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What re the best quality walking, trekking maps for Spain? In the UK were pretty lucky as we have the Ordance Survey (a government body that maintains all topo maps). Is there an equivalent in Spain?

I've heard you can buy the old military maps, but:

  1. I've heard they are very out of date (date to the Franco period)
  2. I've heard they are very poor quality
  3. I have no idea where you can get these from.

Anybody had any experience of this and can provide some advice?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Spain is mediocre when it comes to topographic maps. Certainly beats Italy, but you won't find the quality of France, Switzerland, Germany, or northern Europe. They're not too old — you can find maps less than 10 years old in the new digital series, at scales down to 1:25,000. In general, what's on the map exists and is accurate. Unfortunately: most hiking trails are missing.

They can be hard to get outside Spain, but can be ordered online and shipped abroad (at least inside the EU). We order them directly from Spain. There are a number of stores selling them, googling for tienda mapas topograficos may help. For example, see Tienda Verde. It helps if you know some Spanish and phone the store directly, for some stores may simply ignore your e-mail if you write them in English. Even passing your e-mail through Google Translate improves the probability of success.

For hiking trails, you need to complement the maps with either:

  • A good hiking book
  • Online-downloaded trails.

The good news is that Wikiloc is very popular in Spain. Pretty much anywhere you'll go you'll find hundreds of GPS-trails. Even if you do not use a GPS-receiver, you can use those in combination with your map to find out where the trails are. It requires good planning and it's helpful to have access to internet while on your trip.

To get an impression of what the maps look like, use the free online tool Iberpix visorign. This is a pretty good tool to interactively explore topographic maps of all of Spain, including the islands. I think it's also possible to display trails with the IGN-map as a background, but I will double-check that. I will upload a screenshot tonight.

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Great answer, Cheers gerrit –  Liam Feb 4 at 13:08

If you want to go on walking routes then a good option is http://www.prames.com/ they will post walking guides internationally. Many of the guides include maps for the routes. The routes are also waymarked which is a large advantage as well. Even if you are not very good at Spanish it is worth getting the books because they are a lot cheaper than the maps. I walked the GR11 last year and their guide book is very good. It has all the maps. Many English only users get this guide book along with an English guide book. ps The books are also available from Amazon, oddly cheaper from .de than .es

If you want the Pyrenees you can also get French maps which cover both sides of the pyrenees, the IGN Rando Editions.

The best walking maps are Editorial Alpina Walking Maps but these are quite expensive.

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Online maps: Catalunya icc.cat/eng/Home-ICC/Inici/Home, select "Access the Viewer" Spain ign.es/ign/main/index.do select "Query and View Maps." –  QuentinUK Feb 22 at 11:22

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