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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!).
The village of Yosa de Sobremonte
Spain is Europe’s second most mountainous country with an average altitude of 660 metres. It has a high central meseta with lots of fantastic and diverse mountain ranges to hike and explore. But which are Spain’s highest mountains and where are they?
1. Teide – 3715 metres – Tenerife
2. Mulhacén – 3479 metres – Sierra Nevada
3. Aneto – 3404 metres – Pyrenees
4. Veleta – 3396 metres – Sierra Nevada
5. Posets – 3369 metres – Pyrenees
6. La Alcazaba – 3369 metres – Sierra Nevada
7. Monte Perdido – 3355 metres – Pyrenees
8. Cilindro de Marboré – 3325 metres – Pyrenees
9. Perdguero – 3321 metres – Pyrenees
10. Maladeta – 3312 metres – Pyrenees
A surprise to most people – the highest mountain in Spain is the volcano of Teide (3715m) on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
The highest mountain on the Iberian Peninsula is Mulhacén (3479m) in the Sierra Nevada east of Granada. This range has three of the highest peaks. It’s close to the coast and here you can ski in the morning and swim in the sea in the afternoon!
Six of Spain’s ten highest peaks are in the Pyrenees – the 435 km wide range that separates Spain and France. Spain’s largest range has over two hundred peaks of 3000 metres or more with it’s highest being Aneto at 3404m
Now you know which are the ten highest mountains in Spain make it your challenge to climb them all!