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28 September 2023

GUIDE to ESCUNHAU

Escunhau is a picturesque village with an exceptional location, less than 3 km from Vielha and 13 km from the Baqueira Beret ski resort. It is a very quiet village, nestled among the mountains, surrounded by the Garona River, and adorned with beautiful stone façades and balconies filled with flowers. Without a doubt, it’s a perfect choice if you’re looking for accommodation in a peaceful and less crowded place, yet very close to essential services.

WHAT TO SEE IN ESCUNHAU

The urban center of Escunhau is truly special, surrounded by mountains over 2,000 meters high, well-preserved facades of typical Aranese architecture, a delightful gastronomic offering, and treasures that are part of the region’s historical heritage. Did you know that Escunhau houses the oldest house in the Aran Valley? In this guide, we will reveal what to see in Escunhau and several plans you can make during your stay.

CHURCH OF SANT PEIR

It is said that the villages in the Aran Valley hold the largest number of Romanesque and Gothic churches you can find in the Pyrenees, and Escunhau is no exception! Wander through its cobbled streets and typical Aranese architecture to reach the highest point of the village. There you will find the Church of San Pedro – or Sant Peir – which, with certain similarities to the Church of San Miguel in Vielha – such as its Romanesque-Gothic style from the 11th to 15th centuries, the bell tower from the 16th and 17th centuries, the façade, and the Crucified Christ – becomes a must-visit if you are staying in Escunhau.

ÇO DE PEREJOAN

Another cultural emblem that Escunhau houses is a house that has stood since the Middle Ages. It is Ço de Perejoan, the oldest house in the valley. It was built in the year 1393 and has been declared a Cultural Heritage site. Currently, it serves as the headquarters of the Ecomuseum Çò de Joanchiquet, an exhibition that tells us about the valley’s past and the people who inhabited it during the early decades of the 20th century.

BAQUEIRA BERET SKI RESORT

If you are planning a getaway to the Aran Valley in winter, undoubtedly, the Baqueira Beret ski resort is the best choice for skiing or snowboarding, with over 150 km of skiable area spread across 113 slopes, special family areas, freestyle zones, and even an Audi ice and snow circuit. Additionally, the resort offers a wide range of additional activities, such as snowshoe excursions, snowmobiling, or dog sledding. You can even take a helicopter ride over the valley!

If you wish, you can check out our Baqueira Beret resort guide, where we explain the different areas and some of the activities they offer in more detail. Remember that with your reservation at FeelFree, you get a discount on snow equipment rental at Procenter – located next to the Baqueira gondola.

SEE GUIDE TO BAQUEIRA BERET

EXCURSIONS NEAR ESCUNHAU

If you prefer to visit us between spring and autumn, the possibilities are endless. Venturing into the valley, surrounded by mountains exceeding 2,000 meters in altitude, you can look forward to days of trekking, rivers for a morning of rafting, 4×4 routes, and the best mountain biking at the Baqueira Beret resort. For a more relaxed plan, don’t hesitate to visit other villages in the valley and savor their exquisite cuisine.

One of our favorite routes starting from Escunhau is the Estany de Escunhau trail, an 8 km excursion through lush forests of beech, fir, and oak trees, leading to the beautiful Lake Escunhau – especially recommended in autumn when the forests are adorned with shades of gold and ochre! –.

WHERE TO EAT IN ESCUNHAU

Escunhau boasts excellent restaurants serving traditional Aranese cuisine, using seasonal local products, perfect for refueling after a day in the snow or exploring the Aran Valley. Among their offerings, you’ll find hearty stews, the traditional Aranese pot, grilled meats, and catch-of-the-day fish, as well as delicious homemade desserts like yogurt with forest fruits, crepes with jam, hot chocolate or apple, or cheesecake. An ideal option for those days when you don’t feel like cooking!

SEE RESTAURANTS IN ESCUNHAU

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If you’re staying in Escunhau and need any services, the best option is to head to Vielha, the capital, just a 5-minute drive away. There, you’ll find all kinds of services, from grocery stores and gourmet boutiques to pharmacies, medical centers, tobacco shops, toy stores, a shopping center with sports and fashion stores, and even several universal charging points for electric vehicles. Vielha also hosts a market on Thursday mornings, where you can find food products, crafts, ceramics, and more. Don’t hesitate to take a look at our Vielha guide for more information.

SEE GUIDE TO VIELHA