If you fancy an amazing day hike near Torla and Ordesa, have a peek at this loop. We did not know the area well. but we made up a walk that took us past fantastic viewpoints (Miradores de Ordesa), up some Pyrenees peaks and then back down cliffs, through forests and past picturesque villages.
We started by hiking from Torla to Mirador d’o Molar, which I described in my previous post. On our return journey this route allowed us to walk up several Pyrenees peaks; Punta Diazas (2169m), Pico de la Cuta (2242m) Pico de Enmedio (2137m) Tozal dera Cana (2006m) and then several small peaks on Pico Ferrer. It was a peak-baggers dream hike. At the end of the day we found ourselves in the pretty medieval village of Broto which was just a couple of kilometers walk back to Torla.
Miradores de Ordesa map
Miradores de Ordesa to Broto – the basics
Distance: 21 km (full loop), 14.4 km (Mirador d’o Molar to Broto)
Elevation loss: -1314m (on the way down)
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 1475m (for the whole loop)
High Point: 2242m
Time: 6 hours (one way) 9.5 hours (whole loop)
What to bring:
Water, snacks and your camera!
The 10 essentials.
Okay but keep them on a leash.
How hard is it?
If you do the whole loop it is challenging. Doing the hike in one direction would be more moderate.
We used a mixture of Maps Me and hard copies of maps that my mum brought. You can see a map of the area (and the path we took on this link.)
Mirador d’o Molar
The second half of this loop starts at the ridiculously beautiful viewpoint, Mirador d’o Molar, that overlooks Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park. If you didn’t already, take a peek at my previous post about the first part of this loop. The first 7km of this route involved 1100m elevation gain, so at this point we were a bit hot, tired and looking forward to an easy hike down. When we first saw this view (pre-lunch) I remember thinking that I was glad we didn’t need to climb up that knob of a peak.
Punta Diazas – Our first Pyrenees Peak
However, after munching some lunch and taking a zillion photos, I looked at that knob (Punta Diazas) differently. I started to wonder if there was a path up to it. We spotted a possible path on our map, so headed towards it.
At first the path was easy to follow and very clear, but half way up the steep peak it disappeared. Luckily there was another hiker at the top of the ridge, so we headed straight up to him.
Punta Diazas Viewpoint (2169m)
This peak would be pretty scary if it was windy! Someone has built a wall at the top, but beyond that is a vertical drop, right down to the Ordesa Valley below.
This is the view back to Mirador d’o Molar where we had just stopped for lunch. From here it is easy to see why Marc was worried about me standing near the edge. That drop-off is huge!
So, once you’re up high, the views are amazing (and the drop-offs scary) in every direction!
There is a good path along the ridge at the top of the Ordesa Canyon. Can you see the other hiker further along the ridge for scale? This scenery is simply vast.
We headed towards the next peak, Pico de la Cuta which was covered with grasses and goats.
It’s is only 82m extra elevation gain to walk up this grassy peak. The views are fantastic the entire time.
The goats on Pico de la Cuta’s slopes all had bells, so the whole area rings with the echo of musical goats. We took a long path around them so as not to disturb them.
Pico de la Cuta (2242m)
From the top, you can see the road along the top of Ordesa Valley. We could also see the three Sisters – Cilindro (3325m), Monte Perdido (3355m) and Añisclo (3254m) – the largest limestone massif in Europe.
Pico de la Cuta was the highest point of our day. From here we needed to descend 1340m to return to the villages of Broto and Torla. It looks like a teeny bump from above, but we also stopped at Pico de Enmedio (2137m) along the way.
If you can’t hike, cycle or cheat
As I mentioned in my previous post about this area, if you do not fancy hiking so far, there are other ways to see these views. You can’t drive up with a private car BUT you can take a 4×4 from Torla all the way up into the mountains (link to one of the companies that offer this). If you like cycling, I found a cycle route that will take you past all these viewpoints along the road.
Tozal dera Cana (2006m)
We didn’t reach the top of the next peak. Instead we started to descend, following the road. It was a pretty good path, and not too steep at all, so we could jog down it. I find it much easier on my knees when we run down, rather than walking.
Views down to Torla
This is the view down to Torla from Pico Ferrer. It was slightly upsetting to realize we still needed to get all the way down there. My knees were already anticipating turning into jelly.
Maps.Me problems – Pico Ferrer
We had made up our own route using a mixture of the app, Maps.Me and hard copy paper maps. However, we failed to notice that the path down Pico Ferrer was not on the hard copy map. Oops. It was fine most of the way down, but at one point, we lost the path and had to fight our way through spiky plants, then climb down a cliff.
Everything was better when we re-found the path. The path undulates, so every so often we had to climb up mini peaks on our way down the mountain. It was pretty exhausting, but at least the views were spectacular.
There were quite a few ruined houses up on the mountain.
Ermita de la Virgen de Murillo
Right above the village of Broto, was a small church, Ermita de la Virgen de Murillo. This was one of the few places where we saw other tourists! There was one other couple who had climbed up to see this church (and the pretty view.)
The path led us down from the mountains into the lovely medieval village of Broto. We noticed a waterfall cascading down the cliffs that loom above the village, so we made a note to come back and see it the following day.
Broto to Torla
There is an easy path between Broto and Torla, along the Río Ara River that covers the 3.2 km between the villages.
There is a bit of a hill on the path to Torla, so you gain 140m elevation on this last little section. It actually felt really good to walk up a hill again after the previous long descent.
The entire loop back to Torla took us over 10 hours, so even though the views back to Broto were pretty, we were mostly concentrating on what we should eat back in Torla. It was just starting to get dark when we arrived back in the village, so we were ready for food.
I hope you can see why we thought this was such an amazing adventure. It was slightly stressful on the occasions when we lost the path, but on the whole, the spectacular views made this long walk totally worth the effort. It is the most elevation gain we have ever attempted on a single day, so it also gave us more confidence to keep exploring the Spanish Pyrenees. I really hope this will encourage you to explore Torla and the surrounding area too.