Stone, wood and slate
The villages of Pallars Sobirà have a special charm. Both ancient and recent constructions follow the traditional architectural patterns where stone, wood and slate would be the rule. Full of flowers in spring and summer, the narrow cobbled streets get surrounded by piles of snow in winter.
Most of the villages are located in the heart of the valley, near the rivers, where climate is warmer and enjoyable, and water offers a wonderful soundtrack. The villages that lie higher in the mountain are usually smaller, have more height differences, and turn out to be excellent lookout to admire the wonderful surrounding landscapes from.
Don’t think twice: come and stroll through the villages of Pallars Sobirà!
Located at the foot of Monteixo mountain range, the village of Àreu is divided in two : the village itself, in the south, in the middle of a plain, narrowly spread from north to south ; and Força d’Àreu (The Power of Àreu), ancient closed town that looks like a castle, hence its name.
Alins | The heart of Ferrera Valley
Silence is the key element of the six villages that make up the municipality of Alins, located in Ferrera Valley, the heart of Alt Pirineu National Park, synonymous with great natural and cultural heritage. Its greatest representative is Pica d’Estats –located at 3,143 metres above sea level–, “Catalonia’s ceiling”. Pica d’Estats’s imposingness hosts other wonderful places such as the pleasant plain of Boet, the spectacular lake of Aixeus, the magic forest of Virós and the inhospitable valley of Tor.
Throughout the years, the hand of man has been moulding Ferrera Valley through both its constructions –villages full of history and Romanesque art–, people –traditions, customs– and industry –farming, forges, forests, wood, tourism, … All this makes the valley unique, characterized by its own lifestyle and tradition, which is still alive and kicking.
Burg’s houses are widely sprinkled over a side of a green valley that hosts different kinds of landscapes: forests, hayfields, grasslands, ravines, … The slender bell tower stands out above the slate roofs of the house, overlooking the scenery. Walking through the narrow streets of Burg is a real travel through time.
Farrera | A patchwork of landscapes
The magic atmosphere created by the wide range of landscapes that surround the municipality makes it unique. Extensive forests of pine trees, oaks, holm oaks, fir trees, Mediterranean scrublands, hayfields and rocky areas make up a wonderful ensemble. The scarce 100 inhabitants of the area live in six villages that have been able to preserve the peaceful pace of mountain life.
A valuable agricultural heritage composed of a great deal of ancient barns spreads throughout little valleys that host the singular Burg lake. Many endangered animal species such as the emblematic wood grouse or the elusive wildcat take shelter in the unexplored spots of that colorful valley, which will remain etched in the memory of any visitor.
The old town of Espot keeps small treasures of the traditional architecture of the Pallars region. Narrow streets snake between the stone houses, leading to absolutely charming sites. On the other side of the old town, Santa Llogaia church overlooks the village, always sprinkled with bright and colorful flowers, completed with the outstanding medieval bridge.
Espot | The gateway to the National Park
Located in the valley that serves as natural gateway to Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, Espot evolved from a traditionally isolated village to a modern and contemporary one. The surrounding high mountains such as the emblematic Encantats as well as the waters of the more than 20 glacial lakes that peacefully lie among the peaks give personality to a village that has been able to preserve its medieval past.
The presence of skiers who want to enjoy the fantastic snow of Espot’s Ski Resort and of hikers who want to discover the fascinating nature of the National Park fill the streets and shops of the village in both summer and winter. Any season of the year is good to enjoy the charms that are hidden amid the most impressive mountains in the Pyrenees.
he vitality of Esterri d’Àneu and the colours of the flowers that decorate the streets make it one of the most endearing villages in the region. The narrow streets of the old town, the well-preserved houses, Sant Vicenç church, the Romanesque bridge over the river Noguera Pallaresa and the promenade along the river give Esterri d’Àneu a special charm.
Esterri d’Àneu | The beat of Àneu Valley
Surrounded by vast green meadows and crossed by the waters of Noguera Pallaresa, Esterri d’Àneu is much more than a village: it’s the geographic, economic, social and cultural core of Àneu’s valleys. Despite of lying in a wide valley, the surrounding mountains are high and imposing; a contrast that makes Esterri d’Àneu really magic.
