There are places and places, challenging mountains and unique corners. There are monuments that nature itself creates, with capricious forms that make our imagination play epic moments or unimaginable memories. The Rolando Gap is one of them, a passage, a crack, a mountain between mountains or the huge bow of a ship that emerges from the bowels of the Pyrenees.
The Rolando Gap
A Franco-Spanish route
With a height of 100m and more than 40m wide, the Rolando Gap is situated at no less than 2,804m high in the area of Monte Perdido. It is accessible both from the Spanish side, in Aragon, or from Gavarnie, France, although the easiest side is from our French neighbor, since it has built a parking lot that facilitates access but does not prevent you from having to make a nice ascent or excursion of a whole day.
For us, the Rolando Gap is one of those unique “monuments” in the Pyrenees, since its presence dwarfs us, as if it were the passage of a giant for its size or the perfect scenario for an invading army to appear.
1 The crossing from Spain
Starting from the Camping San Nicolas de Bujaruelo, next to the Ara river, the route goes to the famous Rolando Gap. This is somewhat demanding due to its unevenness and its length, since we talk about 1,600m of slope rise and 26km (round trip).
Crossing from Spain
Towards the Rolando Gap
You ascend along the course of the Ara river along a path that goes to the other side of the river, just in front of the campsite. That path that runs parallel to the river reaches the Romanesque Bridge of San Nicolas de Bujaruelo. Without crossing the river or the bridge you take the road that goes to the right, the one of Puerto de Bujaruelo that goes to France and theRefuge des Sarradets ou de la Brèche de Roland.
After a long climb and overcome several streams and somewhat inclined sections, the turnoff of the French path that comes from the Col de Tentes parking, where you already feel invaded by tourism and overcrowding, since from there the road is simpler and suitable for all audiences.
Next, the path always to the right reaches the shelter, where just behind it, next to a long snow shovel awaits the impressive Rolando Gap. To return you have to return along the same path or follow the path, but spending a night in the high mountains, in the direction of the Ordesa Valley, as we told in a three-day route through Ordesa.
2 The journey from France
The route from France starts from the parking lot of Cabbage of Tentes (see map). Unlike the one that starts from the Bujaruelo campsite, it only has 600m of slope of rise and 12km of crossing (round trip). It is perhaps, well, rather, the reason why it is the busiest route to the Rolando Gap.
Refuge des Sarradets ou de la Brèche de Roland
Towards the Rolando Gap
From the parking lot to the connection with the track that goes up from the Port of Bujaruelo it is practically flat. The drop is taken practically from this point, where the occasional waterfall and large rocks are drawn, to the refuge and the Rolando Gap. In any case the route has no loss and is suitable for most, even to go with children.
Crossing from France
When to go?
Being high mountain, summer is the most accessible time and winter is only suitable for those walkers prepared for snow and ice. The ascent through the Port of Bujaruelo can be complicated in winter, although the difficulty lies mainly in the area of the refuge.
Where to sleep?
- Bujaruelo Valley campsite. An excellent campsite with all kinds of amenities and pool
- Camping San Nicolás de Bujaruelo
- Camping Gavin
From hotel or rural house
- Selection of hotels in Torla by Booking
- Bujaruelo Hotel. Beautiful rural hotel from € 60
- Hotel Villa de Torla. Exquisite decoration in the mountains. From € 55