Spend a magical night at a traditional village festival, enjoy the thrills of white-water sports, walk along one of the few unspoiled canyons in Catalonia, or hike through spectacular landscapes!
It is midnight in a remote hamlet in the Pyrenees, with all the lights turned off. Suddenly, a procession of men bearing burning branches or saplings (falles) starts to zigzag down the mountain towards the village. The summer solstice and the arrival of the good weather are celebrated in many such places with a ritual torch lit descent from the mountains.
Local youths climb up to a spot in the mountains where a pine tree had been previously planted, set the falles ablaze, and start the descent. On reaching the village, they light a huge bonfire to the accompaniment of music, folk dances, and general carousing. The age-old ritual, first documented in the 11th century, is associated with an ancient sun-worshipping cult, and the tradition of thanking the gods for plentiful harvests and the arrival of the summer. Join in the fun and enjoy a magic night of fire, music, and merrymaking.
The following day, you will feel tired but happy after experiencing one of the Pyrenean Fire Festivals, listed as UNESCO Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in November 2015. Most of these festivals are held in summer, such as the torch lit descents in Durro, Senet, Vilaller, El Pont de Suert, Barruera, Boí, Erill la Vall and Taüll (Alta Ribagorça County). Similar events take place in Isil (Pallars Sobirà County), in Andorra, and at the Taro festival in Arties and the Haro festival in Les (both in Val d’Aran). The Fia-Faia festivals in Bagà and Sant Julià de Cerdanyola (in Berguedà County) are held on Christmas Eve.