Road from Queralbs to Núria by Daió
The Queralbs road in the sanctuary of Núria is one of the most classic walks in the Ribes Valley and that will take us through a charming valley, with several waterfalls and spectacular cliffs, with the final reward of reaching Nuria.
Difficulty: medium It is not a long route, but it has an important slope, especially at the beginning. No technical difficulty
Elevation: 892 m
Time: about 3h (less if leaving from Daió)
Kilometers: 7 km.
Variants: in many reviews, you will find that the route starts from the town of Queralbs. In fact, it is the most classic path, with a more constant slope and the most appropriate path. We opted for this route since the intention was to make the path of the Engineers and the Freser Valley, but finally discard it because it was too late. If you consider this option, you can park in Daió. If you want to get off with the zipper, you can perfectly make the route from Queralbs. Another classic approach route to Nuria is by way of Fontalba, much simpler and in just over an hour you reach the Sanctuary.
We park in the curve of the valley floor before going up to Queralbs since afterwards, as we will return with a zipper, it will be appreciated not to walk so much. But if the intention is to go up and down on foot, the best thing you can do is park directly to Daió, where there is a parking area. This will save the first 20 minutes.
We leave from the Daió central and cross the river through the bridge. From the beginning we will find the fork of roads: to the left, up, the Núria road leaves, and to the right we would have the road that goes to Coma de Vaca and the Salt del Grill, a waterfall of about 30 meters that is located about 20-25 minutes from Daió.
We will leave it for the next day. We take the path of Núria that soon begins to climb hard. In fact, this first section is one of the most rights of the route and for about 35-45 minutes (punctually more) we will go up through the forest, with a road that is winding (careful not to deviate, with GPS no loss).
When we have made about 300 meters of unevenness, the road begins to plan and deviate towards the Núria valley. At this point we will have a great view of the Ribes and Queralbs valley. Overcome this stretch of smooth glide (which is appreciated), we will arrive at the Cremal Bridge, where we will find the classic route that goes up from Queralbs.If we had been practically alone until now, from this point an authentic pilgrimage of mountaineers begins and not so mountaineers until Núria.
In any case, the road through the bottom of the Núria valley and we will almost always be accompanied by the Nuria River, which forms pools and waterfalls. After the smooth glide, now it is time to gain an unevenness with a section of winding road. Once up, we will have a good view of the valley floor and also of the Fontalba ravine, which goes down loaded from the feet of the Puigmal.
The road now moderates the ascent and passes through a stretch of black pine forest, then through an area of tartera without complication and after a while makes a right turn and we find the horsetail jump, possibly the most emblematic waterfall of the Núria River and the most beautiful and tall.
We continue with something more uphill and now we pass very close to the Núria Rack, which goes up the other side of the valley. In fact, throughout the route we will see passing, but it is in this section where we will have closer. Now it's time to go under the Zip through a bridge and cross to the other side of the valley.
After planning, we continue up and face the final stretch of the ascent. The black pine forest is now more present (as you can see, the explanation is merely descriptive since there is no loss or deviations from the road). A final climb will bring us closer to the Mirador del Valle de Núria, to see the emblematic panoramic view of the Sanctuary of Núria at the bottom of the valley, with its lake.
From here the road is already a walk. Surrounded by tourists, we descend gently until we reach Lake Núria and shortly after we reach our destination, the Sanctuary of Núria. A visit to the Virgin is a must as we have sweated to get here!
On the way back we can undo the path or opt for the most comfortable option to go down with a zipper. Equally interesting is the climb at the Núria Hostel, either on foot or with the cable car. From the hostel you have a fantastic view of the Núria Valley and the Vall de Ribes. From here, we could follow the path of the Engi.
Authorship text and photographs: Sergi Boixader