A Weekend in Aigüestortes

Barcelona’s surroundings have much more to offer than what meets the eye, or than what is commonly known. In addition to unforgettable trips to Montserrat, Costa Brava and Girona, there are many other places in Catalonia that offer a beauty begging to be discovered.

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National Aigüestortes Park, Spain | Julio Arreaza

One of these places is Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, the only national park that exists in the autonomous community of Catalonia, and which forms a magnificent, biologically rich area that is protected on a governmental level and should remain so. Located in the province of Lleida, the central Pyrenees Mountains shine beautifully, inviting us to practice outdoor tourism, from beautiful mountain hikes to extreme sports like rafting. Lakes, rivers, waterfalls and dream-like scenery contribute to the magic of this place and make it a truly unforgettable destination.

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San Mauricio Lake | Julio Arreaza

We started our adventure eagerly on a Saturday in early spring. From Barcelona, Aigüestortes is approximately a three-hour drive, and the ride is extremely beautiful, full of flowery countryside and authentic villages. When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised by the abundant, captivating natural life that both inhabits and surrounds the park. We planned to stay that night in bungalows, which are very popular and pepper the landscape, as well as are equipped with everything necessary for an unforgettable stay. Although for those interested in visiting in the future, it’s notable that there is also the option for camping.

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Pyrenees Mountains | Julio Arreaza

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View of Ratera Waterfall | Julio Arreaza

We started our route with eyes peeled for the Portarró Espot, one of the most famous lookout points, and never ceased to be surprised. New and spectacular views of the landscape appeared with every milestone we passed along the route. Also to our surprise, we found that there was still a considerable amount of snow blanketing part of the way, making our climb a very special experience.

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Milestone on the Trail | Julio Arreaza

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Walking to the Lookout Point | Julio Arreaza

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A Spring Day, 2016 | Julio Arreaza

Once we reached the lookout point, we sipped delicious tea, observed spectacular views of the snow-capped Pyrenees Mountains and centrally-located Lake San Mauricio, and took time to appreciate the phenomenal day we spent in such an amazing nature sanctuary.

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Hiking Visions | Julio Arreaza

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View from the Portarró de Espot Lookout | Julio Arreaza

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Impressive Snowcapped Peaks in the Catalan Pyrenees | Julio Arreaza

We hope you’ve enjoyed our recount of this great trip!

Julio

Translated by: Kirstin Meyerhoeffer, Julio Arreaza

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