Isn’t it too hot to go walking in Spain in the summer?

If you’re coming to Barcelona in the summer you probably won’t want to do huge amounts of walking around town because the heat is exacerbated by air pollution and humidity. However, if you get out of town and climb a bit, the picture changes dramatically.

There’s a difference of 10°C in mean July temperatures between the worst of the low-lying areas and the mountains because temperature tends to decrease with altitude in the troposphere, the atmospheric layer 7-17km deep that sits on top of us. Dry air has a lapse rate of just under 10°C per kilometer, but for our purposes it’s fairly safe to assume a drop in temperature of around 7.5°C for every 1,000m we climb, and there’s good range of walks at higher altitudes in the second range of hills back from the coast, an hour from Barcelona.

The second factor is shade. Catalonia has got lots of trees, and this makes a huge difference, particularly if you’re walking through the deciduous forests on the shadier side of hills.

And finally, early morning or late afternoon starts make a lot of walks manageable that would be killers otherwise. Cyclists always say that miles done before 9 count double. The same applies with walking, so if you opt for a 7am start, try to think of it as an investment…

Similar posts


  1. For people coming to Catalonia who like to get way out in the country, may I suggest the Hotel Regina (full disclosure: it’s managed by one of Remei’s cousins) in Vallfogona de Riucorb, where the Conca de Barberà, the Urgell, and the Segarra meet. It’s sunny and warm during the summer; gets hot at midday but that’s what the first-class municipal swimming pool’s for. The air’s beautifully clean and the humidity low, so evenings and nights are very cool and pleasant. Lots of interesting minor sights to see in the region, including the major sights of the Cistercian monasteries–Vallbona de les Monges is only about a 20 km drive down the road and Poblet is an hour or so away by car. There are several very good and affordable restaurants in the area. Everything I love about Catalonia is out there.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *