But The Local can reveal that Catalonia now has its first municipality officially worthy to win a coveted spot in the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain.
The town of Bagergue is the latest to join the association, which now numbers 77 towns across the length and breadth of Spain.
While it maybe that many more separatist minded town councils in Catalonia have no wish to count themselves among the “most beautiful towns in Spain” prefering to continue the battle for independence for the region and breakaway from the Spanish state entirely, the people of Bagergue have no such qualms.
The idea to start the association, in 2011, came after the success of its French counterpart and first such group, Les plus beaux villages de la France.
“It is our goal to promote preferably rural and small towns,” the association says on its website.
Town halls can apply for their town to join the list, but only 20 percent make the grade, winning the right to publicize themselves as “one of Spain's prettiest towns”.
To qualify, towns must have a population of under 15,000 and some kind of provable architectural or cultural heritage.
Bagergue is one of 19 towns that were chosen to join the association in 2019 and an official ceremony will take place in the town on Saturday July 27th.
So what's so special about Bagergue?
Located at 1419m, Bagergue is the highest town in the Val d'Aran, a stunning valley on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees which boasts ancient forests, vast alpine meadows and lakes and rivers.
With piles of snow in winter, abundant wildf flowers in spring, refreshing mountain air in summer and a riot of colours in autumn, it is worth visiting at any time of the year.
The town consists of stone buildings with slate roofs and wooden balconies bedecked with flowers, a church dating to the 12th century, a museum celebrating the culture and history of the Val d'Aran. It also boasts the highest cheese factory in the Pyrenees.
Take a look at these images and see for yourself just how picturesque it is:
Bagergue (Val d'Aran, Catalunya) | Descubre los 101 pueblos más bonitos de España con nuestra colección #PetitFuté https://www.alhenamedia.info/es/producto_catalogo_ficha/Los%20101%20pueblos%20m%C3%A1s%20bonitos%20de%20Espa%C3%B1a%20en%2030%20etapas/9788416395460 Asomado al tajo suave que marca el arroyo Unhòla, el caserío se cuela en nuestra ruta por su carácter bucólico, de atmósfera montañesa inalterada, que es también un modo de entender la vida, en total armonía con la espectacular naturaleza que nos rodea. No hay mejor lugar para conocer todos los secretos y detalles de esa filosofía de vida que el Musèu Eth Corrau, una casona tradicional en la calle Mayor, que alberga una colección de más de 2500 piezas relacionadas con la vida cotidiana aranesa. #Bagergue #101PueblosMásBonitos #ValdAran #Pirineo #Pirineus #Aran #Catalunya #Catalonha #Cataluña #NautAran
The inside of the 12th century church of Sant Fèlix:
And the village watering trough:
calafellvalo / /flickr
The town is situated in the most stunning landscape.
Rain or shine?
#rainbow #arcenciel? #arcdesantmarti #arcolan #arcoiris [email protected] de #bagergue #ciclogenesisexplosiva #miguel @esquidemuntanya @hormatgeria_tarrau @bagergue @tabu_baqueira @carmevicens_ceramics @ricardjojo @agurzeb @montsestradacoll @museoethcurrau @eljardidelspomers @marionanosas @little_farres @arifafe
In a blaze of autumnal colour:
With a sprinkling of snow…
Or after a full-on dump: