10 Best Ordesa National Park hikes

Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park belongs to the province of Aragon and is located in the Pyrenees of Spain. This natural park is great to visit because it has rugged, green, imposing, and has many impressive canyons. The park belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its biodiversity. In this park, you will encounter various animals such as shepherds with their dogs.

The best way to get to know the park is by doing some hikes. There are countless hiking routes, so it can be difficult to find a hiking route that suits your needs. We hiked in Ordesa National Park for three days and are happy to share our personal tips to help you select the best Ordesa National Park hikes.

In addition to the hiking tips, you can also read about other fun activities to do, where to stay, best places to eat, and much more!

Waterfalls Cola de Caballo
hiking in Ordesa trail

What are the best Ordesa National Park hikes?

The best hike in Ordesa National Park does not exist but some routes are better than others. We have walked the routes below and recommend them.

  1. Cola de Caballo
  2. Nerin naar Mondoto
  3. Ermita de San Urbez

In addition to the above routes, the two routes below are also recommended. Unfortunately, we were unable to do this due to time constraints.

  • Cañon de Añisclo
  • Monte Perdido

You can use the map below to orientate yourself during the walks. You can also see where you can park your car per walk. In addition, you can see where our recommended accommodations are, where the best places are to eat, and our other recommended activities. Click on the top right corner to enlarge the map. If you click on the star symbol next to the title you can save this map in your Google Maps account. In the map you can show or hide different categories.

#1 Cola de Caballo

The most beautiful walk in the whole region is the walk to Cola de Caballo. During this relatively easy walk, you mainly walk along the river, through forests and a mountain valley to eventually arrive at the waterfall Cola de Caballo. The walk is loved by travelers and locals because it is the most beautiful Pyrenees waterfalls walk you can do. During this trip, you pass a couple of impressive waterfalls. An additional advantage is that this route is easy to walk for everyone.

You start this walk at the Ordesa parking. Here you can choose to start two routes, namely the standard route on your left where you walk in the valley. On the route on the right, you will mainly walk on top of the mountain which gives you more panorama views. Both routes end at the same point at the Cola de Caballo waterfall. It is therefore also possible to start the standard route (left route) and return via the other route. Keep in mind that the right route is a lot heavier. It is also not suitable for people who are afraid of heights. Finally, the routes are easy to follow, it is a long road that is marked with signs in the meantime.

It is important to start on time, preferably at sunrise so that you have enough time. Also benefit when starting early is that you can park your car. Due to its popularity, the parking lot may be closed when it is too busy. This happens regularly during the weekend. We also recommend, if you have the opportunity, to do the hike outside the weekend.

We can talk for hours about this and the other tours, hopefully, our photos will inspire you to do these tours :).

  • Distance: 18km
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Ascent/descent: 680m
  • Departure and end point: Ordesa parking lot
Cola de Caballo
Cola de Caballo hike Ordesa

#2 Nerín to Mondoto

If you like hikes where you enjoy panorama views the hike from Nerín to Mondoto is recommended. This hike is rough and heavy because you have to ascend for 2 hours. Finally, you arrive at a plateau of Pico de Mondoto where you have a magnificent view over the valley. The great thing is that many vultures hover a few meters above your head here.

You start the walk in the village of Nerín and walk towards the church of Santa Maria. Here you need to follow the road and turn right into the mountain path. Once you have turned in the path you have to follow the road and keep right. Finally, you arrive in a valley which you have to walk through, at the end turn right. After this, you have to keep following the road until you reach Mondoto’s viewpoint. The easiest way is to use the map at the beginning of this article, you can see the walking path with Google Earth, so you never get lost.

It is advisable to start this hike as early as possible because you walk the entire hike in an open area. This means you have no protection from the sun. The later you go, the warmer it will be, making it so much heavier.

