The Lakes Route - 265.00 Km -

Vielha is the capital of the comarca (local district) and also the tourism, commercial and service capital for the valley and its 5,500 inhabitants. Once there, it is interesting to visit the church of Sant Miquel, with its imposing bell-tower and 12th century Romanesque carving of Christ. However, to discover the best motorcycle tourism environment, you must leave the village by the N-230 and drive for about 40 km. This will take you through the 5,230 m long Vielha tunnel, which is located in the north-west of Catalonia and connects the comarques of the Val d'Aran and L'Alta Ribagorça. This double tunnel, with its parallel roads, is very busy and carries many heavy goods vehicles transporting commercial products, so drive carefully. Then, continue along the N-230 until El Pont de Suert, from where you can turn off towards the Vall de Boí.

El Pont de Suert is the small capital of L'Alta Ribagorça and has approximately 2,300 inhabitants. It is near the Escales Reservoir, which is fed by the River Noguera, and is the pride of the comarca. This is a small village full of natural charm and has much to offer tourists. This is an excellent way to reach one of the most beautiful and admired places in the Lleida and Catalan Pyrenees: the Vall de Boí. Riding your motorcycle northwards from El Pont de Suert, along the L-500 to Caldes de Boí, you will reach the Vall de Boí after about 30 km.

The Vall de Boí, which lies between valleys and mountains, is the definition of Romanesque art and architecture and the gateway to the Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. A relatively flat, but scenically interesting, road crosses the valley and will take you to the L-501 and on towards the Boí-Taüll Ski Resort. First, however, you are recommended to see one of the best examples of Romanesque art and architecture: Sant Climent and Santa Maria of Taüll, which form part of the eight Romanesque churches and one chapel that have received UNESCO World Heritage Site status. You may also be interested in visiting the Caldes de Boí spa.

After these first spectacular 70 km, go back to El Pont de Suert, where you should take the N-260 and cross La Faiada de Malpàs. This is a road with a good tarmac surface and many fast bends which will take you through a number of small settlements until you reach Senterada, after about 29 km. You should then head northwards along the L-503, which will take you to the exceptional setting of La Vall Fosca/La Torre de Capdella.

The Vall Fosca, or "Dark Valley", is located in the north of the comarca of El Pallars Jussà and offers attractive scenery in which water, mountains, highly varied vegetation and different animal species harmoniously coexist and interact. The valley starts at an altitude of 800 m and its highest settlement, Capdella, stands at 1,420 metres. The Vall Fosca contains a total of 19 different rural nuclei.

The River Flamisell forms the central axis of the valley. Along its course, you will be able to enjoy constantly changing countryside as you make your way up to the top end of the valley. There, you will find a cable car which provides access to the Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, which has over 30 pools for you to visit. This really is an area to enjoy and the Hydroelectric Museum of Capdella is also well worth a visit.

It is then back to the L-503 and on to Senterada, where you should follow the N-260, for 10 km, to La Pobla de Segur.

At La Pobla de Segur, a municipality in the comarca of El Pallars Jussà, you can stop to take on liquids and relax. Here, it is well-worth visiting the Art Nouveau-style Casa Mauri and the River Rafters' Space, to discover who the rafters were, their history, and the difficulty of their work. You are then advised to continue southwards, along the C-13, riding past the Sant Antoni Reservoir and enjoying Pre-Pyrenean scenery along the 13 km of well-surfaced road that will take you towards Tremp.

Salàs de Pallars is a small hamlet of only 365 inhabitants. It has a medieval fortified enclosure, museum shops and various exhibition spaces showing period pieces and what were once day-to-day consumer goods. It is possible to see reconstructions of traditional shops, including a grocer's store, chemist's, tobacconist's, barber's and bar/tavern.

Tremp, with its 6,300 inhabitants, is the capital of the comarca of El Pallars Jussà. The municipal area extends across the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees, from the River Noguera Ribagorçana water basin in the west to that of the River Noguera Pallaresa in the east. The central nucleus of this municipality is located on a small raised plateau, within the water basin of the same name, at a height of 468 metres above sea level. The Tremp Basin, or Conca Deçà, is a natural comarca bordered by the sierras and mountains of Montllobar (1,125 m), Lleràs (1,678 m), Comiols (1,356 m), Sant Gervàs (1,834 m), Boumort (2,070 m) – whose rich fauna includes deer, chamois, vultures and bearded vultures - and Montsec d'Ares (1,678 m).

Continue southwards along the C-13, passing the Sant Antoni and Terradets reservoirs. Follow the River Noguera Pallaresa, enjoying panoramic views between bends, gorges and spectacular reservoirs, for about 40 km, until you reach Camarasa on a well-surfaced road.

On the way, you will come to La Baronia de Sant Oïsme, a small settlement of great scenic beauty, which stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Camarasa Reservoir. This is a group of houses that stand below an old defence tower and the church of Sant Bartomeu.

Camarasa is a small village, with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, which belongs to the comarca of La Noguera. After leaving this village, follow a local road towards Cubells - and the Romanesque church of Santa Maria del Castell - which lies about 8 km away. This is a straight, easy ride before you embark on the last 70 km of your route, which will take you northwards – first along the C-26 and then following the C-14 - to Oliana along a rapid road that offers some breath-taking panoramic views and a good road surface. This area, along the banks of the River Segre, offers a magnificent route past the Rialp and Oliana reservoirs.

There are two places that you really must visit before you come to the end of this route: Ponts, whose most important features are the canonical church of Sant Pere and its medieval necropolis, and Bassella, where you should stop off at the Motorcycle Museum, which is on the C-14. The latter has 1,000 m2 of exhibition space where it is possible to see over 200 motorbikes from different periods and specialities and where everything is put into context by the graphic and audio-visual supports.

Oliana is a small village of 1,900 people which belongs to L'Alt Urgell and has an important historical legacy. Features of particular interest include its ice well and the Romanesque chapel of Sant Andreu del Castell, which stands up on a hill where it offers pleasant views over the village. This is the end of this ride.