The village spreads a lively and pleasant atmosphere that livens up the narrow medieval streets of the old town, which has remained unchanged. The bright colours of the flowers that garnish the streets stand out amid the grey tones of the stone walls. The high street is plenty of shops, restaurants and accommodations which mix with the traditional culture that impregnates all the places and is promoted in the Valls d’Àneu Ecomuseum, the cultural driving force of reference.
Esterri de Cardós
Located in the heart of an incredible natural environment, the village of Esterri de Cardós hosts compact constructions separated by shady and narrow streets. The rural and traditional character of mountain villages has been perfectly preserved. There is almost no recently-built house. Spring and summer are the best times of year to enjoy its charms.
Esterri de Cardós | Calm and peace
Visiting the small municipality of Esterri de Cardós is like going back to the past. The four little mountain villages that make up that small municipality located in the heart of Cardós Valley keep on devoted to farming. If you walk through the peaceful paths that link the villages, you will still see sheep, cows and horses that give life to the vast meadows of fresh grass.
For snow lovers, the region also hosts a municipal cross-mountain ski resort called “Pla de Negua”, a fantastic centre of mountain hiking, agritourism and mountain tourism that will allow you to enjoy peace, sport and nature. Apart from that, all the villages have their own spectacular Romanesque church, such Sant Pere and Sant Pau’s in Esterri de Cardós, or Santa Maria’s in Ginestarre.
Gerri de la sal
As the name suggests, Gerri de la Sal (“sal” means “salt”) is a village that lived off of its salt mines for many years, which clearly marked its structure and its architectural heritage: Santa Maria monastery, Romanesque bridge over the river Noguera Pallaresa, salt warehouse and well-preserved old town.
Gerri de la sal | A time travel
Halfway between the Pyrenees and the Pre-Pyrenees, among untouched mountains and deep ravines, more than twenty villages make up the large municipality of Baix Pallars. Time seems to have stopped in that spot of the Pyrenees where life is still calm and peaceful. Traditional mountain activities are still present and combine with the customs and traditions of the few inhabitants who keep on living in those lands of great natural value.
Romanesque churches, prehistorical dolmens, abandoned villages and luxuriant forests follow the course of the river Noguera Pallaresa which crosses the municipality from north to south, flowing under the majestic Romanesque bridge of Gerri de Sal until the spectacular gorge of Collegats, where the rapids make their way through high rock walls, contrasting with the quietness of the water of Montcortès lake.
Llavorsí is located just where the river Noguera Pallaresa receives the waters from the Noguera de Cardós. The narrow and steep cobbled streets of the old town keep the peace and tranquillity of the past while the houses that were built on the slopes of the mountain give a special touch to that mountain village situated in front of the river.
Llavorsí | The power of the river
The sound of the water of the river Noguera Pallaresa fills all the corners of Llavorsí, where the river gets even stronger after receiving the waters of another river, Noguera de Cardós. At thaw period, the river flows down quite hard and gets filled with rafts that go downstream amid high mountains in a unique natural scenery.
Deeply-rooted customs mark the character of the other 5 villages that make up the municipality: Aidí, a unique lookout where you can see the whole valley of the river Noguera Pallaresa; Arestui and Baiasca, nestled in a wonderful picture-postcard valley; Montenatró, located in the heart of Alt Pirineu Natural Park; Romadriu, an unexplored spot of peace and tranquillity; and Sant Romà de Tavèrnoles, an abandoned village full of stories.
Llessui is a lovely village located on top of Àssua Valley that has been able to keep its ancient charm without turning its back to modernity, which led to the opening of a ski resort, a few decades ago. The wide streets of the village allow the visitors to enjoy the wonderful surroundings and to come across some flock of sheep led by their shepherd.
Sort | The county town of the region
Since the first counts of Pallars decided to take up residence in Sort, the town has grown under the shelter of the castle. Located on top of a hill, it allows you to admire a fantastic view of the stale roofs that follow the course of the river Noguera Pallaresa. If you stroll through the old town of Sort, you will still feel its medieval origin, together with the living and modern atmosphere of the shops and tourist facilities of the Pallars Sobirà’s county town.
