In Pyrenees

Words and Photography by Pete Heck

Dalene and I talk about solo travel every so often. I have a tough time even thinking of being apart from her for more than a day, but an opportunity presented itself when we would be traveling to the Catalonia region of Spain. After we had spent a few days in the Barcelona Province exploring I was presented with an opportunity.

I was first asked to cycle from the Pyrenees mountains to Costa Brava, approximately 160 kilometers in just over 4 days. Dalene, not so keen on this type of torture, decided that she would stay back and enjoy what Girona had to offer. Both lucky and unlucky circumstances arose for me after we arrived in Spain, as I was asked to change my plans of cycling countless kilometers and instead join a group of bloggers to indulge in some luxury while being exposed to everything the Pyrenees region had to offer. Over the course of four days I would be served some of the best local food from the region, be shown some incredible sights, and experience Catalonian hospitality at its finest.

When I was scheduled to cycle and struggle my way through the Pyrenees, I knew I would be in my element and the story from that experience would come naturally. But with the change in plan and without Dalene by my side to connect the words describing what an amazing region this is, I knew I had to do something different.

So instead, I will let my camera tell the tale.

Without Dalene by my side to connect the words, I knew I had to do something different.

The Food

Catalonian Fast Food

Lunch with Chef Pep Nogué and learning about Catalonian fast food.

The Catalonians take food seriously. Trends in the region include fusing of original recipes that date back hundreds of years with new age techniques. Our group spent an afternoon with Chef Pep Nogué and he explained that fast food to Catalonians is not the greasy spoons that we’re used to. It’s fresh, organic ingredients grown locally and brought to the table quick and nearly effortless.

Floral Salad

Floral salad from Quinta Justa Restaurant in Olot.


A selection of homemade cheeses.

Catalonian Cuisine

Catalonian Truffles

Truffles from Can Jeroni in Beget.

Traditional Catalonian Bread

Artisan bread from Ca Nasi Bakery.

The People

Accordion Player

Amadeu Rosell the accordion player in Beget.

A region deep in history and customs, the Catalonians are always full of emotion. They are proud of their history, their music, their food, and they fully embrace it.

Guitar Player

A performance by Mònica Bargalló

Catalonian Music

Mònica Bargalló

Catalonian Baker

Making bread with Estevan from Ca Nasi Bakery.

Gin and Tonic Master

The Gin and Tonic Master at Hotel els Caçadors

Wine and Cheese

Wine and cheese tasting at Molí de Ger

The Landscape

Vall de Nuria

Panoramic view of Vall de Nuria

Undoubtedly the main reason I was excited to visit the region was for the big landscapes. From the Costa Brava to the majestic Pyrenees mountains the landscapes change ever so quickly giving a photographer countless opportunities to find inspiration.

Beget, Catalonia

Charming town of Beget



Church in Forest

Church in the forest.

Rush of Water

The Horse Tail waterfall.

Morning Above the Pyrenees

Pyrenees Silhouette

Pyrenees Vineyards

The Activities

Spending only five days exploring the Pyrenees region was merely a small taste. Early one morning the group and I gently floated above the clouds on a balloon flight above the Garoxta volcanic region with the Pyrenees highlighting the horizon. The next day we rode horses through the Catalonian countryside. We followed that up by hiking trails popular through the Val de Nuria. Before I knew it, the five days had passed. I was astonished and exhausted.

Despite being rushed from town to town and activity to activity, there was so much more that we didn’t have the chance to do. It’s the sort of place that offers so much I could keep coming back and find new things to do.

Hot Air Lift Off

Hot air ballooning with Vol de Coloms

Birds Eye View of Pyrenees

In Pyrenees Crew

The “#InPyrenees” crew.

Pyrenees Horse Ride

Pyrenees Horse

Hiking Pyrenees

Hecktic Sauvignon

Planting our own wine. Two years from now – Hecktic Sauvignon.

Beauty Everywhere

The region speaks for itself. Sheer beauty.

Fields of Poppies

Orchid Hunters

Orchid hunting in the mountains.

Moss on Steps

Church Light

Pyrenees Sunset

Many Thanks

Many thanks to the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees Tourism Board, Turisme Garrotxa, Turisme Olot, and Ripolles Tourism for organizing and hosting me on this trip.

In addition thank you to all the partners who made this trip possible including: Restaurants: Ca Nasi bakery, Chef Pep Nogué, Quinta Justa Restaurant, Can Jeroni, Can Jepet, Can Jordi, Cal Cofa Restaurant, and El Caçadors. Accommodations: Mas Garganta, El Rourevell, Hotel Resguard, and Hotel del Prado. Activities: Wine and Cheese tasting at Molí de Ger, Horseback riding at Mas Rodonell Stables, Cycling with Bici Carrill, hot air ballooning with Vol de Coloms, and hiking through the Pyrenees in Vall de Nuria.

13 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Mom
    June 1 2015

    Your camera did indeed tell the story.
    Great post Pete.

  • Ellen
    June 1 2015

    I am mentally ready…..this place is ringing chimes within my soul! Now…..the wherewithal to go and BE there!

  • June 2 2015

    Beautiful pictures, and definitely some place that I need to take my camera to one day. It looks absolutely gorgeous.
    Steve recently posted..TSR Rewind: Remembering May, 2015

  • Laura
    June 2 2015

    Absolutely stunning photography. Really beautiful.

  • The images are amazing! Especially the first one with the opulent table with cheese, wine an bread. Also the one with the horses.
    Izy Berry – The Wrong Way Home recently posted..Why you should take up Photography

  • June 4 2015

    Wow, those pictures really tell of an amazing adventure, cuisine and landscape – just stunning!
    noel recently tour in Paris

  • Jen
    June 6 2015

    I was in Catalonia last year and need to get back something fierce. Beautiful shots! Thanks for the dose of nostalgia!

  • Violette
    June 7 2015

    Your photos are stunning Pete, I wish mine could be as good ! And the food looks A-mazing as well. Need to go to Catalonia !

  • June 7 2015

    Pictures that speak, touch and converse with the soul. Wow.
    Arti recently posted..Planning Melbourne Itinerary >> 72 Hours in Melbourne: A Guide!

  • June 8 2015

    It does look incredibly beautiful. I had intended spending 5 days there a couple of years ago but as I was travelling by myself and on a budget it was going to be too hard to get around as the transport isn’t the best and I didn’t have the money to hire a car by myself. I will definitely make it there one day though!
    Katie recently posted..Summer in Alaska: My Itinerary

  • Absolutely gorgeous. You did an amazing job of capturing the beauty of the region.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..Back Where We Started: Our Next Amazing Adventure!

  • June 17 2015

    You have no idea how much this makes me miss Spain! Great photos as always guys. 🙂

  • July 4 2015

    These photos are stunning. Specially the food and the one with the mystical mountains.

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