WALKS & HIKING
More than 5,000 km of waymarked long-distance paths, 144 protected areas of natural beauty, 580 km of coastline and a comprehensive network of local and short-distance paths make Catalonia one of the best destinations for path walking. From the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean, the natural and monumental richness of Catalonia is at your feet.
The Catalan Network of Paths
Connected to the European and Spanish networks, the Catalan network has almost 9,000 km of waymarked paths. Following this network of Long-Distance, Short-Distance and Local Paths is a highly practical and simple way to discover the history, customs and natural and monumental heritage of Catalonia. By restoring age-old paths, a unique tool has been created in Catalonia for the growth of rambling and hiking, a European movement that is still growing and has a very promising future. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the first stretch of a waymarked path was marked in 1975 in Catalonia: the GR-7. Today, thanks to the dedicated work of many ramblers' clubs, the Catalan network is one of the most extensive in Spain.
Walk in the tranquility
The Baix Empordà has a 370-km network of paths that is ideal both for exploring the interior of the county, which stands out for its picturesque villages and the variety of its protected areas of natural beauty, and for walking the paths that lead to the coast, discovering the characterful coastal paths and villages. Walk without suitcases along the Costa Brava, a route that will take you to medieval castles, high cliffs and enchanting coves.
The county of Pla de l'Estany has the route of Salamina, a hiking proposal that visits the Civil War settings popularised by the novel written by Javier Cercas: an opportunity to discover unusual places and reflect on this country's recent history. On the Costa Daurada, the monasteries of Santes Creus and Santa Maria Poblet and Vallbona de les Monges in the territories of Lleida, provide the backbone of one of Catalonia's most interesting cultural routes. Crossed by the GR-175, the Cistercian Route regales us with such beautiful scenery as the area of natural interest of Poblet.
Finally, wit nexus between the Iberian system and the mountains of the Catalan coast, the Els Ports Natural Park has a number of paths that will be of particular interest to flora and fauna enthusiasts, with outstanding features such as its beech forests, on the southernmost limits of the tree's range in Catalonia.
The Strength of Girona
Enjoy the scenery of a region full of variety. Discover the Pyrenees of Gerona, walking along paths that will take you to soaring mountains and deep valleys, enjoy the natural beauty and Romanesque architecture of the Ripollès, following routes in the valley of Ribes or the valley of Camprodon, with more than 1,000 km of perfectly waymarked paths. Follow the route of the Bandits (ruta de los Trabucaires), in Alta Garrotxa, to learn the history of the paths and medieval bridges that gave life to this land.
Walk the route of the crags and volcanoes, visit the Natural Park of the Volcanic Area of Garrotxa and lose yourself in a serene, balanced countryside of exceptional beauty. Walk among volcanoes and enjoy the best preserved volcanic region in the Iberian peninsula with more than 40 volcanoes and 20 lava coulees.
The Cadi Axis
With the detailed maps available, we can cross the Alt Urgell or enter Cerdanya and Berguedà, to enjoy the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park and the emblematic mountain of Pedraforca. The mountain paths in the Alt Berguedà are waymarked in accordance with international standards so that each person can enjoy them at his or her pace, choosing itineraries matched to individual physical capacity and wishes.
The Camí dels Bons Homes follows the old route of the Cathars and is an ideal itinerary for path walking. Its most spectacular stretches are interconnected in stages so that everyone has the opportunity to follow this route. In five hours, we can walk from Berga to Peguera; in three days, from Berga to Bagà, and in six, we can reach Porta in French Cerdanya. Beyond there, the Camí dels Bons Homes continues to Montsegur, in Ariège.
The heart of the Pyrenees
Nature is one of the Val d'Aran's chief attractions. Lakes, summits, waterfalls, river sources and a spectacular fauna and flora make up a territory that offers more than 300 km of waymarked paths, including the GR-211, the most natural way to explore the valley, and the GR-11, perhaps the most famous route on the south side of the Pyrenees. Running coast to coast, it crosses the Catalan Pyrenees from Cap de Creus to Alta Ribagorça, passing through the Val d'Aran and the counties of Alt Empordà, Garrotxa, Ripollès, Cerdanya, Alt Urgell and Pallars Sobirà.
The Pyrenees offer walking routes for all tastes and abilities. One of the star attractions is the National Park of Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici, with more than 200 lakes and fantastic mountains with heights bordering 3,000 m such as the Montardo, Peguera, Besiberri and Comaloformo or the emblematic Encantats. An area of exceptional natural beauty with itineraries such as the Carros de Foc, a route that links nine of the National Park's mountain huts, or proposals such as the thermal trek, which combines non-strenuous walking with keep-fit and thermal baths. Starting in the abandoned village of Pont d'Orrit, in the county of Pallars Jussà, the route of the valley of Vultures follows a circular itinerary to discover the rich natural heritage of the Terreta valley and its emblematic birds.
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