Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CATALONIA PYRENEES: CASTELLAR DE N'HUG

Having enjoyed Les Fonts del Llobregat, you can visit the nice village of Castellar de N'Hug. You can get there by car, but it's advisable to go walking along the path you will see next to the source, where you will find indications of vegetation and fauna. 

Castellar de N'Hug is a quiet village of typical stone buildings located in an environment of great beauty in the Pyrenees. This village is also known by the International Sheepdog Competition (Concurs Internacional de Gossos d'Atura) held annually the last Sunday in August.


City hall of Castellar de N'Hug
The city hall of Castellar de N'Hug

Medieval village of Castellar de N'Hug
Nice typical stone building in Castellar de N'Hug

Bell tower of the church of Castellar de N'Hug
Bell tower of the church of Castellar de N'Hug

Church of Castellar de N'Hug
Church of Castellar de N'Hug

Catalan flag in Castellar de N'Hug
Catalan flag in Castellar de N'Hug


Medieval village of Castellar de N'Hug in the Pyrenees
I really liked the medieval look of this nice village in the Pyrenees and the calmness of its streets

Medieval village of Castellar de N'Hug in the Pyrenees
A typical and quiet street in Castellar de N'Hug


The Pyrenees from Castellar de N'Hug
I really enjoyed this view of the Pyrenees from Castellar de N'Hug


Medieval village of Castellar de N'Hug in the Pyrenees
Castellar de N'Hug is a lovely village of stone buildings which I liked a lot


Clicking on the next links you will find links to other beautiful places in Catalonia, Andorra and France, among them, more interesting villages and landscapes in the Pyrenees, like:


- Andorra:


Besides, if you like medieval villages like the one of this post or medieval architecture, clicking on the next links you will find more beautiful villages and fantastic medieval monasteries in Catalonia:

- Medieval villages

- Medieval Monasteries




Monday, June 27, 2011

CATALONIA PYRENEES: FONTS DEL LLOBREGAT


Near the nice village of Castellar de N'Hug in the Pyrenees, I strongly recommend visiting Les Fonts del Llobregat, the birth of one of the most important rivers in Catalonia. Les Fonts del Llobregat are even more stunning in times of abundant water.

From Castellar de N'Hug you can get there by car, although it is advisable to go walking along the path marked out of that town, where there will be found indications of vegetation and fauna. 

Near the fountains of the Llobregat you can find a snack bar with wooden tables to make a picnic and see the old flour mill of the sources, now converted into hydroelectric power. 


Fonts del Llobregat

Fonts del Llobregat in Catalonia
Impressive view of Les Fonts del Llobregat in Catalonia

Fonts del Llobregat in Catalonia
I really liked the environment of Les Fonts del Llobregat


Fonts del Llobregat in Catalonia
From this point you can get one of the most beautiful views of Les Fonts del Llobregat

Fonts del Llobregat in Catalonia
A closer view of Les Fonts del Llobregat from the previous point

Fonts del Llobregat in Catalonia
We were lucky because there was abundant water


Way to Castellar de N'Hug

Fonts del Llobregat and Castellar de N'Hug in Catalonia
Here, next to Les Fonts del Llobregat, begins a marked path leading you to Castellar de N'Hug

Fonts del Llobregat and Castellar de N'Hug in Catalonia
I really enjoy the walk along this path between Les Fonts del Llobregat and Castellar de N'Hug. This path is about 1 km length

Near Fonts del Llobregat in Catalonia
Leafs you can see walking along the path leading to Castellar de N'Hug


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CATALONIA PYRENEES: SANTUARI DE NURIA

After a three hours trekking along El Camí Vell de Núria, we reached the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Núria, where we spent a nice day in this fantastic environment. This Sanctuary is a popular place of pilgrimage. Sited at an altitude of almost 2000 metres, it provides not just a natural shelter among the high peaks, but also a spiritual oasis whose history can be traced to ancient origins and traditions.

Vall de Núria offers a great variety of year-round activities surrounded by nature, like archery, horseriding routes and ponies, boats and canoes, crazy golf and a playpark. Its wealth of mountains and rivers make the valley a spectacular setting in which to enjoy trails, peaceful spots and unique views.


