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Vall de Ribes

The Vall de Ribes (Ribes Valley) is an excellent location to enjoy the high mountain areas of the Pyrenees in the province of Girona. This valley contains two impressive and emblematic peaks (Puigmal and Taga) and the river Freser, that plays a key role in this natural environment and provides a very refreshing atmosphere in most of the routes. These mountain circuits are professionally designed and it compiles the best and most beautiful itineraries of the area, with different ranges of difficulty adapted to all kind of preferences.

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MID DISTANCE TRAILS

La Covil

Total Distance: 15,5 Km

Elevation gain: 900 m

Start point: Campelles

Finish point: Campelles

Min. height: 1190 (Ribes de Freser)

Max. height: 2056 (Costa Pubilla)

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Summary

This is a short but entertaining and challenging trail, with different kind of tracks and paths, passing through canals, fields, summits and peaks. The high point of this circuit is the Costa Pubilla summit in Sierra de Montgrony, an astonishing lookout in the Eastern Pyrenees with the Puigmal peak as the centre of attention.

The starting point is in front of the City Hall, in a square-lookout that already gives you a sample of the kind of views that you will find along this route.

Walk across the town until you get to a green water tank. Just after that, take a path that in constant climb will get you to cross the track of Refugio de la Covil (la Covil refuge). Keep walking the grassy path across the forest until you get to the crossing tracks point called Coll d’Erola, a very quiet place where cattle can be seen grazing. Cross the track and keep climbing up along the forest until you come across the next track that should be followed for around 1 kilometer, still surrounded by a dense forest.

Enjoy the amazing views that you will find along that track on the top of the Eastern Pyrenees and continue walking until Coll Roig. Just before this col, divert to the left and go across a field, passing beside a small fort full of history. Going past that, you should get to the Coma Ermada canal, that will bring you to a breathtaking viewpoint at its very end. You are getting now to the high point of the Sierra de Montgrony, in a summit that has 360º panoramic views.

To start descending, come back to the Coll de Coma Ermada and keep walking until you get to the high point 2001m in La Covil. Keep going down by the fields looking for the Refugio de La Covil, a shepherd’s hut that can be used as a shelter if the weather conditions are not good at that stage.

After leaving the shelter, keep going by track for 400m to then take a path on the left that will bring you to Refugio de Pla de Prats in constant down slope. This is a leisure area located at 1500m height that has a water fountain and some picnic tables at your disposal.

The next stretch of the descent is the challenging part. You should beware of remaining in the track as well as avoiding the dense vegetation that covers that narrow path. Keep descending in zigzag and you will come across a refuge track.

From now on the walk should be easier. Move towards Campelles through a forest track of 2 kms (half dirt, half paved) until you get to the cemetery. At this point, leave the paved track and turn left to walk by a dirt trail that will get you back in town through a different entry. After being back in town by a paved path, you just need to retrace your initial steps back to the City Hall square.

Water: There are fountains in Campellas and there are some torrents along the circuit to cool off. There is also a fountain in the Pla de Prats Refuge, but it doesn’t always supply water.

Centrales

Total Distance: 22 Km

Elevation gain: 1250 m

Start point: Ribes de Freser

Finish point: Ribes de Freser

Min. height: 920 (Ribes de Freser)

Max. height: 1520 (Camí de Daió)

OUT-OF-SERVICE ROUTE CURRENTLY.

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Summary

Route available at any time of the year. It is very shaded and cool area in winter, that is why warm clothes are recommendable, even if you are planning running. In that season, be very cautious when crossing torrents and rivers. It is normal to find some parts of the track covered by vegetation, especially after a rainy spring season. But this shouldn’t affect much the course of the route, other than getting a bit wet on the legs with the bushes.

The tourism office is the starting point of the walk, where you will have lots of car park spaces. Follow the Paseo Àngel Guimerà to start crossing the town, then take Virgen de Gracia street until you cross Vía del cremallera. Just after passing the barriers, turns to the left towards the cemetery and continue on that concrete path. Once this paved stretch finishes, pass the fence and take the track on the left and keep going along the right edge of the fields. Suddenly those fields will turn into a path in gradual and constant rise surrounded by trees. After passing some fences, you will get to Can Cerdá, this is a house in ruins that remains as a sample of the lifestyle that was common around those valleys years ago.

