Way up in the Pyrenees Mountains of Catalonia’s Lleida province – Catalonia’s northwestern corner, in fact – the Vall d’Aran is a paradise for lovers of the great outdoors. And at this time of year it’s a winter wonderland.
Towns such as Arties, Salardú, and capital Vielha are perfect jump-off gateways to ski/snowboarding spots like one of Spain’s top winter resorts, Baqueira Beret. But there’s plenty more frosty fun to be had in these mountains, including snowshoeing, ice skating, dogsledding, ice climbing, and snowmobiling.
This last is an especially exciting option, with tour operators organising snowmobiling excursions – day or night – from the Pla de Beret (Beret Flat) near Baqueira, on a 30-kilometre (18½-mile) route through woods and vale, including a visit to the largely abandoned hamlet of Montgarri and a meal at an alpine lodge. A bracing and entirely amazing experience indeed!