We have been meaning to get to the Ordesa for years. Either thwarted by weather or huts being closed or booked out. Determination does reap rewards and this year we made it, just before the holidays when it is super busy.
Decided to make a number of day hikes in different vallies to get an overall feeling of the place rather than hiking up high all the time, so took the little tent and the van and went on a mini road trip.
- Valle de Pineta – started with a walk up the valley with the aim of doing a loop. One of the bridges was out unfortunately to get over a cascade and so ended up doubling back. Beautiful introduction and found some wild irises. Had a beer at the shack in the carpark and headed down the valley to Bielsa for the evening.
- Valle de Anisclo – In the morning we drove over to Nerin. A Beautiful narrow twisty mountain road with some passing places. A great start to the day through old hamlets and farming communities. From Nerin we trekked through Sercue on the GR11 and down into the Anisclo Canyon. It’s a narrow steep sided canyon with fierce waterfalls and incredible scenery. You really feel like you are hiking up the side of the river as it tumbles down the steep terrain. At Riperata, where we had lunch we headed left up the Pardina Gorge and out of the top over a col into a meadow full of iris flowers. From there we trekked through arid scrub back down to the village of Nerin and off to find a campsite at Torla.
- Ordesa Canyon – So much more commercial and touristy than Anisclo, but still mega impressive, just in a very different way. A smaller and more green version of the Grand Canyon. Once off the bus from Torla to the park entrance our route took us up a steep climb to Mirador y Refugio Calcilerrugo where you get an elevated 180 degree view up and down the canyon. A balcon walk halfway up the canyon called Faja Felay took us up to Puenta de Soaso. From there we followed the tourist trail in the heat of the day where you get stuck behind bimbly bumblies. The tourist route is easy to follow as it is covered in tourists as it meanders down the wide valley joining the river occasionally where there are some stunning waterfalls.ck to the same campsite and a meal out in Torla.
- Valle de Bujaruelo – We had had 3 long days and fancied an easier one before heading back towards the border to for our last night camping in Spain. Up stream from Torla there is another valley as well as Ordesa which is nowhere near as dramatic but, again, beautiful. Our short loop got extended as we wanted to explore more and more. A completely different character again with pastures and a river which seemed in much less of a hurry to get anywhere though still had some drops with blue water pools at the bottom. Also swimming up this valley appears to be permitted. We took the GR 11 up the Valle del Ara to the Refugio del Vado d’Ordiso and then came back on the other side of the river for the last half.