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Barcelona is one of the favourite destinations for the sea, beach life and its nightlife. But it is a city that has bread for our teeth even for us who love walking, nature and above all breathtaking landscapes. The mountain of Tibidabo, one of the major attractions, if seen in another way, can be an excellent opportunity for a trekking.
Since I arrived here I have started to search for the best trekking routes offered by Barcelona. I was happily surprised to find so many possibilities, including the most famous mountain trekking in Montserrat that I have already planned!
But if you are looking for a trekking at your fingertips, just stop for a moment, at any point in Barcelona you will see your destination. Look up wherever you are in the city and you will see the Tibidabo church stand out. If you already live here, have you ever thought about getting on foot?
If instead, you are here as a traveler, it is one of the most famous attractions of the city but instead of going up with the classic tour or with the means you could climb at no cost!
Here’s what I’m talking about in this article:
- The Mountain of Tibidabo: The Saint and the Profane
- Trekking on Tibidabo: How to climb on foot without spending a euro
- Trekking path on the Tibidabo
- Carretera de las Aigues
- Torre de Collserola
- Osservatorio Fabra
- Paths of the Collserola Park
The mountain of Tibidabo: the saint and the profane
The mountain of Tibidabo is omnipresent, you can see it everywhere from Barcelona. It is the highest peak of the Collserola Park with its 512 meters of height and in its name is hidden a very curious anecdote. The word Tibidabo is Latin (“Tibi” “Dabo”) and means “I will give you“, these should be the words that Satan whispered on Jesus’ shoulder while he was admiring the view from the top of this hill.
<< I will give you everything you see, if only you will adore me! >>
But as we well know, Jesus did not yield. This is an anecdote taken from a passage from the Gospel, which in my opinion has been somewhat forcibly adapted to the place. However it remains a beautiful legend that enriches the view and above all its charm.
On the top of the Tibidabo is the oldest theme park in Spain, inaugurated in 1899, and the beautiful neo-gothic church dedicated to San Giovanni Bosco. The Tibidabo amusement park is, of course, one of the best attractions for children. With an entrance ticket you have access to all the activities, including the most beloved is the Ferris Wheel!
The church is instead a jewel of neo-gothic architecture, built between 1902 and 1961, and fits perfectly on the top of the mountain. Its gray-blue stone of Girona creates bewitching light effects, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Trekking on Tibidabo: How to climb on foot without spending a euro
There are various possibilities to climb to the top of the Tibidabo. The lazy ones take the means of transport like the tram, the funicular, or even worse their car. If instead, like me, you like nature and always look for a place to do a nice trek, here’s how I got to the top of the mountain and continued along the paths of the Collserola Park.
The reference point from which you can start walking up to the top is the Funicular del Tibidabo. Essentially the end of the inhabited area and the beginning of the park. But let’s go with order, you can get here with the Underground L3 (green line) getting off at the Vallarca or Penitents stop, or with the L7 Line to get to the Avenida Tibidabo stop.
Trekking path on the Tibidabo
You can follow the path in this Wikiloc map that you can follow and use during your Trekking.
From here you can walk to the Tibidabo Funicular station. Just before arriving, do not miss the small park of the Font del Racò. When you are in front of the station take the uphill road to your left. Going up you will see that on the right opens another path with some steps, right in the curve. Take this path that leads into the forest.
Carretera de las Aigues
You will arrive on another larger dirt track, turn to your left and take the road that climbs to the right. The one that descends is the route of the Carretera de las Aigues, another route to do to enjoy an excellent view of the city.
Now relax a bit ‘walking and enjoying the view you already have on the city to your left. For a hundred meters, continue on this fairly wide dirt road. After the second bend you will arrive at a fork, continue on your left. Just after the fork, however, make ATTENTION to a sign indicating the Fabra Observatory.
Torre de Collserola
In fact, in the same curve that goes to the left immediately after the junction begins this stony path that leads into the forest. Go up from this path, here you will find yourself surrounded by the forest and you will begin to see Barcelona from above, and on the other side you will see from nearer the Torre de Collserola. A communications tower built for the 1992 Olympics.
At the end of this path, you will find yourself on a paved road that leads to your right at the Fabra Observatory. If you are there on Sundays or holidays, you may also want to take part in a guided tour from 11.00am to 12.30pm.
Cross the road and continue on the path in front, a few meters and you will cross a road again. Continue on the path in front of you and with the last steps, you will almost be there. Now the path ends and only the last bends on the asphalt road remain. Turn left, then right and follow the road with three hairpin bends leading up to the square in front of the Tibidabo church.
Paths of the Collserola Park
Take the time to visit the church, go around the amusement park and especially enjoy the breathtaking view! From the terrace in front of the upper church, you can enjoy an almost 360 ° view of Catalonia, with the famous Monserrat mountain which immediately impresses with its massive form.
But the beauty of this place is also the park that surrounds it. From here you can continue walking along the paths of the Collserola Park. Mainly wooded tracts that hide at the sight of many small sources and exceptional views. You think you are just over a kilometer from the city, yet you seem to be in the middle of a forest miles away from the first metropolis.
I continued along the road that runs along the church and descends to the other side of the hill. At the end of this, on the left, begins a steep path that leads you again to plunge into the woods. Immediately on the right you find a path with a dense forest that leads to the source of the Salamandra. The source itself is nothing exceptional but it is worth it for the path with a very rich and thick vegetation.
The Best path of Collserola Park
Going to the left instead you can go down to the valley and follow several paths that lead up the hill in front or along the hill of Tibidabo up to Vallvidrera. I followed the main path that continues towards the opposite hill.
From here you can go down a steep path to see a source at the bottom of the valley and then go up the same main path and get to the village of Las Planes. More than a village, it is a large number of houses perched on the mountain a bit ‘brutally. I must say that I did not like the area at all.
In my opinion, a better route can be the one that returns to the Collserola tower and descends towards the Carretera de las Aigues, perhaps at sunset to enjoy the golden hours and take the best pictures of Barcelona.
This is precisely what makes the Tibidabo Park so fascinating. If you want to switch off from the hectic life you just have to take a vehicle to the foot of the hill. Wear comfortable shoes and go up. Before you know you will find yourself in the middle of a grove of woods!