The route of the horseshoes of Sort to Peramea, Gerri and Sort
- Difficulty: remarkable
- Minimum altitude: 586 m
- Starting/arrival: Hotel Les Brases / Sort
- Total distance: 48.4 km
- Total ascent: 2.280 m
- Nearest town: Sort
- Maximum altitude: 1.340 m
- Total time: 12.55h
DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE
Route of 48.4 km of total length that discovers us the small villages and the old bridleways that communicated them, in the southern sector of Pallars Sobirà. We make the one-way stretch to Gerri de la Sal on the right-hand side of the Noguera Pallaresa, flanking the valley halfway up the mountain of Llarvén and Estac. We make the return from Gerri de la Sal to Sort by the left side of the valley, following the course of the Noguera Pallaresa river. It is a very tough and demanding course due to the great difference in level and distance that must be overcome. Only recommended for mountain runners or hikers accustomed to long distance itineraries.
We enter fully into the territory between Sort and Gerri de Sal, discovering in depth the mountainous landscapes of this transition zone between the Pre-Pyrenees and the High Pyrenees. We make our way through the forested slopes of the mountains of Llarvén and Estac, crossing the old roads with cobbled sections and dry stone walls that communicated the small villages that are scattered throughout the territory. We make the return by the bottom of the valley, surrounded by meadows and pleasant riverside forests.
THE BEST OF THE ROUTE
- Walk the horseshoe paths of Pallars, with cobbled sections and dry stone walls.
- Let us be seduced by the magic and charm of the small population centers of the area.
- The tranquility and the pause that are breathed in this corner of the Pyrenees.
Total effective time (without stops):
12: 55h in total. 4: 50h from Sort to Mencui, 4: 40h from Mencui to Gerri de la Sal and 3: 25h from Gerri de la Sal to Sort.
Remarkable. Route only suitable for mountain runners and hikers with very good physical training, accustomed to long distance itineraries and with high unevenness. It is also necessary to take into account the orientation: in some points it is difficult to find the correct path (for that reason the use of GPS device and the track of the route is recommended).
- Natural Park of l'Alt Pirineu. 1: 50,000. Alpina Editorial.
- Ramat de Camins. Ramat de l'Est. 1: 50,000. Alpina Editorial.
- Topographical base of Catalonia 1: 25,000. Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya (ICGC).
- It is a very long itinerary, it is convenient to take into account the hours of daylight.
- The roads are marked with yellow continuity paint marks and signposts at the intersections. However, we must be attentive to the orientation because in some section the itinerary is losing.
- We find water sources in the Bressui, Enviny, Montardit, Estac, Balestui, Peramea, Gerri de la Sal and Baro nuclei.
- If from Gerri we prefer to return to Sort with public transport, we can do it by bus (schedules: www.alsa.es).
HOW TO ARRIVE BY CAR
The starting point of the excursion is located in the Hotel Restaurant Les Brases de Sort. We arrive at Sort by the road C-13. The Hotel Les Brases is located on the same road C-13, just north of the town. In front of the hotel there is space to park without paying.
The itinerary starts at the Hotel Les Brases de Sort (0: 00h - 693m).
We are going down the same road in the direction of the Pobla de Segur (S). We left on the left the deviation of the N-260 road towards the Seu d'Urgell and we followed a few more meters along the road until the entrance of Sort.
We take a street on the right following the sign of Sort Natural Road and Àssua Valley in the direction of "Bressui - Enviny".
Right at the first curve that the street makes, we find a sign on the left that we follow.
From here we started to ascend above Sort, which we left behind.
Walking between dry stone walls
We crossed Bressui
and we continue climbing up to the Com fountain, where we find a crossroads.
At this point we continue to the left, following the indications of Enviny.
We go through a farmhouse and take the dirt track that gains height.
In the next section, we must follow the yellow paint marks, alternating several times the track and a path that is cutting.
We move along the side of dry stone walls
and, in some sections, the road is paved.
Cows grazing in the meadows.
We leave behind a detour to Sort
and we arrive at the crossing towards Montardit de Baix.
In a few minutes we will return to this junction to continue our route, after approaching for a moment the picturesque nucleus of Enviny (1: 10h - 1.150m).
The church of Enviny.
Views of Montardit de Dalt.
We undo the road to the junction of Montardit de Baix and continue our itinerary along this road.
