Carros de Foc: 6-day Trek in the Aigüestortes National Park, Spain

Local UIMLA certified mountain guide Arantxa Gutierrez takes you trekking "hut-to-hut" along the Carros de Foc trail in the breathtaking Aigüestortes National Park.

 
 

Details

 

Trip Duration

6 days

Mountain Range

Pyrenees

People per Guide

8 people

Trip Level

Intermediate

Offer Period

Aug

Type of Trip

Group

Highlights

 
  • A complete circuit through the breathtaking Aigüestortes National Park

  • 5 top-notch mountain huts in picturesque settings with delicious menus

  • Mountain top lakes, pine forests, enchanting valleys, granite peaks and more

 

Over the course of 6 days, we will make a complete loop through the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. Translated into English as “The winding streams and St. Maurice Lake”, this park in the Spanish Pyrenees is full of enchanting sites.

As we make our way around the Carros de Foc circuit, we will stop and stay in 5 different mountain huts: Saboredo, Restanca, Ventosa y Calvell, Estany Llong and Colomina. Each hut has its own charm and seems to be in a more picturesque setting than the last. In addition to being an ideal place to rest and relax, the huts will also be preparing all of our meals. You can count on delicious breakfasts, boxed lunches and hot dinners daily.

On this multi-day, hut-to-hut trek on the Carros de Foc, or “Chariots of Fire”, we will see the very best of the Aigüestortes National Park. There are far too many incredible sites to list here, but a few of the highlights include:

Lake Sant Maurici (St. Maurice Lake), the most prominent glacial lake in the park

Els Encantats, a twin-peaked mountain towering over St. Maurice Lake

Colomers Cirque, a spectacular amphitheater-like valley doted with glacial lakes of all shapes and sizes

-The needle-like Agulles d’Amitges peaks

-All four regions of the park: Alta Ribagorza, Valle de Aran, Pallars Sobirá and Pallars Jussá

Besiberri Massif, a mountain massif with several 3000m+ peaks

Monestero Valley

Along the Carros de Foc, we will see many of the 200 lakes located within Catalonia’s only national park.  We will also trek through lush pine forests and admire the many stunning peaks that rise within Aigüestortes. 

At the huts, we will revel in the mountain life as we awaken with the sunrise each morning. In the evenings, we will enjoy a tasty meal in the company of new friends and old as the sun sets over this one-of-a-kind landscape in the Pyrenees.

This multi-day trek along the Carros de Foc is suitable for fit trekkers. Every August, I lead this group trek with 4-8 participants from around the world. I speak Spanish, Castilian, French and English, so hopefully we won’t have any languages barriers!

For more details, please see the detailed, day-by-day itinerary below. While we will follow this itinerary as closely as possible, please keep in mind that some details may change due to weather or other circumstances.

I lead tours all over the world, but this trek in the Spanish Pyrenees is especially close to my heart. I would love to have you join me on this incredible tour of the Aigüestortes National Park. The Carros de Foc is something you will never forget. Click on “Request to book” to get in touch with me, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

If you would like to organize a private tour, please contact me directly for more information and prices.

You can click here to access my profile and see a complete list of the trips I currently have on offer. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Price per person

 
Group of 1
1100 EUR

Group of 2
1100 EUR

Group of 3
840 EUR

Group of 4
710 EUR

Group of 5
640 EUR

Group of 6
580 EUR

Group of 7
545 EUR

Group of 8
520 EUR

 

Price includes

 
  • Guiding fee
  • Accommodation
  • Personal Insurance
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 This is the price to join my group tour. Breakfasts, box lunches and hot dinners are included in the price, with the exception of lunch on the first day. Please bring a sack lunch to enjoy on the trail the first day. The mountain huts offer additional products and services such as beverages, hot showers, etc. that are NOT included in the price of this trip.
 

Itinerary

 
  • Day 1Espot - St. Maurice Lake - Lake Ratera - Saboredo Hut
    • 4 hours
    • 10 kilometers
    • 620m,  300m
    • Easy

    We will meet in Espot in the morning and travel together to St. Maurice Lake. With a view of the Els Encantats mountain, we will start walking leisurely through the forest toward the Amidges Hut. From here, we will follow a trail upward to Lake Ratera. A short decent will land us at our first destination: the Saboredo Hut, where we will spend the night.

    Remember that lunch on the first day is not included. Please bring your own sack lunch to enjoy on the trail.

