The secret of Collserola National Park

Hiking in the Collserola Natural Park, or: Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola, when you spend a lot of time in a city, seeking out nature from time to time is a must. For me for sure, because secretly I am more of the peace and nature, but so far I cannot resist the temptation of fine restaurants around the corner. Also, the social aspect of living in the city still gives me great pleasure at this point in my life. However, well, those sounds and just looking at “bricks,” even though they make beautiful buildings, does not always provide the tranquility I do need.

Perfect day trip from Barcelona

Since I spend a lot of time in bustling Barcelona, like many locals here, I have already been able to discover the best “secret” green spots. One of those green spots close to the city and easily accessible by public transport is the neighboring Collserola National Park or as they say in Catalan: al Parc Natural de Collserola.

This national park is also recommended during a weekend getaway to Barcelona, because it is so easily accessible and it is not really known among tourists who usually linger a bit in the city center. So you encounter few tourists, which always makes it a little more fun anyway.


The green lung

Collserola is the green lung of Barcelona. Situated between Barcelona, Sant Cugat, Sant Vicenc del Horts and Ripollet. It has over 8295 square meters with nature. One of the reasons why I love living in Barcelona. You have the sea, mountains and culture at your fingertips. What a fantastic combination! By the way, the natural park is also perfect for mountain biking, there are many different trails suitable for the iron steed.

Hiking trails in Collserola National Park

There are several routes you can do in Collserola ranging from 4 km to 30 km or more. Totally depending on what you want and what you feel like doing at the time. Admission is free and there are several hiking trails you can start or combine from the Baixador de Valldivrera train station. Also ideal with children because it allows you to choose a route that suits your family.

When you get off at Baixador de Valldivrera, you can walk to the information center. There you can pick up an information leaflet (usually in Spanish or Catalan) with the routes during opening hours (always check these in advance, as times can vary). You can easily see on the information sheet where the routes go and approximately how long they take. You can also combine them just fine. My favorite route was the green and red combined. You can walk around in this section just fine for between 1 to 3 hours.

Collserola Tibidabo

My two best apps for hiking

After doing this several times, I felt the need to explore other parts of the park. My friends here pointed me to the app: Wikiloc. In this app you can discover all kinds of hiking trails, mountain biking routes and even climbing routes! It costs 10 euros (or you just do a 14-day trial – do cancel right away) per year and you can download the route and put it on your Garmin or other GPS device (I use on my phone, for example: GPX viewer) open so you always know where you are and how to walk. Because I have gotten lost in the past, not in Collserola by the way, I am very happy with these apps. (Non-spon for both apps, by the way!).

My favorite routes

This walk in Collserola is a loop, you start and end at the same place in Horta. Very nice because the route to the starting point was easy to do with the green subway line towards Trinitat Nova (get off Montbau) and only a 5-minute walk to the starting point.

Collserola – Senderos Mundet Tura Sta Maria – Font Groga – Sant Medir – Can Gener Pantano – Can Borrell

Or this walking route where you also pass Tibidabo. Very nice!

At the park there are several routes marked shorter with colors. You can also follow this one. Also check out the Collserola Nature Park site, it is also available in English.

Hiking trails Collserola

Transportation to Collserola Natural Park

Are you going for the first time? The easiest way is to use the train S1 towards Terrassa or the S2 towards Sabadell Parc del Nord which both leave from Plaça Catalunya and get off at: Baixador de Valldivrera. You will be right next to the park entrance. Check the page of the Rodalies, the trains in Catalonia for departure times. You can simply view the subway times in Google Maps.

There are also several options as I described above to get to your starting point by subway or bus. In the Wikiloc app, it is even possible to navigate from the app with Google Maps to your starting point! Super convenient.

Equipment and what do you bring?

Most importantly: good shoes

They do not have to be mountain boots, but the terrain can sometimes have quite a lot of loose stones or with rocks, then shoes with a little more grip and harder sole are very important. That just runs more smoothly. For example, I have this type of shoes: Salomon XA PRO 3, these (I have them in green) have had since 2011 and have hiked everywhere with them: from a three-day trek with pack in Torres Del Paine in Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand to – right – Collserola.

A good backpack or daypack

I always use my Gregory Daypack. A backpack that is comfortable and can easily access your phone (for photos), your water in easy reach and any other gear is super important during longer hikes. I can’t live without it anymore!

Sufficient water

In the summer, it is important to bring enough water. Take at least 2 liters, on hot days and for longer trips than 4 hours, more. It is a varied terrain so sun, clearings alternate with forest and shade.

Anti-mosquito spray

In the wooded area, I was stung frequently in the summer when walking near a stream, bring some anti-mosquito spray!

Sun protection

Something against the sun such as a cap and sunscreen. Furthermore, dry socks are important, especially if you find yourself sweating so much that your feet are no longer dry, anti blister policy :). If you know you will get blisters often, it might be better to bring some blister plasters as well. Better safe than sorry.


But most of all, enjoy! Enjoy all the beautiful greenery that Barcelona itself has to offer! In Montjuïc, by the way, you can also take nice walks. Not as extensive as in Collserola, by the way, but if you want to see some more greenery for a very short time and you have a little less time. Taking the bus to Montjuïc and walking around there is also a great start!

Want to read more about other hiking opportunities near Barcelona? Then check out my blogs on Montserrat, Vall de Nuria, Sal de Moli coming online soon or want some adventure? Then try a Via Ferrata!

Did you know.
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