La Vall de Núria
La Vall de Núria is located at Queralbs, around 130 kilometers away from Barcelona, it is a beautiful valley at the bottom of the Pyrenees. I certainly think this place is Catalonia’s hidden gem.
La Vall de Núria offers many activities and opens all year round, it is an excellent option if you would like to have a short getaway trip to bond with your little one. Many visitors choose to have a day trip from Barcelona, while many others prefer to spend a night enjoying the fantastic landscape.
Vall de Núria not only has stunning scenery, but it also provides a series of activities throughout the years. Such as canoeing on the lake, playing mini-golf, take 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. Make sure to check with the information center or visit the Vall de Núria website; some activities are closed temporarily for the season.
Vall de Nuria from Barcelona
Traveling to Vall de Nuria from Barcelona is quite simple by train. You will be taking a train from the train stations in Barcelona to Ribes de Freser and change to the rack rail to Vall de Nuria. The station is Ribes de Freser, and the rack railway station is next to the train station.
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 number 1 at plaça Catalunya and Arc de Triomf station and platform 8 for Barcelona Sant.
Unfortunately, you cannot buy tickets online. You can purchase on the spot 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.
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 be napping, but don’t miss the beautiful scenery while climbing up on the rack railway.
Vall de Nuria Weather
Vall de Núria’s weather is quite unpredictable given its mountainous climate. It is always a good idea to check the weather beforehand, stay prepared for toddlers’ needs.
Hotel Vall de Núria
Hotel Vall de Núria is a three-star hotel located at the heart of 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 the few thoughts after staying:
+ Great Location with beautiful scenery
+ Quiet and nature
+ The view from the hotel room is great
+ Room is clean and warm
+ Peaceful surrounding to have a nature walk with children
– Dinner is for four was almost 60€, which is way overpriced for the given quality and options
– Dinner hours are 8 pm-10 pm, which is late for a kid’s bedtime. However, this is a typical Spanish hour, the active hour is part of the thing to adjust after moving to Spain.
– 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 toddler’s needs is vital. Such as clothing, milk, diapers, and other essential products, as these are difficult to find around that area.
– Poor amenities, If you are like me, prefer giving toddler warm milk before sleep, a kettle in the room is handy. This is another cultural experience, it is actually not common to see one in the hotel room of Spain.
Make sure to check out Vall de Núria official website while planning, summer and winter offer different activities, and some of them are closed temporarily for the season. Besides, you can browse all the promotions and seasonal offers.
In conclusion, it was great being able to spend a night in the middle of the mountains. The journey to la Vall de Núria from Barcelona was enjoyable, especially the rack railway was one of the highlights for my toddlers. There are many objects and animals to pinpoint out along the way. It is an excellent time to learn a little vocabulary and show them the things that we do not usually experience in our daily life such as a river, cows, horses, lake and so on. 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 a toddler and see if it’s possible to check-in as early as possible. Usually, the hotel will take note and try its best to make such arrangements for the family that has young members.
We did not schedule any other excursions, instead we spent the afternoon walking around the lake and bridge to appreciate nature. Our toddlers were very happy to see snow for the first time. My older daughter has been mentioning about the snow, snowman and ski over the past few weeks.
Here are a few pictures/videos to share with you and we are planning to return in the future during the Spring time: