Val d’Aran, the heart of the Pyrenees

UTMB® International
10/06/2021
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There are many reasons why the Val d’Aran is so distinctive. It is known as the “valley of valleys”, since its own name, Aran, means valley in ancient Basque language. It has a unique Atlantic climate, wild forests, mountains reaching 3,000 metres above sea level, and it has plenty of activities to offer year-round. 

As a territory, we welcome everyone to discover the region to find out what makes Val d’Aran so different… 

THE NATURE 

One of the gems of Val d’Aran are its mountains and surroundings. There are hundreds of routes to discover through the most magical places in the valley, like Artiga de Lin. Here you will find “Uelhs deth Joeu”, an impressive waterfall that emerges from Aneto, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees, after running underground in the mountains for 4km. 

Routes like the glacial lakes tour in Colomèrs at the Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, and the breathtaking Carlac beech forest known as “the magic forest”, are other fantastic options to walk around the valley. 

Val d’Aran by UTMB® races take you through all of these unique places, offering the runners the chance to discover every single spot. 

Connect with Val d’Aran‘s nature through our races! 

THE CULTURE 

One of the most preserved and unique treasures in our territory include our culture, language and heritage.  

We celebrate traditions like the Fire Festivities, declared UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2015. Each year on the 23rd of June, a 12m tall fir tree is burned in the villages of Les and Arties. The ashes are collected by the local citizens as a sign of fertility and are used in their field work.  

Another cultural particularity is our own language, Aranese, coming from Gascon, a variety of Romance spoken in southwest France. Aranese is spoken by less than 6,000 people, but it has great influence in the territory, and is considered an identifying sign of Val d’Aran’s people. 

You will also have the chance to discover the Romanesque architectural heritage thanks to the conservation of our churches and villages. The Salardú church was an old fortress; Teresa’s cemetery is the smallest cemetery in Spain, where only one person was buried 100 years ago and the streets of one of our 33 villages will transport you to another time. 

A journey to the past together with the UTMB® races! 

THE ACTIVITIES 

Val d’Aran is the best destination for sports enthusiasts. You will find plenty to enjoy, like rafting, horse riding, climbing and mountain biking, as well as the main attractions of skiing, trekking and trail running. 

Val d’Aran is known worldwide thanks to its vast ski resort, Baqueira Beret, the biggest in Spain, that is a key economic driver for the valley during wintertime. During the rest of the year, the ski slopes and the rest of the valley offer the perfect scenery for outdoor sports like trekking and trail running. 

Over recent years, trail running has become more and more popular and now the region is host to one of the biggest races in Spain this summer: Val d’Aran by UTMB®. What a wonderful way of discovering all the secrets of Val d’Aran, by running some of the 170km Val d’Aran by UTMB® has to offer. 

In Aran we are more than ready to welcome you with our arms open; we have all the ingredients to make your stay an unforgettable experience. Discover all that the valley has to offer by visiting our territory. 

Val d’Aran is air, fire, earth and water. 

 

Are you going to miss it? 

¡VIU ERA EXPERIÈNCIA! 

 

 

Written by Joan Carabias. 


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