Nearby the house, turn sharp left and turn again to the right to keep walking down for a bit until you find a big water pipe that goes down the Rialb Hydroelectric plant. Pass over that pipe and continue walking the track without losing height until you cross the river Maçanella. Follow down the paved track until you reach a road that should be walked for a few metres. At some point you will see a narrow trail on the right, be careful not to go past it because it is not that obvious. Keep walking that trail until you pass by Fustanyà.

Following the track you will shortly see the water collecting of the Molino power plant. Walk down until you go across the River Freser, just beside the Hydroelectric plant. Cross Queralbs road cautiously and just after turn right 90º, cross a fence and continue for 500m parallel the road. Right after passing across a small wooden bridge, jump back to the road and keep going carefully for 100m towards Queralbs until you take a wide track on the right. Go around the Albergue de la Farga and you will get to the main building of the power plant and to the Pont De Les Lelles. There is a short walk by paved track and then take a wide path that will shortly turn into a trail that will lead you to a superb balcony over the Daió power plant and the Valley of Freser. Just after starting the descent you will come across the last stretch of the river Nuria, that should be crossed through the metallic platform. After going across some fields and before getting to Daió, turn left and go on a steep uphill along the way that joints the water collecting point and the Daió plant. Walk that track for 200m and take the trail that the sign post will indicate you then. It will take you uphill towards the Pont del Cremal, passing over the River Nuria. Cross the bridge and go down to Queralbs, trying to avoid the staircase. Once you are getting into Queralbs through the higher part of the town, go down the street that brings you to Plaça del Raig. Walk along the main street towards the church, where you should take the Camino de la Bajada to keep descending for a bit.

After passing over the Torrent de la Font de l’Hombre Mort, keep going through the forest in constant and gradual climb up to Vilamanya. Without getting inside the town and after crossing a paved track, keep following the yellow signs that will get you in gradual descent to Batet. Walk down the main street of this town until you come across the Hermitage and turn right to keep walking for 200m by paved track until you find a wooden sign with yellow marks. After that, you should follow this signs to continue the route around the mountainside till you cross the Fernanda torrent to reach the Segura houses. Right after passing all those farmhouses you will get to Collet de Segura, where you will pass by some enclosures. Take the last part of this descent towards the Hermitage de San Cristòfol and after that you will be in town in Cerdanya street. Once there you just need to retrace your initial steps back to the Tourist office across the town.

Water: All needed water facilities are available in Ribes de Freser. There are fountains in the Nuria way, in Queralbs and in Batet. Access to bathing spots (Torrents and rivers).

 

Perramón

Total Distance: 15 Km

Elevation gain: 750 m

Start point: Ribes de Freser

Finish point: Ribes de Freser

Min. height: 920 (Ribes de Freser)

Max. height: 1530 (Conivella)

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Summary

This is an ideal circuit to do cross training, because it will challenges your power skills going uphill and your descent technique, combined with speed.

Some parts of this circuit are likely to be covered by ice In winter and cold seasons.

The first section is shady and in constant uphill. The middle part requires a bit more of technique, with a steep descent up to Bruguera and some entertaining paths towards Perramón. The fastest section is the last one, going across down slopes and trails that will not present any difficulties.

The starting point of the circuit is the Tourist office, where you can find lots of parking spaces. Follow the Paseo Àngel Guimerà to start crossing the town and turn to the left once you get to the sports pavilion, taking the Passeig de la Caterineta. Close by the Caterineta fountain, you will find the path that will directly lead you uphill on a steep slope. After reaching the Collet dels Fortins (tracks crossing point), go past two fences and keep climbing across the fields on the left.

The paths to be followed will always be obvious in this stretch of the route. Continuing the ascent you will leave the forest behind and you will get to Conivella fields, beautiful lookout with superb views of the Taga peak, Sierra de Montgrony and some of the highest points of the Pyrenees.

Passing the fields, there is another uphill section across the forest, that will take you to the top of this circuit in the Taga mountainsides. From there, start descending in zigzag towards Coll de la Pera, quite an easy spot to identify because of its noticeable booster. Passing that building, keep walking down across some fields and paths that will lead you to Bruguera. This is a tiny village that belongs to the municipality of Ribes de Freser and that has been very well preserved over the years. It is the perfect example of rural lifestyle that was common in the area years ago.

Go across the town and just before getting to the Serrat Roig, turn to the left and keep descending for some meters along the course of the torrent. Continue by path, which sometimes will be fast and sometimes more technical, until you pass by the Hermitage of Perramón. Just beside it, you can contemplate the Roble de Perramon, a magnificent protected millennial tree.

Go past two fences and keep following the marked track, having to cross the torrent three times. After that there is a short walk that will bring to a paved track in Perramón.

Continue that track for 200m downhill up to a sharp bend and from there continue straight by a dirt path.

This is the final and fastest part of the route, going across very well-maintained trails and tracks that will bring you to the wastewater treatment plant of the town. From there, continue gradually up by paved track til Bruguera road. Proceed cautiously along the left side of this road for 100 meters and you will return to the starting point.

Water: All needed water facilities are available in Ribes de Freser. There are some fountains in Bruguera. Following this circuit you will pass by a torrent three times.

Torrentes

Total Distance: 21 Km

Elevation gain: 900 m

Start point: Ribes de Freser

Finish point: Ribes de Freser

Min. height: 920 (Ribes de Freser)

Max. height: 1690 (Pista forestal)

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Summary

Route available at any time of the year, but it is advisable to check the weather forecast, specially in winter (risk of finding icy snow in the highest areas of the mountains). The best time of the year to do this route is from spring to mid-autumn.

Both of the stretches of forest track are ideal to do training with changing speeds.

Around the villages this route will take you through, there are lots of livestock and farming areas, so this must be kept in mind to respect the zone.

Departing from the Tourist office, go through the town until you cross Vía del cremallera. Right after that, take the cement ramp on the left and go up the staircase of Castell de Sant Pere. Go around the castle and on its back side, after passing through a garden area, cross a fence and follow the path. Continue up the forest and, after passing a steep field, you will find a paved track close by Can Nadal. Keep walking that track for 150 m and just before getting into a country house land, take the path on the left.

The first few metres of this part of the route are usually covered by bushes, but after some steps it becomes an easy walk. This is a narrow trail that gradually but constantly rises towards the Tregurà track. After crossing that track, keep climbing up a steeper path that leads straight to the Refugio de Pla d’Erola. This is a charming stretch, with sceneries that look like something out of a movie set.

In this refugee there is a water fountain available. Proceed along the forest track and pass through the fence that close the entrance to vehicles. Continue this entertaining trail that will get you through some torrents to end up reaching the Emprius fields. Take the left path that comes out of sharp bend on the right and keep going downhill across the forest. This is a fast and enjoyable descent that will lead you to a booster, after passing a couple of fences. At that point, the trail connects with a wide path that must be followed for a few minutes till El Serrat, village that belongs to the municipality of Queralbs.

You will pass by two fountains along the cobbled streets of this rural town. Take the street Església to leave the town and get back into the forest. Cross the wooden bridge over the Maçanella River, which receives the water of all torrents we were going past the circuit. Continue the shady track that will get you to the base of the last uphill part of the route. After you find a post sign, turn right and start descending towards the paved track close by Can Nadal. This section should be familiar to you because it was part of the climb up way.
At this stage you are very close to Ribes de Freser. Walk towards the town by a fast and easy forest track, first by a dirt path and followed by a paved trail. Once you get to Castell de Sant Pere, you just need to retrace your initial steps back to the Tourist office across the town.

Water: All needed water facilities are available in Ribes de Freser. There is a fountain in Refugio Pla d’Erola, in the track after the refuge and another fountain in El Serrat. Access to some torrents to cool off.