Almost 20% of Spain is covered with mountains above 1.000 meters, quit impressive. Where mountains are, there are waterfalls. Most waterfalls in Spain are situated in the north, in the Pyrenees.
The Pyrenees is a mountain range that runs from the northwest to the northeast of Spain and is situated on the border with France. The highest peak in the Pyrenees is the Aneto (3.404 meters), higher then the highest peak in France.
In the south of Spain you will find the Cordillera Bética/Sierra Nevada with the highest peak on the Spanish mainland, the Mulhacen (3.478 meters). Because the temperatures are higher in the south and there isn’t much rainfall, there aren’t many waterfalls in the south of Spain.
Other mountain ranges are Cordillera Cantabrica (in the northwest) with several nice waterfalls, Sistema Iberico (south of the Pyrenees) and Sistema Central in the middle of Spain.
I only visited Spain once (chasing waterfalls) but the country impressed me very much. Beside nice people, good food, reasonable prices the nature is of astonishing beauty. I didn’t visited many waterfalls but the few I saw (in the early summer) are of great beauty.
I only visited a small part of the Pyrenees but after my visit to national park “Ordesa” I was in love with this valley. At the other side of the mountains (in Parc Nacional Ordesa) lies Gavarnie in the France part of the Pyrenees with some awesome waterfall.
But Spain has many more waterfalls, also in other regions then the Pyrenees. Watching Bicycling (the Vuelta) on television I discovered a waterfall in the west of Spain. Never saw it before: Cascada del Ezaro in Mirador de Ézaro. Pretty nice, but to far away to explore…
Near to the Pyrenees (south of Bilbao) there are three surprising high waterfalls, perfect for a visit in wintertime or spring: Cascada del Goiuri (Cascada de Gujuli), Casdada del Nervion (Salto del Nervion) and Cascada Nacimiento del Rio Asón (Cascada de Cailagua or Cascada Cola de Caballo) with height between 100-270 meters.
Another region with surprising waterfalls is on the border with Portugal, in the approximate of the river Douro (Parc Natural de Arribes del Duero). This area best can be visited wintertime or early spring when there is a lot of rainfall.
The Spanish word for waterfall is “cascada”, in plural “cascadas” and sometimes “salto” is used in names for waterfalls in countries where they speak Spanish. It actually depends on in which region you are. In Galicia often “Fervenza” is used as the word for waterfall and in Catalonia you often see “Salt”.
I recently discovered that there are so many waterfalls in Spain that it will a long time before I have done any proper research and I can add them in my database. I already added a lot of unknown waterfalls in Spain on my Google map (blue circle dots).
Most beautiful waterfall in Spain
The most beautiful waterfalls in Spain and also the highest waterfalls in Spain are located in the Pyrenees. The waterfalls in “Parc Nacional Ordesa” are my favorite with at the end of Circo de Soasa, a mighty waterfall called Cascada Cola de Caballo.
Highest waterfall in Spain
Probably Cascada del Cinca (also named Cascada de Marboré or Cascada Rio Cinca) in the Pyrenees is the highest waterfall with a total descent of 600 meter. But is always the question from where do you measure? Nacimiento del río Mundo (Chorros del Rio Mundo) is also such a waterfall with a total height of approximately 300 meters and could be the second highest waterfall in Spain. A certain number three of highest waterfalls in Spain is the Cascada del Nervion (Salto del Nervión) with a total height of 270 meters. Cascada del Nervion is without a doubt the highest waterfall in Spain with a single drop of 222 meters!
The biggest waterfall in Spain by volume
What is the biggest waterfall in Spain (by volume) is a tough question. There isn’t much reliable information available regarding volume in Spanish rivers. I guess the waterfalls in the Pyrenees around a glacier should be the most powerful, but I am not sure. In the future I will try to get some figures so I can say what the biggest waterfall in Spain is.