Before planning our trip in late April 2013, we had a hard time finding information on the Ribes de Freser/ Val de Nuria area for that time of year, so I thought I would post a few notes:
- We drove to Ribes de Freser in a rented car from Barcelona. The drive was easy. We considered taking the Renfe train, but were happy with our decision as the station is on the edge of town and it is unlikely that there would have been a taxi to take us to our hotel. Parking was free and fairly easy to find on the street around town.
- The town, in general, was pretty deserted (we were there Thurs-Sat) and it was hard to find ANYTHING that was open. Restaurant options were very limited and shopping was almost non existent. Again, we were happy to have the car to expand our options a bit but there was not really anything to do or anyone to socialize with. It was kind of weird.
- It was very easy to take the train from Ribes up to Nuria and the ride was pleasant. Upon arriving at the Val de Nuria, it was almost completely deserted and none of the advertised summer activities were in operation. Most of the restaurants at the hotel on site were closed and we practically had to beg for a few bocadillos from the cafe (even though the people in town had told us the restaurants were open all day). There was literally nothing to do there and it was kind of creepy walking around the almost completely deserted complex
- The definite high point of the visit was the hike down from Nuria to Queralbs, which took us about 3 hours, with a steady pace and time to stop and look around and take pictures. The hike was not overly strenuous but the rocks were slippery in places and you need to be careful. The scenery was breathtaking and the weather was a bit chilly-- perfect for hiking.
- Weather: it rained most of the time we were there and it was quite chilly. On the day of our departure, it snowed up on Nuria, which is apparently not common for that time of the year.
- Queralbs- we only stopped in Queralbs on the way down from Nuria, but in general, it looked like a smaller, more pastoral version of Ribes de Freser. Similarly deserted and quiet.
Hopefully this information is helpful for anyone planning a trip to the area in late April/ early May. Bon voyage!