Pyrenees snowshoeing holiday

A fantastic week of snowshoeing

Last week we ran our first snowshoeing holiday and it was a brilliant week with excellent routes, fantastic views and sunshine every day! We did five routes during the week – three in the Valle de Tena, one from Somport and one in the Ordesa Valley.

On the summit of Pico Canal Roya

On the summit of Pico Canal Roya

There were five intrepid guests with varying level of snowshoe experience, but all did brilliantly so we got to do some great days and reached a couple of high summits.

Snowshoeing out from Portalet

Snowshoeing out from Portalet

The weather couldn’t have been better – clear blue skies all week, not a breath of wind and perfect temperatures. The snow line is quite high this year so all of our routes started from quite high altitude. The Portalet pass on the French/Spanish border in the Valle de Tena is perfect for this as it has an altitude of nearly 1800 metres and always good snow conditions.

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10 reasons to visit the Central Pyrenees

The Central Pyrenees is considered to be one of the most stunning parts of the Pyrenees. You’ll find stone villages, flower filled valleys, stunning mountains and many interesting places to discover.

Visit one of the oldest National Parks in Spain

Walking in the Ordesa National Park

Ordesa Canyon

Established in 1918 the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park was Spain’s first protected area and an is undisputed highlight of the Pyrenees. Covering an area of 156 square kilometres the park contains the stunning valleys of Ordesa and Añisclo. In 1997 it was made a world heritage site by UNESCO and it is also part of the Ordesa-Viñamala UNESCO Biosphere reserve.

Ordesa National Park highlights are its four deep canyons carved into the limestone. The Ordesa and Pineta valleys are glacial and the Añisclo valley and Garganta de Escuain were formed by rivers.

The Ordesa Valley is the most famous with cliffs rising over eight hundred metres on each side and Monte Perdido is perched majestically at the end of the valleys.

The Añisclo Canyon is over a kilometre deep and the high cliffs combined with the narrow, winding valley makes for spectacular views. The three peaks of Las Treserols – Monte Perdido, Cilindro and Pico Añisclo are the most recognisable in the park and form an impressive skyline for many walks.

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Walking in Ordesa National Park

2019 Ordesa National Park shuttle bus dates and times

The dates for the shuttle bus into the Ordesa Canyon from Torla have been published for 2019.

The bus operates from the visitors centre in Torla to the Pradera in Ordesa where the main hikes in the valley start. Private cars aren’t allowed into the valley during Easter, from the 29 June to the 15 September and from 12 to 13 October (2019 dates).

Since last year, there is also a shuttle bus that operates for the Añisclo Canyon that runs from the village of Buerba to San Urbez – they haven’t confirmed the dates for this yet but last year they ran on the same dates as the Ordesa bus.

2019 shuttle bus dates and times

Last days of June, July and August (29 June to 31 August) -  first bus 6 am  – last bus into valley 7 pm – last bus back to Torla 10 pm

September (1 to 15 September) – first bus 6 am – last bus into valley 6 pm – last bus back to Torla 9 pm

October (12 to 13 October) – first bus 6 am – last bus into valley 6 pm – last bus back to Torla 8.30 pm

2019 Bus prices

Standard fare:  4.50 € return ticket  – 3 € single ticket
Older than 65 years*: 3,50 € return ticket – 2,50 € single ticket
Younger than 10 years*: free
Dogs: 2 € return ticket – 1 € single ticket
* it would be necesary to show your passaport to claim the discount.

The service works pretty efficiently with buses every 20 minutes (more in high summer).

Tickets can be bought at the small wooden hut outside the visitors centre and some hotels in Torla (such as Hotel Ordesa) also sell tickets at reception.

Please note that although they do allow dogs, they have to be put in a dog carrier in the luggage area of the bus. In the park dogs have to be on leads.

Walking in the Ordesa National Park

Three ways to explore Ordesa National Park

The spectacular canyons of the Ordesa National Park contain some of the best hiking in Spain. Its kilometre deep canyons are carved out of the limestone and have awe inspiring cliffs.

Hikes range from gentle walks in alpine meadows with the cliffs towering above you, to tough trails following narrow ledges high in the cliffs. There’s something for everyone in Ordesa!

The park is a UNESCO world heritage site due it’s biodiversity, and you’ll find the rare bone eating lammergeier here as well as ancient beech forests, beautiful orchids and lots of endemic flowers species.

Let our local guides show you the best Ordesa has to offer. We’ve three hiking holidays based in the Ordesa National Park – Canyons of Ainsa, Discover Ordesa and our Ordesa Self Guided itinerary. All have excellent hotels and each explores a different area of the park.

Read our full guide to walking in the Ordesa National Park.

With so many choices, you’ve no excuse not to come and discover the delights of Ordesa for yourself!

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Views from Escuer Alto

Hike to the tower of Escuer Alto

Last weekend was again sunny here in the Pyrenees so I set out on another hike. My intention was to head to Aso de Sobremente which lies in a wonderful hanging valley, hidden above Biescas. You can do a big horseshoe route along the ridge and you have great views of the cliffs of La Partacua.

Hanging valley of Sobremonte

The hanging valley of Sobremonte and the ridge I was hoping to walk along

We hike here with groups from time to time and they’ve been doing some path re-routing/maintenance on the GR15 which passes through Yosa, so I wanted to check out if the route had changed much.

They’ve actually done a fantastic job at path clearance on the GR15 and re-signed and marked the route making it much clearer. Before the path was inpassable and we had to divert across fields for a few kilometres in a rather random manner before rejoining the path further up. Now you can hike on the GR15 directly from the village which is much better (and my groups won’t think I’m lost!).

Yosa de Sobremonte

The village of Yosa de Sobremonte

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Hiking, cycling, nature and life in the Pyrenees