The majestic Pyrenees Mountains hold more legend and wonder than one might realize unless they have ventured upon its unspoilt slopes. Said to have been made by the famous Greek hero Hercules in a grievous and love-stricken state, the mountains derive their name from the Princess Pyrene. The story has several versions, of course, but the one we at Spain Unspoilt like the most says that the hero mourned the princess’s tragic end by piling rock after rock atop her grave, creating the mountain chain, and then by crying out her name in anguish, thus stamping the very trees with the princess’s name, Pyrene. The most unique and drawing essence of the mountains, however, is that they provide an untouched yet luxurious view of an isolated part of the world that has remained in the same state as it was when Hercules would have walked them.
The perfect place to leave societal cares and technological advances behind, the Pyrenees offer remote and unique experiences for those looking to connect and enjoy the natural world, while still enjoying luxury and hospitality. Our local partner has begun to create unique and customized adventures through their home mountains, offering just the type of experience that we are looking for.
One such trip starts out in Llavorsí, in a unique river valley surrounded by the rolling foothills of the mountains. Through it runs the great Noguera Pallaresa River, one of the most known in Europe for its excellent white water rafting. Though it might have a sleepy start, adventurers soon come to know the exciting rapids of the Noguera, losing themselves in the spray where the world becomes nothing more than paddle, raft, and river.
After stopping for a picnic lunch on a remote riverbank only accessible from the water, the rafting continues through the Congost de Collegats, a river gorge with a magical atmosphere amongst the immense rocks of old. Leave any trace of the civilized world behind as you let the river sweep you past the natural gateway to the Pyrenees Mountains.
After disembarking and leaving the river behind, a new phase of the adventure begins, as travelers make their way along a gently ascending path, lined with flora that fills the silent ambiance with pure, natural fragrances. The path meanders through a shaded forest, opening upon a field which faces a large cave, where camp will be set up for the night. Enjoying all the comforts of hospitality, adventurers will gather around the dinner table to enjoy a home cooked meal, hot off the campfire, and relish in the memories of the day, taking in the view as millions of stars wink into existence when the night falls.
The next morning, the camp is filled with the smell of fresh coffee, calling everyone back to the adventurous journey that awaits them. After a hearty breakfast, the travelers pack up their tent, leaving the sacred ground just as it was when they arrived. As every tour is different, you’ll never occupy the same space as someone else, leaving behind no trace to taint the natural surroundings and tranquility that is the Pyrenees.
After a walk through the forest, re-energizing for the day, the path opens up onto the Barranc de L’infern, or Hell’s Ravine. With a view from the bottom, the ravine gives an impressive awe, with sharp walls extending high into the sky, and spectacular rock formations formed over thousands of years. Scaling the very walls of the gorge, you’ll come out at the top, to spectacular views of the countryside.
Going on a journey through the great Pyrenees mountains is just what the soul calls for when one is seeking the solitude and tranquility only granted to us by mother nature. Immersing yourself is not only beneficial but vital to a traveler’s health. Some say, that if you find yourself deep in the trees, in that unspoilt place of solitude, you can still hear a rustling among the trees, a lingering of Hercules’s booming calls, now faded to a mere whisper. “Pyrene.”