Torla to Mirador d’o Molar – Hikes near Ordesa

Torla to Mirador d’o Molar – Hikes near Ordesa

Ordesa's Best Viewpoints - Hikes near Torla and OrdesaWhat do you do when there are very little information about hikes in English, but you are keen to explore an area? If you are like us, you get out some maps and create your own route. We had a fantastic day exploring the Ordesa Canyon the previous day, so we woke up a bit later and made some plans to further explore the area around Torla. The route I am about to describe is what we came up with. Later I realized this first part is an official path, the PR-HU 129 up to Mirador d’o Molar. It was great fun and finished with some truly fantastic views, so I hope you like the look of it all.

Torla to Mirador d’o Molar Hike – the basics

Map of PR-HU 129 map - Torla to Mirador d'o Molar
Map of PR-HU 129 -click for website with a larger version

Distance: 7.1 km (one way) 
Elevation Gain:
1100m
High Point:
2008m
Time: 3.5 hours (one way)
What to bring:
Water, snacks and your camera!
The 10 essentials.
Dogs:
Okay but keep them on a leash.
How hard is it?
Pretty hard. To be honest, the first 3km up to the Ermita de Santa Ana Church was the biggest challenge for me! This walk involves over 1000m elevation gain over 6km, so expect to be hot and tired.
Maps:
Spain has fantastic maps that you can download or use the Mapas de España app. We used a mixture of that, Maps Me and hard copies of maps that my mum brought.

Torla to Mirador d’o Molar Map

Gateway to Ordesa – Torla

The view in the photo above is what we saw when we woke up! Not bad eh!? As you can see Torla is a pretty amazing place to stay, where you can see the amazing Ordesa Canyon, right from the village. We started our hike from the village, so we didn’t need to drive at all.

Torla to Mirador d’o Molar Hike – Getting started

You can probably tell from the light, but we started quite late (for us). It was after 9:30am by the time we left Torla and crossed the Río Ara River. This meant although we knew we would start the day with an ascent, it was a bit hotter than we are used to.

There are two possible paths up to the Ermita de Santa Ana. We took the shorter route (with plenty of switch backs) it doesn’t look too bad in my photos, but it was pretty steep and knackering. It was only 3km, but you gain 500m in elevation, so it was steep.

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The trail was mostly below the canopy of trees, so we didn’t get too hot. Every so often it would open out so we could see down to Torla and over to the surrounding Pyrenees.

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Made it to Torla to Ermita de Santa Ana

Those first 3 km from Torla are pretty hard! It took us around 1.5 hours to reach the plateau where the Ermita de Santa Ana church sits. Hiking to here will involve just over 500m of elevation gain. If you do not fancy a longer walk, this is a pretty destination on it’s own.

Ermita de Santa Ana, Torla

This teeny church has fantastic views down to Torla, and out to the surrounding Pyrenees mountains. Unfortunately it was locked, so we couldn’t take a peek inside. Still, it felt like a worthy destination. I’m still really impressed that my parents both managed to hike up here.

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Keep going towards the next viewpoint

The PR-HU 129 pathway continues right past the church upwards on a slope

The path is pretty easy to follow, and lined with spiky plants that grow more numerous as you get higher into the sub alpine area.

I took this section pretty slowly with plenty of stops for photos. When I looked up, Marc had zoomed all the way up to the next viewpoint! If you look carefully you can see him waving.

This is why you might want to continue hiking beyond the church. Isn’t this viewpoint fantastic. We couldn’t find a name for this viewpoint, but I loved it anyway.

If you can’t hike, cheat!

Obviously I always have the most fun when I manage to reach epic viewpoints under my own steam. But I have plenty of friends who are less keen on hiking on long walks with large gains in elevation. Well, if you fancy seeing these views, but you don’t quite have the leg-power, you can catch a lift right up here! There is a road all the way up to several of these views. You can’t drive up with a private car BUT you can take a 4×4 from Torla (here is a link to one of the companies that offer this).

We followed the road a little way, and then continued back onto a footpath that led into the woods.

….and then we lost the path! For one moment we were on an obvious pathway through the trees, then suddenly there was no trace of it! Oops. Luckily we knew we were close to the Mirador d’o Molar viewpoint. We triple checked our direction, then took a mini detour through the trees that came out exactly where we want to be.

Mirador d’o Molar

This viewpoint was spectacular! The drop off behind the viewpoint is almost straight down, with a massive cliff down to Ordesa valley. Luckily someone has built a wall, just be really careful not to knock anything over that wall. I had fun admiring that view, not realising that I’d be up on top of that steep knob of a peak within the hour.

Ordesa Canyon views

Just look at the Ordesa Canyon! We had already seen the Canyon from below (hiking to Cola de Caballo) and from the middle (from the Faja de Pelay) but it was even better to see everything from up high!

This is the same view (but zoomed out a little) you can see the car park and river in the Ordesa Canyon where we had hiked the previous day. Don’t get too close if you are not afraid of heights. This view was a bit scary when you look over the edge!

Marc got a bit mad at me when I sat on the wall (I guess he was worried I’d be like humpty dumpty….but with a very long fall.) We were both in awe of the views though.

 

So, that was our fun (if hot) hike up to the Mirador d’o Molar from Torla. This may not be a popular hike as we didn’t meet any other walkers the entire way, but it is well worth the effort and all that elevation gain. You can return via the same route to make it a 14km hike. We still had oodles of energy, so we returned via several peaks (which I’ll write about in my next post.)

My parents (who are in their 70s) also had an epic day out! They decided to follow the start of our hike up to the Ermita de Santa Ana Church with over 500m elevation gain. They took a slightly longer route, along a road (that is closed to cars) but how blooming impressive is that!? I aspire to be similarly fit when I retire.

