“Spectacular, stunning, awesome, breathtaking, beautiful, jaw-dropping. Nature regularly throws up vistas that have me reaching for the thesaurus to try to find a word to describe a view that has stopped me in my tracks. I’m guilty of overusing many of those words. What can I say? The world is beautiful.”

Every so often nature excels herself, presenting us with something extra special. The vision that greeted my blinking eyes as the little train I was travelling in emerged from a dark tunnel to reveal my first sighting of the Vall de Núria was one of those magical moments.

It is an incredible place.

The Vall de Núria sits 3000 metres above sea level in a perfect little valley hidden from view, until the last moment, by the the mountains which completely surround it. The valley is part of the Queralbs area of Catalonia, but most people travel from Ribes de Freser to reach this Pyrenean Shangri-La.

In the centre of the valley lies a quite austere building that looks more like it should be lining a plaza. In a way it adds to the impact, contrasting against emerald pastures and the sparkling, petrol coloured lake that sits calmly in front of it. The building contains a hotel, exhibition centre and restaurants and is the focal point for many activities in the Vall de Núria …

Read full article - published on Spain-Holiday April 2015