The GR11 in the Spanish Pyrenees

The Catalan Pyrenees are the mountain range at its most beautiful, and often at its quietest. Spain’s long distance GR11 trail runs from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, and is quieter than the French equivalent, the GR10, but equally memorable. From Setcases, the path snakes northeast towards the border, feeding those who venture into these remote reaches a continual diet of valleys and panoramic vistas of peaks. Cattle and horses are your main company here, grazing in the green valleys and by small mountain tarns, the sound of doleful cowbells occasionally murmuring, while granite spires loom nearby. And then you reach France. There’s something poetically satisfying about crossing from one country to the next on your own steam. The border a small marker, you look around, the rugged peaks still reaching upwards, the beech-forested valley extending in front of you, and start your trek on French soil.

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