Vielha – the capital of Val d’Aran

Vielha, located in the northern side of the area of Catalonia, within the region of the Pyrenees, is the capital town of Val d’Aran. This town is characterized by the ski related activities it offers, and is one of the major ski resorts tourists could find in the region.

Due to the importance of the ski activities it sponsors, during winter time the town of Vielha receives a great amount of visitors from many different places in the world, most of them attracted by the snow and the sports and activities it allows them to enjoy. This way, it is easy to imagine the importance that these ski related activities and tourism have for this town and its economy.

The town of Vielha counts with about 6,000 inhabitants, although there is a high increase on the amount of people the town receives during winter time and other months when the greatest amount of tourists arrive. This town is considered to be one of the most prosperous and richest in not only this region but all Spain as well.

This destination did not become as popular as today is until around the year 1950, when the tunnel of Vielha was created. This tunnel connects this side of the valley with the rest of the region, and therefore, before it existed, this spot was very remote and hard to be found, which would be a barrier for any tourist related activity.

The tunnel of Vielha, with a length of about 5240 meters, and a width of about 6 meters, has marked a before and an after in the towns history and its economy. This tunnel has not only allowed tourism to increase and visitors to easily reach this destination, but it has also become one of the main connections between France and Spain in that area of the Pyrenees. This way, this tunnel has become as important to this destination and its economy as its natural characteristics are, since the combination of both of them has been the main factor that allowed it to gain the prosperity it enjoys.

Map of Vielha in Spain