Puigcerdà Things to Do
The Reservoir is just north of the town and, to get to it, you have to pass through Puigcerdà's main shopping area, which gives you the opportunity to see the more modern parts of the old city. The Reservoir has some swans and a well-maintained park. Its a beautiful site when you see it against the backdrop of the mountains and a perfect place to enjoy the natural scenary without trapsing through a private farm.
Church and Bell Tower
The church in Puigcerdà is nothing spectacular, but if you do visit the city it is interesting to see the Mediaeval bell tower, which stands near the main parking area. Again, nothing spectacular, but certainly something to see if you're up in Puigcerdà for the natural beauty.
2 Hotels in Puigcerdà
Innsbruck Café: Cozy atmosphere
This is sort of the Catalan equivalent of a pub and is oddly named - not just because it is not in Austria, but because there is in fact no skiing in or around Puigcerdà. Nevertheless, this small restaurant is a cozy place to get a hearty sandwich, fries and a canya, all at reasonable prices. The service is not friendly, but then again it never is in Catalunya.
Favorite Dish: The club sandwich. After you've hiked around for four hours, fat-laden and meat-packed food always seems like a good idea.Related to:
- Food and Dining
This is the only way to get there from barcelona, the trains kinda suck but it's a beautiful place and it's worth it. The roundtrip ticket costs around 12€Related to:
- Skiing and Boarding
- Budget Travel
Puigcerdà Off The Beaten Path
The Puigcerdà-Guils-Puigcerdà circuit is not actually a GR (Grande randonée), but it can be a bit tough, and I will admit that, of the 16.5 km of the entire route, I might have done 8 at max, mainly because I was on foot, it was hot, and there is only so much of the countryside that you can look at before it all starts to look the same. I also had trouble following the signs, which must have been messed up by someone having a bit of fun, because they all seemed to point in a large circle. Nevertheless, I completed the route Puigcerdà (starting at the Estanc) to Enveitg, onto Latour de Carol, Yravals, across the fields and the border to Saneja, and down again to Puigcerdà. In all, it was maybe three hours or so. The hike is quite easy and there’s not a lot that you have to do by way of climbing, but you do gradually make it up to a high enough point above the valley to get great views. There are also some ruins, and I think they are of a church called Sant Joan (I don’t entirely remember the name on the plaque and I, unfortunately, didn’t have something to right down with) – but the building is in such a state of decay that it is hard to tell what architectural style it followed.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Saneja is another small town that is really just a very, very small hamlet, like Yravals. It is on the Spanish side of the border, and therefore connected directly to Puigcerdà by roads (but not Yravals or Latour de Carol). Again, there is an interesting stone church here with a graveyard, likely from the 13th or 14th century. It is built from the same fieldstones as the houses. Unlike on the French side, there has been at least an attempt at ensuring that the surrounding modern developments are somewhat similar to the original stone houses of the village, so the growth of Saneja doesn’t feel quite as jarring. Still, there’s an awful lot of construction here, or at least there was in the summer before the construction industry went bust. The church appeared to be under renovation, so I wasn’t able to visit it – perhaps those who hike to Saneja later on will have the opportunity to see what surprises its interior holds.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Hiking to France
Once again, this is not quite the recommended version of events, but you can hike from Puigcerdà to Enveitg in France by following the road behind the Reservoir. Eventually you'll get to a point where you either have to go into the fields on a hiking path or turn down the road to the airport. Its not glamourous, but you get to hike through several horse farms (all pottok, all the time). When you get to the end of the path you'll be at the railway tracks and all you have to do is follow them until you get to the road. They're building a new set of houses outside of Enveitg, and its not hard to go from there to the old town.
Puigcerdà Sports & Outdoors
Puigcerdà is not the place to go for skiing, but rather for hiking. The town is actually in a valley surrounded by mountains and it is best to buy a guide at the local bookshop with the hiking paths and choose a direction in which to go. It is best to hike WITHIN Spain than into France. If you get tired and want to take transit back from somewhere like Enveitg, you have to take a train or two, which is not cheap.
Equipment: Good, sensible shoes and a warm jacket in the winter.