We descend without truce between fields and dry stone walls.
We arrived at a farm, which we surrounded above,
and we end up on the paved road.
We cross it and enter the nucleus of Montardit de Dalt (1: 30h - 945m),
where we go down to the church of Santa Cecília.
From here we continue through a covered alley that immediately bifurcates:
we have to follow the branch on the left, towards "La Mola - Estac".
Later we leave aside the path that would take us to La Mola
and we continue straight, towards the Estac nucleus.
We cross the Montardit ravine with caution -especially during the rainy season and during the thaw-
and then we go back up the forest.
-on a sandy soil of granitic composition-
and we ascend SO direction by a rocky ledge,
leaving the meadows
and the farmhouse of Santa Creu on our right.
We reached the top of the mountain and found a vertical signpost.
At this point we turn left and continue flanking the mountain in direction S
through a rather sparse area with holm oaks and scattered red pine groves.
We are going through,
without losing or gaining too much height,
with views of the Arboló Strait and the peculiar rocky silhouette of the Geganta Adormida.
We reached a point where we already saw the houses of Estac
and we begin to descend through a stony ground where our path merges with the paths of the sheep.
We cross a small ravine and continue on a path with dry stone walls.
We pass close to a farm
and then we arrive at the Daball fountain, right at the entrance to the town of Estac (3:10 - 1170m).
We cross the Estac nucleus passing under the church of Sant Marçal and continue the route in direction O.
Right at the exit of the town we find Mencui and Balestui signposted, indications that we follow.
We descend between meadows and forests,
We find, from time to time, some yellow mark of worn paint and some indicator, that help us to orient ourselves.
Later we go back into the oak grove and the path becomes more defined.
We are flanking the mountain by a terrain with quite a slope and reddish composition,
approaching little by little in the ravine of the Font del Llop.
We come to a fork
We crossed two streams, the first of which we crossed by ford over a waterfall.
After crossing the second stream, when it seems that the road ends and just before a detachment, we suddenly climb up,
We climbed quickly doing loops through an oak grove. We continue ascending and we connect with a more trite road, which we continue to the left.
We are gaining height, now more quietly, through an oak grove and advancing between dry stone walls.
We arrive at a small mountainous hill with an orri, where we turn towards the O.
The road widens
and we can already see the core of Mencui.
Little by little, the road becomes engorged until it reaches a point where we can no longer pass and we have to go to find the track that we have under our.
We continue the itinerary going up this road
until we reached the half-ruined houses of Mencui (4: 50h - 1,261m).
Attention: from Mencui the signposted path continues directly to the Cossant farmhouse, but as a consequence of a recent detachment this road is impracticable (at the time of documenting this route). Therefore, we will follow an alternative route to the Cossant farmhouse.
We leave the signposted road that goes under the town and we return to the track of Mencui, where we have climbed a few minutes ago.
Now we go down in the direction of Escós between meadows,
we went through the Pubill farmhouse
and, just after crossing two ravines, we reach the crossing of Escós (5: 35h - 940m).
We leave the track that continues down to the left towards Escós and Baro, and we take the track on the right that goes up
towards the forest of Tolzó.
We go up, doing loops through a sensational forest of red pine.
Finally, we reach the farmhouse of Cossant (6: 55h - 1,339m), the highest point of the entire route, where we recover the signposted path.
After regaining strength while enjoying the views that this wonderful natural viewpoint offers us - the Torreta de l'Orri, the massif of the Pica d'Estats, the mountains of the High Pyrenees - we continue our journey.
We return to the road marked with yellow paint marks that passes under the farmhouse of Cossant.
The road progresses in direction S through the wooded hill and soon we find another farmhouse in ruins.
Farmhouse in ruins
We continue to lose height along the path, now on a terrain with more slope,
to the bottom of the llau or ravine of Llop.
We walk a few meters along a beautiful stretch of cobblestone road, just below some large limestone walls.
We go around the rock of Sant Pere Vell
while we can already contemplate the Pla de Corts plateau, which is dominated by the peculiar rocky silhouette of the Geganta Adormida.
We continue going down
between dry stone walls
we passed near a farm,
We arrived at the picturesque village of Balestui (7: 55h - 865m).
The fountain of Balestui
We leave the nucleus of houses
going through the side of the church,
we continue towards Peramea
and we are going to cross the Ancs river by a bridge.
