How to keep cool walking in Spain

Hiking in Spain offers stunning landscapes, from coastal paths to mountainous trails, making it a popular activity for outdoor enthusiasts. However, the warm climate, particularly during the summer months, can pose challenges for walkers aiming to stay cool and safe. Proper preparation and smart strategies are essential to enjoy your experience, without succumbing to the heat.

Here are 10 tips for staying cool when walking in Spain: 

  1. Start Walking Early or Late: Begin your hike early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the peak heat of the day. This also allows you to enjoy cooler temperatures and more pleasant conditions. In the hotter months, I am not out after 9am or before 7pm!
  2. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, light-coloured, and moisture-wicking fabrics. Long sleeves and pants can protect you from the sun while still being breathable. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can also provide additional protection. 
  3. Use Sun Protection: Apply a high-SPF sunscreen to all exposed skin, and reapply regularly. Lip balm with SPF is also important. But find one that doesn't prevent you from sweating!
  4. Stay Hydrated: Drink water regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. Consider using a hydration pack for easy access to water while hiking. Electrolyte solutions or tablets can help replenish salts lost through sweat. I am often carrying 1.5ltrs on the shortest of walks, because you never know!
  5. Find Shade: Take breaks in shaded areas whenever possible. If you are walking with me, ALWAYS feel you can ask to stop and benefit from some shade. Trees, rock formations, or even portable sun shelters can provide relief from the sun. 
  6. Wet Your Clothes and Hat: Soak a bandana, hat, or even your shirt in water and wear it while hiking. The evaporation will help cool you down. Cooling towels or neck wraps designed to stay cool for an extended period can help lower your body temperature. I sometimes put some items in the fridge and they are nice and cool in my rucksack for when I need them.
  7. Slow Down: Pace yourself to avoid overexertion. Listen to your body and take it slower than you would in cooler weather. I personally would much slower in the summer months, slowly and safely to take in the views and take care of myself. Any walking speed record can wait.
  8. Carry a Portable Fan: Small, battery-operated fans can provide a breeze and help you stay cool during breaks.
  9. Avoid Heavy Meals: Eat light snacks that provide energy without weighing you down. Fruits with high water content, like watermelon and oranges, can help keep you hydrated and cool, especially during those rest stops.
  10.  Monitor Weather Conditions: Keep an eye on weather forecasts and be prepared to adjust your plans if you don't think you would cope. 
Embarking on a walking adventure in Spain is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in stunning landscapes and diverse trails. The key to a successful and enjoyable hike lies in smart preparation and mindful practices to beat the heat. Implementing these tips will help ensure that you stay comfortable and safe while savouring the natural beauty around you. 

Do you have any tips that you would like to share with the walking community? Please add them in the comments below - Thank you in advance.

Gear up, stay cool, and set out to discover the breathtaking trails that Spain has to offer SAFELY this summer.
Your next adventure awaits—happy hiking!

Previous comments

Alan Ross-Harper
"Great advice. Tracey is a real expert when it comes to walking any distance. When my body allows, I go with her walking group. Would totally recommend. "


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