Winter Visit La Vall de Núria | Travel Spain
Family Travel Destination
La Vall de Núria is located at Queralbs, around 130 kilometers from Barcelona. It is a beautiful valley at the bottom of the Pyrenees. This amazing hidden gem offers many activities and opens all year round. It is an excellent option if you want to have a short getaway trip to bond with your little one in the Catalonia region. Many visitors choose to have a day trip from Barcelona, while many others prefer to spend a night enjoying the fantastic landscape, including winter sports like ski and snowboarding.
Vall de Núria not only has stunning scenery but also provides a series of activities throughout the years. Such as canoeing on the lake, playing mini-golf, taking archery lessons with a small hike, trekking excursions for both beginners and experienced trekkers, tour guides in the Valley, horse riding activity, and there is a small farm next to the lake where your toddler can learn about the animals. Check with the information center or visit the official website; some activities are closed temporarily for the season.
Barcelona to La Valle de Nuria
Traveling to Vall de Nuria from Barcelona is quite simple by train. You will take a train at Barcelona Sants Train Station to Ribes de Freser station and change to the rack rail directly next to the train station. Funicular will take you to the destination with some of the most spectacular views.
You can begin the journey by taking the train (Line R3) at Barcelona Sants, Plaça de Catalunya, or Arc de Triomf. Barcelona Sants is the largest station among three in Barcelona, with around 14 platforms, while the other two stations only have 2 platforms for each direction. In other words, you may find a smaller station is more comfortable to travel with toddlers.
The train runs from platform 1 at plaça Catalunya and Arc de Triomf station and platform 8 for Barcelona Sant.
Unfortunately, you cannot buy tickets online. You can purchase from the self-service machines or the cashier ticket desk office. I would suggest buying it from the cashier. You can buy a roundtrip train and railway tickets together. At the end of the purchase, double-confirm the train time and platforms with the cashiers.
A trip to Vall de Núria is nearly a three hours commute. Prepare enough snacks, games, toys, and activities for your toddlers to spend during the trip. Hopefully, they will nap, but don’t miss the beautiful scenery while climbing up the rack railway.
The weather is quite unpredictable given its mountainous climate. It is always a good idea to check the weather beforehand and prepare for toddlers’ needs.
Hotel Vall de Núria is a three-star hotel located at the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees, set at an altitude of 2000 meters. In fact, it is the only hotel near the lake. Our overall experience was pleasant, the hotel is simple, and these are a few thoughts after staying:
- Great location with beautiful scenery
- Quiet at night
- the view from the hotel room is great
- room is clean and warm
- peaceful surroundings to have a nature walk with children.
- Dinner for four was almost 60€, which is way overpriced for the given quality and options
- Dinner hours are 8-10 pm, which is late for our kid’s bedtime. However, this is a typical Spanish hour. The active hour is part of adjusting after moving to Spain.
- The location is excellent for its spectacular view, but it is also not convenient. There are no other shops, and the only souvenir/ snack store closes at 5 pm. Prepare enough little kid’s needs is vital. Such clothing, milk, diapers, and other essential products are difficult to find around that area.
- Poor amenities, If you prefer giving kids warm milk before sleep, a kettle in the room is handy. This is another cultural experience. It is not common to see one in a hotel room in Spain.
Make sure to check out Vall de Núria’s official website while planning. Summer and winter offer different activities, some of which are closed temporarily for the season. Besides, you can browse all the promotions and seasonal offers.
La Vall de Nuria with Toddlers
In conclusion, spending a night in the middle of the mountains was great. The journey to Núria from Barcelona was enjoyable, especially the rack railway was one of the highlights for my little explorers. There are many objects and animals to pinpoint along the way. It is an excellent time to learn a little vocabulary and show them what we do not usually experience daily, such as a river, cows, horses, a lake, etc.
The hotel was kind enough to check us in when we arrived at 1:30 pm, as the regular check-in time is at 4 pm. It is recommended to contact the hotel beforehand, notifying them that you are traveling with little kids and see if it’s possible to check in as early as possible. Usually, the hotel will take note and try to make such arrangements for the family with young members.
We did not schedule any other excursions. Instead, we spent the afternoon walking around the lake and bridge to appreciate nature. Our little explorers were very happy to see snow for the first time.