We climb again through a holm oak forest
and soon we leave behind a junction and the road to the farmhouse of Enjaume and the nucleus of Bretui.
We overcome a rocky hill
and we went straight down to the Pla de Corts.
We move through an area of crops and make some last meters between dry stone walls until we reach the medieval core of Peramea (8:50 - 902m).
We pass by the fountain of the square and the popular Elm of Peramea and turn into a street that goes left to the cemetery.
In the middle of the street, just from behind some containers, there is the path of Gerri de la Sal.
The path will link and leave the asphalted road several times.
We have to follow the yellow signs of continuity at all times.
We make the descent down the rocky slope of the mountain
and, after losing almost 300m of altitude, we reach the nucleus of Gerri de la Sal (9: 30h - 607m).
We are at the southernmost point of our route. Next we will board our way back to Sort following the course of the Noguera Pallaresa river. This will be the easiest part of the circular itinerary, we will advance at all times along a well-marked path and in the shadow of the riparian forest. First we cross the C-13 road
and then the monumental Romanesque bridge of Gerri on the Noguera Pallaresa river.
We went up a path to the Sanctuary of Arboló (9: 55h - 640m), from where we will enjoy a fabulous view of the Arboló Strait and the river just below us.
The wonderful Romanesque bridge of Gerri de la Sal
We continue along our path between dry stone walls
little by little moving away from Gerri de la Sal.
We climb a cobbled path
and we can already see the hermitage of the Mare de Deu d'Arbolo.
The Soc d'Arbolo.
Sanctuary of Arboló.
From the sanctuary we go down a wide path protected with a railing until the crossing of the Arboló bridge.
Going down to the bridge.
We leave the bridge behind and we continue parallel to the river, which we have on our left, in the direction of Baro.
Next, we enter a red pine forest
and we went down to some meadows next to the river.
We arrived at the crossing of Arcalís
and we continue straight towards Baro on the dirt track.
We passed through an area of poplars
and we arrive at the bridge of Arcalís - Baro (10: 45h - 637m).
We have the core of Baro on our left, on the other side of the river.
We continue ascending the Noguera Pallaresa by its eastern margin, following the indications of "La Torreta - Arcalís - Malmercat".
We connect with a road and follow it a few meters to the right. From the same road we leave behind the road to "La Torreta - Arcalís" and continue along the paved road until the next bend.
Here we take the dirt track that goes to the left and that will take us to the picturesque farmhouse of Menal, located in the middle of a pleasant area of grass meadows.
We overcome a couple of doors for the flocks
and we go into a beautiful area of grass meadows
with postcard landscapes
and getting closer and closer to the Menal farmhouse.
We move along a very nice path between dry stone walls
and we overcome the Roca Grossa ravine.
Then, we follow the torrent up a few meters and quickly enter a dark oak grove.
We climbed through the woods doing loops, until we reached the Malmercat junction.
At this point we leave the Malmercat road and we continue towards Savarneda and Sort.
We are following the slope of the mountain,
going up and down and crossing several dry ravines.
We reached a point from where we already spotted Montardit de Baix, on the other side of the river.
We continue making route alternating sections of path and sections of track, through meadows and oak groves,
and we'll gain height until we cross a road just below a farm.
We went through beautiful meadows
and we continue climbing through the forest until we enter an area with thinner vegetation and weeds, where the road is disfigured.
We went up this path enjoying the views we have of Montardit,
and we continue advancing between walls of dry stone.
Path through the forest.
We reached another detour towards Malmercat.
We leave this road behind
and we already see in the background the area of Les Vernedes and the nucleus of Sort.
We are going down towards the meadows
and we arrived at the house of Savarneda, which we left behind.
We arrived at the river del Cantó
that we go through a wooden bridge.
We leave on the right the road that goes up to the valley of Siarb (Soriguera and Llagunes) and continue to the left.
that first follows the course of the Cantó river until the confluence with the Noguera Pallaresa
and then follow this course until Sort.
Road to Les Vernedes.
Cows grazing in the meadows
We passed through the pleasant plain of Les Vernedes
we follow by comfortable road equipped with wooden railing on both sides
and we enter Sort,
We crossed the village on the road,
We passed through the center of the town and continue straight ahead
until we arrive at the Hotel Les Brases (693m - 12: 55h), starting point and end of this long and exciting circular circuit.