Balcón del Pirineo has an eagle’s eye view of nature over the Broto and Ordesa Valleys in the Pyrenees of Aragon.
Surroundings, heritage, nature:
On a mere 15-minute walk around Buesa there are numerous chances of meeting a shepherd with cows or sheep in the meadows.
The village, nestled into the side of the mountain at an elevation of 1135 m, is home to numerous examples of Pyrenees vernacular architecture: the church, laundry, blacksmith’s, several threshing floors, narrow streets with dry stone walls and flagstone roofs. The views over the Broto Valley and the Tendeñera Massif are enough in and of themselves.
Located quite near to the Monte Perdido Massif in Sobrarbe County, with just 3 inhabitants per km2, the expressions of nature here are boundless.
Monte Perdido Massif, World Heritage:
Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park and Gavarnie Valley.
Ordesa National Park was created in 1918 and comprises 15,608 hectares of National Park with maximum protection and nearly 20,000 hectares of buffer zone, in which Buesa is located.
The landscape of the Monte Perdido Massif is unique in Europe, spanning 6 World Heritage valleys. Each of the valleys contained in Ordesa National Park and Pyrenees National Park displays a highly distinct shape and plant life features.
Ordesa Valley is the nearest and best known, shaped by the glaciers. Access is regulated during the summer and at Easter by means of a bus that departs from Torla. This is where Ordesa National Park was originally declared. The expansion in 1982 included the next 3 valleys, and the name was changed to Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park.
Pineta Valley: Facing east, it harbours Monte Perdido glacier and is the widest valley in Ordesa National Park. Hiking trips start off from the Parador in Pineta, and from there it is easy to reach the Plains of La Larri or, with a bit more effort, the Cinca waterfalls, Pineta Balcony, frozen lake of Marbore, Monte Perdido, Astazus or Cilindro. By car, you can take in excellent panoramic views from the village of Espierba.
Añisclo Canyon: In this south-facing valley formed by the effects of water erosion, it is easy to notice the phenomenon of thermal inversion. The Bellos River cuts through the valley, where driving is allowed year-round from Escalona to the San Urbez chapel, but traffic only goes the opposite direction during less busy seasons. There is a short looping path that departs from San Urbez, or you can climb up La Ripareta to reach Barranco de la Pardina.
Escuaín gorges: After visiting the village of Tella, with its dolmen and chapels, head to Revilla for a walk along the gorge overlooks (miradores) where you are likely to see several bearded vultures flying overhead. This area is home to one of the most important underground passageway networks in Europe.
The Gavarnie Cirque features Gavarnie Falls, which, with 380 m of vertical drop, is the largest in Europe.
Cirque d’Estaube. Located to the north of the Monte Perdido Massif, the Atlantic climate here defines the lush vegetation.
Bujaruelo Valley, Biosphere Reserve:
Entry is through Torla, home to the vicos (districts) forming the villages in the municipalities of Broto and Torla. The history of this valley has marked the entire Broto Valley.
Bujaruelo Valley boasts expansive meadows where thousands of cows and sheep still graze every year.
This wild game and biosphere reserve is a typical Pyrenees valley structured around the Ara River, which flows from the Cerbillonar or Vignemale Massif, a marbled mountain straddling the Monte Perdido Massif in Ordesa and the axial Pyrenees, and the Panticosa mountains and Sallent de Gállego.
Travelling by car to San Nicolas de Bujaruelo:
- The Valley of Otal. A magnificent example of a valley formed by the effects of glaciers, with excellent views of Otal Peak and Los Gabietos, the first peaks in Ordesa to rise over 3000 m.
- Sandaruelo Valley leads to Gavarnie pass and Bernatuara tarn.
- Ordiso Valley affords views of the Otal waterfalls at its entrance and the suspended bridge over the Ara River.
- Ara Valley follows the course of the Ara River up to Mulos pass, with impressive views of the Vignemale Massif.