Spain's Sendero Historico: The GR1

Northern Spain - Picos to the Mediterranean

By John Hayes

Guidebook to the 1250km of Spain's Sendero Historico (GR1), traversing northern Spain from Puerto de Tarna in the province of Leon in the west to the Mediterranean near L'Escala in Catalonia, through fascinating, varied landscapes and the foothills of the Pyrenees. Described in 53 stages, about 25km each in length, with detailed mapping.



potentially accessible throughout the year but best experienced from April to early June and in September and October


Reinosa, Vitoria, Olite, Murillo de Gállego, Graus and Gironella


quiet and often remote providing a wide range of walking experiences none of which requires technical expertise; accommodation can usually be found on the route and at the end of a 7 to 8-hour walking day
Must See

Must See

combines visits to many of the most important sites in the country's historical development with some its best scenery
1 Oct 2015
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.7cm
  • Overview

    This guidebook is for trekkers aiming to tackle all or part of the GR1 or Sendero Historico – 1250km of waymarked route across northern Spain through the Pyrenean foothills from Puerto to Tarna at the western end to near L’Escala on the Mediterranean coast. Broken into 7 sections and 53 stages, the walking goes through remote landscapes, but accommodation is accessible at the end of every day, and the terrain is not difficult. All sections are suitable for novice and experienced walkers alike.

    Providing all the information trekkers will need, the guide starts with a useful introduction combining practical information about planning your own itinerary, when to go, what to take and the accommodation, cuisine and terrain to expect along the way with general information about the varied geology and fascinating history of the provinces you will be walking through. Step-by-step route description is accompanied by custom-drawn, contoured mapping, vibrant photography and stage and section summary information to help you plan, as well as detailed information about the accommodation options available at the end of each day’s walking. Also included is information about how to get to Puerto de Tarna from the northern coast of Spain, if you want to make the GR1 into a true coast-to-coast.

    Walking through rural Spain is a unique experience and the GR1 meanders through some of the best scenery northern Spain has to offer. At the same time, the route visits many medieval churches and castles from the time of the Christian kingdoms, the reconquest, the crusades and Spanish Unification as well as key locations in the development of modern Spain. What’s more you’ll have long views of the changing landscapes all the way, as the mountains of Spain, unlike the rest of Europe, are not cloaked in pine forests.

  • Contents

    Topography of the route
    Climate and vegetation
    Agriculture and wildlife
    What the trails are like
    Staying in Spain
    Eating in Spain
    When to go
    Breaking the GR1 into chunks
    Planning your walk
    What to take
    Finding your way
    Using this guide
    1 Puerto de Tarna to Reinosa
    Stage 1 Puerto de Tarna to Salamon
    Stage 2 Salamon to Prioro
    Stage 3 Prioro to Camporredondo de Alba
    Stage 4 Camporredondo de Alba to Cervera de Pisuerga
    Stage 5 Cervera de Pisuerga to Brañosera
    Stage 6 Brañosera to Reinosa
    2 Corconte to Berantevilla
    Stage 1 Corconte to Pedrosa de Valdeporres
    Stage 2 Pedrosa de Valdeporres to Salazar
    Stage 3 Salazar to Paresotas
    Stage 4 Paresotas to Bóveda
    Stage 5 Bóveda to Espejo
    Stage 6 Espejo to Fontecha
    Stage 7 Fontecha to Berantevilla
    3 Berantevilla to Olite
    Stage 1 Berantevilla to Peñacerrada
    Stage 2 Peñacerrada to Bernedo
    Stage 3 Bernedo to Santa Cruz de Campezo
    Stage 4 Santa Cruz de Campezo to Los Arcos
    Stage 5 Los Arcos to Larraga
    Stage 6 Larrage to Olite
    4 Olite to Murillo de Gállego
    Stage 1 Olite to Ujué
    Stage 2 Ujué to Sos del Rey Católico
    Stage 3 Sos del Rey Católico to Petilla de Aragón
    Stage 4 Petilla de Aragón to Biel
    Stage 5 Biel to Murillo de Gállego
    5 Murillo de Gállego to Graus
    Stage 1 Murillo de Gállego to Loarre
    Stage 2 Loarre to Bolea
    Stage 3 Bolea to Arguis
    Stage 4 Arguis to Nocito
    Stage 5 Nocito to Paúles de Sarsa
    Stage 6 Paúles de Sarsa to Ligüerre de Cinca
    Stage 7 Ligüerre de Cinca to Tierrantona
    Stage 8 Tierrantona to Salinas de Trillo
    Stage 9 Salinas de Trillo to Graus
    6 Graus to Gironella
    Stage 1 Graus to Lascuarre
    Stage 2 Lascuarre to Puente de Montañana
    Stage 3 Puente de Montañana to Àger
    Stage 4 Àger to Hostal Roig
    Stage 5 Hostal Roig to Messanés
    Stage 6 Massanés to Oliana
    Stage 7 Oliana to Cambrils
    Stage 8 Cambrils to Sant Llorenç de Morunys
    Stage 9 Sant Llorenç de Morunys to Sant Lleïr de la Vall d’Ora
    Stage 10 Sant Lleïr de la Vall d’Ora to L’Espunyola
    Stage 11 L’Espunyola to Gironella
    7 From Gironella to the coast
    Stage 1 Gironella to Lluçà
    Stage 2 Lluçà to Alpens
    Stage 3 Alpens to Ripoll
    Stage 4 Ripoll to Sant Pau de Segúries
    Stage 5 Sant Pau de Segúries to Oix
    Stage 6 Oix to Besalú
    Stage 7 Besalú to Banyoles
    Stage 8 Banyoles to Orriols
    Stage 9 Orriols to Sant Martí d’Empúries

