Torla, A Great Base Camp for Exploring Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Pyrenees

By Paul Bryers, 2014

Torla is a small village located in the Province of Huesca in the Aragon Region of Northern Spain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torla). It can only be accessed by the N-260 from Broto or from Biescas through the port of Cotefablo. We were lucky enough to stay there in August of 2014 for five nights, and used it as a base for exploring the nearby Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park. Our accommodations were in the Hotel Villa de Torla (http://www.hotelvilladetorla.com/index.aspx), which turned out to be an excellent choice. The hotel is located right in the center of this little mountain village. The rooms were very clean and well appointed. We had a suite on the top floor with an incredible view down the valley and a big Jacuzzi that came in handy each night after a hard hike – for some reason you could not go in the Jacuzzi without a glass of wine. Fluffy robes and towels were also aplenty. Hard life. The hotel has a nice outside pool with views down the valley and up to the mountains. Breakfasts were very good, with different home made pastries each morning. We only had dinner at the hotel once – it was OK but nothing special. However, there are a couple of good restaurants in the village, but you have to book in advance – good was Asador (http://www.apartamentostorla.com/es/restaurante-la-cocinilla-torla.aspx) and excellent was El Duende – The Goblin (we ate there twice – http://www.restauranteelduende.com). The latter was certainly the best restaurant in the village and surrounding area – maybe in the Pyrenees! The calamari was fantastic, as was the wild boar. Which reminds me, just after we left Torla to drive to Barcelona (about 5 hours), a boar ran out of the mist and in front of the car! It was a big, to be sure. Back to Torla -there are two small supermarkets in the village – the one furtherest from the village center is the better of the two. Stock up here with local rolls and fruit for a lunches on day hikes, and don’t forget water.

Torla borders France, but lacks a road connection with it, and is one of two gateways to the National Park. In summer, when access to the Park is restricted for private vehicles, buses leave from Torla just below the Hotel Villa de Torla. The information center at the bus station can advise you as to the various hikes. If you are of average fitness you will have no bother with most of the hikes, but be aware that some of the trails go along narrow mountain ledges so if you don’t like heights check this out before you set out. There are some great waterfalls as you ascend each hike, and the views are terrific!

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