The Parque Nacional de Aigüestortes y Estany de Sant Maurici was founded in 1932, then dubbed the Parque Nacional del Alto Pirineo (National Park of the High Pyrenees). It is one of the most unusual national parks on the Iberian Peninsula, for its unique location: along the borderline dividing Spain from France in the Pyrenees. The Park is also found between four very distinct Pyrenees regions: the Alta Ribagorça, Pallars Sobirà, Pallars Jussà and the Aran Valley. This is a location that makes this Pyrenean Park one of the very best in the Iberian Peninsula.
Its lakes are the National Park's main attraction, and also the essential element distinguishing it from the other national parks in the territory. These lakes occupy ancient depressions cut out of the mountains, and range in size and depth. Many of them are connected to each other through wonderful waterfalls and natural streams that create an idyllic environment for lovers of hiking, mountain and nature.
The National Park of Aigüestortes is the best place to experience the great diversity of flora and fauna found in the Pyrenees. Here we find many different plant species and a variety of forests and trees sure to delight avid hikers and mountaineers. Animals inhabiting the National Park of Aigüestortes include the wood grouse, golden eagle, red squirrel, roe deer, and marmot, among many others found along its paths and by its lakes.
Access to the park
The Parque Nacional de Aigüestortes y Estany Sant Maurici has a number of access points, including that from the town of Boí, or from Espot. From the first, in the town of Boí, one reaches the eastern sector or Aigüestortes; and from the second, Espot, the most popular, one reaches the easternmost sector of the park and the area of Sant Maurici.
In the Val d'Aran, during the summer months, a discretionary service of public transport on the banks of Aiguamòg and Valarties facilitates access on foot to the mountain refuges of Colomèrs and Restanca, respectively.
Trails in the National Park
There are several marked trails in the National Park. Below we describe some of the most recommended trails.
The Great Colomèrs Circus
If you come to the Aran Valley on family vacations or with friends, the Colomèrs lake route is a must to experience the essence of the high mountain area. It offers a small tour through the Colomèrs circle of lakes, one of the premier active tourism attractions in the Pyrenees.
Access is from the Aran Valley: from the town of Salardú one can reach Aigüestortes on a paved track.
Fishing, forestry, camping and the exploitation of its natural resources are prohibited, except for its pastures and hydroelectric resources.