Ordesa National Park is situated in the Pyrenees of Huesca, Aragï¿½n (Spain), in the centre of North Eastern Spain. It was created on August 16th of 1918 by a Royal Decree which declared Ordesa Valley a National Park of 21 square kilometers of extension. In July 13 of 1982 it was enlarged to the 156.08 kmï¿½ it has today and its official name changed to Parque nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido. It’s included in the Biosphere Reserve of Ordesa-Viï¿½amala declared by UNESCO in 1997. Ordesa is situated next to three valleys among which the Ordesa Valley is the most known. The park itself is situated in part of this valley and is characterized by counting with important amounts of limestone as well as wide extensions of forests.
Ordesa Valley’s mountain climate produces chilly winters with an abundance of ice and snow, while summers are hot with frequent storms. Be prepared for sudden changes of weather!! At any moment the Ordesa Valley hiker may be surprised by a shower of rain or snow, depending on the time of year. Five vegetation types have been described: submediterranean, collinean, montane, subalpine and the alpine type. A total of two million tourists visit the site each year.
Ordesa is a place for people to get close to nature. There is a very wide variety of animals to meet as well as many possibilities to spend energies by climbing, hiking and walking while meeting this park. Also, if you don’t want to hike around the nature, you can visit the small towns nearby, eg. Torla.
The park protects animals such as the ibex, but takes care of many other species (It is home of around 170 different species of birds, 5 amphibians, 8 types of reptiles, and 32 mammals.
Ordesa is also a great destination to those who enjoy open air sports, and specially climbing. This spot is renowned as a climbing area, as well as it is ideal to those who like walking and hiking since there are many routes through which visitors can explore the different towns and valleys spread through the region. This is, as it can be appreciated, one of the main spots which tourists who enjoy the nature should meet while being in this region of Spain. The National Park has many waterfalls, lots of footpaths and many hills to trek up if you fancy a hike.
There is an average of 1000m climbing to Lake Marbo (Lago De Marbo). The hike is quite difficult but the there is breath-taking scenery. There are beautiful minor waterfalls that initiate in varied directions, and fall from the powerful cliffs that surround. The climbing through this trail expose the Pineta vally (Valle de Pineta). At the end of the day it is possible to see the glaciers that cover Pardido Mountain. At this point the landscape is entirely changes. The landscape becomes arid without any flora.
There is also a crossing the pass from Mount Predido (3,355m) and El Cilindro (3,325m). There are some steep parts that may cause some difficulty to the pleasant walk. However, the Spanish government considered this and built hooks that can be held to help in the climbing. At the pass you will see a glacier that has slowly melted.
The Ordessa valley is the most beautiful valley. At the entrance to the valley there is a choice to walk in the valley or to walk at the East Ridge called “Faja de Pelay”. At the end of the trail the very steep downhill leads to the valley. It is not recommended for those who suffer from knee problems. From the ridge the trail that passes through the valley. The valley is green with many small waterfalls and pools.
Travelling to different places brings different people and different environments into contact of each other, and has an educational element. It helps people understand differences in culture and they then learn to appreciate it.
The jobs created by tourism also help people in Ordesa for work. Also, tourism will keep Ordesa going for longer as it is an incentive for keeping it the way it is for as long as possible.
The best time to visit Ordesa is between May and November, because it may be closed during the remaining months. Within the months of July and August, during holiday season, the park gets a great amount of visitors and so it is advisable to try to visit it before or after that in order to avoid crowds. There is no entry fee, which is also a plus. Activities include hiking, riding, climbing, skiing and fishing. Restrictions of hunting and limitations on motorised vehicles have not been welcomed by local people and hunters.