We will be staying in Beliver de Cerdanya (near Puigcerda) for a week in late September. Has anyone traveled in this area of Spain (not a popular tourist destination). Information on how are the roads, towns and sites to see, easy to moderate hikes, clothes to take re: weather or any information of this region would be appreciated.
We spent a week in Talarn, which is north of Tremp a mile or two. Where is Tremp compared to your city of Puigcerda? West-South-West, not so far. I would say it is the same neighborhood. In the area of "all north-south roads go to Andorra" and we did not. If I wanted a shopping mall I would stay home.
We were in Talarn early April and the weather was divine. Warm days cooler evenings. But it was spring so anything can happen. I would think September would be nice as the heat of summer should be past, and tourists if any ever get there, should be home by then.
Roads...I rate them A+. Even the smaller mountain roads were in great shape. We took the 'back road' from Col de Negro to Tremp and it was spectacularly beautiful and the road...A++. With very little traffic, and I mean VERY little traffic. Maximum speed was ??? 30 mph? Curvy and mountainous. Our host was a bit shocked that we took it. But he knew we were Americans (from USA) and expected us to use the toll roads which are four lane.
North West from Tremp is the Boi Valley which is quite nice. Also north of Sort it was lovely. Plenty of walking/hiking possibilities.
You are correct, it is not touristy, which we enjoyed. There are a good number of hill towns, which were walled at one time and some still are (Talarn). The Morrish invasion came to a standstill south of where you will stay (Oh 30 miles or so). Stand still, as in, the locals had plenty of time to build castles.
The weekly market we ran into were not as diverse or interesting as what we have found in France or Italy. Rabbit cooked with lots of garlic is a specialty. they eat supper (diner) starting about 20:30. They have a lot of dried meats, ham and sausages that are cured which are delicious. And a type of hagus. Oh, and pork cheeks...yum. seriously.
Clothes...early fall weather. A light coat, rain coat, walking boots. Never felt over or under dressed for restaurants or church visits with regular wear from US.
hello: wayner: I was thrilled to see your information. I figured I'd never here from someone who had been in that area since it was so un- touristy . thank you so much for all of the information. It was great to see the roads were A++- wow. I see where Tremp is in Spain. I think we will be about 25 or so miles North of TRemp. no doubt we will visit Tremp and the surrounding small towns. if you have any other thoughts or recommendations, I am all ears. Thank you so much. Carolyn
I haven't been as deep into the Pyrenees (you will be on the French border just east of Andorra), but I found the same things the other poster did. Roads were really good and lightly traveled. But very twisty, typical mountain roads. So be very cautious driving as anything can be on the roadway just around the corner. Drivers on the whole are very courteous.
I enjoyed Besalu, which will be more touristy than deeper in the mountains. Castellfollit de la Roca is a stunning town perched on a cliff. Olot and Ripoll are more ordinary towns that didn't seem very quaint but will have more services.
Not sure how you are getting there, but the C-17 from Barcelona to Ripoll is an excellent divided highway that is not a tollway. It would get you quickly most of the way to your destination if coming from Barcelona. From there it becomes twisting mountain roads.
You will be high in the mountains so it will be colder by late September. In May there were still snowpeaks. Be prepared for cool to cold weather, especially at night.
Thank you, Douglas. I'm sure it will be beautiful, but I get car sick on curvy roads, so i'll be sure to take Dramamine. we are driving to the area from Perpignon , France. I will put all the towns and areas you mentioned on my notes so we can visit them. I see Olot and Ripoli on the RS map of Spain, but not the other town you mentioned. Also, did most people speak English. I speak some Spanish, but don't want to offend anyone in that area?? THank you, Carolyn
Also, did most people speak English. I speak some Spanish, but don't want to offend anyone in that area??
Speaking Spanish might just offend them - they are Catalan and may not speak much Spanish themselves. You might even find more people speaking French than Spanish as a second language. English may be iffy, but learn a few words in Catalan and you'll get along very well for the effort.
Besalu is a small town but on most touristy maps. The other is tiny and along the highway between Besalu and Olot. If you were to drive for a daytrip to Girona or Figueres, you'd pass through them.
ok. I will learn some catalan. we are taking a French class now, so between all 4 languages, we'll be ok. we will make an effort to go to Besalu and the other towns you mentioned . thank you.
Tremp is the city with the shops to buy groceries. Talarn has Lola's restaurant which I recommend for 14:00 lunch. Lola serves some very nice food and typically it comes in large portions. The hill town itself is a nice walk day or night and is more photogenic than one might think.
A few miles south of Tremp is castle Mur. Unique bath-tub shaped castle. To the north-west of Talarn is a hilltown, Santa Engracia, that is really remote and has a church which hangs over a cliff on the hilltop. The road starts out strong, gets a bit worrisome, then becomes newly paved. East of Tremp off highway L511 is Abella de la Conca. This is another small town clinging to the side of a cliff. I spent an hour sketching the church. Park at the bottom of the village on the inside of the road.
There is an airbnb in Talarn, which is where we stayed. Kind of a funky place in the actual wall, but with a great view out of the city wall. The longer we stayed in the apartment the more we warmed to it. An architect owns it so it is his design.
This is CATALYN country. Yes, they speak Castilian Spanish. But Catalyn is native. There was enough English spoken that we got by. Our host and wife spoke very good English. But we did do a lot of pointing and gesturing. Being a low non-Spanish tourism area I think they thought of us as a novelty.
For dessert order Catalyn Cream the first chance yo have. You will come home five pounds heavier. Enjoy.
hello, wayne: I am going to cc and paste all of your suggestions. thank you very much. I am going to learn a few basic catalan phrases and hope to get by with our English and Spanish.
I'm going to learn some basic catalan. thank you all.