Set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Pyrenees, the town of Sort is an ideal location for an activity holiday. Explore the beautiful surroundings of Aigues Tortes National Park, whitewater raft and kayak along rivers and have the option to abseil down gorges and try our hand at abseiling and off road mountain biking. All equipment is provided and no previous experience is necessary. Sort - Activity centre of the Spanish Pyrenees with bars and cafes to watch the world go by and several excellent restaurants showcasing some of the best of Catalonia's proud culinary traditions. Noguera River - Whitewater rafting and kayaking on one of Europe's best and safest rivers with good year round water levels Spa hotel - Comfortable accommodation based in a family-run hotel with a swimming pool, gardens and spa
Our trip begins at Barcelona Airport (airport code BCN) at 3pm. If you would like to join the complimentary airport transfer today, the latest your flight can arrive is 2.15pm. We will travel together as a group, the 230km journey takes around 3.5 hours to get to Sort, a charming mountain village close to the Noguera River and the centre for water sports in the Pyrenees. O ur Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you may have time to wait ahead of our group transfer to Sort. You can make the most of this time by exploring Barcelona with its many attractions such as 'La Boqueria' food market, Las Ramblas boulevard lined with bars and restaurants and not to mention the many incredible architectural works of Antoni Gaudi. The Barcelona metro line L9 Sud connects terminals T1 and T2 with the city of Barcelona every 7 minutes and takes 32 minutes or take the Aerobus to the city centre. Bags can be stored at the airports left luggage for around Euro 10 per piece of luggage.
For those that want to immerse themselves in majestic alpine scenery, we a morning walk in the Aigues Tortes National Park included. We leave in the morning and head off in Land Rovers to the Sant Maurici Lake which is placed amidst the rugged mountain ranges of the Pyrenees with peaks of up to 3000 m surrounding the area. The image of the two Encantats peaks is surely the most stunning one in the mountain range. We walk along-side the lake, passing a beautiful waterfall before reaching the 'Mirador', a viewpoint high above Sant Maurici. We have our picnic lunch close by with local specialities such as longaniza sausage or farmhouse goat cheese before continuing our walk along the other side of the Sant Maurici lake and then driving back to Sort. (Approximately 3 hours walking, 300 m ascent) The minimum suggested age for this activity is 8 years old.
Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting. Driving to our activity base right next to the river, we don our wet suits and lifejacket to explore this exciting river on our rafts along a 14 km stretch of the river. Pass through some exhilarating rapids including the famous 'washing machine' rapid which will throw your raft onwards as your travel down the steep body of water and we are sure you will yell with triumph once through this rollercoaster of a rapid. The river Noguera is unique as there is a high enough water level all year round for water sports. We return to our spa hotel in Sort around 1pm, the afternoon is free. It's possible to extend the rafting to a full day excursion finishing at 5pm, simply let your tour leader know the day before the activity. The full day rafting includes lunch (typically pasta and salad) after which we re-join the river, rafting down the river through Sort and continuing through the picturesque Collegats canyon, an idyllic swimming spot. The river is marginally quieter on this second section. We will aim to be back at the hotel by 6pm. Please refer to the budgeting and packing section for the supplement to upgrade to a full days rafting.
There are no included activities on this day. For those than want to try abseiling, there is the opportunity to drive 30 minutes north to the beautifully set Guingueta reservoir, one of the dammed lakes of the Noguera river. There are excellent views of the Pyrenees with the backdrop of mountains all around. After changing into our wetsuits and harnesses we'll spend the morning abseiling, jumping and sliding down the Estaron Canyon. We'll be back at the hotel at lunch time and then the afternoon is free for more optional activities or relaxing by the pool or use the hotel spa; all guests 14 years and over will receive a complimentary day spa pass to use during their stay with access from 1600 to 2100 daily except Mondays. Children from 14 to 17 can access the spa between 1600 and 1700 hrs Tuesday to Friday, between 1100 and 1500 on Saturdays and 1600 to 2200 on Sundays. For those looking to explore the village of Sort, there is plenty to explore in this old capital of the area with remains of the castle dating back to the 11th century still overlook the village. A great location with beautiful surroundings and the backdrop of the Pyrenees, the town also boasts several pleasant bars and cafes where one can sit on the terrace and watch life pass by. In the evening a dinner out of the village can be organized in one of the delightful restaurants tucked away in small mountain villages not to far from Sort. The town is known for its fine choice of restaurants. Looks can sometimes be deceiving, some of the best eateries in town may not look appealing at first glance but it's not hard to find outstanding traditional Catalonian food at great prices. Typical set menu start at €25 per person with six course taster menus around €40 including wine. There are also several family friendly options including a great pizzeria.
This morning is left free for relaxing or filling in with further optional activities that your tour leader can help you organise. This afternoon we transfer to Geri de la Sal village where we get changed into our wet suits and spend the afternoon kayaking down the Noguera River through some exciting rapids and stunning canyons. These kayaks are often referred to as 'open kayaks' (inflatable, very stable mini-rafts). This area is one of the last habitats of the 'quebrantahuesos' vulture (or bearded vulture) which is close to extinction in Europe - with a bit of luck we can see one.
By today you will hopefully know which activities you liked most and there are plenty of possibilities for a very active day, perhaps exploring 'hell's' canyon which involves abseiling 20 meters into a cave, horse riding or mountain biking. Another option involves a more challenging way of floating down the river in an activity called hydrospeed where you hang on to a little board following the current through rapids and calmer sections of the river.
Today you can rest at the pool or on the banks of the river. Alternatively you may want to go for a walk in the surrounding area or ask the Tour Leader to organize another activity for you. There are a wide range of possibilities; recommended is the exhilarating mountain bike ride through the Montgarri valley or perhaps you may wish to spend the afternoon horse riding.
Departing Sort this morning we drive 230km, around 3.5 hours to Barcelona Airport (airport code BCN), where we will arrive at about 1pm and this is where our trip ends. The earliest your flight can depart is 3pm.
7 Break Fast(s) 1 Lunch(es)
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