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  • Writer's pictureNigel Perrin

Hiking the Pyrenees - Marvellous Mountains

Updated: Sep 29, 2023


Mountain hiking near to Spanish villa with heated pool.
The view from Bastiments.

Summer is fast approaching and it's time to start heading to higher ground and cooler temperatures and start hiking the pyrenees. By cooler, I mean in the region of 15-20ºC which is rather refreshing compared to the 25-30ºC at the coast in June. In July and August, you can see temperatures close to 40ºC on the coast which lovely if you're sat in the pool with a beer, but it's a little too uncomfortable (at least for me) for hiking. Luckily, Catalunya is a "region of light between the sea and mountains".... I can't remember who said that, but they're pretty spot-on, so let's talk about the fantastic hiking up for grabs in the Pyrenees.


Mountain hiking near to Spanish villa with jacuzzi and pool.
The Gra de Fajol peak.

For the next few blogs, I'll concentrate on local mountain hikes where you can enjoy the day at altitude and still be back at Cal Domino, spelunking in the pool or sipping a cool Cava in the Jacuzzi. We've also just upgraded our kitchen terrace with a lot more space, a bigger table and an Uruguayan BBQ with festoon lights for an al-fresco dinner with views over the castle and the Med so once you've finished soaking up the scenery, you can relax in style in your home-away-from-home.


Pyrenees hiking near to Spanish villa with pool and jacuzzi
Refuge de Ulldeter

So, our favourite ? It's actually a tough choice, but for closeness to the Villa, ease of access, gorgeous views and proper mountain walking, we recommend Valter. Valter, is a contraction between Val (valley) and Ter (one of the most important rivers in Catalunya). The river Ter flows east for some 208km into the Mediterranean Sea and provides the Alt and Baix Embordá regions with its abundant water for irrigation, especially important around the medieval village of Pals, renowned for it's award winning rice and national park wetlands which is vital for migrating birds travelling to and fro between Europe and Africa. It also provides a rich source of nutrients for the Illes de Medas marine national reserve located just off the coast at Estartit where the Ter flows into the Mediterranean Sea.


Mountain hikes private villa with heated pool
Well Marked paths

To get to Valter from Cal Domino, click on the googlemap link.


Valter is a pretty good, basic ski station during the winter months, ideal or beginners or novices. (Want to ski ? Look out for our blogs on the closest 10 stations). We recommend that you park in between the main parking and the station and follow the river (stream) to the refuge of Ulldeter (they have beer for the adults and toilets for the children) and then onwards and upwards to the peak at Bastiments (2881 mts / 9452 ft) located on the French / Spanish border. For those that want to burn off some more energy, there are two more peaks to climb, el Gra de Fajol and el Pic de la Dona, but I wouldn't recommend these if you suffer from vertigo and they are not recommended for children.

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Chamois near to private villa with heated pool.
Chamois

Here's our choice of Wikiloc routes. It's approximately 8km and rated as "easy" and suitable for families and children that can hike approximately 10km. The last 100 mts or so is a little steep and some scrambling may be required, but no specialist equipment is needed and the views from the top are spectacular and well worth the effort.


hiking holidays private villa and heated pool
Marmot

Usually, it's best to get there early in the morning as the mountains can generate some chunky thunderstorms in the afternoons. This hike is in the high Pyrenees and although really quite short and pretty easy to do, you should look at a decent weather forecast before you go, have respect for the mountain and a minimum of safety kit with you. The best time of year to hike this is between June and October. Before June, you'll need equipment and kit to cope with snow and after October, you run the risk of some serious and rapidly deteriorating weather conditions. In between, bring loads of sun cream and lots of water, although there are one or two natural springs here and there on the climb.



Bastiments mountain with private villa, heated pool and jacuzzi
The peak at Bastiments

Take a camera as the views are outstanding and you will almost certainly bump into Chamois and Marmots on the way...There are a number of routes back down the mountain depending on ability, but we recommend the return route for children and the inexperienced.




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