Huesca has almost 300 documented canyons, some of which are among the best in Europe. Pre-Pyrenees (Sierra de Guara) have relatively easy but scenic canyons and green-blue water, these canyons are very popular destination for guided groups. Pyrenees (Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Parks) tend to have more technical canyons that are popular among self-guided canyoneers and are less crowded.
When to go
With such an abundance of canyons, there are dry and water canyons to fit any season. But the best time is probably May and June, when most canyons have abundant flowing water and not too many canyoneers running them. In July and August hordes of guided groups invade the region, sometimes with 1000 people going through a canyon in a day, causing massive bottlenecks and long waits in the most popular routes.
How to get there
International airports are located in Madrid and Barcelona, one can rent a car there and then drive 3h to get to the canyons. One may also take a train or bus to Barbastro and then get picked up there by friends or guides.
The basecamp for Sierra de Guara canyons are usually the small towns of Alquezar or Rodellar. For Pyrenees canyons basecamp is usually the towns of Ainsa or Broto. There are plenty of developed campgrounds around, they usually have hot showers and laundromats and even restaurants. Most campgrounds also offer bungalows for rent, sometimes with private bathroom or even kitchenette. Cheap Hotels and Hostals can be found through booking.com, sometimes cheaper than bungalows.
Spanish eat very late. Restaurants don't usually open until 8:30PM. In Spain is always better to order the "menu" which is usually around 15 Euros for dinner and 10 Euros for lunch. This includes 2 full-sized entrees, bread, water, wine, dessert, coffee, and a shot of some local alcohol.
Unlike the USA, canyon guides in Spain are relatively inexpensive, from 40 to 60 USD for a full day of canyoning, the price usually includes all gear and insurance. Guiding companies are everywhere, even in campgrounds, and sometimes they offer packages that include lodging and meals at very competitive prices.
- Abuelas de Sevil is the largest canyon store in the region. Located in Adahuesca, a small town on the way to Sierra de Guara / Pyrenees, this emblematic store is half grocery store and half canyon store. With its bread bakery and cafe it has become the favorite rendezvous spot for canyoneers and guides. The owner, Marie Helen, is very friendly and always happy to advise customers on gear, restaurants, guide services, etc. They also offer lodging and gear rentals.
- Thor Mac Cumhail is an expert canyon guide that has been working in the Guara/Pyrenees for over 8 years. Thor is very experienced and knows latest conditions for all the canyons in the region. Thor is very friendly and fluent in English.
- Tantaka is a restaurants near Alquezar with some of the best food in Spain. They also offer lodging, canyon guides and packaged deals.
- Make sure to visit the Medieval part of town for Alquezar and Ainsa for a display of medieval architecture and folklore.
- http://www.lasabuelasdesevil.com Groceries, Canyon Gear, Cafe, Lodging, etc.
- http://www.barranquismoguaratantaka.com/ Tantaka Food, Lodging, Guides
- http://www.campingalquezar.com/en/ Campground near Alquezar
- http://www.campingriovero.com/ Campground near Alquezar
- http://www.campingelpuente.com/en/ Campground near Rodellar
- http://www.campingmascun.com/ Campground near Rodellar
- http://altopirineo.com/alojamientos-recomendados-zona-de-ainsa/ Lodging in Ainsa
- http://www.booking.com Hotels & Hostals
- Latest canyon condition reports:
- http://www.facebook.com/365-D%C3%ADas-De-Una-Gu%C3%ADa-782297065119994/ 365 Dias de una guia
- http://www.facebook.com/groups/1614735605431701/ Infocaudales
- http://www.facebook.com/groups/1661657600733656/ Descenso de Barrancos (Pirineos y Sierra de Guara)
- http://www.facebook.com/groups/168769827431/ Descenso de Barrancos
- http://www.descente-canyon.com/canyoning.php/251-140-canyons.html Huesca @ Descente-Canyon.com