  • Distance: 7.8km
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Ascent/descent: 680m
  • Departure and end point: Nerín parking lot
Mondoto

Where to stay in Ordesa National Park

We stayed in Hotel de Montaña El Mirador which is located in Broto. We recommend this hotel because you will be welcomed with open arms by the family that runs this hotel. They are always happy to help you with detailed information, the breakfast they serve is very extensive and the location is perfect. The hotel is located on the edge of the village from where you have a magnificent view of the green valley. If you want to relax, this is a perfect place. Finally, the rooms and facilities are more than fine. The beds are comfortable which is important if you are active all day. You can check prices and availability for Hotel de Montaña El Mirador.

If Hotel de Montaña El Mirador is fully booked you can stay at Silken Ordesa. This hotel is located in Torla-Ordesa and has everything to offer if you looking for some luxury. Check current prices and availability here.

#3 Ermita de San Urbez

The hike at Ermita de San Urbez is easy that can be combined with a road trip through Valles de Bujaruelo, Ordesa, and Añisclo. During this hike, you descend to the river and pass a couple of bridges where you can enjoy the swirling water. You also hike in the forest and visit a church in the caves along the river.

If you stay in the village Broto, as we did, you should park your car at La Tella. It is possible to park at the parking lot of San Urbez only because the route from La Tella and San Urbez is a one-way you have to drive first to Rio Bellós and then drive back to San Urbez. This takes 1 hour by car, if you walk from the La Tella parking lot to the San Urbez parking lot it takes 18 minutes.

At the San Urbez parking lot, the route is signposted. It is best to walk the route clockwise so that you see the church last.

  • Distance: 2.2km
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Ascent/descent: 210m
  • Departure and end point: La Tella parking lot (if you come from Broto/Sarvisé) or San Urbez parking lot
Ermita de San Urbez
Waterfall Ermita de San Urbez

#4 Cañon de Añisclo

During this hike, you will walk in the gorge along the river until the waterfall Fuen Blanca. This hike is recommended for people who want to discover a part of the region that is not walked by many others. It is a long easy hike to follow where you have to cover the necessary altimeters. During this hike, you will come across several waterfalls and you will mainly walk in a wooded area.

This walk starts just like #3 at the San Urbez parking lot. At the parking lot, you have to walk along Ermita de San Urbez and follow the road to the right (follow the river). You must start the walk at sunrise because this hike takes at least 8 hours.

  • Distance: 23.5km
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Ascent/descent: 800m
  • Departure and end point: La Tella parking lot (if you coming from Broto/Sarvisé) or San Urbez parking lot
Cañon de Añisclo

#5 Monte Perdido

The highest mountain in Ordesa National Park is Monte Perdido. With a height of 3355 meters, this impressive piece of nature is worth seeing. It is possible to admire this mountain up close, for this you have two options. Firstly, you can do a multi-day hike or you visit it with an organization (with landrover).

For the multi-day hike (called: Faja de las Flores – Monte Perdido) you start (and finish) is at the same point as the Cola de Caballo hike. The first part to the waterfall Cola de Caballo is the same, at the waterfall you only have to walk up to Refugio de Goriz where you can stay. The next morning you can walk to Monte Perdido. Many consider this as the best multi-day trip you can do in the area.

  • Distance: 33.6km
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Ascent/descent: 2940m
  • Departure and end point: Ordesa parking lot

If you don’t want to do a multi-day hike it is also possible to book a tour. Ask at the accommodation where you are staying for more information.

Monte Perido

Other fun activities in Ordesa National Park

In addition to all the hiking, there are a lot of other fun things to do in Ordesa National Park. You can go horseback riding, do a road trip through the entire area, visit various waterfalls, and admire villages where it seems as if time has stood still.

#6 Valles de Bujaruelo, Ordesa and Anisclo

The route indicated on the map is great to get to know the entire area. Approximately it takes 4 hours with all stops. During the tour, you can visit many viewpoints, pass villages in the mountains where hardly anyone lives and see a lot of the area in a relatively short period. In the morning you drive through the high mountain and in the afternoon over the green plains of Ordesa. This road trip is very varied and fun to do.

