Spain is a country with an extremely diverse landscape, from wide-open plains and beautiful seascapes to sprawling cities and towering mountain peaks. It may come as a surprise to some, but Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe, coming in second only to Switzerland.
The average altitude in Spain is 660 meters above sea level, and 24% of the country sits 1,000 meters above sea level. Some of Spain’s mightiest mountain ranges include the Pyrenees, the Sierra Nevada, the Cordillera Cantabria, the Sistema Iberico, and the Cordillera Betica, to name just a few.
You’re never too far from the mountains when you’re in Spain. Keep reading to discover the ten highest mountains in the country.
Table of Contents
- The Highest Mountains in Spain
- 1. Teide, Tenerife: 12,198 feet (3,718 meters)
- 2. Mulhacén, Sierra Nevada: 11,411 feet (3,479 meters)
- 3. Aneto, Pyrenees: 11,165 feet (3,404 meters)
- 4. Veleta, Sierra Nevada: 11,145 feet (3,398 meters)
- 5. Pico Posets, Pyrenees: 11,070 feet (3,375 meters)
- 6. La Alcazaba, Sierra Nevada: 11,060 feet (3,371 meters)
- 7. Monte Perdido, Pyrenees: 11,007 feet (3,355 meters)
- 8. Cilindro de Marboré, Pyrenees: 10,918 feet (3,328 meters)
- 9. Maladeta, Pyrenees: 10,853 feet (3,308 meters)
- 10. Pico Perdiguero, Pyrenees: 10,571 feet (3,221 meters)
The Highest Mountains in Spain
|Number||Mountain||Height (feet)||Height (meters)|
|8||Cilindro de Marboré||10,918||3,328|
1. Teide, Tenerife: 12,198 feet (3,718 meters)
Surprisingly, the highest mountain in Spain isn’t even on the mainland. It also isn’t truly a mountain, but rather a 12,195-foot volcano. Mount Teide is located on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, and it’s also one of the largest volcanoes in the world.
The volcano is still considered active, with the most recent eruption occurring in 1909. The fact that Teide could possibly erupt again someday doesn’t stop tourists from visiting, however.
Mount Teide is located inside the much-loved Teide National Park, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. This is the most visited national park in all of Europe, and Mount Teide is the most visited natural site in Spain.
2. Mulhacén, Sierra Nevada: 11,411 feet (3,479 meters)
Mulhacén is the second-highest mountain in Spain. This staggering summit is located on the Iberico Peninsula on Spain’s mainland and measures 11,411 feet (3,478 meters).
The mountain is part of the Sierra Nevada range and is located inside the Sierra Nevada National Park in the province of Grenada. The mountain was actually named after Muley Hacen – a Muslim king of Granada in the 15th century.
It was once possible to drive all the way to the top of Mulhacén, but since 1994 it is only reachable on foot. While scaling mountains is no easy feat, Mulhacén has a reputation for being quite a simple climb, even for average climbers. You can reach the summit in one day if you climb via the Capileira or Trevelez villages. Those wishing to split up their journey will find accommodation options at the refuge at Poqueria and at the shelters at Caldera.
It’s also possible to ski and snowboard down the steep slopes of Mulhacén, and thanks to its location near the coast, you can play in the snow in the morning and take a dip in the ocean in the afternoon.
3. Aneto, Pyrenees: 11,165 feet (3,404 meters)
For Spain’s third highest peak, head to the province of Huesca in the northeastern part of the country. Aneto is the highest peak in both the Pyrenees and Aragon ranges, standing tall at 11,165 feet (3,404 meters).
Mount Aneto is located inside the Posets-Maladeta National Park near the city of Benasque. If you decide to climb to the top of the mountain, you’ll pass by the largest glacier in the Pyrenees. The glacier is incredibly scenic, and if you hope to lay eyes on it you may want to do so sometime in the near future. Climate change has reduced the size of the glacier significantly, and it is likely to continue shrinking in the future.
4. Veleta, Sierra Nevada: 11,145 feet (3,398 meters)
Mount Veleta is the fourth highest mountain in Spain and the second highest peak in the Sierra Nevada range. Standing sentinel behind the city of Grenada, the mountain is especially beautiful when seen as the backdrop of the ancient Alhambra palace.