  • Day 2Saboredo Hut - Crestada Col - Restanca Hut
    • 6:30 hours
    • 13.5 kilometers
    • 958m,  1249m
    • Intermediate

    This section of the trail is more difficult than the previous section. From the Saboredo Hut, we will traverse the Sendrosa Col in order to reach the Colomers Cirque. The descent from this col is steep and rocky in parts.

    Before entering the Colomers Cirque, we will sidetrack a bit in order to see Long Lake and Lac Major de Colomers. We will admire the view of the lakes and nearby refugio before continuing onward.

    From here, we will gradually ascend Port de Ribereta, Port de Caldes and Coll de Crestada (Crestada Col). This is a beautiful path that only gets better as we begin our descent toward Lake Restanca and the Restanca Hut below.

     

  • Day 3Restanca Hut - Ventosa y Calvell Hut
    • 3 hours
    • 6 kilometers
    • 604m,  372m
    • Easy

    We will give our legs a bit of a rest today with a shorter, less difficult hike. From the Restanca Hut, we will ascend higher into the mountain and once again cross the Crestada Col. From here, a gradual descent will bring us to the inviting Ventosa y Calvell Hut.

  • Day 4Ventosa y Calvell Hut - Contraix Col - Estany Llong Hut
    • 9 hours
    • 8.7 kilometers
    • 834m,  1033m
    • Difficult

    Today will be our longest and most challenging day on this trek. Fortunately, it also happens to be the day with the best scenery!

    After climbing our way through scattered boulders, a steep ascent will take us up to the Contraix Col (2748m). This is the highest point we will reach during our 6-day trek.

    From the col, we will carefully descend toward the Sant Nicolau Valley, pausing frequently to take in the remarkable views. Following a short uphill climb from the valley, we will have arrived at the Estany Llong Hut tired, but thoroughly satisfied.

  • Day 5Refugio Estany Llong - Dellui Col - Colomina Hut
    • 4:30 hours
    • 11.6 kilometers
    • 845m,  440m
    • Easy

    From the Estany Llong Hut, we will slowly rise above the valley as we walk through a pine forest. As we advance along the trail, we will see one glacial pond after the next, until reaching the Dellui Col.

    Atop the col, we will have an impressive view of the trail ahead. Winding between glacial lakes interspersed with boulders, we will eventually reach Estany Tort. From this lake, we will follow old railroad tracks and climb up to the final hut on our itinerary: the Colomina Hut.

  • Day 6Colomina Hut - St. Maurice Lake - Espot
    • 8 hours
    • 15 kilometers
    • 917m,  1043m
    • Intermediate

    On our final day, we will reluctantly set off on the last leg of our journey in the Aigüestortes National Park. We will pass the beautiful glacial lakes of Colomina and transit the Pas de L’os. Once we reach the Estany Negre de Peguera and the Josep M. Blanc Hut, we will start to trek uphill toward Monestero.

    As we ascend Monestero, we will climb over boulders and reach the Estany Gran de Peguero. From this lake, a few short steps will land us at the top of hill. At this point, we will begin our descent through a forest to St. Maurice Lake, effectively completing our circuit.

    Upon arrival, taxis will be waiting to take us back to Espot.

    Please keep in mind that the transfers to and from St. Maurice Lake are NOT included.

 
 

Other details

 
Skill level required

Intermediate

Fitness level required

Fit

Meeting point

Espot, Spain

Accommodation

Mountain huts with shared, dormitory style accommodation and shared bathrooms (or outhouses)

More info

The staff at the mountain huts will do their best to accommodate any special dietary needs. Please let me know in advance if you require special meals.

You can opt to purchase a pass to be stamped at each of the huts we visit along the way. This pass costs €19 and includes a trail map and an exclusive Carros de Foc cap.

 

About the Guide

 
 

I am an insatiable adventure traveler, tirelessly addicted to the mountain. I have long since traded pen and ink for my backpack and boots.

Skiing is one of my greatest passions, and I have been a ski instructor for more than 15 years. During the winter months, I am willing to work just about anywhere in the world where there is snow. I am also a lifelong mountain enthusiast. In 2009, I started my professional career guiding trips both nationally here in Spain (in the Pyrenees) and internationally.

I am affable and quite talkative, if I do say so myself. As a guide, I thoroughly enjoy sharing experiences and exchanging life stories with fellow travelers and adventurers.

 
 
 

 

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