At over 195,000 square miles, Spain is the fourth largest country in Europe and the dividing line between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Its mainland encompasses most of the Iberian Peninsula, its remit also extending to several island clusters including the Balearic and Canary Islands. The terrain and landscape of these areas is incredibly diverse, and often described as one of Europe’s most mountainous regions.
Indeed, while it is dominated by a central plateau, Spain has many mountain ranges, from Andalusia’s Sierra Nevada to the Pyrenees. But which are Spain’s highest mountains and where are they? Read on, starting with the highest point in Spain.
Province: Tenerife | Height: 12,188 feet
At an elevation of 12,188 feet above sea level, the highest point in Spain is Mount Teide, a volcano on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. Known as Pico del Teide or simply El Teide, it is a stratovolcano, meaning it is made up of alternate layers of ash and lava. Formed around 170,000 years ago, it’s considered relatively young and also active, having last erupted in 1909.
In addition to being classed as Spain’s highest peak by elevation, Teide is also the third tallest volcanic structure on the planet. Indeed, its full height, from its ocean-floor base to summit, is a staggering 24,600 feet.
It’s said that Teide’s silhouette appears to float above the clouds and that navigators have used this unique sight as a marker for centuries. Today, Teide dominates the UNESCO-listed Teide National Park and is cited as Spain’s most popular natural attraction.
Province: Granada | Height: 11,424 feet
The second tallest mountain in Spain is found on the mainland. Rising to an elevation of 11,424 feet, Mulhacén is part of the Sierra Nevada range. It is named after a 15th century king of the Emirate of Granada, Muley Hacén or Abu l-Hasan Ali in Arabic. Legend has it, he was buried on its summit.
Beyond the Alps, Mulhacén is the highest point in Western Europe. It’s also the Iberian Peninsula’s highest peak.
Province: Huesca | Height: 11,168 feet
Four miles south of its border with France lies the third biggest mountain in Spain, Pico Aneto. At an elevation of 11,168 feet, it looms over the town of Benasque, but was named after a nearby village.
Part of the Maladeta massif, Aneto is within the nature reserve of Posets-Maladeta and is the highest peak in both the Pyrenees and in the region of Aragon.
Province: Granada | Height: 11,142 feet
Visible from the city of Granada, Veleta is the fourth tallest mountain in Spain. It rises to a height of around 11,142 feet above sea level, although cited elevations range from 11,135 to 11,148 feet. Just below its summit is the highest paved road in Europe.
5. Pico Posets
Province: Huesca | Height: 11,053 feet
Located within the Posets-Maladeta Nature Reserve, Pico Posets is the fifth highest point in Spain at a height of 11,053 feet. Sometimes referred to as Punta de Llardana, it’s second only to Aneto as the tallest mountain in the Pyrenees.
The Highest Mountains in Spain
So, they are the highest mountains in Spain. As we’ve seen, Spain’s highest peaks are as diverse and spectacular as the landscape they inhabit.