Santuari de Núria in Catalonia

One of the first images I saw as soon as I arrived at the Sanctuary of Núria. A fantastic view which makes me forget the effort


Santuari de Núria in Catalonia
This lake in front of the Sanctuary of Núria gives an extra charm to this environment

Santuari de Núria in Catalonia
A group of children having lunch after the trekking


Santuari de Núria in Catalonia
The lake and the Sanctuary of Núria are surrounded by a large green area perfect for children


Resting after having lunch near the Sanctuary of Núria


Santuari de Núria in Catalonia
Next to the Sanctuary of Núria, a creek  gives more live to this beautiful environment

 Santuari de Núria in Catalonia
A path to walk quietly around the Sanctuary of Núria


Santuari de Núria in Catalonia
Entering the Sanctuary of Núria I liked this stained glass window with the image of a shepherd

Santuari de Núria in Catalonia
 From up there the Virgin of Núria has a fantastic view of the Sanctuary


I visited Núria in summer, but there are a lot of things to do in Núria in winter too.  In this season, Vall de Núria becomes a welcoming ski resort with all the services of accommodation and  restaurants. Suitable for the whole family, for lovers of sports and nature who want to escape from the crowds and where the youngest will enjoy the magic of the snow. 

After visiting La Vall de Camprodon the previous day and La Vall de Núria, the next day we would see  Les Fonts del Llobregat  and a typical nearby village in the Pyrenees: Castellar de N'Hug.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CATALONIA - PYRENEES: VALL DE NURIA

Located in the heart of eastern Catalan Pyrenees, and surrounded by mountains of almost 3,000 meters, the Núria Valley is, because of its landscapes and the ease of access, a privileged place to know and to admire the high mountains of the Pyrenees.

We wanted to fully enjoy the wonderful environment of La Vall de Núria, so we decided to walk along El Camí Vell, which goes from Queralbs to the Sanctuary of Núria after having saved 750m of altitude. To be honest, I thought that this 7,7km trekking would be less tired. However, it's worth doing it to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of this valley.

Cliking on the next link you will find more information about El Camí Vell de Núria, the route we choose to reach the Sanctuary of Núria.


Camí Vell de Núria near Queralbs
El Camí Vell de Núria near Queralbs, the starting point of our trekking


Camí Vell de Núria in the Pyrenees
This small waterfall of La Vall de Núria was perfect for a picture


La Vall de Núria in Catalonia
A nice view of La Vall de Núria shortly after leaving Queralbs, the starting point of our trekking along this beautiful valley


Pont del Cremal in La Vall de Núria
This stone bridge, called Pont del Cremal, was a perfect place to take a rest and enjoy the fantastic environment surrounding this creek


La Vall de Núria in the Pyrenees
Of course we took some pictures of the Núria creek


La Vall de Núria in Catalonia
The stone brigde deserves another picture. This place was one of the most beautiful ones of our trekking along La Vall de Núria


La Vall de Núria in Catalonia
Here, in El Salt del Sastre viewpoint, we were about halfway to the Sanctuary of Núria


La Vall de Núria in Catalonia
Here the path was easy, but sometimes this path was quite steep


La Vall de Núria in Catalonia
The relaxing murmur of the Núria creek accompanied us all the way


La Vall de Núria in Catalonia
A closer view of El Torrent de la Coma de les Perdius, shortly before arriving at the Sanctuary of Núria


La Vall de Núria in Catalonia
In the end we arrived at the Sanctuary of Núria after having saved nearly 750m of altitude


Santuari de Núria in Catalonia
This wonderful landscape of El Santuari de Núria was a deserved reward of our effort, wasn't it?


I strongly recommend this trekking along La Vall de Núria to know and enjoy the fantastic environment where the Sanctuary of Núria is. Besides, clicking on the next links you can see more pictures of La Vall de Núria and La Vall de Camprodon.


Monday, June 20, 2011

CATALONIA - MEDIEVAL VILLAGES: BEGET

One of the most beautiful places we visited during the days we spent in La Vall de Camprodon and La Vall de Núria was the village of Beget. In Beget time has elapsed. Cars can't enter the village and its streets and houses are the typical stone ones of a medieval village. When you arrive at Beget, it seems that you have traveled back in time.


I really liked the calmness of Beget, its fantastic environment, its extremely well preserved Sant Cristòfol romanesque church, its stone bridges, the murmur of the creeks. In Beget, each stone is in place.


The only minor drawback is that you have to drive 16km (30min. aprox) along a narrow winding road, but it's absolutely worth the effort.






Sant Cristòfol romanesque church in Beget
When you park your car, the first image you get of Beget is this one of Sant Cristòfol Church



Sant Cristòfol romanesque church in Beget
Sant Cristòfol church is a really nice romanesque church. It was a pity that it was closed when we arrived at Beget


Sant Cristòfol romanesque church in Beget
Apse and bell-tower of Sant Cristòfol church in Beget



Medieval village of Beget in La Vall de Camprodon
This typical stone street in Beget led us from Sant Cristòfol Church to La Plaça Major



Medieval village of Beget in La Vall de Camprodon
Plaça Major in Beget




Sant Cristòfol romanesque church in Beget

From La Plaça Major of Beget I enjoyed this nice view of Sant Cristòfol church



Beget and the mountains of the Pyrenees in Catalonia
Beget is located in a really nice environment, surrounded by mountains and creeks



Creek in Beget
The environment around Beget is really beautiful


Sant Cristòfol romanesque church in Beget
Sant Cristòfol de Beget church shortly before reaching the main square



Sant Cristòfol romanesque church in Beget
Overview of Beget where you can see Sant Cristòfol romanesque church, one of the typical stone bridges and some stone houses in Beget



If you spend some days in La Vall de Camprodon, I strongly recommend visiting Beget, a beautiful village where you will forget all your concerns, at least for some hours.


