- Region: Catalonia
- Province: Lérida
- Declared a Natural Park: 2003
- Park surface area: 69.850 hectares (2018 Enlargement of the surface of Alt Pirineu Natural Park up to 79.317 hectares.)
- Towns and Villages: Alins de Vallferrera, Esterri de Cardós, Farrera, Lladorre, Llavorsí, Montferrer i Castellbò, Tirvia, Valle de Cardós and Valles del Valira
Points of interest
The Alt Pirineu Natural Park is the largest natural park in Catalonia and is located in the Catalan Pyrenees between the Val d’Aran in the west and Andorra to the east. It is interesting to note that all the nearby towns and villages are outside of the parks limits.
With over 2.500 m difference between its lowest and highest points this area has many spectacular and diverse habitats for many types of wildlife. (650 metres at the Sanctuary of Arboló in the south rising to the 3,143 metre of Pica d’Estats which is the highest peak in Catalonia) This area includes the highest peaks of the Pyrenees in Catalonia including:
- 3,129 m. Pic Verdaguer
- 3,115 m. Punta Gabarró
- 3,073 m. Pic de Sotllo
- 3,004 m. Pic Rodó de Canalbona
Many other peaks are above 2.800 metres high, such as Monteixo (2,905 metres), Mont-roig (2,864 metres) or Certascan (2,853 metres). Salòria (2.789 metres) is the highest peak in the district of Alt Urgell.
Some villages around the Park are also at high altitude, as in the case of Rubió (the highest village in Catalonia) 1,687 metres high and Tor at 1,649 metres.
Find a hotel close to the Alt Pirineu Natural Park
Valleys and rivers
The most important rivers in the area are the Noguera Pallaresa, Noguera Vallferrera, Cardós and Tor. These rivers have created some stunning valleys.
- Valle de Cardós extends along the river of the same name. The highest peak here is Montroig at 3000 meters.
- Valle de Ferrera that runs along the Noguera de Vallferrera river
- Valles de Aneu whose landscape is made up of a large number of lakes.
- Valle de la Coma de Burg close to the village of Ferrera
Walking and hiking in the Alt Pirineu Natural Park
If you are going it alone then the All Trails website has some great hiking trails, views trails, river trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers. See here: https://www.alltrails.com/parks/spain/lleida/parque-natural-del-alt-pirineu
For other guided and self guided walking holidays in the Pyrenees then get in touch with the experts over at Hike Pyrenees.
This area is a botanists paradise with almost 2000 species of vascular plant flora have been recorded and among them 22 species of threatened or very rare flora in Catalonia such as Cerinthe glabra, Hippuris vulgaris, Juniperus thurifera, Salix hastata, Matthiola valesiaca or Astragalus penduliflorus
The Alt Pirineu Natural Park is home to many endangered or rare species such as brown bear, otter, Pyrenean desman, bearded vulture, black vulture, Egyptian Vulture, red kite, rock ptarmigan, grey ptarmigan, Pyrenean owl, Eurasian woodcock, wallcreeper, white-winged snow finch and Pyrenean brook salamander. of great note is the almost exclusively endemic Pallaresan rock lizard and the largest population of capercaillie in Iberia (150 male census 2018)
One of the most important examples of the cultural wealth of this area is its extensive archaeological and architectural patrimony especially Romanesque art. In the towns and villages There are numerous examples of religious artwork (including altarpieces, engravings, and workings in gold and silver) making an important collection of Medieval and Baroque history found in the Pyrenees.
Alt Pirineu Natural Park administration headquarters
At the Alt Pirineu Natural Park administration headquarters, in the village of Llavorsí, you can visit a permanent exhibition covering various subjects about the nature and geology of the area. This is also the place to ask if you have any specific requests for permits of any kind in the area.
Casa dels Parcs dels Pirineus- The house of Pyrenees Parks
Casa de los Parques de los Pirineos (oficina del Parque en el Alt Urgell)
Address: Avinguda de les Valls d’Andorra, 33
The main interpretation centre for the Alt Pirineu Natural Park can be found in the old customs office in the village of La Seu d’Urgell and contains all the information you need to get the best out of a visit to the area. There are excellent guides and maps and exhibitions detailing the fauna, flora, geology and human history of the area
Border Lands Visitors Centre
In the village of Os de Civís you will find the el Border Lands Visitors Centre with its permanent exhibition about cultural contacts, economic exchanges, confrontation processes or the cooperation enterprises in the areas around the border with France and Andora.
Temporary information points (Puntos de información temporal)
You will also find temporary information points in many villages in the area. (Some only open during the spring and summer months.) They are called Punto de información temporal and can be found in Alós, Tavascan, Àreu, Os de Civís, Sant Joan de l’Erm, Llagunes, Pleta del Prat, Araós, Ras de Conques, Castellbò, Comes de Rubió and Llagunes
The official website for the is here Alt Pirineu Natural Park
Iberia Nature Forum
Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!
Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.