While the capital of the region stands out because of its cheerful atmosphere and innovation, the visit of the other 14 villages of the municipality will plunge you into the tradition of rural world, characterized by the calm pace of mountain life and by the beauty of natural sites such as Àssua Valley, in Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, and other protected areas of Alt Pirineu Natural Park.
The medieval village of Peramea is a fantastic example of closed town, which means that the walls of the houses of the village served as defensive walls and that there were only two main entrances. On the top of the village, you will find a fantastic church whose slender bell tower stands out above the roofs of the houses.
Peramea | A time travel
Halfway between the Pyrenees and the Pre-Pyrenees, among untouched mountains and deep ravines, more than twenty villages make up the large municipality of Baix Pallars. Time seems to have stopped in that spot of the Pyrenees where life is still calm and peaceful. Traditional mountain activities are still present and combined with the customs and traditions of the few inhabitants who keep on living in those lands of great natural value.
Romanesque churches, prehistorical dolmens, abandoned villages and luxuriant forests follow the course of the river Noguera Pallaresa which crosses the municipality from north to south, flowing under the majestic Romanesque bridge of Gerri de Sal until the spectacular canyon of Collegats, where the rapids make their way through high rock walls, contrasting with the quietness of the water of Montcortès lake.
Tavascan’s old town is a perfect place to walk around in the shade and enjoy the traditional architecture of Pallars Sobirà. Located just next to the river Noguera de Cardós, it has a lovely and well-preserved medieval bridge that is really worthy of a picture-postcard image. This lively village is also surrounded by beautiful sites.
Tavascan | Mountains of water
Water livens up the high mountains of the municipality of Lladorre. In summer, the landscape turns blue, the colour of the water of the many glacial lakes. And in winter, snow and ice cover it all with a uniform white blanket. The very pure nature of the 6 villages of the municipality is part of Alt Pirineu Natural Park, whose most iconic site is definitely Certascan, the largest lake in the Pyrenees.
The recent past of the upper part of Cardós Valley is linked to the construction of hydropower plants, which use the power of the water and attract many visitors who want to find out about all the secrets that are hidden in Tavascan mountains. In winter, the streets of the villages get also filled with adventurous skiers who enjoy sliding through the wonderful slopes of the high mountain ski resort.
Tírvia is located on top of a little hill with fantastic views of all the surrounding mountains. The village hosts idyllic spots full of colourful flowers, little squares, patios, porticos and fountains. The bell tower of the church, different from the other churches of the region, turns Tírvia into a very beautiful place.
Tírvia | Crossroads
Located at a vantage point, the village of Tírvia is a strategic place as well as a unique lookout where you can admire the naturel surroundings. It is situated at the intersection of three of the largest valleys of Pallars Sobirà: Cardós Valley, Ferrera Valley and Burg Glacial Valley. The peace you can feel when walking in the street of the village perfectly matches with the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
The splendid tower bell of Mare de Déu de la Pietat church stands out above the roofs of the houses of the village. The arcades of the streets, the authenticity of the main square, the typical architecture of the houses and the traditional culture turn Tírvia into a unique and very special place.
Located on top of a hill, at 1,300 metres above sea level, in the heart of Siarb Valley, the picturesque village of Tornafort has houses that stick around the church and cover all the upper part of the hill, with unique views of the whole valley. It has barely spread and entails an exclusive beauty.
Tornafort | A whole world to discover
The 14 small rural villages of the municipality of Soriguera are hidden amid wonderful valleys and mountains in which livestock farming is still the main economic activity. In Siarb Valley, the main valley of the municipality, a very valuable historical heritage composed of bunkers from the Spanish Civil War get along with the remains of the abandoned medieval village of Santa Creu de Llagunes and with the suggestive colours of geological relieves.
Located at 2,439 metres above sea level, the imposing Orri Peak is a unique lookout of the Pyrenees that overlooks the most spectacular spots in the municipality, within Alt Pirineu Natural Park. Hiking through the traditional paths is definitely the best way to discover all the charms that are part of the surrounding villages and mountains.