Visiting the Tremp Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees

Tremp, Lleida, Spain

While I was in Spain I decided to visit my friends sister who lives in the Tremp Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees, as I had heard that they lived in a stunning area and it just happened to be on the route I was taking to Andorra. 3 years previously they moved from the UK and set up a business in Spain.

They set up Red Rock Trails, offering cycling and adventure holidays with accommodation based in their renovated 100 year old farmhouse.  While I was there I got to see their beautiful accommodation and experience Heather’s amazing cooking.

Red Rock Trails Red Rock Trails Red Rock Trails Red Rock Trails

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to experience some of the more adventurous activities they offer but I did manage to explore a few nearby villages, do a few hikes around some nearby lakes, see some waterfalls and swim in the local lake.  It is a stunning area that I would love to go back and explore more.

While I was there I had a chat with Heather about what made them move over there:

“About 15 years ago we had this feeling that there must be more to life than sitting behind a desk for 8 hours a day and living for the weekends and holidays (obviously nothing to do with impending thirtieth birthdays…!) and we had this idea of changing our lives completely, to something simpler, healthier and more immediate.

With a background in engineering, hospitality and project management and an interest in cycling, skiing and the outdoors, we decided to look for a place in which we could create a haven for people looking for fantastic cycling, high-octane adventures and great food.

St Antoni Lake, Tremp, Lleida, Spain

We then spent the next ten years worth of holidays exploring northern Spain looking for the perfect spot (we are more planners than impulsive types!), but we kept returning to the Tremp valley. It has stunning scenery, World Heritage recognised architecture, more adventure sports you can shake a stick at and a thriving local food scene not that anyone knows about it!

Castell d'Orcau, Lleida, Spain

It is only relatively recently that good transport links from this little known comarca, Pallars Jussa (similar to an English county) have been developed to the provincial capital, Lleida, and other major cities in Catalonia. Lessons have been learned from the unsympathetic over development of the Spanish Costas and tourism is being developed, but in a sustainable and responsible way, so that the essential essence of the area is not lost.

Abella de la Conca, Lleida, Spain

With incredibly low light pollution, the area already holds ‘Dark Sky’ status (who knew you could see the Milky Way with the naked eye!?) and is well on the way to attaining ‘UNESCO Geoparc’ status which recognises the geological and paleontological importance of the area.  We love taking our young (and not so young!) visitors out to see the fossilised footprints of the last dinosaurs on earth.

Dinosaur footprints at Basturs, Lleida, Spain

In the short time we have been here we have watched vultures feeding (as part of the efforts to reintroduce diverse species into the Pyrenees); taken on whitewater rapids; kayaked through the stunning Mont Rebei gorge and hiked the narrow path cut into its vertiginous cliffs; gone on all day epic singletrack mountain bike rides; drunk local wine made from an almost lost variety of grape; and taken in the most breathtaking views from a tandem paragliding flight.

Rafting on the Noguera Pallaresa. Lleida, Spain

Kayaking through Mont Rebei, Lleida, Spain

Santa Engracia to Talarn, Spain

Parascending off Montsec. Lleida, Spain

Three years after we moved, we are really loving it here. Our kids are now trilingual (Catalan is spoken more than Spanish here) and every day we find out something new about the place and its people.

Clare we are so pleased to welcome you to our little part of Spain, you only have a couple of days, but we hope you see a little bit of what Catalonia has to offer outside of Barcelona and the Costa Brava.”

Heather, Chris, Dan & Iona thanks for showing me where you have made home and showing me some of the beautiful places to see in the area.

If you would like to see more about what activities they offer, click here

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Read my visit to the Tremp Valley and my interview with Heather from Red Rock Trails


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25 thoughts on “Visiting the Tremp Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees

  1. What an amazing adventure you had. I lived in Spain and just loved it but never visited this part of the country. It looks like I’ll have to go back and hit those rapids!

  2. What a wonderful experience. The landscape is so interesting and that ruined structure seems to tell a story of its own. And the kayaking through the stunning Mont Rebei gorge…

  3. There story of reimagining their life and making it happen is great! And, what a magical place. I’ve been to Spain, but we didn’t make it to the Pyrenees. Now, I have a new place to add my list!

  4. This place sounds perfect to me. You have the outdoors right there for all kinds of adventures. I would love to see the stars at night. And dinosaurs are always cool:)

  5. We love to hike as a family, especially in “Dark Sky” areas (we have them here and we are so fortunate!) This looks like it would be a fantastic place to explore, and the accommodations look like exactly what we look for (especially the bunk beds!)

  6. Nice article about a nice but unknown area of Catalunya. I was in Pallars Jussà when I was a kid and it must have changed a lot! Catalunya is beautiful, Catalans are very welcoming and I hope you will have the time to see more of my home country in a near future.

  7. The Tremp valley looks really stunning. No wonder your friends zeroed in on this place to setup their business and settle down. The story of how your friends shifted from UK to Spain, makes for some fascinating and inspirational reading. Loved the post.

  8. It looks like a nice trip. I am a bit surprised that hotel didn’t have white linens though. It is a bit scary when you find a hotel with an older comforter or one that is not white. You can’t tell if it is clean.

  9. This looks incredible. I love that Heather has completely uprooted her life and decided to pursue a more simplistic lifestyle that makes her happier! I am so supportive of people rejecting the 9 to 5 and making their own kind of life, it’s how I want to live my life!

  10. They have picked an amazing spot to settle, there are some places you can go to and just feel ‘ehh’ seen it and move on and there are places like this where you can just lose yourself and just be amazed at what is in front of you. I would find it very hard to pry myself away from here 😀

  11. Looks pretty amazing, especially the rapids! Never been to Spain ( I can’t believe I haven’t as yet!) and have specially never heard of Tremp Valley but it looks like a place I must visit, for all the adventurous activities as well as the lovely nature. Love the fact that they’re know for having a ‘dark sky’, would love to camp there!

  12. I’ve never been to the Spanish Pyrenees, but I love exploring, hiking and trekking, so a trip here would definitely be something I’d enjoy. Your pictures are fantastic! x

  13. Thearea has got a lot of history. I always wanted to visit the Catalan parts of the Pyrenees, I have seen the french parts. I really hope they will keep on pushing for sustainable tourism and control any kind of pollution to preserve the uniqueness of this area.

  14. I have to say that the Castell reminds me of some of the Cathar castles I saw in the Languedoc across the border in France! I’ve not made it to the Spanish side in the area though yet sadly

  15. We spent 3 months in Spain and Portugal this spring didn’t get to the Tremp Valley. We walked the Camino de Santiago so that took up a lot of our time. We will definitely put this on our list for next visit! Sounds awesome.

  16. This is my first time hearing about the UNESCO Geoparc, how fascinating! Beautiful place and kudos to the gal for having a vision about a better life and leaving her 9 to 5 desk job! She traded up! 😉

  17. Wow, I never really gave this area much thought before now but I am adding it to the list! We love anything related to adventure and the outdoors so this region sounds absolutely perfect!

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