Aigüestortes i Estany De Sant Maurici National Park

Despite its tongue-twisting name, Catalonia’s only national park is one not to be missed by nature-lovers. With over 200 lakes and streams, waterfalls and rivers, the park is renowned for its aquatic landscape and with a backdrop of rocky snow-capped mountains; it’s a picturesque taste of what northern Spain has to offer. The park covers a mountainous region with peaks reaching up to 3,000 metres above sea level and covers around 40,852ha (including buffer zone). Declared a national park in 1955, the name ‘Aigüestortes’ translates from Catalan to mean ‘winding waters’ which offers an insight into one of the main attributes of the park.

In terms of climate, the average temperature of the park rarely rises above 5°C and snow is common until as late as June. Such low temperatures distinguish Aigüestortes I Estany De Sant Maurici National Park from others national parks in Spain and the landscape becomes a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop for a hike or walk through the park.

Flora and Fauna

Aigüestortes i Estany De Sant Maurici National Park has a huge array of wildlife and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of its 200 resident species. Among the most commonly spotted inhabitants are the Golden Eagle, otters, deer, the Bearded vulture, stoats and wild goats.

Flora however is one of the parks main characteristics, with pine, fir, beech and birch forests carpeting its valleys and slopes all year round. Meadows and berry trees flourish in the spring and summer months adding colour and life to its powder-white façade.

Things to do at the park

Unlike a number of other national parks around Spain, Aigüestortes i Estany De Sant Maurici National Park allow free roaming for guests and walking is free. Trekking and hiking are also particularly popular around the area and there are a number of options available to avid walkers depending on what level of difficulty and how long you wish to hike for. For example, the GR-11 path is particularly popular among visitors as it follows a scenic route from one side of the park to the other. Rock climbing, snowshoes and even backcountry skiing are also activities that are available (with some restrictions) at the national park. Mountain biking is also particularly popular, and there are a number of specialists routes of varying difficulty for those who wish to explore the park in a more adventurous way. For the serious explorers, a specialist trail called ‘Carros de foc’ which takes several days to complete is also available. These trips can be organised in the information office and include stays in the parks' own mountain shelters overnight. ‘Pedals de foc’ is a very similar experience except the route is completed on a bicycle.

The mountain refuges are not solely reserved for guests on the ‘de foc’ trails, they are available to all and are typically composed of simple bunks, bathrooms and a kitchen. The shelters are usually guarded but it’s wise to check up on opening times as they tend to be seasonal.

Visitor Centres

  • Boí:
    Located in the western area of the park, Boí is regarded as the main visitor centre and houses exhibitions that give a detailed presentation about life in the park. The centre is also home to a public library for guests who are interested in learning more about the geological and ecological side of the park.
  • Park House at Epsot:
    Based in the village of Epsot in the East of the park, the park provides all the information and aids you might possibly need during your visit to Aigüestortes i Estany De Sant Maurici National Park. The exhibitions in the Park House at Epsot focus on the relationship and importance of the parks most important features; rock, water and life.
  • Liessui:
    A museum dedicated to shepherds and their role in the history of the park.
  • Senet:
    An information centre which focuses on the important relationship between humans and animals. Conservation and protection are important topics and the presentations displayed here describe the way in which certain boundaries are kept in order to ensure the future of the park.

For information on about all the tourist information points around the park visit: