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La Vall de Boí  (Sergi & Yolanda)

The Vall de Boí is a beautiful place of great historical value located at the foot of the Catalan Pyrenees. We had not been there for many years and we were excited to return to visit the place, especially the famous Romanesque churches, which have the UNESCO World Heritage designation. We went there on November 2016, when we made a 4-day trip to the valley, and for sure we will repeat it.

Getting there & around

We went by car from Barcelona, and the trip takes about three and a half hours. You can go by motorway in the direction of Lleida, and at the end you cross the border between Aragon and Catalonia several times to end up taking a winding road but in good condition. The nearest large town is Pont de Suert, about 20-30 minutes from the villages of the churches.

The car is very practical for visiting the valley and gives great freedom of movement. All the villages in the valley are quite close to each other, less than 15-20 min drive away at most. Anyway, it is even possible to walk between them if you feel like it. There are also many hiking routes between the villages (you can get information at any of the information offices) and there is even a 28km circular route that passes by the 9 churches (distributed in 7 villages) that are part of the World Heritage list. If you are in fit and have enough time, it can be a good option to know the area. We assume that there will also be public transport between the villages but we do not know the frequency and timetables.

Apart from the Romanesque churches, another of the region's most important sights is the Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici (see link for information on the park), a wonderful natural spot that in autumn showed us its best colours. There are free car parks at the accesses to the park, which are only 10 minutes away from villages like Barruera or Boí, although there are also taxis that take you further into the park. In summer there are also shuttle buses.

Where to stay

We stayed in the village of Barruera in Casa Joan, in a nice apartment located in the attic of one of the houses of the village. It had a double room, bathroom, dining room and kitchen; all perfectly equipped. The owners were also very friendly and welcoming and we felt at home. In conclusion: unbeatable value for money, we are sure we will be back soon.

Where to eat

The whole area was a little expensive, with menus that didn't go below 15€ per person. The shops (small supermarkets) and bakery that were in Barruera also had quite high prices. As we had a kitchen in the apartment, we didn't eat out every day, but we tried some restaurants that we list below:

What to See & Do

The main attractions of the area are the Romanesque churches and the Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes (see link). It is also very close to Caldes de Boí, famous for its thermal waters and spa. Furthermore, the area is very quiet and pleasant and there are numerous hiking routes to do, of all levels of difficulty: from short family walks to hard mountain trekkings, as well as mountain bike and cyclotourism routes. Everything is very well explained on the official website (http://www.vallboi.cat) and also in the information offices (we were in the offices of Boí and Barruera) are very friendly and can help you in whatever you need. If you want more information about the churches, the park or the hiking routes you can write to us.

Next we will focus on explaining the Romanesque churches in each of the villages we visited. You can visit the interior of some of them for reduced prices and there is a very recommendable combined ticket for 3 or 5 of them, including (or not) the Romanesque Art Centre in Erill La Vall. In summer, most of them are open, but when we went on November, we could only visit Taüll, Boí and Erill la Vall, while the rest were closed to the public.

TAÜLL 


BOÍ 

ERILL LA VALL  BARRUERA  DURRO  CARDET  CÓLL