The Vall de Núria is a glacial valley located in the Pyrenees in the province of Girona, 120 Km from Barcelona and surrounded by mountains standing 3,000 m high. The Shrine has been a place of worship for 800 years. Closed to traffic, it is only accessible by the rack railway.
The remote Vall de Núria stands 1,960 m above sea level in the highest part of the municipal area of Queralbs (where landmarks include the 10th- century romanesque church). A rack railway, which came into operation in 1931 and was renovated in 1986, winds its way between narrow gorges from Ribes de Freser, through Queralbs, to the Shrine in Vall de Núria. On arrival, you’ll be surprised by how wide the valley is, how peaceful it is and by the variety of trees and plants: black pines, ash trees, birches and broad-leafed oaks. Its mountains, in the heart of Girona’s Pyrenees are inhabited by chamois deer and marmot, are ideal for hiking and skiing. The ski resort, "Vall de Núria", has 5 ski lifts, 11 pistes and a skiable area of 7 Km.
In 1162 there was a hostel in the valley which was used as a hospital for shepherds and was already a place of pilgrimage. The wooden carving of our Lady of Núria, which can be seen in the Shrine in Vall de Núria, dates from this period. The church and Large Hotel were built at the beginning of the 20th century. In front of the shrine is the chapel of San Gil, built in the 17th century and subsequently extended, where, according to legend, the image of the Virgin was found next to a cooking pot, a cross and a bell.
How to get there: Train Renfe from Pl. Catalunya or Estació de Sants, stop Ribes de Freser + Tren Cremallera.
Web site: www.valldenuria.cat