Try to get to the mountain village of Buerba at lunchtime, where you can eat the best sausage you’ve ever had at the local restaurant O Forno d’Añisclo in Buerba! It is a special place to visit because the owner of this restaurant together with his wife and children are the only residents of this village. All the products he uses come directly from the land. The meat comes from the animals that live outside in the area all year round. The taste is unprecedentedly pure that you will surprise yourself how something so simple can be so delicious. Take cash with you, it can be the case that the ATM does not work.

Tip: when the weather is bad in Ordesa this is the best activity you can do.

Valles de Bujaruelo, Ordesa and Anisclo road trip
Road trip Valles de Bujaruelo, Ordesa and Anisclo

#7 Horseback Riding

If you’ve always wanted to go horseback riding, this is your chance. During a 1-hour tour, you walk over the green plains and forest area together with your horse. It is an activity that is fun for people who have never been on a horse and want to get acquainted with it. The disadvantage of this tour is that the guide leads the way and the horses are trained in such a way that they follow this horse continuously, so don’t expect Hollywood actions while riding. We did this at Caballos Sarvisé for €15 per person.

Horseback riding Ordesa

#8 Waterfalls

During the hikes that we mentioned in this article, you will visit a couple of waterfalls. Cascada de Sorrosal is a waterfall that you can easily visit without having to walk for hours. For this you have to visit Broto, on the edge of the village you can admire an impressive waterfall.

waterfall Ordesa

#9 Villages

In addition to the waterfall in Broto, you can also visit old houses and churches along the water. There is a historical route where you can read information signs at each building that explains the history of the building. In addition, during your stay, you will pass a couple of villages that have been abandoned. The villages of Fanlo and Buerba are worth a visit, you can visit them during the road trip.

Broto in Ordesa

#10 Adventure Activities

Due to the high mountains, strong flowing rivers, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is perfect for people who like to do activities that require some guts. For example, you can go mountain climbing, rappel, and canyoning. If you are interested ask for more information about it at your accommodation.

Adventure Activities Ordesa

How many days do you need for Ordesa National Park?

We recommend staying at least 3 days / 4 nights in Ordesa National Park. During a stay of 3 days, you can do 2 hikes and 1 day to do something different. If you like hiking and being in nature, 3 days are probably too short. In this case, it is recommended to stay 5 days / 6 nights in Ordesa. This allows you to make a multi-day hike or several day trips.

Do you need a guide for hikes in Ordesa National Park?

The answer is very simple: no! You can do all hikes independently. All hikes are marked. It is recommended that you buy a hiking map and use our map and the Maps.Me application to navigate yourself.

You only need a guide if you are going to do adventurous activities such as mountaineering, rappel, and canyoning.

How fit do you need to be for the hikes?

If you have a normal condition you can do all hikes without problems. You must do some walking trips at home before the vacation to let your body get used to it. You can also choose not to plan natural parks at the beginning of your trip and to make a few city trips first. This allows your body to get used to the new environment and activities.

Do you suffer from fear of height at Ordesa National Park?

The hikes we did can be done by people who suffer from fear of height without any problems. At hike #1 Cola de Caballo it is advisable for people with a fear of heights to follow the left path. If you are in a doubt you can always ask the locals at your accommodation what their advice is.

Where to stay in Ordesa National Park?

There are several villages where you can stay in Ordesa National Park. We recommend staying as close as possible to the park so that you don’t lose a lot of time driving to different places.

We stayed in Hotel de Montaña El Mirador which is located in Broto. We recommend this hotel because you will be welcomed with open arms by the family that runs this hotel. They are always happy to help you with detailed information, the breakfast they serve is very extensive and the location is perfect. The hotel is located on the edge of the village from where you have a magnificent view of the green valley. If you want to relax, this is a perfect place. Finally, the rooms and facilities are more than fine. The beds are comfortable which is important if you are active all day. You can check prices and availability for Hotel de Montaña El Mirador.

If Hotel de Montaña El Mirador is fully booked you can stay at Silken Ordesa. This hotel is located in Torla-Ordesa and has everything to offer if you looking for some luxury. Check current prices and availability here.

Where to eat in Ordesa National Park?

If you’re staying in the Pyrenees, there’s nothing better than eating at the local spots. We have eaten at several places and recommend the three places below.

