Dotted with traditional stone villages, the Catalan Pyrenees is a spectacular and unspoiled region along Spain’s border with France. It enjoys the warmest climate in the Pyrenean range and is a year-round destination for outdoor pursuits, including hiking, mountain biking and skiing.
Hike between the reflective lakes and streams of Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, the only national park in Catalonia. It encompasses rugged valleys, alpine pastures and evergreen forests that blanket the Catalan Pyrenees’ soaring mountain peaks. In addition to 27 different hiking routes, the park also features 13 cycling routes with challenging mountain biking trails.
Further north lies the Val d’Aran, which is framed by snowy peaks and provides a playground for winter sports. It features stone-and-slate villages where Aranese (a dialect of Occitan) is spoken and is traversed by scenic hiking routes dotted with centuries-old monasteries and the ruins of Romanesque churches.
The Catalan Pyrenees are between one and three hours’ drive from Barcelona and Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, depending on where you are headed. Buses travel throughout the region, although having your own vehicle gives you greater freedom to explore.