The Ripollès – Catalonia (Spain)
LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
Located on the Southern slopes of the East Pyrenees, the Ripollès is a region of the province of Girona. (1) Covering an area of 956.6 km², and with a population of 25,995 it is made up of eighteen municipalities. (2) The climate of the Ripollès is typical of the Mediterranean Pyrenees and the Pyrenean foothills. (3) There is little maritime influence, which has something to do with the abundant amount of rainfall, its cold winters (3 °C - 7 °C) and mild summers (14 °C - 20 °C). The landscape is primarily made up of oak, beech, black pine woods and high mountain meadows.
With a variety of roads, bus routes, train lines and access to the airports of Barcelona and Girona the Ripollès and its capital, Ripoll, are well connected with Barcelona and France.
(1) Regional Council of the Ripollès
(2) Demographic and economic data for the region of the Ripollès (IDESCAT, Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya)
(3) The State Meteorology Agency (AEMET)
WHAT TO VISIT
Situated between three valleys –Camprobon, Ribes and the Baix Ripollès– the majority of the towns are medieval in origin, its geographical diversity allows one to enjoy a wide range of activities among valleys, rivers, mountains and charming towns, which invite one to walk, climb, fish, ski or, simply to disconnect.
The capital of the Ripollès is surrounded by forests, rivers, valleys and mountain tops. Symbol of the region and origin of ancient Catalonia, one finds the ninth century monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll, cradle of Catalan culture in the middle ages.
The most charming village of the valley of the same name, with great panoramic views and a historical centre ideal for a stroll and to visit its shops, it offers a great range of leisure and sports activities and accommodation.
Situated at 1,200m above sea level it is one of the most valued locations for hiking and for excursions to the feet of the summits of Costabona or Pastuira.
Its narrow streets, with Stone houses and slate roves, are the perfect location to while away the hours. Located in this municipality, the sanctuary of Nuria is one of the most highly recommended excursions of the region and the whole of Catalonia.
RIBES DE FRESER
Ideal for the practice of mountain tourism and to spend the summer, Ribes de Freser is the economic and financial centre of the Ripollès.
It is in this village where Count Arnau, an emblematic figure of medieval Catalonia, finds the epic stage for a legend that poets and film directors have recreated up to the present day. In addition, its formerly walled historical centre preserves hidden corners which allow one to look over its artisan past.
WHAT TO DO
The Romanic heritage of the Ripollès, with ninety-eight monuments spread around the territory, allows one to undertake various routes related with this historical period. Guided tours to museums, castles and interpretation centres help complete one’s historical knowledge of the region.
SKIIING MOUNTAIN AND ADVENTURE SPORTS
Adrenaline junkies can go rock climbing, mountaineering, canyoning and caving, in addition to doing archery or taking part in activities with adventure guides. During the winter, snow and the area’s ski installations become the protagonists.
Mushrooms, cold meats, cheeses, wild game, veal and lamb are the unarguable stars of the Ripolles’s cuisine, which, thanks to the climate and characteristics of its surroundings, allow one to taste top quality products, which are said to be the best in the country.
TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF THE RIPOLLÈS
- Gombrèn http://www.gombren.cat
- Les Llosses http://www.lesllosses.cat
- Llanars http://www.llanars.cat
- Molló http://www.mollo.cat
- Ribes de Freser
- Sant Joan de les Abadesses
- Sant Pau de Segúries
- Vallfogona de Ripollès
- Vilallonga de Ter
TELEPHONE NUMBERS AND LINKS OF INTEREST
Emergency telephone numbers in Ripoll (1)
Local Police: 972 71 44 14
Ripoll Town Hall
Regional Council of the Ripollès
(1) Telephone numbers of interest in Ripoll