Natural ceilings that seem to touch the sky, lakes that reflect the impressive natural frontier that is the Catalan Pyrenees and a host of cultural sites and activities to get to know the area in depth are just a small part of what you will find in this next adventure.
The Catalan Pyrenees border France and occupy practically half of the total extension of the Pyrenees. This region is made up of eleven counties and its extension includes the waters of the Mediterranean, which play a major part in its biodiversity. Its fauna and flora, its climate and the large amount of heritage, artistic and cultural resources make travelling to this ideal corner of Catalonia one of the best experiences ever.
There are many places of interest to visit in this area, but would you like to know which ones you should definitely visit?
Let's start with one of its most representative areas, the Aigüestortes and Estany Sant Maurici National Park. It is a perfect communion between the water of its more than 200 lakes and the rugged mountains that reach an altitude of more than 3,000 metres. Of all these areas, the Estany de Sant Maurici is the most relevant one.
Nothing like taking up on any hiking and mountain route to visit this place and explore it from inside to really discover this privileged place in depth. One of the toughest, but also one the most impressive, routes here is the Carros de Foc, which runs for 55 kilometres on a circular path.
The Nuria Valley, or Vall de Núria in Catalan, is located at an altitude of 2,000 metres, so we recommend taking the rack railway that the area offers, in order to overcome those slopes while enjoying the scenery. In this valley you can do a lot of outdoor activities while Puigmal, the highest peak in the area, looks down on you at almost 3,000 metres. Don't forget to visit the Sanctuary of Nuria.
However, there will not only hiking routes here, there is also a Route of Romanesque churches to be found in the villages that make up the Aran Valley, with special mention of Vielha, which is the centre of this magnificent valley.
But we are not abandoning our more adventurous side, because we suggest you take the Congost de Mont-Rebei route in Lleida, one of the treasures of the Catalan Pyrenees, as are the Fonts del Llobregat, at the source of the river that gives it its name, and with an impressive waterfall that you will find in the Berguedà area, belonging to Barcelona.
But the Catalan Pyrenees are not just about nature, and there are charming villages that you must visit, such as Taüll, in the Alta Ribagorza region, with its church declared a World Heritage Site; Prullans, in La Cerdanya, where it is important to visit the impressive viewpoint. The town of Camprodón in the region of Ripollés, where the New Bridge stands out in its image; Queralbs also in the same region and with the Romanesque church as a reference for tourism, or Unha in the Vall d'Aran where the church of Santa Eulalia stands out.
As you can see, there is no shortage of villages and towns to visit, nor of natural sites in the Catalan Pyrenees. But your getaway still lacks one very important thing: tasting their typical dishes.
The traditional Butifarra sausage, lamb, or the cocas (a savoury type of flatbread) are never missing from this region’s menus but, without a doubt, you mustn’t leave without trying some calçots, a delicious type of onion that is always served with its inseparable romesco sauce. A real delight for the inhabitants of the Catalan Pyrenees and for tourists alike.