VAL D'ARAN

VISIT THE VAL D'ARAN,
THE ESSENCE OF THE PYRENEES
PURE HIGH-MOUNTAIN NATURE

The Val d'Aran, spanning a total surface area of 633.46 km2, is located in the heart of the Pyrenees, in the north of Catalonia. Its privileged location makes it the only Atlantic valley in the Spanish mountain range. The location and the unique nature of its relief favour a wide variety of landscapes enabling you to enjoy all aspects of nature.

It hosts various entrances to the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, peaks of over 3,000 metres, spectacular lakes and waterfalls, with the source of the Garonne and Noguera Pallaresa rivers, forests, signposted trails for all levels for walking or cycling. The Val d'Aran has adapted its tourist offering to suit all expectations, ranging from a peaceful, restorative stroll to a challenging route. A broad range of activities enable you to experience unforgettable moments at any time of the year. Sports enthusiasts, whether amateurs or professionals, will find exceptional facilities for practising their favourite sport here.

 

Adventure Activities

  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking and cycle touring
  • Water activities (rafting, hydrospeed, surfing, kayaking, canoeing)
  • Climbing and via ferrata
  • Canyoning
  • Horse riding
  • NaturAran- Zip-line park
  • Paintball
  • Archery

 

MORE INFO

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ROMANESQUE ROUTE

The Val d'Aran has managed to preserve its architectural heritage of Romanesque and Gothic churches, including those in Salardú, Arties, Vielha, Bossost, as a good cultural and industrial example, thus preserving its uniqueness. Artistic paintings and sculptures in stone and wood, featuring some beautiful works highlighted for their exceptional state of conservation, such as the Christ of Salardú and the Christ of Mijaran in Vielha, and the baptismal fonts of Arties, Vilac and Vilamos. A collection of Romanesque and Gothic art unique in the world.

 

THE VILLAGES OF THE VALL D’ARAN

The villages of the Val d'Aran share the same architectural style. Their buildings are built to withstand the winter and the snow, made of stone, slate and wood, and blend perfectly into the valley's landscape. The oldest houses date from the 14th and 15th centuries, and are true gems of Aranese architecture, featuring Çò de Portola (now the Parador de Arties) the Çò de Peirjoan house, in Escunhau, dating from 1595 and now declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, the Çò de Rodes house in Vielha and the Çò de Brastet house in Unha.

Beautiful Aranese legends remain to this day and are manifested in the most popular Aranese traditions and dances. The origin of a large number of these traditional festivals feature the annual cycle of the seasons, and the end of winter has always been a much awaited and celebrated event throughout the Pyrenees, deeply rooted in Gascon culture in general. In spring and summer, each village holds its own festival. There are still some pilgrimages, such as the Montgarri pilgrimage on 2 July. The Haro festival in Les and the Taro festival in Arties, held on the night of Saint John, 23 June, are deemed to be among the most popular in the whole region and have been declared by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Also noteworthy are the livestock fairs held in autumn in the towns of Vielha, Les, Bossost and Salardú.

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OTHER ACTIVITIES

  • Fauna Park - Aran Park
  • Palai de Gèu in Vielha (sports complex)
  • Thermalism and wellness:
    Banhs de Tredòs
    Arties thermal pools
    Baronia de Les thermal baths
    Spa service offered by various hotels in the region
  • Municipal swimming pools. Bossòst, Les, Vielha and Salardú.

MUSEUMS

Victòria Mine - Arres
Çò de Joanchiquet Ecomuseum - Vilamòs
Little School Museum - Arròs
Val d'Aran Museum - Vielha
Woolen Mill - Vielha
Mill - Salardú
PyrenMuseu - Salardú
Snow Museum - Unha
Eth Corrau Museum - Bagergue

GASTRONOMY

Upwards of 170 restaurants in the area encourage you to taste both traditional dishes, prepared with local products, and on-trend cuisine, all of which is seasoned with the know-how and warm hospitality of the people of Aran. Some noteworthy dishes in Aranese gastronomy feature: the “òlha aranesa” stew, game stews, pâtés, trout, crêpes… The most innovative cuisine introduces succulent ingredients such as duck, prepared in myriad ways, caviar and sturgeon produced in the factory in Les, which is often used for sophisticated and luxurious dishes.
Plus, most of the bars in the valley offer a wide variety of tapas and pinchos that you can enjoy in a true, warm and comfortable mountain setting.

 

PRODUCTS FROM ARAN AND THE BRAND “PRODUCTOS DERA VAL D’ARAN”:

The specialities of the region notably feature the “òlha aranesa” stew, caviar, cider, craft beer, cassis liqueur, sausages of the likes of chorizo, langoissa, cured sausage, pâtés, andito and bolh (typical Aranese products), cheese and yoghurt, honey, tronquets and coquilhons (local sweets), which can be bought in most of the Valley's stores.

You can also visit some of the local artisan factories that welcome visitors:

Caviar Nacarii fish farm (Les) - http://caviarnacarii.com
Refu brewery (Bossòst) - www.refubirreria.com.
Tarrau cheese dairy (Bagergue) - www.quesosdelvalledearan.com

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Aranese commerce has now become one of the region's core pillars of tourism, both in terms of quality and the number of stores that can be found in most of the region's towns and villages. There are a large number of shops specialising in sports equipment, both for all forms of snow-related activities and for summer activities.

ACCOMMODATION

Hotels, national parador hotels, apart-hotels, rural houses, guesthouses, hostels, campsites, mountain refuges, apartments and chalets comprise a broad range of accommodation designed to suit the needs of all kinds of visitors.

There are more than 36,000 beds available in hotels and second homes, distributed among the various villages of Val d'Aran.

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