In northeastern Spain, the Pyrenees of Catalonia await families who love nature and the mountains. The high peaks, the green valleys and the rivers which have contributed to the formation of these exceptional landscapes are a playground for all those who wish to enjoy a multitude of activities in the great outdoors. In the heart of these idyllic landscapes, men have also built architectural treasures throughout history, which one will not fail to visit at the bend of a hiking trail. The Pyrenees of Catalonia have destinations bearing the label “Mountain and nature tourism in family”, that is to say that they are all adapted to the reception of parents and their children.. They offer them a multitude of facilities and activities aimed at making their stay a pleasant one. So to you who want to get some fresh air and break with everyday life, it’s time to discover Catalonia on the mountain side, its fascinating landscapes, its outdoor activities, its heritage and its gastronomy. All these elements which are the promise of an unforgettable stay and of which you will not fail to repeat the experience.
Discover the Pyrenees of Catalonia all year round
There is no prime season to visit the Pyrenees of Catalonia. Each season has its own atmosphere, with possibilities for things to see and do. In winter, snow sports and activities, skiing, snowboarding or even sledding, are practiced in one of the ten resorts in the territory. Baqueira, Boí Taüll, Espot, Port del Comte, La Molina, Masella, Port Ainé, Tavascan, Vallter 2000 and Vall de Núria await winter sports enthusiasts, who also like to warm up in museums and around a good mountain gastronomy. In spring, there is no shortage of rafting, canoeing, canyoning and other aquatic captivities on the Rio Noguera Pallaresa, when summer is the perfect season for hiking on short and long hiking trails. , which all reveal breathtaking panoramas and offer direct contact with the flora and fauna. Without forgetting of course the cycle tourism networks adapted to all profiles of mountain bikers. Finally, in autumn, before the territory is covered with snow, the trees of the forests of the Pyrenees of Catalonia take on their most beautiful glowing hues to offer a spectacle of great beauty. The season is then conducive to picking mushrooms, as well as to contemplating the most beautiful monuments in the area, such as the superb Romanesque churches of Vall de Boí. before the territory is covered with snow, the trees of the forests of the Pyrenees of Catalonia take on their most beautiful glowing hues to offer a spectacle of great beauty. The season is then conducive to picking mushrooms, as well as to contemplating the most beautiful monuments in the area, such as the superb Romanesque churches of Vall de Boí. before the territory is covered with snow, the trees of the forests of the Pyrenees of Catalonia take on their most beautiful glowing hues to offer a spectacle of great beauty. The season is then conducive to picking mushrooms, as well as to contemplating the most beautiful monuments in the area, such as the superb Romanesque churches of Vall de Boí.
La Vall de Boí, between activity in nature and architecture
While in winter, the Boí Taüll ski resort is a delight for those who like to slide in contact with the highest peaks of the Pyrenees, the destination Vall de Boí awaits visitors in fine weather to explore the valley on foot. With its peaks exceeding 3,000 m in altitude, the Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, the only national park in Catalonia, is a place of choice for immersion in nature. You can as much walk there with the children, taking the loop route of Aigüestortes, as treat yourself to a few moments of sensations by joining Cavallers, a high mountain area with steep walls on which it is possible to practice the climbing. The national park is also home to the largest concentration of lakes in the entire Pyrenean chain. You can reach the estany de Sant Maurici, the estany Negre or the estany Gento and enjoy the shores to bask in the sun or relax around a good picnic. Do not forget to go to the foot of the splendid Romanesque church of Vall de Boí, with incredible architecture and frescoes, and all of which is listed by Unesco.
The Valls d’Àneu and Pirineus Noguera Pallaresa: discovering the rural world with the family
The Valls d’Àneu are another destination in the Pyrenees of Catalonia conducive to family activities. There are about twenty small mountain villages there, including the essential towns of Esterri d’Àneu, Alt Àneu, Espot and La Guinguet. On the natural side, stroll through the Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici National Park to photograph the lakes and admire the peaks of the Encantats. Along with the Alt Pirineu Natural Park, these are two favorite areas for practicing activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, canoeing on the Torrassa dam, rafting and trekking. The Pyrenees-Noguera Pallaresa destination also reveals a generous and beautiful nature in which we take marked paths to admire some 1,500 plant species, but also birds and mammals such as the chamois, the bearded vulture and the marmot. This is also where the Noguera Pallaresa flows, a paradise for lovers of canoeing, rafting, and considered as the best river in Europe for whitewater sports. Also for families, do not miss a visit to the Valls d’Àneu Ecomuseum, which allows you to better understand the natural and cultural reality of the territory, from the Maison de l’Ours in Isil. , to learn more this time about the life of the bear and follow its footprints, as well as Roseta de Gavàs for a guided tour of the only farm making cheese with goat’s milk at Pallars Sobirà.
For accommodation, families enjoy staying in hotels, rural lodges or camping. Equipped for some establishments with swimming pools overlooking the mountains, they also offer various activities and excursions to delight young and old.
Berga, nature and culture on the program
In the center of the Pyrenees of Catalonia, very close to Barcelona, Berga connects the plain and the mountain. We take the time to explore its old town to reach the old Jewish quarter of Call, the Carrer Major and its modernist facades, before stopping to taste the local gastronomy: veal, chicken, capon in Catalan sauce. Then, it’s time for nature and possible activities in the Queralt mountains. Hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, there are various ways to enjoy the scenery and to exercise. For fans of aquatic activities, it is recommended to indulge in a canoeing session on Lake Baells. The waters are turquoise and the panorama is magnificent with lush nature and mountain peaks. To experience a cultural moment with the family, you must also visit the formidable Musée des Mines de Cercs. The visit provides a better understanding of the work of the coal mining that took place in the territory in the past. There are four highlights to experience: the discovery of the permanent exhibition halls, the visit of a miner’s accommodation from the 1940s, a passage through a projection room and a journey by train in the Sant Romà gallery, at 500 meters underground. We dive into the heart of life and work inside a mine.
We cannot speak of the Pyrenees of Catalonia without mentioning the ski resort of La Molina , the oldest in Catalonia. It attracts large numbers of travelers in winter to take advantage of the snow, but its offer is just as interesting in summer, with the provision of a renovated bikepark for cycling activities. Segway, quad biking for children, inflatable structures, swimming pool, trampolines and other zip lines offer families fun moments and shared pleasures. Known as the “mother of ski resorts”, it is accessible by train from Barcelona, like other resorts. Among them, there is Masella, neighbor of La Molina with which it forms the Alp 2,500 domain. If it is closed in summer, it is however the delight of winter sports enthusiasts, with 74 km of slopes, green to black.