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Gallery: Hiking Catalonia

The editors of BACKPACKER spent a week trekking from refuge to refuge in the mountains of Catalonia. It wasn't just a trip down the trail: It was a trip into ancient history.


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Catalonian trails pass through rural villages and farmland. 

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At Solduga and Espluga, living quarters, livestock pens, and churches were built directly into the cliffs. 

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Overlooking the canyon country below medieval cave dwellings at Solduga. 

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Backcountry camping is not allowed in Spain, so hikers stay in huts. At full-service huts like the Refugi de Cuberes, the country-gourmet food is hot, plentiful, and delicious. 

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The season’s first dusting of snow at Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, the only national park in Catalonia. 

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The two towers of the Encantats rise above Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. 

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When hiking through the foothills of Catalonia, you’ll pass through centuries-old villages like this one, called Espot. 

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Hikers pass the church in Espot, on the east side Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. 

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An abandoned farmhouse on the trail to Llagunes. 

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The village of Llagunes is getting new life as a hub for hikers in the Siarb Valley.

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Horses make the most of the season’s last grass before moving to lower elevations. 

Photos by Louisa Albanese