Snowshoeing in the Catalan Pyrenees

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Snowshoe the valleys and forests of the remote Catalan Pyrenees; enjoy traditional cuisine and local hospitality.

Who is it for?

The Catalan Pyrenees provide a dramatic setting for snowshoeing, far away from the more frequented routes. During our stay in the traditional Spanish village of Rialp we experience the beauty and tranquillity of the Pallars Sobira` region, as well as its cultural heritage. Walks through ancient forests, across valleys and through tiny forgotten villages are complemented by the visit to a local producer of cheese. All this surrounded by soaring peaks and extraordinary views in the company of an expert local guide.

  • 7 nights traditional mountain hotel, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days guided snowshoeing
  • Snowshoes and poles provided
  • Countries visited: Spain

Way to Travel: Guided Group

Group size: 4–14

Min age: 16

Price

From CA$2 475

Highlights

  • Snowshoe the valleys and forests of Pallars Sobira
  • Walk up to high passes of the Aiguestortes National Park
  • Learn about cheese and wool production, enjoy wine tasting
  • Visit and stay in remote mountain villages

Program

If you are unable to meet the group at the airport, the trip will begin in Rialp, a small village set at 725m altitude, with only 629 full time residents.

Hotel Victor or similar

Meals included: dinner

A 10 minute transfer takes us to our start point, where Roní and Port-Ainé ski resort are linked, for a day exploring the Santa Magdalena Valley. Crossing deep forests and ridges we admire some of the highest peaks of Catalonia.

The day finishes with a transfer back to our hotel (approx 20 mins), where our guide will provide you with more information about the Pyrenees area. For instance you will hear about Tírvia – a village destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, where the last Cathar was arrested. There will be time to explore this village on the following day.

Distance: 6km/ Elevation gain: 450m/ Duration: 5 hours including breaks.

Hotel Victor or similar

Meals included: breakfast lunch dinner

The scenic village of Farrera is just a 30 minute transfer and is a great location to begin our walk. Today our route takes us through the La Coma Valley. Here we find numerous ‘bordes’ or shepherd’s huts, used to keep cattle and store feed. Traversing first deep forests, we pass through two small villages – Farrera and Burg, both of which have fewer than 100 inhabitants. This insight into a traditional way of life in the remote countryside is what makes this walk memorable.

After the walk we transfer back to the Hotel. We will have time for a shower and a deserved rest before visiting a cheese producer, located in Rialp. We will have the opportunity to hear stories about how their products are made and of course try some of them, accompanied with traditional wines of Catalonia.

Distance: 8km/ Elevation gain: 550m/ Duration: 6 hours including breaks.

Hotel Victor or similar

Meals included: breakfast lunch dinner

For the third snowshoe walk of the week we will be in the Espot mountains. Our aim is to reach the Rossell peak (2007m) located on the ridge between the Espot and the Escart valleys. The views from the summit are certainly worth the effort! Our path takes us through El Forcall, a forest of an outstanding beauty, where dwarf mountain pines and silver birches will lead our way. On the ground we can see alpenrose and common bearberry, along with juniper in the sunniest parts.

The day finishes with a transfer back to our hotel (approx 20 mins) where we will have the opportunity to taste some of the local produce, including cheese and sausages from the Pallars Sobirà region, accompanied with wine from the south of Catalonia.

Distance: 12km/ Elevation gain: 500m/ Duration: 5-6 hours including breaks.

Hotel Victor or similar

Meals included: breakfast lunch dinner

After breakfast the rest of the day is free to relax, explore Rialp, visit Son, a village home of a remarkable Romanesque church, or head to the nearby ski resort. Rialp is well connected to Sort and Esterri d’Àneu thanks to local bus lines.

in Esterri d’Àneu you can find an interesting eco museum, set up in 1994 to promote the ecoconservation in the area while in Sort you have the opportunity to visit a museum called The Freedom Trail. It illustrates the story of thousands of people (Jewish, British airplane pilots for instance) who escaped from the Fascist regime during the World War II by crossing the Pyrenees.

Your leader will be able to advise you of your options of how best to spend your free day.

Hotel Victor or similar

Meals included: breakfast

After breakfast we head off to Planes de Son, our starting point today, passing by Son, a nearby village at 1390m famous for its Romanesque bell tower.

On our way to the Fogueruix Pass at 2110m, we get into the Aigüestortes National park and can stop at the Pla de la Font mountain hut and crane our necks at some of the highest peaks in the area that tower above us. The pass itself lies between the Son Valley and the Espot valley. We descend via another route back down to the Planes de Son.

Distance: 11.5km/ Elevation gain: 690m/ Duration: 7 hours including breaks.

Hotel Victor or similar

Meals included: breakfast lunch dinner

Today, our circular walk will take us to the summit of Torreta de l’Orri (2439m), a peak located at the top of the Port-Ainé ski resort. It represents the highest point we will reach during the week and from here we will be rewarded by breathtaking views of Catalonia, and of the other peaks of the Pyrenees.

After having taken some moments to admire the beauty of the area we will follow a crest line to then continue into a dwarf-mountain pine forest called Duc.

NOTE: Depending on weather and snow conditions this loop can be shortened to 9km and the elevation gain will be 371m.

Distance: 14.5km/ Elevation gain: 480m/ Duration: 7 hours including breaks

Hotel Lo Victor or similar

Meals included: breakfast lunch dinner

Our trip finishes today in Rialp.

Meals included: breakfast

Included

  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfers for group flights
  • Snowshoes and poles

Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement

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