Spain Waterfalls (Europe)
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Spain Waterfalls were surprisingly dotted throughout the Iberian Peninsula in locations that were diverse yet eerily similar to the kind of climates and environments familiar to us throughout California. In fact, prior to visiting the country, we only expected to see just a handful of waterfalls. We certainly didn't expect to see nearly 30 of them! Yet that was what happened, and it was another instance of how waterfalling forced us to go off the beaten path while still fitting in the country's many signature attractions that lure tourists from all over the world (e.g. Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Park Güell, Casas Colgadas, Alhambra, Mezquita, Praia As Catedrais, Cares Gorge, Alcazar de Segovia, Real Alcazar de Sevilla, etc.).
Indeed, we were surprised by the waterfalls where history and nature seemed to co-exist in dramatic fashion. And that map that you see at the top of this page pretty much gives you an idea of how varied and diverse the places in the country were, especially where the waterfalls were located. Speaking of waterfalls, just to get a handle on the sheer quantity of them that Julie and I have seen, we had to break up the country into major subregions. So for the purposes of this website, we've come up with the following such subregions - Central Spain
, Northeastern Spain
, Northern Spain
, Northwestern Spain
, and Southern Spain
What we're defining as the Central Spain subregion is the wide swath of land cutting right across the heart of Spain from Mediterranean to the east all the way to the border with Portugal. Among the autonomous regions included in this subregion are Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha, Madrid, Murcia, and Extremadura. In our waterfalling survey so far, we've only managed to find waterfalls in the vast Castilla-La Mancha such as Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo
and Madrid such as Cascada de los Litueros
(also known as Cascada de Somosierra).
The Northerneastern Spain subregion consists of the country's far northeastern autonomous regions. This pretty much consists of Aragon, Catalonia, and Navarre. Speaking of Catalonia, the famous city of Barcelona sits at the capital of that autonomous region. And for both regions, we've managed to find most of the waterfalls in the Pyrenees Mountains such as Cascada de Ratera
and Cola de Caballo
. Perhaps the lone exception was the waterfall-saturated park at Monasterio de Piedra
in Aragon's far southern end.
Northern Spain consists of the autonomous regions of the vast Castilla y Leon, La Rioja, and the Basque Country. This subregion was largely chosen given the high concentration of waterfalls in the border regions of these autonomous regions so I didn't want to cause confusion over administrative technicalities as a result. In any case, the majority of the waterfalls that we've seen in the country pretty much sat in this part of the country. And amongst the most dramatic waterfalls sitting in here include Salto del Nervion
as well as the well-situated Cascada de Orbaneja del Castillo
among others. This vast subregion also includes a waterfall very close to the Portugese border in Pozo de los Humos
The subregion of Northwestern Spain pretty much consisted of the autonomous regions north of and including the famed Picos de Europa. It covered the narrow strip of land between the massif and the Atlantic Ocean so it encompassed the regions of Asturias and Cantabria. And to the far northwest, this subregion also included Galicia. In this surprisingly moist and misty region, Julie and I managed to visit Galician waterfalls like Fervenza do Toxa
as well as Cantabrian waterfalls like Nacimiento del Rio Ason
. We're also including the waterfalls that we've managed to spot within the famous Cares Gorge
Finally, the Southern Spain subregion was pretty much Andalucia (also spelled Andalusia). Here, we experienced the dramatic mix of three cultures of Muslim, Catholic, and Jewish faiths. And while we had originally thought of this part of the country to be dry and free of waterfalls, we were pleasantly surprised to find them in places not far from Sevilla (e.g. Cascada de Ronda
) and within reach of Granada and Cordoba as well (e.g. Cascada de la Cimbarra
). The subregion also included the Sierra Nevada de Granada range, which were said to be the highest mountains of the Iberian Peninsula.
We definitely felt like we only scratched the surface of what was possible in Spain. We also felt like we could use a return trip to see some of these falls in more voluminous states. Only time will tell whether we'll have that opportunity again. In the mean time, have a look at our humble sampling, and see for yourself why the passion of this country rubbed off on us in a way that we were so enthusiastic about how waterfalling opened our eyes to this culturally rich and naturally diverse country.
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To get a glimpse of what each waterfall looks like, check out the table below. Click on the waterfalls to read more about them.
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