If you are restricted by school holidays and have no choice but to visit Ordesa during these times then please take note of the shuttle bus system
During peak holiday times, the number of people allowed into the Ordesa valley is controlled through the use of shuttle buses. Entry in your own car is not allowed, so you need to leave it in the large carpark by the Ordesa park visitors’ centre (Less than 100m from our self -catering cottage) and take the shuttle bus from there.
The good news is that the Parking is free but the bad news is the bus is not. Tickets costs 4.50€ return trip or 3€ single. Children under 10, however go for free. Over 65´s also have a discount of 1€ off the return ticket or 50 cents off the single.
The single ticket gives you the option to walk to or from the Pradera de Ordesa along the beautiful camino de turieto. More popular is the low or “turieto bajo” route, but the higher route “turieto alto” has recently been reopened and has more spectacular views. Both routes are along shady paths, so perfect for the summer.
Peak times for 2017 are Easter, Summer holidays and the October bank holiday of Pilar. At all other times, you should be able to drive to the Pradera carpark in the Ordesa valley in your own car. One exception may be winter, when the Ordesa valley is equally spectacular , however the road may be occasionally closed due to avalanche risk or shear volume of snow (the snow plough clears the road but only once the main roads and access roads to villages have been cleared).
The dates for the shuttle bus system in 2017are as follows (includes start and end date):
Easter 13-16th April
Summer July 1st to September 11th
Pilar 12th-15th October
For early risers the first bus is at 6am in the summer and 7am at other times. After 8am frequency is every 15-20 minutes. SEE PHOTO
Although it is hard to imagine, occasionally, the limit of 1800 peoplei n the Ordesa Valley at the same is reached. (e.g late morning close to the August 15 bank holiday). The bus service going into the park is then suspended until the numbers subside again.
During this very busy time it is important to get to Torla early – Despite expanding the carpark to almost the same surface area of the village itself, I have been unable to find a single space or even an unoccupied verge when arriving after 11:30 am during the month of August.
Finally, remember athe shuttle bus s only for the Ordesa Valley. The Valley of Bujuruelo, also although not actually within the park, is equally beautiful and just a 20 min drive from Torla. Do not forget the other stunning valleys of the Ordesa National Park, namely Añisclo, Escuain and Pineta.