I knew I would like The Vall de Núria (Valley of Núria in English) as soon as I heard that the only way to get there was by rack railway or by foot. No roads=bliss/joy/nature (take your pick of adjectives). What I didn’t realize was how much I would like it.
The Vall de Núria is stunning! And this is coming from a girl who grew up near the Rocky Mountains in Canada, so believe me, I know my mountains!
There are so many hiking trails to choose from but when Simon, also an avid hiker from Wild About Travel, suggested that we hike the Old Road (Pel pont de Cremal) back down instead of taking the train, I didn’t hesitate. The scenery of the Vall de Núria is gorgeous but in my opinion is experienced much better while hiking than by train. Isabelle of Diaro de a bordo soon joined us. She had done it before but was eager to do it again. We grabbed a quick bite at the self-service restaurant (I would recommend bringing your own lunch) and were off.
There are three variations to the Old Road, but we choose the classic version. It follows the valley for 7.7 km to the town of Queralbs where we were to catch the train and meet up with the rest of our group. As we did the descent from Vall de Núria to Queralbs it was easy hiking and took us about 2:30 hours, faster than the 3:20 hours recommended hiking time.
The ascent (which we didn’t do) would have been more challenging. It’s over 900m of elevation gain. The official recommended hiking time for the ascent is 3:45, but it could be done faster if you were hiking at a steady pace.
I LOVED hiking the Old Road from Vall de Núria to Queralbs! There were views the ENTIRE way. It was well signed. Everything you could want in a hike…except that now I want to experience it in winter… and do more hiking in the Pyrenees!
Know Before You Go to Vall de Núria to Queralbs
Accommodation is available at Vall de Núria.
Vall de Núria is a ski resort in winter (I’m sure it would be even more beautiful when blanketed in snow)
You can catch the rack railway to Vall de Núria from one of 3 places: Ribes-Enlaac, Ribes-Vila or Queralbs
There are numerous hiking trails starting at Vall de Núria (I could have easily spent several days here)
A 1 day package including a return trip on the rack railway, a cable car ride to a peak and a self-service lunch is available for 41.35€.
One way train tickets are also available.
Vall de Núria is located just over 100km NW of Girona.
Check the Vall de Núria official website for train times and hiking maps.
Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their active holidays in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.