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Women at the heart of the Pyrenees


Women at the heart of the Pyrenees

A landscape as extraordinary as that of the Girona Pyrenees is inextricably linked to the local people who have worked it for centuries.

The families that have acted as custodians of the land, farmhouses, communities, animals and forests, local traditions… And women have always been at the heart of these activities, as they still are today, at the helm of activity companies, cooperatives, hotel establishments, restaurants, small farmers…

These are women who love and cherish these mountains and this unique landscape they call home, energising it with their incredible drive, skill and passion for their product. And we’d like to introduce you to a few of them now.


Eva, left, at one of the Training Camps organised by the Els Estudis d'Espinavell Refuge

Women’s sports training camp in the Pyrenees

Eva Martínez  runs the Els Estudis d’Espinavell Refuge and is the founder of Domini d’Isards. She knows the Headwaters of the Rivers Ter and Freser Natural Park like no one else and makes it her mission to come up with a continuous supply of hiking and cycling routes, circuits and guided tours to enable everyone to enjoy it as much as she does.

One of her star initiatives is the Women Runners Training Camp she devised, set to take place for a second year this June and which is already almost fully booked. “It’s a genuine pleasure to organise,” explains Eva. “It’s a course developed by women for women and that creates a really good vibe. It’s getting more and more popular every year.” To begin with, the participants have a chance to stay at the refuge, at an altitude of 1,250 metres. “That’s already a plus for the sportswomen,” she says. During the weekend, the participants take part in all kinds of activities that are specifically tailored to women: hypopressive exercises, customised training loads, nutrition, yoga for women…

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And all set within a fabulous landscape for which respectful and sustainable practices are promoted at all times. “The athletes are treated to incredible views over Alta Garrotxa, Terra de Remences while they are running, they see the north face of Canigó … they run towards the west, as far as Costabona, where they have the entire Pyrenees as a backdrop,” explains Eva.


Beth leading a guided tour of Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park

Specialist hiking and nature trips in La Garrotxa

Beth Cobo is a leading promoter of active tourism in Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. She has been a guide in this natural area for more than 25 years, enthusiastically imparting her extensive local knowledge and discovering new things all the time. As a result of her passion for the region and the success of the tours she runs in this volcanic landscape, she set up Trescàlia, a travel agency that specialises in hiking and nature and that organises trips tailored to the needs of the client. “That’s our area of expertise,” says Beth.

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The women in charge at the alpine ski resorts

Eva and Beth are two of the women in the Pyrenees whose respective projects stand as examples of their drive,conviction , creativity and success. But they are in the company of numerous others, who are also working to promote the region and its economic and social dynamism.

For example, there are several female executives directing the course of the alpine ski resorts in the Girona Pyrenees, resorts that are European leaders in terms of quality with women at the helm. Maite Martí at Masella, Marta Viver in La Molina, Ruth Bober and Laura Costa in Vall de Núria and Carol Torres in Vallter 2000. All driving these world class mountain resorts forward and emphatically reinforcing the presence of women at the heart of the Pyrenees.

Photos: Artur Ribera, Oriol Molas, PTCBG Image Archive


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