In the Catalan Pyrenees you’ll find snow for all kinds of people –whether you’re just starting out on snowshoes, or whizzing up and down the slopes to get the most out of the ski season. And if you fancy combining skiing with other winter activities or with culture and gastronomy, you can do that too. The Catalan Pyrenees is much more than just snow. Why don’t you come up and see for yourself?
Climb on the rack chain and put on your snowshoes
Snow and sport in a spectacular setting. That’s what’s awaiting you in the Vall de Núria. Climb aboard the rack train –the only way to access the valley– for a great way to enjoy nature in movement through its large windows, where you’ll be transfixed by the landscape. The route is a little over 12 km and has a considerable gradient, so you’ll be rewarded by the views from on high.
Once you reach the top, you can take a snowshoe excursion and discover new corners of the Catalan Pyrenees. With a little luck, you may see a chamois or two. A stop at the Creu d’en Riba viewing point affords a view over the entire valley from an altitude of 2,000 m.
Then you even have time to pick up your skis or snowboard and enjoy a few runs before going home. This option includes discounts on your ski pass and on any other snow activities you may want to try.
Learn the art of snowshoeing
Imagine feeling the snow beneath your feet and experiencing the silence of a snow-covered forest. At Vallter 2000 you can start learning how to snowshoe by embarking on an excursion. It’s great exercise, you can enjoy the scenery and you’ll learn fast. You’ll climb the Portella de Mentet, a slope in the Canigó massif, accompanied by a qualified guide.
On the ascent route you’re very likely to come across chamois, horses or white partridges, a protected endangered species. And the reward comes at the end –on the summit of Rocs Blancs, at an altitude of 2,439 m, where you can enjoy amazing panoramic views. You can see the Canigó summit, the Cap de Creus and even Montserrat and a large part of the coast of Barcelona.
Snowshoes and Romanesque architecture in the Boí Valley
The Boí Valley offers much more than a weekend in the snow. Why not begin with a snowshoe excursion to explore the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, with its almost 200 lakes. Water features strongly on this excursion, where the guide will give you details of the local flora and fauna.
You’ll have the chance to enjoy Romanesque architecture in a different way with a videomapping session in the church of Sant Climent de Taüll, declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO. Here you’ll see projections of the original frescoes in the apse and its imposing Pantocrator, which is currently conserved in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Cataluña (National Art Museum of Catalonia). There is also an excellent audiovisual representation.
An up-and-down at Vallter 2000
Enjoy the snow however you like at Vallter 2000. With its new Sube&Baja (“up and down”) format you can spend a day skiing or a few hours having fun in the snow with the family. The offer includes the ski pass, the rental of the ski equipment and a one-hour ski class. This is a great way to enjoy skiing any day of the week.
In this resort, set amid summits towering over 2,800 m, you can combine alpine skiing on the central slopes with mountain skiing in the area of El Xalet. And you can also try your hand at snowshoeing or practice snowboarding. If you’re coming with the family, the children can learn to make igloos in the Esquirol mini-club, while parents enjoy the views over the bay of Roses and the Cap de Creus from a height of 2,535 m.
Hunting tions at Christmas
Can you imagine the surprise on your children’s faces when they come across a tió (typical Christmas log) in the middle of the forest? Make this Christmas even more magical and set out to hunt tions with your children. You’ll first be given a map with some GPS coordinates showing the exact point where the tió is located. Then you all you need to do is wrap up warmly and go out into the mountains to look for him. The tió you’ll find is personalised and includes a message for the children –which you’ll have written beforehand– that they’re sure to love. Hurry up and find your tió. The activity is available until 21 December.