Ibón de Bernatuara: medieval bridge & glacial lake in Ordesa Valley

Ibón is a Spanish term specific to the Pyrenees; it’s a Pyrenean lake. After some trolling, turns out there might be a translation: “tarn” <— has anyone else heard of this word? It doesn’t matter, doesn’t “ibón” sound like pure magic? To me it sounds like endless sparkles.

And speaking of, this hike starts from one of the most magical places in the Pyrenees. San Nicolás de Bujaruelo. Green valley, roman bridge, river.


I know I always do this, but, picture yourself on the banks of the Ara River with a blanket, a friend and some snacks. Epic picnic location.

The hike is not for the fainthearted. Almost 1000 m of elevation gain in just 5 km. But you end up on the Spanish-French border.



As you can see, it’s a decent uphill climb
My mountain goat in an interesting setting


Low cloud cover


Por fin! You can climb up to the pass (“collado”) which is the flat part connecting the two peaks, just on the other side of the ibón. Or head up to the summit of Bernatuara peak (2500 m, not pictured), following the path to the left.

Lastly you can’t get here without passing through one of the most picturesque villages in the valley, if not the whole range. Look, this is Torla:


And that sexy, golden mountain ledge up there is one of the most iconic hikes in all the Pyrenees.


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