The name “Veleta” translates to “weathervane,” but the tip of the mountain is actually more reminiscent of a ship bow. Mount Veleta measures 11,145 feet tall (3,398 meters), and the northern slopes are home to the Sierra Nevada Ski Station.
If you prefer climbing to skiing, you can ascend the mountain via the Hoya de la Mora pass, located just above the ski station.
5. Pico Posets, Pyrenees: 11,070 feet (3,375 meters)
The second highest peak in the Pyrenees and the fifth highest mountain in Spain is Pico Posets. This majestic mountain measures 11,070 feet (3,375 meters) and is located in the northern part of the Huesca province.
Like so many other Spanish mountain peaks, Pico Posets is a popular place for mountain climbing and hiking. One of the easiest ways to reach the summit of this soaring mountain is from the Ángel Orús refuge, which runs along the northern side of the mountain.
While the pass is accessible year-round, you’ll likely need an ice ax and crampons, as there is snow and ice present here during all four seasons. While the journey may be difficult, the incredible views along the way and from the summit are definitely worth it.
6. La Alcazaba, Sierra Nevada: 11,060 feet (3,371 meters)
Spain’s sixth highest mountain is La Alcazaba, standing tall in the Sierra Nevada range. Just like Mulhacén, this soaring peak is located behind the city of Grenada on the Iberian Peninsula of southern Spain.
La Alcazaba measures 11,060 feet (3,371 meters), and while it is slightly shorter than the domineering summit of Mulhacén, climbing it is a bit more difficult. This technical climb requires at least two days.
The mountain can be climbed from any direction, though summiting on the northern section is much more complicated. Instead, head south and start your climb from the villages of Pampaneira, Bubión, Capileira, or Treveléz. The shortest route is over 12 miles (20km), so be sure to pack plenty of water and any other supplies you may need.
7. Monte Perdido, Pyrenees: 11,007 feet (3,355 meters)
Monte Perdido is the seventh highest mountain peak in Spain at 11,007 feet (3,355 meters). Situated along the French border, Monte Perdido is the third highest peak in the Pyrenees range.
The peak is located within the scenic Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Those looking for the most epic views in the park will find 19 different routes to the summit, all at different lengths and difficulties.
No matter which path you decide on, you’ll cross a cornucopia of different landscapes. From large swaths of forests and verdant meadows to massive glaciers and breathtaking gorges.
8. Cilindro de Marboré, Pyrenees: 10,918 feet (3,328 meters)
Also known as Pico Cilindro and Pic du Cylindre, the Cilindro de Marboré is the eighth highest mountain in Spain. Located in the Pyrenees range along the French border, this 10,918-foot (3,328 meters) mountain is often overshadowed by its slightly larger neighbor, Monte Perdido.
While the Cilindro de Marobé is sometimes forgotten, those who do attempt to summit this peak often do so after reaching the top of Monte Perdido. Be warned – although this mountain is slightly shorter, it is no easy feat to conquer. The technical rope sections require some experience, but the views from the summit make climbing to the top of Cilindro de Marobé well worth it.
9. Maladeta, Pyrenees: 10,853 feet (3,308 meters)
The ninth highest mountain in Spain is Maladeta, tucked into the Pyrenees range near Aneto (Spain’s third highest peak). It is actually connected to the larger mountain via a series of peaks called the Cresta del Medio.
While Maladeta is not the highest mountain in Spain, it is certainly one of the most difficult to ascend. This is mostly due to steep passageways and deep glacier crevices. Only the most experienced climbers should attempt to summit Maladeta, and if you fit that criterion, you can start your ascent at La Renclusa – a mountain hut located in the foothills of Maladeta and Aneto.
10. Pico Perdiguero, Pyrenees: 10,571 feet (3,221 meters)
Another one of Spain’s highest mountains can be found straddling the French-Spanish border. Pico Perdiguero is located in the Pyrenees range between the villages of Benasque (Spain) and Oô (France).
The mountain stands proudly at 10,571 feet (3,222 meters) and features the lovely Lake Portillon at its base. Unlike some of the other highest mountains in Spain, the way up to Pico Perdiguero’s summit is more of a hike than a full-on climbing execution. That being said, you will have to scramble up some steep and rocky sections, and you’ll need to get an early start if you hope to make it all the way to the top.