This park, which was created in 1955, is located in the high Pyrenees Cordillera and features spectacular landscapes modelled by the thawing of the glaciers from the Quaternary period. This, the only national park in Catalonia, covers an area of nearly 35,000 acres. Water is a very present element, with no less than 200 lakes between the valleys, the water-bearing zones, the winding waters, the meanders with spongy grounds and pastures that give way to waterfalls and torrents. The landscape includes steep rock formations and cliffs, as well as forests filled with oak, poplar, beech, fir, and pine trees. In the high mountain pastures you can also find gentians and Pyrenean lilies. The local wildlife includes wood grouse, rock ptarmigan, Pyrenean chamois, marmots and predatory birds.
It is a real hiking paradise, with plenty of different itineraries and levels, especially in the area around Espot and Vall de Boi. You might be interested to know that the GR 11 footpath criss-crosses the northern part of the park. There are numerous mountain shelters where you can spend the night.
Water sports enthusiasts will appreciate the Noguera Pallaresa rapids for rafting and kayaking. As for skiing: there are 2 resorts where you can really make the most of the snow. On the eastern side, there is the small family resort of Espot (2,255m above sea level, 31 slopes), and on the western side, there is Boi Taüll (2,750m above sea level, 40 slopes), which is the highest-located resort in the Spanish Pyrenees. In western Catalonia, the rural and peaceful Vall de Boi is a valley which shelters a route of Romanesque churches listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites.