For years the Pyrenees of Spain have kept me gravitating back – so let me share with you a quick sum up of the most beautiful places to visit in the Spanish Pyrenees.
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Visiting the Spanish Pyrenees
What you need to know
At least once per year, I try to plan a new getaway in the mountains and secretly dream of buying one of those fairytale-looking wooden houses in the Pyrenees. This would be such a great excuse to visit the region even more often.
While people usually relate the Spanish Pyrenees to hiking or skiing, you can literally find everything there – from otherworldly landscapes, epic hikes, adventurous activities, and magical forests, to the cute medieval villages, dreamy castles, and unique national landmarks.
The Pyrenees are also divided into numerous valleys (or valles in Spanish), from which the most famous are: Valle de Ordesa, Valle de Aragon, Valle de Benasque, Val D´Aran, and Vall de Boi.
How to get to the Spanish Pyrenees
The best way to explore all the beautiful places to visit in the Spanish Pyrenees is to travel by car.
Although the closest airports are Girona and Reus (in Spain) and Lourdes and Toulouse (in France). The popular train station of the region is Estacion de Canfranc.
My trips to the Spanish Pyrenees
You can read more about my adventures across the Pyrenees in these articles: Exploring the Pyrenees of Catalonia, The Spanish Pyrenees Road Trip, 5 Epic Reasons to Visit the Spanish Pyrenees with Kids, First Time in the Pyrenees, and Traveling to Aragon: New Aragon Road Trip. Also within the Pyrenees mountain range, you will find one of the smallest independent states in the world – Andorra.
Also, to check more details from my trips and have a quick look at all the beautiful places to visit in the Spanish Pyrenees – head to my Highlights on IG.
Unique experiences to book in the Pyrenees
There are a few unique experiences you can book in the Spanish Pyrenees in advance: Via Ferrata K3. Climbing Experience, Pyrenees Paragliding Experience, Ordesa National Park Guided Snowshoeing Tour, and Hot Air Balloon Ride and Breakfast over the Volcanoes of la Garrotxa.
Where to stay in the Pyrenees
For my most recent weekend in the Pyrenees of Catalonia, I booked a budget-friendly Apartamentos Chuandervera in the small town of Laspaules.
During my first visit to the Pyrenees, we stayed at Barceló Monasterio de Boltaña. It´s one of the best hotels with SPA in the Pyrenees, known for spacious rooms and quite decent prices (considering the quality of the services).
For my Pyrenees road trip, we planned to do more hiking in Aragon, so picked an apartment in Escalona (for some reason it´s not available on booking.com anymore). Alternatively, you can find a few cute boutique hotels in Ainsa, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Spain, like Alojamientos Ainsa Sanchez and Los Siete Reyes. I also really like these hotels: Hotel Boutique Mediodía & Apartments, Casa Lascorz, and Casa de San Martín.
Next time in the Pyrenees, I plan to check out Camping Valle de Bujaruelo.
Books about the Pyrenees
If you are looking for more visual inspiration or historical/practical data on the Pyrenees region, there are a few books you might find handy – Shorter Treks in the Pyrenees, Explore Pyrenees Like A Local or Walks and Climbs in the Pyrenees (focused on the French Pyrenees). Planning to read something about the Pyrenees on the road? – Check Footprints on the mountains, Boundaries, The Savage Frontier, Cruel Crossing, and If you only walk long enough.
If you know Spanish, check: Pirineos. Mas allá de las montañas, Los Pirineos, Leyendas de brujas en el Pirineo fantástico, Pirineos: 50 joyas del arte románico, Pirineos : montaña sublime, and 101 Lugares de los Pirineos sorprendentes.
The most beautiful places to visit in the Spanish Pyrenees
1. Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is one of my favorite Spanish National Parks and definitely one of the most beautiful places in the Spanish Pyrenees. It can be divided into 4 main valleys: Ordesa, Añisclo, Escuain, and Pineta.
This National park´s most unique landmark is Monte Perdido (or “the lost mountain” in English) – it´s the highest limestone massif in Europe.
Last time I enjoyed so much Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park during my Spanish Pyrenees road trip and can not wait to return, since it is known for tonnes of beautiful hikes in Spain, like Tozal de Mallo, La Cascada del Estrecho, Gradas de Soaso, Bosque de las Hayas, Cañon de Añisclo, Cola de Caballo, and Gargantas de Escuain.
2. Alquezar & Sierra y los Cañones de Guara Natural Park
Alquezar always comes up as one of the first in all of the rankings for the most beautiful small towns in Spain. It was such a discovery during my first trip to the Spanish Pyrenees. Even after 10+ Expat years in Spain, Alquezar is still one of my favorite Spanish medieval towns ever.
The name of the village Alquezar comes from the Arabic Al-Qsar, which means fortress. The panoramic views of the city (once you approach it by car) are absolutely stunning.
