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Hikers admiring the scenery in the Catalan Pyrenees

Three mountains in Catalonia to test your stamina

Catalonia

A short hike in the mountains with family or friends is a fabulous way to get active. Read on and discover three mountain trails in Catalonia to walk if you’re looking for a challenge. 

Montserrat: a sanctuary for youStraddling the districts of El Bages, El Baix Llobregat and L’Anoia, the massif of Montserrat is one of the most iconic sights in Catalonia.One of the best ways to explore it is by taking a circular route up to Sant Jeroni, which at a dizzying 1,236 metres, is the highest viewpoint on the massif. Other equally impressive peaks are Els Ecos, El Cavall Bernat, Els Frares Encantats and Les Agulles. The trail starts at the Monastery of Montserrat, which you can reach by funicular. When you arrive, you’ll see the trail signposted on your right. Walking through holm oak, oak, and pine woods you’ll see that hiking, climbing and speleology are common activities in the area. The Salnitre caves in Collbató are the most frequently explored. 

 Montserrat monastery, in the districts of El Bages, El Baix Llobregat and L'Anoia.

Pedraforca: twin peaksLocated between the villages of Saldes and Gósol in the Berguedà district, in Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, the mountain of Pedraforca is more challenging than Montserrat. There are multiple different trails. You'll find everything from nature trails (such as the charcoal burners route) to guided tours (even 5-day tours such as the Cavalls del Vent trail) and paths for bicycles or horses.Even from afar, Pedraforca is seriously impressive. When you see the mountain’s twin peaks, you’ll understand why its name translates to “forked stone”. The Pollegó Superior is the higher at 2,507 metres, and the Pollegó Inferior is 2,445 metres. Thanks to its uniquely distinctive shape, it has been declared a Natural Site of National Interest. Within the Natural Park you’ll find Romanesque churches, amazing hidden fortifications, and even some ‘monumental trees’, trees that are protected in Catalonia because of their age, history, or species. 

Pedraforca in Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, Catalonia.

Puigmal: a trip to the heightsThe mountain of Puigmal, also known as Puigmal d’Er, is a 2,911-metre high paradise for hikers. It’s one of the highest peaks in the Eastern Pyrenees, and is located in the province of Girona, between Spain and France. One of the easiest trails begins at Fontalba. This is a circular route that slowly rises between green meadows until the vegetation gradually disappears, making way for the Serra del Cadí, the mountains of Andorra, and even the Pica d’Estats. When you reach the top, you’ll find an iron cross with a plaque next to it inscribed with some verses by the famous Spanish poet Jacinto Verdaguer. The panoramic view is simply incomparable. The way down crosses the Coma de l'Embut in the Vall de Núria. You’ll very soon come to a magnificent sanctuary, and you can sit on the shore of the great lake that surrounds it. This is your chance to take a rest before the last leg. 

One of the highest peaks in the Eastern Pyrenees, in the province of Girona, Catalonia.
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