Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

Awarded status in 1918, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is Spain’s oldest national park and currently covers 15,000ha of the Pyrenees of Huesca Province in the northern region of Aragon on the border between Spain and France. The park is home to the third highest mountain in the Pyrenees – Monte Perdido (meaning ‘Lost mountain’) – which stands at 3,355m above sea level and is one of the most important symbols of the park. Monte Perdido is one of over a dozen peaks within the park which reaches over 3,000m in height. Ordesa valley is also a must-see during your visit, the dramatic scenery and cliffs of over 800m mark the perfect location for a short walk or hike in an area where you can truly take in the magnificence of nature, Monte Perdido lies at the end of the valley providing a perfectly picturesque spot.

Covered in lush flora, extensive forests and a number of dramatic valleys, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park offers unrestricted walking and climbing for its guests between May and November each year, so there’s no excuse not to come and witness its beauty for yourself! There are plenty of activities to keep you busy whether you’re a hiker, climber, rider or just somebody who enjoys a scenic stroll as well as plenty of interesting places to visit and explore.

Flora and Fauna

The park is renowned for its extensive forests of beech, pine and oak as well as clusters of willow and birch which provide a varied landscape habitat for the wildlife that resides there. Meadows of flowering plants add dashes of colour to the valleys and mountains and Edelweiss dot the countryside; a view unlike any other.
Goats, marmot, wild boar and water-vole are among some of the mammals which inhabit this particular area and it’s definitely possible to spot them during your adventure through the national park. Birds are also of particular importance, some of the most common of the 170 species found here include: the golden eagle and the griffon vulture. For avid bird-watchers, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is the perfect place to spot some of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat and the park is equipped with a number of bird viewing areas where you are most likely to see them.

What to do during your visit

For walkers and hikers of any kind, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is the perfect location to explore. With terrain for all levels and plenty of trails to keep you busy, the park is the ideal spot for an afternoon stroll or an adventurous weekend-long hike. Other activities available in the park include camping, horseback riding, rafting, skiing (winter season only) and bird-watching. In addition to the park itself, the villages that surround it and also act as entrances to the park are definitely worth a visit for a spot of lunch or even for accommodation before you visit the park. The nicest villages around the park are Escalona, Torla, Tella or Bielsa and envisage typical Spanish architecture and culture.

For more information on walking in the park, visit: www.hikepyrenees.co.uk

Visitor Centres

There are a number of tourist centres dotted around the park offering information on activities available during your visit. The centres will also be able to provide detailed maps and descriptions about the different trails and routes that can be followed around the park as well as where the best places to view wildlife and scenery are.
A couple of the larger visitor centres include:

  • Ordesa National Park Visitor Centre – Based in the quaint, beautiful village of Torla, this centre provides all the information you need to begin your adventure in the park. It’s definitely worth having a wander around the village while you’re there as well as it’s a historical example of a typical northern Spanish village.
  • El Parador Visitor Centre – If you wish to find out more information about the park’s history and how it works this centre is a must-see. Exhibitions describe the story of the park in more detail and describe its history and aims. Other centres worth a visit include: Pradera de Ordesa, Escalona Tourist Information Point, Tella Information Centre, Escuaín Information Point, Bielsa Information Centre and Pineta Information Point.

To find out opening times and locations of all these centres please visit: www.turismosobrarbe.com