The Spanish Language Blog

There are many mountains in Spain because Spain has a mountainous landscape so there are many areas where there are many mountain massifs. The largest and most famous mountains in Spain are the Pyrenees, the Castilian Range, the Iberian Ridge Mountains, the Betic Cordillera, the Sierra Nevada and the Cantabrian Mountains. We must not forget the island of Tenerife with the highest mountain in Spain. In most Spanish mountain areas, you can practice mountain sports for both cycling and skiing.

Most Spanish mountains were created because the African Plate (Africa) collided with the Eurasian Plate (Europe). This "collision" is very slow and started more than 100 million years ago and continues until today.

Spanish Plateau

Spain consists almost of three-quarters central plateau (meseta) with an altitude between 600 and 1,000 meters. In the central plateau lies Madrid, aka the highest capital city in all of Europe. The only lowlands of Spain are in the south and are called the Andalusian lowlands.


The Pyrenees are a border mountain range between France (6 French departments) and Spain (4 Spanish regions). The dwarf state of Andorra lies entirely in this border region. The highest mountain is Mount Aneto at 3404 meters altitude, located in northeastern Aragon. The mountain range has a length of about 430 kilometers and was started by a collision between the Iberian Peninsula and the European Continent some 50 million years ago until today. In the Pyrenees you can also practice many mountain sports such as hiking, cycling and skiing.

Castilian Ranges

The Castilian Divide mountain range runs some 600 km from east to west inland, along the southern border of Castile and León into Portugal. The mountain range also contains two major rivers called the Tagus and the Duero. Within the mountain range there are several smaller chains, called Sierras in Spanish. The two most famous and largest mountain ranges are the Sierra de Guadarrama and the Sierra de Gredos. The Sierra de Guadarrama is located on the border of Castile and León and Madrid. The highest mountain peak here is the Peñalara at 2430 meters. It is also a popular area for mountain sports because of relatively flat peaks. So this is ideal for hiking and biking in Spain. The Sierra de Gredos is a relatively unknown mountain range with lots of flora and fauna located west of Madrid. Here the Pico Almanzor is the highest mountain at 2592 meters.

Iberian fringe mountains

Located in the heart of Spain, the Iberian fringe mountain range runs from northwest to southeast with a length of about 450 kilometers. Like the Castilian Range, the Iberian fringe mountain range consists of smaller chains (sierras). We can divide the Iberian Border Mountains into 3 parts. First, the highest part is the Sierra de la Demanda (with the San Lorenzo as the highest mountain at 2264 meters) and the Sierra de Moncayo (with the Moncayo as the highest mountain at 2314 meters). Second, the middle section, which is a lot flatter than the highest part. To the west of the middle section begins the Castilian Divide Mountains and the Iberian Ridge Mountains. Finally the south, which is higher again. Here are the Sierra de Albarracín, the Serranía de Cuenca and many more. The mountain range ends at the coast in the region of Valencia.

Betic Cordillera

The Betian Cordillera or also called Cordillera Bética is a collective name for the mountain ranges in northern Morocco and southern Spain. The other chains (sierras) are called more by their proper names by the locals. The Cordillera is an arc that runs east to west and west to east and crosses via the Strait of Gibraltar before continuing into northern Morocco.

Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada is one of the most famous mountains in Spain in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. The Mulhacen, the highest mountain in mainland Spain at 3482 meters, is located in this mountain range. After the Alps, the Mulhacen is the highest mountain in all of Western Europe. Here are slopes suitable for skiing at Monachil, Guejar Sierra and Dilar. One can combine a summer vacation here with skiing and other mountain sports, since they are not far from each other. Sierra Nevada means "snowy mountain range" in Spanish.

Cantabrian Mountains

The Cantabrian Mountains are located in northwestern Spain and are about 300 km long. The Torre de Cerredo is the highest mountain in this area, with 2648 meters of altitude, located in the Picos de Europa (sierra). With a small area, the Picos de Europa nevertheless has many varied landscapes from a rocky desert to fertile vineyards at the base of these snow-capped peaks. The Cantabrian Mountains are known for the many mountain sports with many climbing and hiking opportunities and even for the ski area where skiing can be done in winter in Alto Campoo, Valgrande-Pajares and Manzaneda. On the northern slopes of the Cantabrian Mountains much rain comes frontally, this creates a contrast between the green north and the dry south, since the south is shaded.


However, the highest mountain in Spain, Pico del Teide, is located on the island of Tenerife. The Pico del Teide is also the largest volcano on the island and is 3718 meters above sea level. The volcano's last eruption was in 1909, but it is considered "dormant." The "Parque Nacional del Teide" with nearly 19,000 hectares has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2007. Also on Tenerife are the Teno Mountains to the west and the Anaga Mountains to the east.

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