Miradores d'o Molar Viewpoints - fantastic hike in the Spanish Pyrenees Ordesa's Best Viewpoints - Hikes near Torla and Ordesa Hikes near Torla - Up to Ermita de Santa Ana

51 thoughts on “Torla to Mirador d’o Molar – Hikes near Ordesa

  1. Wow that’s a wonderful hike! It looks like a green version of the Grand Canyon haha! I hope you had a wonderful time in Spain and coming up with your own hike itineraries is so cool!

    1. It’s funny you say that, I’ve seen other people call Ordesa Spain’s mini Grand Canyon. It was very impressive from the viewpoints anyway!

  2. Wow, I really didn’t expect this kind of hiking in Spain. The Canyons look incredible and the viewpoint of Mirador d’o Molar itself is so cool. I love how the rock juts out. Thanks a ton for once again providing great detail on the hiking terrain and what to expect. Your hiking guides are so useful!

    1. Thanks Natasha! I was *hoping* hiking in Spain would be good, but I had no idea we’d get views this impressive either. Now I’ve had a taste I’d love to go back. 😀

  3. What a beautiful hike! The church is out of a fairy tale. I had no idea about this area of Spain. I love your hiking guides, so much great information, tips & hints!

    1. There were soooo many amazing churches in this area. The Ermita de Santa Ana was cute, but it was a bit of a shame that it was locked. Ah well.

      If you can wait for me to catch up, we found so many gorgeous churches in Catalonia. I’ll start posting about them soon.

  4. I love that there’s a “cheat” to get to the top to avoid the hike hahaha. I love hiking, but sometimes it can be a little too steep and a little too long! This does look worth it though, the views are stunning!!

    1. Heh! Yeah, I was worried my mum and dad wouldn’t make it up the hill, so I’d messaged them to tell them about the possible cheat. They were troopers though and managed to walk up.

  5. I think I would be a bit nervous about anyone being that close to the edge too but wow what a view! Good to know there’s a less energetic way to get there too for those who don’t hike as easily. Amazing looking place

    1. Lol Marc was soooo mad at me for sitting by the edge. It was pretty amazing to see the vertical views down below! 😀

      You know, I think it would be good to take a 4×4 up, then just do an epic hike right at the top of the valley. But without the effort on the way up.

  6. That looks like an amazing hike! The views would definitely be rewarding and it’s a hike that I’d love to do when I go to Spain. 😁

        1. Fall was such a good time. It wasn’t too hot, and we found it really easy to find good accommodation. I hope we can go back too!

    1. I was actually really surprised to see roads going up so high into the wilderness area, but it is soooo cool that people in wheelchairs and non-hikers can still get access to the amazing views. There is very little traffic on those roads, as only official vehicles can drive on them.

  7. Wow I had no idea there were mountains like that in Spain — those canyon views are unreal! I have family in Madrid so maybe I need to plan another trip there…

    1. Oooh you lucky thing! I would love to go back to Madrid and explore that side of Spain. It is an amazing country for the mountains and the diversity in all the different regions.

  8. Darling Josy, Getting to that church was a definite near death experience. Had it not appeared when it did, we would certainly have gone back down again. It took us 4 hours of unrelenting slog to get to where you got to in one and a half. Tell the over 70s NOT to do this route! Love, Lis

    1. It’s okay though, you could totally cheat and get a lift to the top! It was pretty scary look down those drop-offs but isn’t the Canyon spectacular?

  9. Those views are epic!! I can definitely see why you’d want to hike past the church! Also our parents sound like peas in a pod – I AM super impressed witht hem for doing this hike, just like I am whenever I drag my own parents on a long, tough hike and they survive! Lol.

  10. What have you done? Spain wasn’t even on my radar for a hiking destination, but this looks incredible! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring me to add (another) hiking trail to my someday list 🙂 I can’t get over how lush and green the canyon is!

    1. It’s tough reading blogs isn’t it!? I always seem to add to my list of hiking destinations when I read yours too! <3

      By the way, have a look at Andorra too. They have quite a few long distance hikes through the Pyrenees, supported by mountain huts that look epic too! I have a feeling you would love them.

    1. Torla was such a good base! Not only was it fab as an intersection for hiking routes, there were sooo many good places to eat there!

  11. I have never heard about Torla or Mirador d’o Molar Hike before. But the hike looks amazing and landscape is simply breathtaking.

  12. The views of that canyon are unbelievable. I don’t know the region of Spain at all but it looks fabulous, especially for hiking and exploring. Your parents did amazingly well didn’t they?

    1. They were hiking superstars! Do you think you’d be tempted to visit this region Jonno? I have a feeling you guys would love it too.

    1. It wasn’t too hard to create safe routes in this area as there are just sooo many possible pathway. The area has been inhabited for thousands of years and lots of people used mountain paths on their pilgrimages. Spain is a bit of a hikers paradise in the autumn when it’s not too hot.

  13. Wow, I salute you both for taking the routine in your own hands and create your own itinerary for hiking and where you will go is impressive! I always adore both your adrenaline plus the views look amazing.

  14. Another gorgeous hike! I love your enthusiasm for hiking and sharing the details. Your canyon photos remind me a lot of views we had at the Observation Point Trail in Utah’s Zion National Park.

    1. Thanks Caroline! I can’t help but be enthusiastic when it is this pretty!

      Oooh I think I would loooove that area! It sounds like Utah has some stunning viewpoints!

  15. Wow! What an adventure and just wow the views!! Totally worth it and yes, I don’t think I will get very close to the edge! Thank you so much for sharing this experience.

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