We were all so keen to enjoy nature again! After a few months marked by so many restrictions, the situation has fortunately been improving in all Catalonia just when spring is giving life and greenness to the rural areas. How lucky we are to live in a constantly changing landscape where the white mountains and the cold valleys are giving way to a wonderful vegetal and sensory explosion! Go for the many leisure and nature activities that are offered over the whole territory and enjoy them in a respectful and ecotourist way.
If an enjoyable activity in nature must leave its print inside the visitors, the latter should not leave any on the territory they enjoyed. You probably practise ecotourism in an instinctive and sensible way during your outdoors activities. Through this wise and respectful behaviour, you also contribute to the management of natural resources and to the protection and future of natural spaces.
To peak this generous spring, here are some ecotourist activities you can enjoy in the areas of Cadí-Moixeró, Aigüestortes i Sant Maurici and Alt Pirineu.
Let’s start with the wide range of activities offered in Cadí-Moixeró. Under the impressive mountain range, the northern slope of the Park hosts a series of little villages that are full of both scenic and cultural charms. Although Cava, Ansovell, El Querforadat and Arsèguel may not sound familiar to you, they all have a common denominator: the idyllic background of the Cadí mountain range, still covered with snow in some parts, surrounded by woods –some of which are very old ones– sprinkled with a network of paths that allow you to enjoy nature in all its splendour. The wide range of activities will also allow you to discover the historic heritage as well as all the legends and traditions that hide in the old stones of the villages.
You can also enjoy “Cadí de l’Urgellet”, next to La Seu d’Urgell, and the villages of Cerc, Ges, Vilanova de Banat and Ortedó, whose spectacular viewpoints are perfect for birdwatching.
If you want some action, you can hike through a series of itineraries and paths such as the GR 150, which surrounds the whole Cadí mountain range, along some theme routes such as The Last Cathar. If you prefer cycling, the Cadí circular route can be done mountain biking through Mirador de la Traba, in La Vansa i Fórnols valley, with its wonderful views and genuine reddish lands.
Cadí is a surprisingly vast rural area that is worth several visits. Just choose from among the wide range of landscapes it has to offer: La Vansa and Tuixen valleys, the source of Llobregat river in Castellar de n’Hug, the different faces of Pedraforca mountain, the wide viewpoints of Cadí mountain range from Cerdagne and La Tosa massif.
Let’s go to the high mountains of Aigüestortes i Sant Maurici, where spring gets a bit later and takes a bit longer to start giving way to summer landscapes. The area will burst in all its splendour and allow you to go for endless ecotourist activities, like the ascent up Sant Maurici lake, through a lush pinewood that extends along the river. Despite being a classic route, rediscovering two of the main elements of the Pyrenean landscapes such as Sant Maurici lake and Els Encantats peak is always a great pleasure.
Nearby, characterised by its round-shaped mountains, Àssua valley, with its softs and nice profiles, full of life, culture and flocks, hosts numerous itineraries.
Seize the moment to discover Bonaigua valleys and Planes de Son, with their lush woods, waterfalls, lakes and spectacular viewpoints.
Such a wild environment is obviously home to many animal species which also benefit from our respectful behaviour. Discover some likeable specimens along the Otter Route, from La Molina footbridge, or the Marmot Route, which departs at Cavallers dam.
If you feel like exploring Boí Valley from top to bottom, go for the Water Path: these 27 kilometres of luxuriant paths form the backbone of the traditional path network of Alta Ribagorça that link all the villages between Pont de Suert and Boí Valley.
As previously mentioned, Alt Pirineu also offers a wide range of ecotourist activities that allow you to enjoy a great variety of mountain, woods, farms and vast grasslands such as those of Santa Magdalena Valley and Sant Joan de l’Erm. Get lost in Virós forest, whose stories about iron, wood and coal will delight all the hikers, whatever their age.
Feel the steep landscapes and high mountain lakes of Ferrera Valley, at the foot of Pica d’Estats peak, and hike through the routes of Lladorre Valley, the one that hosts the highest number of lakes in all the massif and is home to brown bears.
Alt Pirineu is a spectacular show of peaks and deep valleys which have all unique characteristics, such as Unarre, Tavascan and Àneu valleys, whose numerous routes and peaceful spots rime with charm and local essence. Or Bonavé valley, land of fire and ancestral traditions, with centenarian woods and endless meadows.
This territory we can discover today is the cradle of antique civilizations. Siarb hosts the best exponent of the past of this valley: Santa Creu de Llagunes, the fantastic remains of a medieval village that reflect more than three thousand years of history.
And finally, don’t miss the southern part of Alt Pirineu region, along the Noguera Pallaresa river, between Gerri de la Sal and Sort. This most unknown spot in the region hosts unique characteristics as it is a junction area between the pre-Pyrenean habitats and the high Pyrenees.