Does the famous Valle de Arán from which the great freerider Aymar Navarro hails ring a bell? Exact! It is the famous valley that is located in the Pyrenees, specifically in the province of Lérida, in Catalonia. It limits to the north with France and to the southwest with Aragon and as a curiosity: three co-official languages coexist in this territory! These are Aranese, Catalan and Spanish.
It is one of the great attractions that we have in our country and not only because of the number of opportunities that arise there for mountain sports, but also because of the incredible landscapes and immersion in nature that awaits us there! If you want to know what the Valle de Arán is and finally convince yourself to make a short getaway to the mountains, here we will tell you!
The Catalan Pyrenees are full of beautiful valleys that have spectacular landscapes and an invaluable cultural heritage. There is no doubt that the Aran Valley (Val d'Aran) is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Catalonia and an excursion to the Val d'Aran allows you to discover a world apart in Catalonia with a unique culture of Occitan roots and even a language of its own, Aranese. The Valle de Arán was created by the Garonne River, which begins its long journey here to continue towards the Atlantic in French territory.
Among the things to see and do sports tourism in the Aran Valley you will find picturesque villages with Gothic and Romanesque architecture, in summer you can take excursions on foot or by bicycle through spectacular mountains that surround the valley discovering beautiful waterfalls and in winter there is also the possibility of doing activities in the snow: skiing or snowshoeing.
What are the best plans to do in the Aran Valley?
The capital with a village atmosphere: Vielha.
This is the capital of the Valle de Arán and almost 50% of the population of this region lives here. It is a very quiet and charming place, full of things to visit.
The Garonne river divides the city in two and around the river and the main road are the highlights and the best restaurants. Vielha can be reached by direct bus from Barcelona and other cities in Catalonia and Spain. Undoubtedly a beauty hidden among the mountains!
You have to visit its beautiful towns!
Along with the Vall de Boí with its Romanesque churches or the Vall de Nuría with its mythical sanctuary, the Val d'Arán is one of the most culturally significant valleys in Catalan culture.
This valley has its own character and you can see that in the number of old towns that are found in the valley, most of them more than 2. 000 meters high. barely 10. 000 inhabitants inhabit the 33 municipalities of the valley, many of them in tiny towns.
Arties, Bosost and Salardú are perhaps the most notable towns, but it is also worth visiting Canejan, Escunhau, Garós, Unha and Tredós. Also, there is a town that was abandoned by its inhabitants a few decades ago due to the harsh conditions suffered in winter. This is Montgarri, and many consider it one of the most beautiful towns in the area, and great for sports tourism in the Aran Valley!
The beautiful waterfall of Saut Deth Pish
One of the reasons that makes the Vall d'Aran a perfect place for a weekend getaway in Catalonia is the variety of its landscapes. In addition to lush forests, green meadows and steep peaks, the Aran Valley also has some impressive waterfalls. Saut deth Pish which is probably the most emblematic waterfall in the valley. It is actually two waterfalls, the spectacular upper jump is about 20 meters high, and the lower one 5 meters. You surrender to the force of nature when you stand under the upper waterfall and listen to the sonorous noise of the falling water. You can go up a path and see it from above to enjoy it from another perspective. The waterfall is reached by taking the detour from the small town of Pont d'Arròs that enters the narrow Valle de Varradòs to the Plan des Artiguetes from where the waterfall can be reached in a few minutes on foot.
And more jumps inside the Aran Valley!
Another essential waterfall to visit in the Aran Valley is that of the Uelhs deth Joèu whose name means the eyes of the devil. The waterfall is located within a forest of fir and beech trees and is the source of the Joeu River. The water comes out of the mountain between the rocks with great force and energy. It is curious to know that the water that originates from the ice of the Aneto and the Joeu river finally ends in the main river of the Val d'Aran, the Garonne. Uelhs deth Joèu can be reached by taking the paved road that goes up the Joèu river valley from the village of Es Bòrdes.
Walks in summer, skiing in winter.
Here is El Plat de Beret! Near the town of Baqueira is the Pla de Beret, an immense plateau located above 2000 meters. It is the largest plateau in the entire chain of the Catalan Pyrenees and it is a real pleasure to take a simple walk through this place where two very important rivers are born: the Noguera Pallaresa and the Garona as well. In summer the green landscape transmits a lot of tranquility with large groups of cows and horses, while in winter you can enjoy one of the best ski resorts in Spain, the Baqueria-Beret resort.
Aran Park, the famous park in the Pyrenees.
Aran Park, the fauna park of the Valle de Arán, is one of the best proposals to do with the family during the summer months. As a novelty, this year visitors will be able to meet the gray wolf and also a new pair of grouse that arrived last November at the park. Located in the heart of the Pyrenees, in the spectacular Pòrt deth Portilhon, it is home to all kinds of animal species that live in semi-freedom: such as white and gray wolves, bears, deer, lynx, vultures, ibex, otters, marmots and other ungulates of mountains, so characteristic of this area. But don't just think about winter! In the Aran Valley you will also find all the possibilities of adventure sports to do, and excellent for doing the best sports cars in historya.
For lovers of the mountains and hiking in the Aran Valley there are many adapted routes, from the Artiga de Lin and Uelhs deth Joèu route, a simple circular path suitable for the whole family, to the Colomers circus. This is a much more difficult route (about 3.5 hours for the short route) but through which you will walk through magical landscapes surrounded by mountains and lakes. 100% recommended if you like the mountains and are in good shape!
Without a doubt, the Valle de Arán is one of the great treasures of nature that we have in our country, and a fantastic way to disconnect from the city and delve into the interesting world of the mountains , with all the activities and possibilities it offers us!
Have you ever heard of this place? Surely now you want to investigate more about this place and pay a little visit! We love sports touring as much as you do.