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Pyrenees / Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

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10788
7 Days, 6 Nights, Self-Guided
Max People : 14
Iberian Adventures > Destinations > Pyrenees > Pyrenees / Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park
Tour Details

A Self-Guided Trip – 7 Days & 6 Nights

This exclusive itinerary explores Catalonia’s Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park.  You’ll spend the week at 2 different overnight bases, each in an ancient Catalán mountain village, allowing you to closely experience traditional culture and get a sense for the area’s fascinating history. Best of all, you’ll have enjoy classic hikes in some of the most spectacular terrain in the entire Pyrenees.

Duration:

7 Days, 6 Nights

Meeting Point:

Taüll (265 km NW of Barcelona)

Transfer options to start point:

Public bus from Barcelona to Pont de Suert (approx. 3 hr 30 min) + local taxi to Taüll (25 min) OR we can arrange a taxi to pick you up in Barcelona (3 hr 30 min). Consult us for prices and more details.

Ending Point:

Espot (260 km NW of Barcelona)

Transfer options from end point:

You can take a bus (or taxi) to Lerida (2 hours by taxi 3 hours by bus), and from there a fast train (1 h 20 min) to Barcelona or other destinations. We can also arrange a taxi transfer direct to Barcelona (there is a daily service; 3 hr 30 min). Consult us for prices and more details.

Walk Difficulty and Terrain:

Spring-Autumn: B+ to C-    Summer: B+ to D-

Daily distances:

8 – 17 km /  5 – 10.5 miles

Accommodations:

Family-run 2* or 3* or equivalent hotels in Taüll and Espot. Our criteria always focus on quality of “character” (historical and/or traditional-style buildings where possible), location and service with a preference to local family-run enterprises. Good food is also a must!

Available Dates:

Late May – Sept 30. Earlier in the season there is usually too much snow for some of the hikes.

Prices:

Prices are based on 2 persons. Discounts for 3 or more!

Contact us to request a price for your custom or private group!

Highlights

Parque Nacional de Aigüestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici  – this is the crown jewel of Catalonia’s protected areas, the only national park within its territory, this is a wonderland of shapely granite peaks and hundreds of glacial lakes.

Medieval mountain villages – our itinerary includes overnights and visits to various of these stone-built cradles of authentic rural Catalonian culture. You’ll be able to observe traditional lifestyles, architecture and customs, where local inhabitants harvest their fruit and vegetable orchards, and tend their livestock as in years gone by.

Vall de Boí – your overnight base for the 1st 3 nights of the trip, the valley’s 9 Early Romanesque churches are the densest concentration of Romanesque architecture in Europe, designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Glorious views, exuberant flora and abundant fauna – a nature photographer’s dream. A great location for alpine flowers, including the famed Eidelweiss. Marmots and chamoix observe us from rocky perches and birds of prey soar overhead, including the Lammergeier – one of Europe’s rarest birds of prey.

Daily hike options of varying lengths, elevation gain and technical difficulty allow you to choose depending on the days weather, and your level of fitness and desired challenge. This is no boot camp! We aim to provide an enjoyable trip to suit the needs of any hiker with a minimum of experience and fitness.

A world-class mountain environment  – within the Spanish mountaineering and climbing community, the Catalán Pyrenees is considered one of the country’s prime locations, and is the setting for training courses run by top outdoor schools for ice climbing, alpine and ski mountaineering, traditional and sport rock climbing, via ferrata, parasailing, mountain biking, etc.

Local guide option – a great way to access more adventurous terrain and learn more in-depth about the area’s fauna, flora etc. is to hire a locally born and raised professional mountain guide for a day (or more). We’ll arrange it for you!

Begin & end in Barcelona – explore the architectural, culinary and cultural jewels of Spain´s most dynamic city.

Itinerary

Suggested itinerary prior to Iberian Adventures tripvisit Barcelona

Arrival in Barcelona. Enjoy exploring this vibrant Mediterranean port city. Highlights include at least 8 architectural sites featuring the Catalan Modernisme Style which have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status such as La Sagrada Familia, Parque Güell and Casa Milá. If it’s your first visit, we recommend more than 1 night – ask us for hotel suggestions. You could also visit after the hiking trip.

Day 1Transfer to Vall de Boí – Hike to explore local villages

Morning transfer to the picturesque stone-built village of Taüll in time for lunch. At 1489 m/ 4885 ft. above sea level, Taüll is in the Val de Boí a narrow, steep-sided valley that is a principal gateway to Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. The remoteness of this area is demonstrated by the fact that the Moorish Conquest of Spain did not penetrate this part of the Pyrenees.

After lunch, visit the 16th C Romanesque St. Climent church and then choose from several options to follow trails among vegetable patches, orchards and mixed forest to visit other quaint villages of the valley.

Approx. Distance & Elevation Gain/Loss: 3.4 – 5 km & + 80-190 m / — 205 m
Overnight: 2* (3* equivalent) hotel in Taüll

Day 2 & 3Hiking in the national park – Aigüestortes sector

Choose from several options ranging from easy to more challenging. These hikes provide the perfect introduction to the granite and aquatic treasures of the Parque Nacional, whose glacial origin is evident in the labyrinth of meandering streams and over 200 lakes giving rise to its name “Aigüestortes” meaning “twisted waters” in the local dialect. Hike options include the exploration of the Sant Nicolau Valley with its black pine forests and crystalline torrents; a hike to the spectacularly situated Ventosa i Calvell mountain hut where you can drink a tea or coffee and chat with the warden; visits to various glacial lakes or a nontechnical summit ascent.

Approx. Distance & Elevation Gain/Loss: ranging from 8.5 – 16 km & + 320-960 m / — 320-960 m
Overnight: Taüll

Day 4Traverse across Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

Today you’ll hike to your new overnight base in Espot, on the eastern side of the national park. This is a classic route crossing the park from west to east following a section of the trail used in the famous “Carros de Foc” (Chariots of Fire) hut-to-hut race that is now a fixture on the international trail running circuit – created back in the 1980’s by bored national park mountain hut wardens during low seasons, as a quick way to go to visit each other. Optional easy ascent to summit of Pic de Potarró en-route.

Approx. Distance & Elevation Gain/Loss: 15.5 km & + 640 m / — 540 m
Overnight: 3* hotel in Espot

Days 5 & 6Hiking in the national park – Estany de Sant Maurici sector

Today and tomorrow, you have a choice of several great hikes on the eastern side of the National Park. Some require a short transfer, easily and economically provided by the park’s 4×4 taxis based in Espot. Hike options include classics such as the trail to the Amitges Hut, an ascent to easy summits such as Pic de Ratera for incredible views; or a hike to the beautiful lakes such as Estany Negre or those in the Valle de Subenuix.

Approx. Distance & Elevation Gain/Loss: ranging from 10 – 21 km & +/- 375-1020 m
Overnight: Espot

Day 7Departure and end of tour

You can take a bus (or taxi) to Lerida (2 hours by taxi 3 hours by bus), and from there a fast train (1 h 20 min) to Barcelona or other destinations.

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