Camins Vius connects regions, valleys and inhabited areas from each other, revealing the enormous cultural heritage of this part of the Pyrenees. The 238 km of paths guarantee the discovery of captivating human and natural landscapes, and get to know the magic stories around their history and culture. The territory is connected by six valleys hosting the current National Park of Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici: valls d’Àneu, vall d’Àssua, vall Fosca, vall de Boí, vall de Barravés and Val d’Aran, through three historic mountain passes: Vielha, Bonaigua and Rus.
National Park of Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici
The most outstanding feature of the National Park of Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici is the scenery. Spectacularly beautiful, it is made up of a series of elements that complement each other almost perfectly to form a harmonious collection of sharp peaks and dramatic ridges, thick forests and green meadows, rivers of transparent water and deep lakes.
The foundation of the landscape is made up of the rocks, the precipitous relief and the huge rock walls are the result of erosion by glaciers that filled these valleys around 50,000 years ago. The ice melted to reveal the results of its slow sculpting. The meltwater filled all the holes, leaving blue spots on the rocks, and formed beautiful waterfalls between the levels of the main valley and the small secondary valleys.
Responsible and sustainable tourism
Our initiative believes and supports the implementation of sustainability principles among all the territory. We believe in a tourism evolved in a rational way to contribute to the promotion of new models non aggressive.
The region of Val d’Aran has the “Biosphere” certification (endorsed by UNESCO, WTO and UNEP) and is part of network of sustainable destinations respectful with the environment.
Biosphere Responsible Tourism
The Middle Ages marked an unprecedented cultural awakening in the Pyrenees with the arrival of the Romanesque. This gave rise to a unique artistic heritage which is perfectly integrated in the surrounding landscape. The municipality of La Vall de Boí contains one of the most important Romanesque architectural ensembles in Europe and the most complete and magnificent in the Pyrenees, with churches such as Sant Climent and Santa Maria de Taüll, Sant Joan de Boí and Santa Eulàlia d’Erill la Vall, to name but a few.
Romanesque churches of La Vall de Boí were declared by UNESCO
Festivals and traditions
Ancient activities such as the falles have been preserved in these parts and take place around the summer solstice and many are on Saint John’s night (Sant Joan). Falles are wooden torches (of different types that vary depending on the region or village) that are lit at night and then brought down the mountainside to the village’s main square, forming a huge fiery snake. Once in the village, they form a huge bonfire and then have a party with a band and dancing. Traditional dances, markets, livestock shows and other artistic and cultural events that seemed doomed to oblivion.
Festival declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
17th June 2017, in Durro
23rd June 2017, in Boí
23rd June 2017, eth Taro in Arties
23rd June 2017, eth Haro in Les
1st July 2017, in Barruera
7th July 2017, in Erill la Vall
14th July 2017, in Taüll
Dishes that help fight the cold are very frequent in this part of the Pyrenees, and include olla aranesa (Aranese stew), vianda pallaresa (a type of soup) and rice with rabbit. Preserving fresh pork in oil is the basis of a very typical dish: confitat. Other local products are girella (a sausage made from lamb’s intestines, stuffed with rice and fried in batter), freginat (made with lamb’s blood and liver and lamb tail stew. During the hunting season there is game, and then we can enjoy boar, venison and even chamois stew. In autumn there are food festivals (jornades gastronòmiques) in every region where you find, particularly at weekends, cuisine based on local products: fruits of the forest, game, trout and sweets such as crispells (a type of biscuit), washed down with traditional liqueurs, like ratafia, made from herbs. Particularly noteworthy are the wild mushrooms that fill the menus of local restaurants with a variety of dishes when in season.