If you are looking for adventure sports in Barcelona, nearby, the Catalan Pyrenees offer a wide range of outdoor activities in the heart of nature —woods with leaves that turn from the verdant colours of spring to autumnal reds, yellows and ochres, majestic peaks and more than 400 natural lakes— so you can enjoy (or learn) your favourite adventure sports. You can enjoy a day away from Barcelona but, if you prefer, you can stay at one of the welcoming hotels and rural B&Bs in the region.
The feeling of jumping into space in a parachute from an altitude of 4,000 meters is unique and it's well worth trying even if it's only once in your lifetime. Reconnaissance flights in a light aircraft, individual or tandem parachute jumps are just some of the opportunities on offer so you can experience the feeling of floating on air while you enjoy the breathtaking views of Golf de Roses and Cap de Creus, where the Pyrenees touch the sea.
Climbing to the top of a peak is always a source of satisfaction for climbers. The Catalan Pyrenees have several legendary mountains for seasoned climbers that stand at an altitude of almost 3,000 metres, such as Peguera (2,938 m), Monestero (2,877 m), Pedraforca (2,506 m) and Pica d'Estats (3,143 m); and others that anyone can attempt to climb: Puigmal (2,910 m), Puigpedrós (2,914 m) and Bastiments (2,881 m). Any one you choose will guarantee you enjoy nature at its best.
MBT and cycle touring
There are seven MBT centres in the Catalan Pyrenees. Each one offers 200 km of signposted routes of different levels of difficulty. Cycle tourists can also explore an extensive network of signposted trails and paths, rural byways and local roads with hardly any traffic where you can enjoy physical exercise in the open air as well as cycling.
Jump from pool to pool, slide down the rocks, abseil down a ravine …, canyoning is a fun sport if you do it safely. You'll find countless rivers in the Catalan Pyrenees that are perfect for this sport as well as companies that will provide you with the necessary equipment and professional instructors to keep you safe.
The gravity-defying rock faces challenge climbers to keep their balance along marked itineraries that guarantee a safe and successful ascent. The sides of the Terradets and Pedraforca ravines have been used as practice sites for different types of climbing. Are you daring enough?
Mountains don't just have high peaks; they also have caves that enable you to delve into the depths of the Earth. Try your hand at exploring the caverns where primitive man once lived or discover animals that prefer to live in the dark. A magical world of geological formations straight out of a fairy tale.
The riding centres in the Catalan Pyrenees offer activities for everyone, from beginners to experienced riders. Masters of the reins can go trekking for one or several days and spend the night in rural B&Bs with stables. They also run courses for beginners.
The landscape is transformed in a surprising way from the air. A hot-air balloon is the best way to see it although you'll have to get up early because the winds are more stable at these times. There are several balloon bases in the Catalan Pyrenees which offer rides for first-time flyers or longer trips. When you're back on the ground a breakfast of hearty mountain fare awaits you with a glass of cava.
Where: Globus Kon-Tiki
The Noguera Pallaresa has been recognised as the best river in Europe for rafting. In spring, when the snow begins to thaw, several companies offer their services for all kinds of water sports, including hydrospeeding, kayaking and canoeing. The river hosts the White Water World Championship.
Other water sports
Water is sheer fun and the Catalan Pyrenees offer a wide range of possibilities for you to enjoy it. The many reservoirs in the region give you the chance to go rowing, water-skiing and sailing in their peaceful waters.
The Cap de Creus, the furthermost tip of the Catalan Pyrenees, is a landscape of rocks eroded by the tramontana wind and saltpetre, and was painted by Dalí in many of his works. Kayaking on the sea in this iconic landscape is an absolute delight.
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