The Vall de Núria

The Girona Pyrenees boast natural treasures that you can’t miss out on and the Vall de Núria is definitely one of them. Keep reading because below we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting this location in the north of the region.

Situated 1,964 metres above sea level in the Capçaleres del Ter i del Freser Natural Park in the municipality of Queralbs, the Vall de Núria offers a panoramic image in the shape of a cooking pot and it’s highly appreciated by hikers and mountaineering fans. It’s a picture postcard image that shows a valley surrounded by peaks almost 3,000 metres high, while the emblematic lake lies in the centre with the Virgin of Núria Sanctuary in the background, a traditional destination for pilgrims since the 12th century.

How to get to the Vall de Núria The Vall de Núria Rack Railway

The Rack Railway is the quintessential form of transport in the Vall de Núria, as it’s the only way of entering the valley, making this place a paradise far away from the pollution and noise.

The journey lasts about forty minutes along a 12-kilometre track; along the way, if you look out of the window, you’ll be able to enjoy the wonderful landscapes, where the scarce human activity, the brightness of the mountain colours and the uniqueness of the terrain in the area create a continuous natural spectacle during an ascent of more than 1,000 metres that will awaken a whole host of sensations.

In addition, for all hiking enthusiasts, on the train’s app you’ll find a free audio guide that will explain the most interesting anecdotes and details of the region and the local culture to enable you to connect even more closely with this magnificent setting.

Cremallera de Núria

Rack Railway stations and timetables

You can catch the rack railway at three stations at different times. The first is in Ribes-Enllaç at the entrance to Ribes de Freser. Another is the Ribes-Vila station in the town centre. And you’ll see the last one before you get to Vall de Queralbs. Choose your station, all of which can be reached by car and have car parks.

You can view the ticket prices and the timetables for the Rack Railway of the Vall de Núria on the website.

What to do in the Vall de Núria

The Vall de Núria provides a wide range of opportunities for all nature lovers and outdoor-activity fans. The beauty of the natural environment, the comprehensive facilities and the wide range of activities for the young and old alike make the Vall de Núria an ideal destination for any time of the year.

Skiing in the Vall de Núria

During the winter months the most spectacular peaks become the emblematic ski resort of Núria. This is a welcoming resort with a ski area covering 17 hectares spread over 11 slopes for different levels which can be reached in the five ski lifts.

Apart from the alpine skiing slopes, the resort has several areas suited to other activities. Both children and adults will be able to enjoy the fun of descending by sled along one of the three tracks. Those who like to get their adrenaline running and speed can also try out their skills on the border cross course. On the other hand, if you prefer an excursion, at the resort of Núria you’ll find up to five snowshoe circuits.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the equipment. At the station you can use the hire service for skis, snowshoes, snowboards and anything else you need.

And you can’t miss out on one of the major family activities in winter. Building an igloo! Would you dare to try?

Esquiar a la Vall de Núria

Activities for children in the Vall de Núria

The wide range of options and activities for the whole family have enabled the Vall de Núria to obtain the family tourism destination label awarded by the Catalan Tourism Agency.

It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, the wide array of activities will mean the kids have fun while they learn to interact and learn more about nature. Besides, the far-reaching and relaxing natural environment means there are excursions for all levels to find out more about the different sights, the landscape and the fauna and flora. 

Activitats nens a la Vall de Núria

There are a total of six hiking trails less than two kilometres long that are ideal for children.

  1. The Lake path – El camí del Llac (1.5 km)
  2. The Creu d’en Riba path – El Camí de la Creu d’en Riba (0.6 km)
  3. The Canal path – El camí del Canal (1.5 km)
  4. The Creus path – El camí de les Creus (1.3 km)
  5. The Bosc path – El camí del Bosc (2 km)
  6. The Coves path – El camí de les Coves (2.7 km).

Speaking of outdoor activities, another of the attractions in the Vall de Núria is the lake. In addition to being able to play in the water and paddle, you can hire a rowing boat or a canoe to enjoy the spectacular view of the valley from the water.

If you like animals, you shouldn’t forget a trip to the school farm beside the Sanctuary. Here the children will be able to interact while they learn everything they need to know about caring for the animals, including the chickens, rabbits, ducks and even a donkey!

With a little luck they’ll also get to know Nevat, a Pyrenean mastiff and Vall de Núria’s mascot. And if they want further adventures, right next to the farm lies the Equestrian Centre, where they can meet the ponies and go riding around the valley.

But the flagship of the Vall de Núria is the Leisure Park, an area that includes different activities throughout the year, including go-karts, scooters, trampolines, a zip line circuit and a climbing wall for the most adventurous children.

