The best route in the Spanish Pyrenees

We had been planning for a long time to do one of the greatest multi-day hikes in Europe, the Carros de Foc (Fire Chariots, the literal translation), a fantastic circular trail that goes through the most beautiful part of the Spanish Pyrenees, the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. If you complete the full circuit in the recommended 5 to 7 days, depending on your physical form, you will have the chance to see the most beautiful lakes and mountains of the Catalan part of the Pyrenees mountain chain. Nevertheless, if you don't feel prepared for such a long and exhausting trail, you have the chance to get a taste of this experience and cover part of the trail in a circular 3-day route. This way, you will have the chance to enjoy the fascinating landscape and the atmosphere of mountain refuge houses. Here, we will tell you all the details of this variant of this magnificent experience in the high mountains of the Catalan Pyrenees.This circular variant of the Carros de Foc in 3 days starts in the small Pyrenean village of Espot. We started the hike in Espot very early in the morning to have the full day to enjoy this wonderful natural environment. In addition, rain can always be expected in the Pyrenees in the afternoon, therefore it's better to start the route as early as possible. The trail is well indicated with the red and white signs of the GR footpath that has to be followed the whole day.After leaving Espot it's easy to find the trail that follows the Peguera River that gradually ascends inside a pine forest, and although you will have to overcome quite a slope, the trail is not especially difficult. After the pine trees you will find yourself on a large meadow, while you get more and more deep into the valley.The views start to become more astonishing and Espot becomes a small spot on the horizon. You will pass near a small lake called Estany de Lladres (Lake of Thieves), while from some other points of the trail you will have the chance to look down on other small lakes, sucha as Estany de Trescuro and Estany de la Cabana. Although this part of the route officially doesn’t belong to the Carros de Foc itinerary, you can already notice the typical alpine landscape of the Pyrenees and the Aigüestortes National Park. After about 3 hours of hiking you will find yourself in front of your eyes the beautiful alpine lake of Estany Tort de Peguera and Refuge Joan Maria Blanc. This mountain refuge has probably the most amazing location we have ever encountered on a small peninsula surrounded by this beautiful crystal clean lake. You can spend the afternoon having some rest before the exhaustive day waiting for you on the following day and simply enjoying this unique natural surrounding. It’s worth to climb some of the rocks near the refuge to have a great view of the lake, which is especially spectacular at sunset, when you will think that you have been transported into a real fairy tale. These are some of the most fascinating views of the Pyrenees that we have ever had the chance to see.