Capçaleres del Ter i del Freser Natural Park

Natural parks, Natura 2000 network, Natura 2000 Network: Special Protection Area (SPA)
The Nuria Valley is a fantastic natural area in Catalan geography, of glacial origin and with a wide variety of flora y la fauna. It sits on the southern side of the eastern part of the Pyrenees, at two thousand metres above sea level and is surrounded by peaks reaching up to three thousand metres. Its highest point is the Puigmal, at 2,913 metres.

The Núria Valley is a fantastic natural area in Catalan geography, of glacial origin and with a wide variety of flora and fauna. It sits on the southern side of the eastern part of the Pyrenees, at two thousand metres above sea level and is surrounded by peaks reaching up to three thousand metres. Its highest point is the Puigmal, at 2,913 metres.

The valley is characterised by its geomorphology that has been greatly influenced by the vast swathes of snow and ice that covered this land 25,000 years ago. The location of these masses shaped a main glacier, where other smaller ones from the side valleys converged. This is why today there are glacial cirques, rugged terrain, deep gorges and karstic cavities. Another important consequence of this glacial activity is the large number of torrents and small lakes in the valley.

The action and accumulation of snow in the ice source zones during the glacial period gave rise to the current pot-shaped terrain, with almost vertical walls. The La Coma de Eina glacial cirque, next to the peaks of Eina and Noufonts is a stunning sight, with walls reaching up to five hundred metres in height.

Another effect of the snow was the formation of spectacular U-shaped valleys, many now occupied by lakes. The best examples are Coma de Vaca and the Núria River valleys. You can also see waterfall deposits, small moraine deposits and the so-called hanging valleys that end abruptly, such as that of Fuentealba, which descends from the foot of Puigmal and concludes with a stunning waterfall.

Water has also played a major role in the valley. Over time it has created deep gorges dug out through the substrate in places such as the Coma de Vaca Valley. In areas of calcareous rock, the action of the water has caused the formation of karstic phenomena as can be seen in the Forat de l'Embut, a network of subterranean tunnels reaching almost a kilometre in length through which water flows to the Finestrelles Torrent.

This is one of the main torrents in the valley, along with the La Coma del Embudo, Eina, Noufonts and Mulleres. All collect water from the headwaters on the highest peaks and transport them to the bottom of the valleys until reaching the Núria Lake, from where they descend via the Núria River between the Totlomón rocks.

A tremendous biodiversity has developed throughout the valley, especially the flora and fauna that inhabit the gorges and banks of the torrents. In the Alpine zone, above 2,400 metres, there is a highly selective habitat owing to the harsh climate. Here the vegetation grows low, with meadows of Pyrenean gentiana, a bluey-coloured flower, inhabited by animals such as the chamois, ptarmigan and mouflon.

The landscapes in the sub-Alpine zone, up to 1,600 metres, are typically extensive forests and gorges, with green-colour rocks. The black pine forests, mushrooms (especially St. George's mushrooms) and the golden eagle are all worthy of a mention too. Finally, in the mid-mountain zone, which descends from 1,600 metres, there are forests of deciduous trees, large leafed oaks, hazelnut trees and ferns. Amongst the animals to be found here are the blue tit, robin and the salamander.

The only means of reaching the centre of the valley, where the Núria Sanctuary is situated along with the rest of the ski resort, accommodation and leisure facilities, is by the rack train, a service that was opened in 1931 (with stations in Ribes de Freser and Queralbs). It is here where you can enjoy activities and amenities such asarchery, forest walks, a picnic area, horse riding across the mountains, a cable car and minigolf.

Climbing the Núria Valley can be done in three stages: the mid-mountain stage (up to 1,600 metres above sea level); the sub-Alpine stage (1,600-2,400 metres) and the Alpine stage (from 2,400 metres).

  • Year of declaration: 22/09/2015
  • Regulations: Decreto 211/2015, de 22 de septiembre del DOGC
  • Area: 14733
  • Ownership: Public
  • District: Planoles; Queralbs; Ribes de Freser; Pardines; Vilallonga de Ter; Setcases; Molló; Toses
  • Visitor centres: N
  • Annual closing: Open all year round.
  • How to get there: On the AP-7 motorway from Girona to France. Exit at Parets del Vallés and take the C-17 towards Ripoll. Continue on the N-152, crossing Ribes de Freser. Follow the GIV-5217 until reaching Querlabs. Take the “Camí de Núria".
  • Languages: Catalan, Spanish
You are adhered to: Family-friendly adventure holidays
You are adhered to: Family-friendly adventure holidays

Facilities

Refuge

Flora

At altitudes of over 2,500 metres, we can find alpine grassland, predominated by grasses and sedge, where many flower species appear in summer. Black pine forests prevail between 1,600 and 2,500 metres. It is worth highlighting the black pine forest known as Bac de Carboners, inside the forest on Sant Miquel mountain in Setcases. In Queràs, we can see centenary fir specimens and in the pine groves of Fontalba de Núria, we can find very old black pines.

Fauna

Among the mammals, we can highlight the stoat, the mountain mole, the desman, the chamois and the mouflon. The main birds are the European honey buzzard, the red kite, the bearded vulture, the Griffon vulture, the short-toed snake eagle, the golden eagle, the booted eagle, the peregrine falcon, the wood grouse, the Eurasian eagle-owl, the boreal owl, the European nightjar, the black woodpecker, the woodlark, the tawny pipit, the Dartford warbler, the red-backed shrike, the red-billed chough, the ortolan bunting, the rock ptarmigan and the grey partridge.

There are also some interesting mollusc species like the snail Ariant xatartl, moths and true bugs like Epirrhoe tristata, Boloría napaea and Plagiognathus abrotani, myriapoda like Lithobius ambulotentus and beetles like Geotrechus puigmalensis and Perriniella sp.

Routes

Bird-watching tourism

You are adhered to: Family-friendly adventure holidays
You are adhered to: Family-friendly adventure holidays
WHAT IS AROUND HERE?
Capçaleres del Ter i del Freser Natural Park
  • Capçaleres del Ter i del Freser Natural Park

  • Address:Square de l'Ajuntament, 4

  • 17534 Queralbs

  • Girona / Pyrenees

  • Capçaleres del Ter i del Freser Natural Park
  • Capçaleres del Ter i del Freser Natural Park

  • Address: Square de l'Ajuntament, 4

  • 17534 Queralbs

  • Girona / Pyrenees

  • Telephone:972 727 361

  • Mobile:667 116 811

  • Fax:972 727 982

  • E-mail:info@ajqueralbs.cat

  • Web:parcsnaturals.gencat.cat/ca/ter-freser

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