Routes around the Vall de Núria

When the snow melts, numerous trails and routes are revealed for mountaineering fans, both more experienced ones and others who are just starting out in this exciting world, to enjoy, hike and admire the beauty of the Pyrenean landscape.


This route is probably one of the most iconic excursions, not only in the Vall de Núria, but probably in the whole Pyrenees. It’s the path that pilgrims and the first skiers in the area used to climb up to the Sanctuary or the valley, at a time when the rack railway hadn’t yet been built.

With a climb of almost 900 metres covering a distance of over seven kilometres, it’s a fairly easy route which is very well signposted. You can climb and descend it on foot or, if you prefer, you can walk up and go down using the rack railway or vice versa.


If you’re fit and used to hiking, this route is a classic for spending a day in the Vall de Núria. This circular route takes in some of the most emblematic peaks in the area along a route covering about 15 kilometres with a drop of 1,000 metres.

For this route we recommend going from Núria to Fontalba, where you can stop for breakfast while you admire the spectacular views. Then head along the next 4.5 kilometres to Puigmal and finish up heading back to your starting point.

If you prefer a shorter and less demanding walk, you have the option of covering just one of the sections, from Fontalba to Núria or Puigmal to the Valley.


The most legendary route in the Vall de Núria, regarded as the home of hiking in Catalonia, this circular route is suitable only for experienced hikers and people in excellent physical shape.

The route begins at the Sanctuary and covers 21 kilometres with a climb almost 2,000 metres; you’ll reach the nine peaks that surround the Vall de Núria and give it its name, due to the very characteristic shape of an olla (cooking pot).


If you like long treks covering various stages, you should choose the route of the three refuges, a proposal that takes in the more classic terrain of the Ripollesa mountain that crosses into French territory, connecting with the Vall de Carançà.

A five-stage journey with overnight stays in Coma de Vaca, Ulldeter and Carançà will enable you to visit areas that are well worth a visit on their own, such as the Gorgues del Freser, the pastures of Coma de Vaca, Circ d’Ulldeter and the Bacivers lakes, among many other places of interest, surrounded by imposing peaks that include Gra de Fajol, Bastiments, Bacivers, Pic de l’Infern and Noucreus.

On the final stage you’ll cover the imposing Camí dels Enginyers, allowing you to visit Núria and choose the option of returning to Queralbs on the rack railway or along the famous Camí Vell de Núria that we’ve already mentioned.

Rutes per la Vall de Núria

Services in the Vall de Núria

Despite being in the high mountains, the Vall de Núria provides various facilities and services that will make your stay in the area easier.

Where to eat in the Vall de Núria

Apart from a picnic with spectacular views, which is always a good choice, you’ll find various gastronomic proposals enabling you to sit down and have a bite to eat:

For example, the Restaurant at the Hotel Vall de Núria located inside the hotel itself. If you’d like a more select dining option, the restaurant offers a free buffet with various starters, main and second courses with traditional local cuisine. The highlight of the restaurant is the show cooking including grilled meat cooked on the spot.

Another option is La Cabana dels Pastors. Would you prefer a more informal option? Here you’ll find a wide range of proposals, ranging from pizza to grilled meat.

There’s also the Grill – Self-Service: Here you can choose between different take-away options which you can enjoy anywhere in the Valley. You have various menus to choose from so everyone can eat whatever they like best.

Finally, we should mention La Caseta del Llac, located between the lake and the hermitage of Sant Gil, which is only open during the summer months. This place is ideal for a quick bite to eat such as a sandwich, a hot dog or a snack to fill the gap.

Campsites in the Vall de Núria

To enjoy the wonders not only of the Vall de Núria but also the whole county of Ripollès, we recommend the following accommodation to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

In Campdevànol, just 12 kilometres from the Vall de Núria rack railway, you’ll find the Molí Serradell campsite, an old converted flour mill where you can enjoy cosy family facilities with a rural air where nature and a family service play starring roles, and the Pirinenc campsite, with modern facilities surrounded by ravines and waterfalls that will make your stay as pleasant as possible.

This part of Girona has a wide range of campsites spread around idyllic environments that suit the needs and tastes of all kinds of visitors, including ones in the mountains and on the beach, others with wellness services, others adapted for visitors with reduced mobility and so on.

View the map of the campsites of the Associació de Càmpings de Girona.

The weather in the Vall de Núria

If you’re planning to spend the day in the Vall de Núria, you can check the 7-day weather forecast to make sure that the weather is suitable for enjoying a fantastic day in the Girona Pyrenees.

As you’ve seen, both in summer and in winter the Vall de Núria is synonymous with fun and a guarantee of a great day outdoors enjoying emblematic and spectacular landscapes.

An idyllic place for switching off from the routine and connecting with nature and yourselves.

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