Wild Horses, Vacas, and True Beauty
Recounting Valle de Nùria Spain and the highest hostel in Europe
When I think of reasons to get off the beaten path in Spain I can think of few more places to recommend than the Valle de Nuria in Catalunya. Nùria is one of those places that mesmerizes you with its beauty. Everywhere you look nature is at its purest. There are no skyscrappers, no lines of tourists waiting for museums, or kilometers of traffic. Just plain nature.
The Valle de Nùria is located in north-central Catalunya in the Pyrenees mountains. The Pyrenees are a natural land border between France and Catalunya, while Andorra lies somewhere in the center of the two. I recently made my way to Nùria from Girona (Gerona) on my current tour of Spain. Nùria is not a town but rather a place to visit. There are no permanent residents of it although there is a hotel and an albergue (hostel in Spanish). Nùria is a popular skiing destination in the winter months. During the summer months it is a popular hiking destination as it is located on the route of the Pyrenees which goes from the Mediterranean to the Bay of Biscay near País Vascoe.
It is a place where wild horses (caballos sueltos), cows, and mountain goats roam free. A freedom anyone can admire.
Upon arrival in Nùria, I was instantly greeted by its beauty. It took several buses to get to Nùria from Girona but it was definitely worth it. When you get to Ribes de Freser you must take a rail to Valle de Nùria as it is not possible to arrive by car. After, if you wish to stay at the hostel in Nùria, then you need to take a short telecabina ride to the top. Both were beautiful as you get to see the scenery all the way up. (Pictures later)
Como llegar a Nuria?
To arrive in Nuria from Girona or Barcelona:
You have two options:
- (1) Take the bus. The bus company is called Teisa. Alsa does not service Ripoll or Ribes de Freser. You need to buy a bus ticket at the station to Ripoll, then at the station there take the small bus to Ribes. When you arrive at Ribes de Freser you can purchase a ticket there at the station to take the train up the mountain which will bring you to the base level where the telecabina is located. From there, the trip is short. The bus costs around 15-20€ to get to Ribes de Freser. The train company that takes you up to the top is called ADIF and the ticket there will be a combined ticket between that train ride with the telecabina. It takes about 40 minutes.
- (2) Take the train to Ripoll then change from there to Ribes de Freser. It will be a small local van-bus. When you arrive follow the same steps as above. The train company will be Renfe.
- It may seem to be a slightly complicated process to arrive in Nuria, but if you like nature, hiking, and solitude, I’d say it is worth the effort.
Tienes dos opciones:
- (1) Coja el autobus. Hay un servicio de autobus con una empresa que se llama Teisa Bus. Tienes que cogerlo a Ripoll y depués comprar un otro billete para Ribes de Freser. Desde allí podrás subir con el tren y telecabina.
- (2) Coja el tren a Ripoll y después cambia al bus. Llega a Ripoll y compra un billete a Ribes de Freser. Cuando llegarás allí compra otro de tren para subir la montaña. La empresa de tren es Renfe.
- Es un poco complicado pero si buscas algo especial, creo que es vale la pena.
Alojamiento en Nuria
There are only two main options for accommodation in Nuria. One is a hotel that typically services skiers and camps. The other, where I stayed, was the Alberg Pic de l’Àliga. It is the more economical and backpacker friendly place, and it is well connected with many of the hiking trails. Alberg Pic de l’Àliga is also the highest hostel in Europe, with respect to its altitude.
Cuando fuí a Nuria, yo quedé en Alberg Pic de l’Àliga. Es el unico albergue allí y la manera más economico. Ademas este Albergue es el mas alto en todo Europa.
Pyrenees Hiking Routes
From the hostel they have both small and large hiking routes. One that I did took just a few hours. Others can be day hikes or more if you so choose. Many people hike for days in the Pyrenees. When you arrive at the hostel ask for a map of the hiking routes. They have some good and descriptive maps.
Fotos de la vall de Nuria
**Tags: Valle de Nùria Spain, Catalunya Pyrenees, hiking in the Pyrenees, fotos de vall de nuria**