Besides the unmatched rural charm, Alquezar is known for its famous hiking trail Pasarelas de Alquezar, one of the top Pyrenees hikes. It goes all the way through Sierra y los Cañones de Guara Natural Park. You can see my whole experience of Pasarelas de Alquezar via IG Reels and TikTok.
3. Val D´Aran & Baqueira Beret
Val D´Aran is one of the must-stops while exploring the Catalonia region, as well as one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Spanish Pyrenees.
Here, you will find one of the top Ski Resorts, Baqueira Beret, famous since the Spanish Royal family used to ski there.
So far, I have visited Val D´Aran in winter and early autumn and it was equally charming in both cases. During my first family trip to Val D´Aran we lived in a wooden house with cute a fireplace, tried dog-sledding, and went to Santuario de Montgarri with snowmobiles. It all felt like a winter-wonderland kind of getaway.
On my second trip, we explored the waterfall Uelhs Deuth Joeu and one of the Spanish magical forests, Bosque de Carlac (which ended up on my list of Secret Spanish Trails). Our weekend getaway took place in October, so we got the summer-like weather along with the vibrant fall foliage.
Next time in Val D´Aran, I plan to explore Sauth deth Pish waterfall and test the hike Ruta por el Circo de Colomers.
4. Valle del Aragon & Astun
I visited Valle del Aragon during my last 4-day Pyrenees Road Trip. The two absolute highlights of it were: hiking 7 Lagos de Astun (one of the top trails in the Pyrenees) and visiting San Juan de La Peña, one of the secret and beautiful monasteries in Spain.
The hiking trail in Astun is known by a few names – Ruta de los 7 Ibones de Astun, Ruta de los 7 Lagos de Astun, or Ruta de Lagos de Ayous. This route is still at the top of my list of Spanish hikes. It starts at the Astun ski station and takes you through the 7 glacier lakes along the Spain-France border. You can check more details via my IG Highlight Pyrenees.
Other must-stops in Valle de Aragon are Cuidadela de Jaca, Cuevas de las Guixas, and Canfranc train station.
5. Vall de Boi & Romanic Churches
The Vall de Boi region is known for two gems of the Spanish Pyrenees – Aguestortes National Park and the Romanic Churches declared a UNESCO World Heritage. You can read more about both in this post.
If you enjoy discovering and exploring secret villages in Spain, Vall de Boi also has something to offer here: do not miss Barruera, Boi, Durro, Taull, Erill la Vall.
By the way, one of the most unique Spanish festivities, Las Fallas de la Vall de Boi, is celebrated across Vall de Boi during the summer solstice every year.
6. Valle de Tena & The Zipline
Valle de Tena is another beautiful region of the Spanish Pyrenees worth visiting.
It is known for its beautiful villages, like Biesca, Lanuza, Sallent de Gallego, El Pueyo de Jaca, Piedrafita de Jaca, Tramacasilla de Tena, and Hoz de Jaca. Although avid hikers will love the trails Ibón de Espelunciecha, Ibón de Piedrafita, Vuelta al pantano de Lanuza, and Paseo del camino de las Palizas.
Valle de Tena has a special place in my memory box – I tried a zip line Tirolina Valle Tena for the first time (it´s the longest double zip line in Europe). It is definitely one of the most adventurous travel ideas in Spain. The ride turned out less scary than I was initially expecting, but the views were to die for.
7. Ainsa & Valle de Cinca
Ainsa is one of the top Spanish medieval towns and it is officially considered one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Spanish Pyrenees.
Thanks to its well-preserved architecture and inspiring mountain setting, Ainsa is well-established on the tourist track. From local sights make sure not to miss La Plaza Mayor de Aínsa, Castillo de Aínsa, and Iglesia de Santa María. The last time I visited Ainsa at sunset, it ended up on my list of the most beautiful sunsets around the world.
For the gorgeous views head to Mirador Balcón de Aínsa and Mirador del Cinca. By the way, only 18 km from Ainsa there’s another epic panorama at Castillo de Samitier.
Other must-stops in the Valle de Cinca area are Salinar de Naval, Torre de Abizanda, Atalaya de Tou, Tella, and Garganta de Escuaín.
8. The Castle of Loarre
The Castle of Loarre is one of the dreamiest Spanish castles, located in the region Hoya de Huesca. It was built in the 11th century and declared a Spanish National Cultural Heritage Site in 1906.
The Castle of Loarre is considered one of the best examples of civil and military architecture in the whole of Europe. Like many other castles in Spain, it has traces of the Roman presence on the Iberian Peninsula. Historians claim that it was built on the ruins of the local Roman city Calagurris fibularia.
The castle does not have any furniture or lavish decorations inside, but I still enjoyed it a lot.
Have you ever visited the Pyrenees of Spain or France?
Please, feel free to suggest more locations for my list of beautiful places to visit in the Spanish Pyrenees – I will keep updating this post with every new trip!
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