OverviewAbout spannish Pyrenee's Canyons
is the oldest National park in Spain, and one of the Pyrenees most gorgeous and original place. This is the biggest and tallest limestone mountain in the whole Europe.
But it is not its only feature. Monte Perdido is dug on all sides by several gorgeous Canyons. On the french side they are 3 and called "Cirques" rather than "Canyons" (the most famous being the Cirque de Gavarnie
, together with the Cirque d'Estaubé and the Cirque de Troumousse
On the Spannish side they are also at least 4, and here they truely deserve the name "Canyon". The most famous is of course Ordesa
(west), one of Europe's largest and most impressive canyon. But it's not the only one.
Before Añisclo, there are also the Escuaín gorges
(south east), and Val de Pineta (east), this last one being only a "half canyon", having only one of the 2 sides corresponding to such shape.
About Cañón de Añisclo
Cañón de Añisclo, going straight south, is the second biggest canyon, at least as deep as Ordesa, but narrower. It looks like a big crack on the uniform southern slope of Monte Perdido. Tender ondulating grass suddenly gives place to the abyss.
The place were it looks the most impressive is probably in the level where the giant cliffs of the peak Sestrales
and the peak Mondoto face themselves.
It looks like if the whole earth was torn by some enormous force, like a giant wound. Unlike Ordesa, Añisclo was dug only by water erosion, which flew from the heigths Monte Perdido. Many people find it for this reason even more impressive than Ordesa.
One part of the bottom of canyon has a narrow asphalted road, which can be driven only upstreams (for the return, you will have to take another road, probaly the one through Buerba). In this case, don't miss the splendid viewpoint near Vio where is the little chapel. From Puyarruego, this makes a fine biking trip.
The rest of the bottom of the canyon, from the monastery of San Urbez (car park), can be visited by a trail, which goes until the foot of the Monte Perdido, and makes the junction with some other trails, including the one which goes to Ordesa.
More exactly, the end of Añisclo corresponds to the depression located between the 3rd of the Three Sisters (tres Sorores, in the order Cylindro, Perdido, and Soum de Ramond), and La Suca, the 1st of the Tres Marias, the next three peaks on the undulating south-west ridge of Monte Perdido Massif.
From this place, indeed, Añisclo is connected to the Val de Pineta. A trail going to the mountain hut of Pineta ("Parador de Bielsa") goes up very steeply to reach this pass.
Añisclo is surrounded by many interesting peaks to hike, in first place the majestuous Sestrales
, a mountain which seems to have come staight from Arizona. Sharp on both sides, it makes the separation with Escuaín gorges
, next on the East.
Mondoto, West, has also the same profile but its backbone is more round-shaped and easily accessible from Nerin.
There are many pretty villages to see in the area: Buerba, Vio, Nerin, Fanlo, where you will find the highest bar in the Pyrénées !
From France, take the Aure valley (Saint Lary), and pass the tunnel to spain (Bielsa). Drive down until Escalona, before the city of Ainsa.
From Spain, drive to Ainsa, and few km later turn to Escalona.
In Puyarruego, turn right. The Añisclo is indicated from this place. There is a campsite in Puyarruego.