Carretera de les Aigües: An Easy Walk with Fantastic Views

Often referred to as the green lung of Barcelona, Collserola National Park is a popular escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Easily reached by public transport, the 8,000 hectare park is crisscrossed by footpaths and cycle tracks.

The best known and most accessible footpath is called La Carretera de les Aigües (English: Road of the waters).

View of the La Carretera de les Aigües walking path in the mountains behind Barcelona. In the distance you can see the Collserola communications tower and the Tibidabo amusement theme park.
La Carretera de les Aigües, Barcelona

This 9 km path was once the service road for a pipeline which transported water from  a cistern at Sant Pere Màrtir.

The water pipes have now been removed and the path, which affords panoramic views of the entire city, is popular with families, dog walkers, joggers and cyclists.

The easiest way to get to the Carretera de les Aigües is to take the Funicular de Vallvidrera which stops one third of the way along the path.

From here you can either turn right and walk south towards Plaça Mireia or turn left and walk north towards Plà dels Maduixer.

To complete the walk either retrace your steps back to the funicular or catch the Tramvia Blau from near to Plà dels Maduixer.

Alternatively, if you are feeling adventurous, there are several tracks which lead downhill towards the city centre.

If you rent a bike it takes about an hour and a half to cover the entire route in both directions.

Personally I prefer to turn left and walk the northern section which affords the best views of the city centre while at the same time feeling closer to nature.

A couple walking their dog on the Carretera de les aigües in the hills of Collserola park overlooking Barcelona
La Carretera de les Aigües, Barcelona

How to get to the Carretera de les Aigües by public transport

As mentioned above, one of the attractions of the Carrretera de les Aigües is the fact the it only takes about 20 minutes to get to from the city centre..

First take the FGC train (lines S1 and S3) from Plaça de Catalunya to Peu de Funicular.

From here you take the Funicular de Vallvidrera one stop to Carretera de les Aigües. The funicular departs directly from the train station, just take the stairs or lifts up one level.

Map of the FGC train lines, funicular railways and Barcelona metro system here.

Train timetables here.

Foot passengers board the on the right hand side, cyclists board on the left. Space is limited and at peak times only two bikes are allowed on the funicular at once.

In this photo you can see a large part of Barcelona including the Sagrada Familia church, the Mapfre towers, the Torre Agbar and the Turo de la Rovira
Panoramic views of Barcelona from La Carretera de les Aigües

When boarding the train at Plaça de Catalunya it’s important that you choose a carriage in the middle section of the train since the platform at Peu de Funicular station is very short.

The funicular railway doesn’t automatically stop at Carretera de les Aigües. On the way up you request that it stops by pressing one of the buttons next to the door as you board. When you return to the funicular for the journey back into town, you need to press one of the buttons next to the barrier. One is for the uphill journey the other for downhill.

There are no ticket barriers at the Carretera de les Aigües station. You have to validate your ticket for the return journey BEFORE boarding the funicular using the machine on the platform (next to the metal bench).

A group of friends walking the Carretera de les aigues walking trail in Collserola national park Barcelona
La Carretera de les Aigües, Barcelona

Practical information

The footpath is well maintained and almost flat, making it idea for walkers and cyclists of all ages and levels of fitness. The surface is made of compressed sand and gravel so pretty much any comfortable footwear is suitable although I’d draw the line at flip-flops! If you plan to explore some of the tracks which connect with the footpath then I recommend you wear walking shoes or boots.

Despite the fact that Collserola national park is an area of woodland, there is very little shade along the Carretera de les Aigües so if you are visiting during the summer you should wear sunscreen and a hat and carry water. There are several drinking fountains along the length of the footpath where you can refill your water bottle as needed.

In the winter you can expect the temperature to be a couple of degrees cooler than in the city centre.


Carretera de les Aigües 151B, 08017 Barcelona, Spain

08960 Esplugues de Llobrega, Barcelona, Spain

Carretera de les Aigües 311, Barcelona, Spain

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