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Spanish Pyrenees: Ordesa National Park 24

Spanish Pyrenees: Ordesa National Park Drive & Hike

Overview

The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is one of the most beautiful mountainous areas in Europe, where you will walk through high glacier valleys, deep canyons and vast forests. This is a twin-centre based holiday. First explore the area around the village of Torla doing walks of various ascent and descent, through Ordesa Valley or up toward Bujaruelo on the French border. Then drive south to spend two days at Nerín, walking up to the summer pastures high above the Añisclo Gorge. Transport is by car – own or rental – or we can arrange a private transfer package.

Highlights:

  • The Great Canyon of Ordesa
  • Alpine hiking for all the ages
  • The small village of Torla on the border with France
  • Añisclo Gorge

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Torla

Arrival at a comfortable hotel in the lovely mountain village of Torla, where you will spend the next 4 nights.

Day 2: Bujaruelo Circular Walk

A short drive with your car to the Medieval bridge at Bujaruelo. Choose between a short walk along a landrover track into the Otal Valley or a true alpine hike to a lake on the French border with magnificent views. Return to Torla for an overnight.

  • Walking for the day: longer option – 13 km, 5-6 hours, ↑300 m ↓1000 mshorter option – 10 km, 4-5 hours, ↑300 m ↓1000 m
  • Overnight in a 2-star hotel in Torla (Hotel Villa de Torla or similar)

Day 3: The Great Canyon of Ordesa

An absolute classic from the local walking repertoire awaits today with a 700 m ascent on a zig-zag path up to the Mirador Calcilarruego (1950 m), then following the Senda de Los Cazadores to the end of the valley. You will enjoy continuous panoramic views over the Great Canyon of Ordesa, as it rises in steps to the north against the backdrop of high peaks silhouetted in the distance. Optional extension of the route to Refugio de Goriz.

  • Walking for the day: longer option – 28 km, 10 hours, ↑500 m ↓1250 mshorter option – 20 km, 6 hours, ↑500 m ↓1250 m
  • Overnight in a 2-star hotel in Torla (Hotel Villa de Torla or similar)

Day 4: Torla Circular Walk

A charming route to the east of Torla, in which you ascend to enjoy panoramic views over Bujaruelo and Ordesa Valleys. If you prefer to take it easy today, or if the weather is not the best, you may choose to do a shorter valley walk to three historical villages: Fragen, Oto and Broto.

  • Walking for the day: longer option – 16 km, 6 hours, ↑850 m ↓900 mshorter option – 11 km, 4 hours, ↑230 m ↓230 m
  • Overnight in a 2-star hotel in Torla (Hotel Villa de Torla or similar)

Day 5: Añisclo Gorge

Pack your luggage and drive to the village of Nerín, where you will stay for the next 2 nights. Today’s route starts directly from your new hotel. You walk to the village of Secué then descend to the Añisclo Gorge, deeply cut into the massif and kept fresh and green by numerous streams year-round. There you choose between doing a route along the gorge or walking the pilgrimage trail to St. Urbez, which circles back to Nerín. If you do not like heights, you can opt to begin your route at the car park in St Urbez and thus avoid the steep, exposed descent from Secué. 

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 6 hours, ↑750 m ↓750 m
  • Overnight in a rural hotel in Nerín (Hotel Palazio or similar)

Day 6: Nerín Circular Walk

Today you will enjoy a truly alpine walk to the grassy Biñuales plateau with dazzling views over the Añisclo Gorge then further on to Cuello Arenas Pass, the gateway to the Monte Perdido Massif. There is also an option of doing the ascent to Mondoto Peak (1962 m).

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 6-7 hours, ↑775 m ↓775 m
  • Overnight in a rural hotel in Nerín (Hotel Palazio or similar)

Day 7: Departure or Onward Travel

End of your journey after breakfast. Departure or you can extend your stay to explore the region further.

