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Did you know that... The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, it is located in the Aragonese Pyrenees, in the north of the province of Huesca, in the Sobrarbe region. It includes the municipalities of Bielsa, Broto, Fanlo, Puértolas, Tella-Sín and Torla-Ordesa. In August 1918 it was declared a National Park under the name of "Valle de Ordesa", and in July 1982 it was extended and reclassified under the current name of Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park. Erosive agents such as water and ice, although we should not underestimate the action of the wind, have been responsible for moulding and chiselling the landscape that we can see today in the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park. These brave architects of the relief of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park have given it a complex orography, the main characteristic of its landscape. Deep valleys and canyons, such as Escuaín or Añisclo, protected by an impressive succession of ridges and needles. A complex system of caves, caverns, chasms and underground rivers watched over by peaks such as Tres Sorores or Treserols, Monte Perdido, Cilindro and Pico de Añisclo "Soum de Ramond", are just a small example of the jewels that this National Park treasures.

National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido Cola de Caballo Waterfall

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A little more history

An extreme climate, great unevenness and prolonged isolation until relatively recently, have been decisive in the historical evolution of the place and its people. There are traces of human presence in the area of the park since the Upper Palaeolithic. The people of the Pyrenees were subject only to their own rules, those that allowed each one to subsist. The main thing was the rivalries and agreements between the people of one valley and another, whether Spanish or French, it was necessary for the shepherds of Torla and Gavarnie, the people of Barèges and Broto to understand each other, so the wars between these two countries were secondary reasons for concern and disruption in their daily lives. The people of these mountains created commonwealths, regulations, pacts and treaties in order to make the most of what nature offered them while maintaining a balance with the natural environment. For centuries, these pacts were the basis and foundation of life in these mountains.

National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido, Añisclo Canyon

What to see in Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park?

Before discovering the natural charms that the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park has to offer, what better than to visit its villages that appear to defy the forces of nature where they are immersed while at the same time mimicking it. Villages such as Bielsa, Fanlo, Puertólas, Tella-Sin, Torla and Broto, among others, whose houses boast typical Alto Aragonese architecture, with sandstone slab roofs, stone walls, conical chimneys or simply "chamineras" in Aragonese, crowned by the "espantabrujas" stone. The room in which these fireplaces are located serves as a kitchen and a living room. The hearth is located in the centre, on a wide flat stone or a slab, and around the hearth there is a bench, the cadiera, where long chats can be held on winter days. In a National Park such as Ordesa y Monte Perdido, a natural paradise, a true botanical mountain garden, where the landscape shows us great contrasts, from the extreme aridity of the karstic soils of the higher areas, where rain and melt water seeps through cracks and sinkholes, to beautiful narrow valleys where the water flows creating impressive waterfalls and ravines with exuberant vegetation. Where, in just a few metres of unevenness, you go from the greenness of its proliferating flora, from large pine and beech forests to alpine meadows, to the white of the snow on the summits. And where chamois, deer, amphibians such as the Pyrenean newt live and coexist, as well as numerous birds and, as good lookouts, the bearded vulture, with a large wingspan, or the golden eagle, soaring through the sky. In such a National Park, there is not a corner that is not worth seeing, equipped with a camera and binoculars, on a quiet visit.

Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Torla

What to do in Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park?

Crossed by the GR-11 trans-Pyrenean route, in the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park we can enjoy walking along one of its hiking routes which in any of its four sectors will take us to spectacular places such as the Escuaín Gorge and its magnificent viewpoints in Revilla, the waterfalls of the Cinca river that descend through the Pineta valley, the Añisclo Canyon and its famous viewpoint, without forgetting the Bujaruelo valley and its photographed bridge. But undoubtedly one of the places that receives most visitors is the Ordesa valley and its busy route that goes from the Ordesa meadow to the Cola de Caballo waterfall, passing through the Estrecho waterfall and the Gradas de Soaso. We can also walk along its upper part, following the famous Senda de los Cazadores (Hunters' Path) and enjoy the viewpoints of Ordesa. For the most daring mountaineers, the most emblematic summits such as Monte Perdido, Las Tres Sorores, Las Tres Marías, Castillo Mayor, Punta de las Olas, Ramond, Cilindro, Astazú, Pico de Pineta, Marboré, Torre, Casco, Taillón... will be their dream activities. After visiting the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park we will always want to do and see more things and places, there will always be the feeling of having left something for the next visit.

Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park Pineta Valley

Traditions

The people who live in the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park have managed to preserve, in addition to a popular architecture that has given their villages a characteristic mountain character, many deep-rooted traditions. Customs, festivities and pilgrimages that are still maintained today and that give them a traditional character. Singular pilgrimages such as that of San Úrbez, livestock fairs, cultural festivals, or striking carnivals, such as the one in Bielsa, revive and brighten up life in these places and at the same time attract tourists and visitors.

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Curiosities

The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is the largest limestone mountain massif in Western Europe. The valleys of Añisclo, Escuaín, Ordesa and Pineta, which are the four main sectors of the park, originate from the Monte Perdido massif.

Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park Bujaruelo

Useful information for visiting the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park

Each of the four sectors of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park has its own information offices:

  • Añisclo Sector: Escalona Information Point. Fanlo Information Centre. San Úrbez Information Point.
  • Escuain sector: Tella Visitor Centre. Escuain Information Centre.
  • Pineta sector: Bielsa information point "Casa Larraga". Pineta information point.
  • Ordesa sector: Torla-Ordesa Visitor Centre and Information Point. Information Point "La Pradera".

In general, it is in the Ordesa sector where we will find the most access limitations:

  • During the summer months, Easter and some bank holidays, there is a bus service to access the Ordesa sector of the Ordesa Meadow. It is advisable to consult the official calendar and fares for the current year.
  • During the period of operation of the bus service, it is not possible to go up to the Ordesa Meadow in a private vehicle, except for those adapted for people with reduced mobility.
  • You can access the interior of the Ordesa valley on foot, along an old road from Torla to Ordesa called Turieto Bajo or Turieto Alto throughout the year, or by private vehicle during periods when the bus service is not running, to the Pradera de Ordesa, the end point of the A-135 road.

Like all National Parks, there are a series of rules that must be followed and regulations that may affect the visit:

  • Unleashed dogs are prohibited throughout the National Park.
  • In the event of encountering livestock, exercise extreme caution by keeping a safe distance.
  • Dogs of potentially dangerous breeds shall be muzzled and kept on a short lead.
  • The number of visitors and the type of access will be limited according to the visiting or reception capacity and the specific characteristics of each sector of the National Park.

Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park

The Legend

Towards the end of the 18th century, the area of what was soon to be declared the Ordesa Valley National Park aroused the interest of explorers and scientists, and it was the works and publications of Ramond de Carbonnières that attracted travellers and adventurers to Monte Perdido, who, eager to enjoy wild nature and almost unexplored corners, became the first to practise Pyreneanism.

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Get to Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park by car

There are different ways of communication by road, depending on which of the sectors of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is our destination. The main access points to the park are on the N-260 national road, between Biescas and Aínsa.

By bus

From Huesca there are daily bus lines to Sabiñánigo or Barbastro and vice versa. From Sabiñánigo there is a daily bus line to some of the sectors of the National Park. The Sabiñánigo-Ainsa line and vice versa passes through Torla-Ordesa, Broto, Fiscal and Boltaña. From Barbastro to Torla-Ordesa, passing through the villages mentioned above, daily. Or link from Aínsa to Bielsa.

SENDITUR is not responsible for any variation in the information described, as well as for the misuse of its guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to

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List of Routes
  • Closeness
  • First name
  • Difficulty
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Assessment
PATHS NATURAL HERITAGE
0
Difficulty-Moderate

7:00 h.19 km.

The Path of the Hunters in the Ordesa Valley
Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding routes, either because they are longer, have a greater gradient or present a specific difficulty.
MOUNTAIN
2
Difficulty-Hard Little

5:50 h.14.2 km.

Ascent to the Taillón from the Col of Tentes
Difficulty-Hard LittleBlack difficulty category, level 1. High mountain routes with slopes or climbs in exposed terrain and of certain difficulty, although in general there are good grips, it may be necessary to use your hands to progress in certain places. Possibility of narrow and aerial edges and crests. The use of mountaineering equipment may be necessary on more than one occasion.
IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

3:35 h.10.4 km.

Waterfall of Gavarnie
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding even great distances or unevenness.
MOUNTAIN
0
Difficulty-Moderate

5:10 h.11.8 km.

Pyrenean lake of  Bernatuara from Bujaruelo
Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding routes, either because they are longer, have a greater gradient or present a specific difficulty.
PATHS IN FAMILY CULTURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

1:10 h.2.4 km.

The Walk of the Health of Baños of Panticosa
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and unevenness, not even over great distances or unevenness.
International Station of Canfranc
Canfranc, Huesca
International Station of Canfranc

The station of the Pyrenees, a Site of Cultural Interest, in the category of Monument.

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