The 141-square-kilometre Aiguestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is the only national park in Catalonia, but might be the best of the bunch in Spain. This wild region of untouched nature is part of the Pyrenees mountain range and boasts beautiful peaks and around 200 lakes, various ecosystems and a wealth of native flora and fauna.
The park’s glacial lakes are revered for their crystalline water that reflects the verdant surrounding foliage and towering mountains. Nature lovers will feel at home among the park’s waterfalls, rivers, rocky slopes and dense forests of beech, birch and black pine.
Summer and spring are popular times for hiking, during which you might spot golden eagles, fallow deer, alpine marmots and salamanders. The Transpyrenean Path is a popular route, as it crosses from one side of the park to the other. Multi-day treks include Chariots of Fire, a circular route where you can stay in shelters. Adventurous travellers can also enjoy rock climbing, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing.
Aiguestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is near the Spain-France border, about 3.5 hours’ drive from Barcelona or three hours from Zaragoza. You can fly into Barcelona–El Prat Airport or Zaragoza Airport and rent a car.