Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

Nature area / Countryside / Open space, National park, Natura 2000 network, Natura 2000 Network: Special Protection Area (SPA)
The Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is the only national park in Catalonia. There are five routes on which its 41 square miles can be discovered; highlights include the Els Encantats mountain and the 200-plus lakes.

Located between the regions of Pallars Sobirà and La Alta Ribagorça, the 105 square kilometres of Aigüestortes is the only national park of Catalonia. As its name suggests, one of its characteristics is water, which we can find in all its states and forms: rivers, waterfalls, ponds, glacial valleys, with almost 200 mountain lakes.

Its most famous form is the Lake of Sant Maurici, an area of great beauty that can be found at the foot of the park's most mythical mountain: the Encantats, a fragmented calcareous rock formation which is said to be the silhouette of two hunters cursed by the divine powers when they went to hunt chamois (a type of deer).

However, apart from the waters and legends, the abrupt landscape that extends throughout the park can also be enjoyed, with mountain peaks that reach three thousand metres in height. If we follow the Sant Nicolau river until the Aigüestortes plain, we would be on the route of the European otter, a species in extinction in Catalonia, which can still be found in the protected area.

The park is home to other species of great ecological value, some native to the area. The vegetation changes according to the altitude, from Mediterranean forests to alpine landscapes. The fir tree and mountain pine forests, the alpine pastures and the scree-slopes are home to animals such as the capercaillie, the chamois, the marmot or the bearded vulture.

There are five itineraries for discovering all corners of the park, of different duration and with different levels of difficulty. The first leaves from the Aigüestortes plain, passing the Llac Long and reaching the Peixerani black pine which has been declared a Monumental Tree.

The next, leaves the car park in the Pierró meadow and goes to the Ratera and Amitges ponds, stopping at the Sant Maurici lake.

The third option begins at the Cavallers dam in the direction of the Riumalo waterfall, ending at Negre lake.

If we follow the route that leaves Gento lake, we would go towards the Colomina refuge and then towards the Llac de Mar and the Llac de Saburó.

Finally, the circuit of the lakes of the Circ de Colomers can be followed.

Detailed information on Aigüestortes can be requested at the Casal del Parc Nacional, at its offices in Espot or in Boí

Virtual tour:

- Estany de la Gola i tres estanys

- Estany de Sant Maurici

- Camí del llong i Portarró

  • Year of declaration: 1955, reclassificat el 1988
  • Regulations: Act of the 21st October 1955 (Ministry of Agriculture), declaration of Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park (BOE 25, 21-11-55); Law 7/1988 of the 30th March, reclassification of the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park (DOGC 978, 15-04-88).
  • Area: 49395
  • Ownership: Public
  • District: La Vall de Boí, Espot, Vilaller, Naut Aran, Vielha e Mijaran, Alt Àneu, la Guingueta d'Àneu, Esterri d'Àneu, Espot; Alt Àneu; Sort; Sort; Rialp; Guingueta d'Àneu, la; Baix Pallars; Soriguera; Esterri d'Àneu; Llavorsí; Vall de Boí, la; Vilaller; Pont de Suert, el; Naut Aran; Vielha e Mijaran; Torre de Capdella, la; Sarroca de Bellera.
  • Visitor centres: N
  • Annual closing: Open all year round
  • Opening hours - summer : Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 13:00 and 15:30 to 19:00
  • Opening hours - winter: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 14:00 and 15:30 to 18:00
  • How to get there: Main N-230 road (Lleida-Pont de Suert) until turn-off to Caldes de Boí. From the Espot valley, take the local road C-13 (Pobla de Segur-Esterri d´Àneu), until the turn-off to Espot.
  • Languages: Catalan, Spanish

Facilities

Access for disabled people

Parking

Refuge

Signposted itineraries

Flora

The variety of environmental parameters in the area favours a wide variety of plant communities. The subalpine stratum presents groups of black pine with rhododendrons and fir groves. In the alpine stratum we can find grassland and pasture, as well as Festucion airodis. Meanwhile, the montane and supalpine strata are rich in Scillo-Fagetum, Goodyero-Abietetum, Calluno-Ulicetea, Scheuchzerio-Caricetea nigrae and Oxycocco-Sphagnetea with Erica tetralix. An enormous wealth of plant life has also been registered, including numerous species that cannot be found anywhere else in Catalonia, such as Pinguicula alpina, Alchemilla pentaphylla, Campanula jaubertiana, Saxifraga androsacea, etc.

Fauna

The area boasts a wide array of central European species, as well as Mediterranean species on the lower south-facing slopes. In terms of mammals, we can highlight the chamois, the stoat and the Iberian desman. In the Boí valleys, species like the yellow-necked mouse and the common shrew can be found. In terms of birds, the wood grouse and ptarmigan have been spotted, as well as small populations of grey partridge. The bearded vulture and Griffon vulture can also be seen from time to time. Among the reptiles, we can mention the common lizard, the sand lizard and the Pyrenean rock lizard. The Pyrenean brook salamander is the leading example among the amphibians.

Routes

The Portarró de Espot, through the cirque of Colomers, a forest full of fir trees, the area around Amitges, the Path of the refuges or chariots of fire

Bird-watching tourism

WHAT IS AROUND HERE?
Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park
  • Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

  • Address:Street Graieres, 2

  • 25528 Vall de Boí, la

  • Lleida / Pyrenees

  • Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park
  • Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

  • Address: Street Graieres, 2

  • 25528 Vall de Boí, la

  • Lleida / Pyrenees

  • Telephone:973 696 189

  • Fax:973 696 154

  • E-mail:info.aiguestortes@oapn.es / pnaiguestortes@gencat.cat

  • Web:http://parcsnaturals.gencat.cat/ca/aiguestortes

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