance paths, it follows gently graded paths, making a long but easy walk suitable for a reasonably fit walker.

The complete trail requires around 53 days to complete end to end, but the guidebook splits the route into 7 sections, each with a start or endpoint that can be easily reached by train or bus, allowing walkers to explore the route in manageable chunks. The guidebook also describes how to extend the route to Finisterre and the Atlantic using GR routes.

As well as extensive notes on the history of modern Spain, from medieval times to more recent events such as the Civil War, there is a wealth of advice on planning the walk, accommodation, transport, and equipment. Detailed mapping accompanies the description of the trek, along with useful information about the towns and villages passed along the way.

John Hayes

John Hayes is a retired management consultant with degrees from Liverpool University and University College London. Immediately after finishing work in 2011 he embarked on an epic 5,000km trek across Europe, walking from Tarifa in Spain to Budapest. The veteran of numerous long treks in the Alps, Spain and the Himalayas, John has written for numerous walking and trekking magazines. John first walked the GR1 in early 2013 and has made two return trips. When exploring new routes in Spain John enjoys the advice and support of Juan Holgado, whose website is one of best known local sources on Spanish walking.

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  • Information on itinerary planning, accommodation and points of interest
  • A waymarked route visits classic Medieval sites in Aragon, Navarra, Castile and Leon.
  • Unique guide to this historic route