The nicest place to eat is Pizzería la Tea. This pizzeria is located in Broto next to the river and is perfect if, like us, you are staying in Broto. In this pizzeria you will find a cozy atmosphere, it is authentically decorated and the large stone oven in the middle makes it a great place to eat. In addition to the high-quality pizzas, you can order other typical Italian dishes. Try the pizza with artichoke and the sangria, delicious after a day of hiking!

Another special place to eat is at the O Forno d’Añisclo in Buerba where you can eat the best sausage you’ll probably ever have. It is a special place to visit because the owner of this restaurant together with his wife and children are the only residents of this village. All the products he uses come directly from the land. The meat comes from the animals that live outside in the area all year round. The taste is unprecedentedly pure that you will surprise yourself how something so simple can be so delicious. Bring some cash with you because it can be the case that the ATM does not work due to the bad internet connection.

Close to Pizzeria la Tea, you find Restaurante las Endrinas, this is a good restaurant to enjoy a menu del dia in the afternoon. For €14 you can order a starter, main course, and dessert. The salmon prepared on the grill is recommended. Expect good food but no more than that, after all, it is only 14 euros per person.

Pizzería la Tea

What to bring with you?

Assuming that, like us, you are only going to do day trips, you should bring the following items with you:

  • Backpack, hiking boots. walking sticks, water (2 liters per person), cash, mobile, toilet paper, snacks, lunch (order at Espiga de Oro in Broto or visit the supermarket Eroski in Broto), hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, poncho, specific clothing for warm weather, cold or wet weather.

Tip: before you leave, ask what the weather forecast is at your accommodation. It is recommended to bring water-repellent clothing, such as a poncho. The weather can suddenly change in the mountains and completely surprise you.

Do you need special travel insurance?

Yes! We never travel without the right travel insurance and recommend that you do the same. trekking tours at these altitudes or areas are not always covered by standard insurance. What you don’t want is that something happens and you’re not insured. We always book our travel insurance with World Nomads and are very satisfied with it. You can easily book your travel insurance for La Ordesa via this link at World Nomads. Or fill in the form below to get a quote.

How to get to Ordesa National Park?

Ordesa National Park is best reached by car or public transport.

From the countries in Europa, you can travel directly by car to Ordesa National Park. It is located just across the border of France so travel time is limited.

If you are in Spain you can also travel to Ordesa by public transport. For this, you have to travel by train from a large city to Huesca. In Huesca, you have to take the bus to Broto/Sarvisé. Train tickets can be purchased here. We don’t recommend traveling to Spain from the European countries by public transport because of the long travel time.

What is the best period to visit Ordesa National Park?

If you want to do great hikes in Ordesa, the spring and summer period from April to September is the best period. During this period, temperatures are higher and it is drier. The disadvantage is that this is the high season which means that prices are higher.

You can also visit Ordesa during the winter months, during this period you can’t hike due to the snow. Instead, you can go skiing in Spain.

Want to see more of Spain?

If you follow our itinerary through Northern Spain, Barcelona is your next destination. Read here everything you can do in Barcelona in 3 days.

If you don’t follow our itinerary, you have a couple of options to travel to from Ordesa. The most logical next destinations would be San Sebastian, La Rioja, Zaragoza or the Costa Brava.

San Sebastian located in the Basque Country is a fun city to discover. Here you can discover the Basque culture. La Rioja is the wine region of Spain if you want to see the countryside of Spain you have to visit La Rioja. Zaragoza is one of the largest cities in Spain where you can discover a lot of great things in terms of culture. The Costa Brava is one of the most popular regions of Spain, where coastal towns and Barcelona make many travelers’ hearts beat faster.

Tip: if you love hiking, visiting Picos de Europa National Park is something for you. Here you can also do some great hikes. The difference compared to Ordesa is that Picos de Europa is rougher and less popular so you see fewer people during your walks. Ordesa is mainly a lot greener and has been further developed in terms of tourism facilities. We did a few hikes in Picos de Europa, open the link to read all our tips about Picos de Europa hikes.

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