The Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is one of the best preserved Pyrenean zones in Catalonia. It plays host to alpine and subalpine bird life, with all of the Pyrenees species that an ornithologist could want: bearded vulture, griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, boreal owl, ring ouzel, greenfinch, red-billed chough and alpine chough, amongst others.
It's a high mountain area where you can take excursions through coniferous and riverside forests, alpine meadows, rocky hills and all the typical habitats of the axial zone of the Pyrenees. The peaks - reaching altitudes of over 9,800 feet -, dozens of Pyrenean lakes, streams, waterfalls and peat bogs define the landscape's unique profile. The granite mounds of Els Encantats, which rise from the foot of the Sant Maurici lake, are the park's defining symbol.
The terrain in this area has been shaped by glacial phenomena. The vegetation comprises forests of black pine and Scots pine, fir and beech. There are also very damp mixed forests - not very common in the Pyrenees - where we find a combination of beech, birch and aspen. An ornithologist will encounter a community of Pyrenean birdswhich, in the Palearctic regions, almost exclusively exist within high-altitude mountainous ecosystems such as the Alps, the Caucausus, and other key mountain ranges in Turkey and the Balkans. Here you will be able to watch - within the same area and over only a few days - many high mountain species that cannot be found throughout most of Europe; from forest species to rupicolous, emanating from exclusively alpine environments.