What to Expect

Hotels

On this walking holiday, you will be staying at charming rural hotels in en-suite rooms, family rooms are also available. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. Hotel Villa de Torla is in the main square of the village, surrounded by an amazing natural landscape and charming urban views; it also has a swimming pool. Hotel Palazio is located at 1281m of altitude in the very heart of the National Park of Ordesa & Monte Perdido.

Sample hotels*: Hotel Villa de Torla (Torla), Hotel Palazio (Nerín)

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfasts and dinners are included. Pack lunches can be bought in the villages or ordered directly at your accommodation from the night before.

Getting there

Our recommended arrival and departure airports for this holiday are Zaragoza, Barcelona El Prats, Bilbao and Girona.

This tour is designed for using your own or rented car. In case you do not wish to rent a car you can use public transport to get there. Journey time from Barcelona can take about 8 hours, from Zaragoza – about 4 hours. From Barcelona, you can take the train to Zaragoza and continue to Sabinanigo. From Sabinanigo you can take the bus to Torla. For more information about the train schedule, please visit Renfe. For bus information, please visit Avanza.

The train journey from London to Barcelona takes about 10 hours (see more details).

From Nerín you should take a taxi to Sabinanigo, from where you can continue by bus or train to Zaragoza.

A package including private transfers from/to Jaca station and all transfers during the tour is available upon request and recommendable in case you don’t rent a car.

Difficulty and navigation

Moderate day walks are interspersed with some slightly strenuous sections, 4-6 hours on average on hilly to mountainous areas using well kept sometimes stony paths. Good level of fitness and some hiking experience is required (read more about difficulty grades).

The paths are well marked and easy to follow. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available all year round, the recommended best travel time is from the beginning of May until the end of October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date within the season.

In general, the climate is typically Pyrenean – alpine cold climate, but also variable in function of the altitude and orientation, oscillating between the continental sub-Mediterranean zones in the lower parts and Boreal-Alpine climate in the highlands. In this part of the range, winds blow from the humid Atlantic north, creating cooler, cloudier and wetter conditions on the French side. The southern-facing Spanish side, where most of the walking takes place, sits in the rain shadow and enjoys a much better climate, usually dry and sunny during the summer, although during July and August thunderstorms often develop late in the day. The very best months to come are from early June to mid-July when the conditions are typically the most stable, temperatures are pleasant, and most snow has usually melted from the highest parts of our trails. There are also tons of flowers! Late July and August are hot, although cool at night. September is cooler and increasingly wetter, while October can be quite wet and is usually the limit since soon snow will begin to fall at the higher elevations. Remember that on most routes you will usually be hiking above the overnight bases and therefore temperatures will be considerably cooler, and rainfall will be more frequent and heavier accompanied by cold winds. The temperatures In Torla and Nerin are as follows: May-June, highs range from 17.5ºC to 31.5ºC and lows range from 5ºC – 16.5ºC; in July-August, highs range from 22.5ºC to 33.5ºC and lows range from 9ºC – 17.5ºC.

Inclusions

Included

  • Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you before departure and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site
  • 6 nights in cosy rural hotels in ensuite rooms
  • Half board (6 breakfast and 6 dinners)
  • Transfer to the trailhead on day 4
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Flights, airport transfers and other public transport
  • Lunches
  • Any transfers, except the transfer to the trailhead on day 4
  • Luggage transfer when changing hotels on day 5 – unless you book the optional transfer package
  • Shuttle bus to the park entrance during summer, when the car park is closed (approx. 7,- euros p.p.)
  • Car rental
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Supplements, options and extras

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable.
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost
  • Optional extra nights
  • Transfer package including:
    – Transfer Jaca station – Torla
    – Return transfer Torla – Bujaruelo
    – Return transfer Torla – Pradera de Ordesa
    – Transfer Torla car park at turning for Ermita de San Antón
    – Transfer + luggage Torla – Nerín
    – Transfer Nerín – Jaca station

Map

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