    Appendix A Route summary tables
    Appendix B A Spanish coast-to-coast
    Appendix C Useful contacts

  • Updates
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  • Reviews
    This is a well written guide to an attractive route and makes interesting reading. Recommended.

    Spain has a fine selection of long-distance paths, but this one is probably the finest.

    The walking is generally easy and full of interest with wide ranging views as the mountains are not covered with trees as some areas of similar altitude are. There is much of historical interest as the route roughly follows along the Medieval Moorish Christian frontier.

    The GR1 falls short of being a coast to coast walk, but the author details a number of ways of extending the route using other Spanish long distance paths from the Atlantic coast to Puerto de Tarna, the start of GR1. 

    This is a well written guide to an attractive route and makes interesting reading. Recommended.

    Slackpacker, Backpack magazing

    “Very thorough and compact guide to Northern Spain’s GR1 from the Picos to the Mediterranean.  Clear text, plenty of maps and photos, and lots of practical information from the author including accommodation, contacts for local taxi drivers when needed, suggested restaurants and plenty of heads-up for when a section of the walk has no dining or sleeping options along it. Highly recommend it.” 
    Ken Baldwin, Managing Director, Totally Spain,


    "Guides/schmuides. In the digital age we live in, do we really need to reserve space in our luggage for a book? If the title in question's The GR1: Spain's Sendero Histórico, there's a case for making room.

    Especially as generally the words are less dry-as-toast text and more dripping-like-butter prose...

    Hayes' [experience] allows him to compare landscapes. And so "the limestone landscape of the eastern Cantabrian Mountains" resembles "the Ardeche in France and includes some of the same distinct features including the deep gorges, natural bridges and underground caves." This is an author who much prefers to rely on first-hand experience as opposed to trawling through the World Wide Web.

    Easy to digest, The GR1: Spain's Sendero Histórico feels a short 294 pages. Whilst you could read it cover to cover as I did, it's of more use if you dip in and out of it. This is a book, after all, designed for those on the go.

    Matthew Hirtes, The Huffington Post. 

    Stuffed full of fantastic and sunny photographs, the Sendero Historico guide for Cicerone is a great little guide to a super looking long distance trek.

    Dave Sarker, Climbing Gear Reviews

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Hayes John

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 5000km trek across Europe, walking from Tarifa in Spain to Budapest. John has written for numerous walking and trekking magazines. John has walked the Camiño dos Faros twice, in April 2016 (with Christine his wife) and in June 2017.

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