When people think of Barcelona, they may think of a big city, the beach, and Gaudi’s renowned architecture. I was surprised to learn that the mountains encircling the city provide an escape in the form of nature parks, offering trail systems for hiking, mountain biking, and running. I luckily was able to learn more about the park system and experience it firsthand on an ISA mini-group day hike excursion to Tibidabo. Although the weather for the day wasn’t perfect (it was super windy up on the mountain) I was very happy to escape the city for several hours to hike. Hiking was an activity I did somewhat frequently at my home university in Boulder, so I was glad I could try it out in Barcelona.
We started from the metro, taking it to a funicular that took us up the Collserola Mountain. I found this exciting, as I had never taken a funicular before. We then started our hike along the ridgeline, taking some snacks and picture breaks along the way. We then began our ascent up to Tibidabo, the highest mountain in the Barcelona area. The summit of Tibidabo has a church as well as one of Europe’s oldest amusement parks, and a restaurant. From the church, there is a terrace in which there are stunning views of Barcelona. We spent an hour at the summit taking photos of the various areas, as well as eating lunch.
We made our way across the ridge to return on a different route, which allowed us to see a Tibidabo from a different side, as well as Montserrat off in the distance. Another great thing about going on the mini-group excursion was to learn more from and spend time with our ISA staff. We learned of the various fruits and vegetables that grew on the mountainside, and how many locals come up to pick the produce and bring it home. At the end of the hike, we had walked over 8 miles, which seemed crazy as I didn’t feel super tired. I’m overall happy I went on this excursion, and would recommend it to future ISA Barcelona participants, or anyone visiting Barcelona for a weekend!