Where to Go for the Best Panoramic Views in the Aragonese Pyrenees

Views in the Ordesa valley
Views in the Ordesa valley | © Jesús Alenda / Flickr
Photo of Tara Jessop
6 June 2018

The north of Aragon is dominated by the rolling foothills and jaw-dropping peaks of the Pyrenees mountains. Home to some of the highest summits of the Pyrenees, Aragon’s mountainous north harbours some outstanding panoramic viewpoints from where you can enjoy epic vistas of chiselled gorges, jagged peaks and verdant valleys. Here’s where to head for some of Aragon’s most unforgettable scenery.

The Heart of the Spanish Pyrenees

Located in the centre of the Pyrenean range, the Aragonese Pyrenees are often considered the most dramatic of the Spanish Pyrenees. Rugged limestone peaks, often capped with snow, stand out against picturesque valley bottoms carved out by streams and rivers which gush with white waters in the spring.

The Aragonese Pyrenees are also where the flora and fauna are seemingly at their wildest, with numerous animal and plant species found exclusively in the Pyrenees mountains adding to the sense of natural splendour.

The Odesa Valley | © Manel / Flickr

During the winter, the Aragonese Pyrenees are a veritable winter wonderland – complete with some of the country’s best ski resorts. While during the warmer months they become every outdoor sports fan’s dream: hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, abseiling, canyoneering – these mountains have much to offer.

Unsurprisingly, there are some rather incredible viewpoints just waiting to be discovered, offering breathtaking vistas of this natural masterpiece and its many extreme landscapes.

Hiking in the Central Pyrenees | © Kitty Terwolbeck / Flickr

For the best views around: Aragon’s Ordesa Valley

Located in the very north of the Aragonese Pyrenees, on the border with France, the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is a World Heritage Site home to some of the most stunning views in the region. This is where one of the highest concentrations of peaks over 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) of altitude in the Pyrenees can be found. Together they form a dramatic background which frames the four blissful alpine valleys which are found in the park.

Perhaps the most impressive of these is the Valle de Ordesa, an 11 kilometre (6.8 mile) long valley which is bordered by the third highest summit in the Pyrenees, the Monte Perdido. This peak got its name – which means ‘lost mountain’ – because it couldn’t be seen from the French side of the Pyrenees and as such appeared to have been ‘lost’.

The view from the bottom of the Ordesa valley | © Javi / Flickr

Here you’ll be able to get a real sense of the dramatic nature of the mountains, the abrupt relief and natural diversity becoming all the more obvious. The bottom of the valley offers a number of walks which will enable you to admire the sheer magnitude of the mountains as you stare up at the gigantic peaks. While those who can take the hike will be able to enjoy undisturbed vistas of the valley opening up in front of them.

Where to stop

The Circo de Soaso: this is perhaps one of the most accessible viewpoints in the Ordesa Valley as it’s located in the valley bottom. The Circo de Soaso offers a rather spectacular view of the park’s highest peak, the Monte Perdido, with waterfalls gushing down from its foothills.

The Mirador de Cacilarruego: after climbing around 600 metres (2,000 feet) along the route known as the Senda de los Cazadores (or ‘Hunter’s Route’), you’ll arrive at the Mirador de Cacilarruego. From here, you can enjoy one of the best views of the Ordesa Valley from above, including the waterfalls of the Circo de Cotatuero.

The Cacilarruego Mirador | © Marta Arias López / Flickr

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