Day Trip Rucksack
Small 10L day trip and museums rucksack
The Vall de Núria Rack Railway is a spectacular scenic mountain railway in the Catalonian Pyrenees mountains. The line connects Ribes de Freser with Queralbs and Vall de Núria winter ski and summer resort which is 5km from the French border. Queralbs is the highest point in the valley reachable by road so the the rack railway is the only way to reach the Núria shrine and ski resort (excluding hiking up via Vall de Nuria valley).
The Cremallera de Núria rack railway starts at Ribes Enlaçe which is the interconnect with the Ribes de Freser Renfe R3 railway station.
The line passes over the main road and river via a stone arched viaduct bridge and arrives at Ribes Vila. This station is in centre of Ribes de Freser town. Next to the station in the old railway shed is the Núria Cremallera museum.
The railway departs Ribes Vila and gradually climbs to Queralbs station. Queralbs is a pretty mountain village with stone houses, beautiful church and lots of rural charm. Up to Queralbs the railway is not racked because the incline does not need a cogged wheel drive.
After departing Queralbs the train slows down on a section of the track and the driver announces that there will be a short bump as the cog wheel engages in the rack that runs between the two rails. From here the incline increases as the train enters a series of short tunnels that take it into the Vall de Núria river valley.
The train climbs the Vall de Núria river valley passing many waterfalls and a long tunnel before arriving at Núria resort station via a track that runs parallel to the artificially created Nuria lake.
The journey time between Ribes Enlaçe and Núria Resort is about 40 minutes.
Núria resort and the Vall de Núria Cremallera racked railway normally close each year between November and mid December for annual maintenance and to switch the resort over from summer operation to winter operation.
about 2 minutes walk from the Renfe Train station in Ribes de Freser is Bar Gusi which serves snacks and drinks all day including Vegan options.
If you are not interested in hiking, Vall de Nuria is a good day trip just to enjoy the mountain air and spectacular views of the Cremallera. You can take a short walk round Nuria lake and also stop off in Queralbs to appreciate this stunning rural village.
The Cremallera (rack railway) museum allows you to gain an in-depth knowledge of the history of the Vall de Núria rack railway line. Visitors can go inside the oldest locomotive trains of the Geperuda, the Electric E-3 train as it was originally, as well as the dining carriage, considered a luxury and decorated with fine materials, and which still runs on special occasions.
Entry is free and it is open from 08:30h to 20:00h.
The rack railway is theoretically accessible in a wheelchair and is a great way to get to the high Pyrenees.
Once in Núria there are paths around the resort and lake for short walks with pushchairs. There is also a children's playground, the Sant Gil shrine.
Small 10L day trip and museums rucksack
Lightweight convertible trousers that zip down to shorts
Light weight cotton quick dry T-shirt
Lightweight comfortable trail shoes
Ankle spring/summer socks
Light weight warm fleece
Small pouch lightweight Waterproof jacket for emergencies
Address: Estacio de Muntanya, Vall de Nuria. 17534
Take the Renfe R3 Rodalies train to Ribes de Freser and use the Vall de Núria Cremallera to get to Núria Resort.
Train fares and times for the Cremallera racked railway can be found on the Vall de Núria website. A combined Renfe + Cremallera ticket is available, TreNatura which is considerably cheaper than buying the tickets individually.
The combined Renfe + Cremallera return ticket called TreNatura can be purchased from any Renfe Rodalies ticket machines or purchased online. Note that the combined return ticket will print out two tickets. One is for the Renfe segment and one for the cremallera segment. When you get to Ribes de Freser you have to swap the Cremallera ticket at the Cremallera de Núria ticket office for a barcode ticket that can be used on the Cremallera turnstiles machines.