Besides Beget there are more nice medieval villages in Catalunya. Some of them are:


If you like medieval architecture, you should visit the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, the old city of Girona and the monasteries of Montserrat and Poblet.

The Pyrennes offers also more beautiful villages and places like:



Finally, clicking on the next link you can see more pictures of the other places we visited during the days we spent in La Vall de Núria and La Vall de Camprodon. These valleys are two of the most beautiful environments in Catalunya.




Sunday, June 19, 2011

CATALONIA MEDIEVAL: SANT JOAN DE LES ABADESSES

After spending a pleasant morning in Camprodon we went to Sant Joan de les Abadesses to visit one of the most important monasteries in Catalunya. Since I was a child I had heard much of this monastery in school, so I really wanted to visit it since long time ago.

The romanesque monastery of Sant Joan de les Abadesses was founded in 887 by Guifré el Pilós for his daughter Emma and the religious community that gave its name to the municipality. It's actually an austere building situated on a sheltered square in the centre of the town. However, it played, together with the one of Santa Maria de Ripoll, a major role in the shaping of Catalonia.

In addition to the architectural characteristics of the monastery, which has always been shrouded in mystery, its importance stems from the sculptures it contains. Some of the most important are the Descent from the Cross, seven figures in polychrome wood, in an almost natural format, that date back to the 12th century and the Gothic alabaster altarpiece of Santa Maria la Blanca, from the 14th century, amongst others.

Next I would like to show you some pictures I took the day I visited this monastery.

Bell tower and cloister of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery
Bell tower of the church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery from the gothic cloister

Cloister of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery
We visited the gothic cloister of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery in the evening. As there were few people, it was a really peaceful place. I really enjoy this calmness the time I was there

Cloister of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery
Another view of the lovely cloister of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery


Cloister of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery
Detail of the capitals of the gothic archs in the cloister of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery


Church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery
Inside the romanesque church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery

Church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery
The altar of the church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery


Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery in Catalonia
Flowers on the altar of the church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery

Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery in Catalonia
Santa Maria la Blanca inside the church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery

Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery in Catalonia
A detail of an sculpture I saw near the altar of the church of the Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery

Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery in CataloniaCapilla de los Dolors, a baroque chapel inside the monastery of Sant Joan de les Abadesses


Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery in Catalonia
Romanesque apse of the church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery


Besides, in Sant Joan de les Abadesses it's possible to do many tourist activities, like Rutes de Senderisme (for exemple Ruta del Ferro i del Carbó Ripoll - Sant Joan de les Abadesses - Ogassa) or interesting guided visits

You can also discover other beautiful villages like Beget, which we visited after spending a nice time in Sant Joan de les Abadesses.

Next you have some useful information in case you want to visit this beautiful monastery:

- Timetable for non-guided visit:

  • March to October: Monday to Sunday from 10am to 14pm and from 16pm to 18pm (May to September until 19pm) July: Monday to Sunday from 10am to 19pm.
  • November to February: Monday to Friday from 10am to 14pm; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 10am to 14pm and from 16pm to 18pm
  • Meeting point: Abbot's Palace - Tourist Office.

- For further information:

  • www.terradecomtes.cat/es/sant-joan-de-les-abadesses
  • Sant Joan de les Abadesses Tourist Office, Phone (00 34) 972 72 05 99



We visited Sant Joan de les Abadesses during a trip we took to the valleys of Núria and Camprodon. On this three days trip we also visited:


- Day 1: Vall de Camprodon



- Day 2: Vall de Núria



- Day 3: More Pyrenees





If you liked Sant Joan de les Abadesses, maybe you would be interested in visiting the nearby Santa Maria de Ripoll Monastery. Other interesting monasteries in Catalunya are: 


Besides Sant Joan de les Abadesses is located in the Pyrenees, where you can visit other fantastic places, like:



Finally, clicking on the next link you can see more pictures of the other places we visited during the days we spent in La Vall de Nuria and La Vall de Camprodon. These valleys are two of the most beautiful environments in Catalunya.