Mountaineering, cycling, climbing and hiking in Spains Chamonix
After having already visited the deep canyons north of Lleida and the Val de Aran (and planning to continue on to the Monte Perdido valley) we arrived in Benasque with a a few goals - the primary one being a climb of Pico de Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees. That goal achieved (there is a separate article on this site) we set our sights on the other things the area has to offer.


For a road cyclist the valley offers a few loops and longer climbs (the Cerler ski station in particular), but I would not suggest coming here just for that. If you are a mountain biker however the trail network and abundance of shuttle services will keep you busy and entertained for a good while.

A special shout out to the Pedalejoo shop who fixed my broken brakes in half an hour!


Of course the higher peaks have quite a few big alpine climbs on offer but we choose to sample the sport climbing in the area. There are a number of well established crags up and down the valley and we selected Sacs - in walking distance to the place where we had made camp. The climbs here are mostly slabby affairs but fun and set in stunning landscape.

The Via Ferrata by the same name is nothing to write home about however.


The whole area is a paradise for hikers, from casual to very serious. The GR11 long distance trail that traverses the Spanish side of the Pyrenees comes through here and the valleys below the high peaks offer stunning views. Many of the summits are reachable by moderate hikes as well.

Besides all that the stuff that you can do here the valley was fairly quiet when we visited in late September. The fact that many areas can only be reached by shuttle bus in summer however point to this not always being the case.
For us the combination of stunning landscape, tons of outdoorsy things to do and relative quiet make Benasque very much worth a visit (and definitely revisit).

Adventurers: Brigitte and Bengt