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“The most beautiful and profound experience a human being can have is the feeling of mystery. It is the basic principle of religion and of all serious attempt at art and science”

Albert Einstein

The Vall de Cardós is in the heart of the Pallars Sobirà region, in the Catalan Pyrenees. A valley where the constant dialogue between the most inhospitable nature and the hand of its inhabitants has formed a mosaic of rugged mountains, meadows and pastures, lush forests, villages of dense plains, wild beasts, paths between dry stone walls, ancient customs, myths and legends that the communities have passed down in the light of the fire on star-studded nights over the centuries.

To reach this hidden and peaceful site, you need to pass through a historical trail known as “el Forat de Cardós” (the Hole of Cardós). A few turns on the road and the majestic Pui Tabaca appears, the mountain that gives its name to our Festival and marks the arrival at Ribera de Cardós, the first village in the valley.

Legend has it that near the top of this mountain, in a cave, you can find the last refuge of the “Encantades”. These little mysterious and hidden nymphs, with the arrival of Christianity, had to move further and further away from the watercourses around the villages where they lived. They fled from the sound of the bells coming from the churches, which nowadays harbour treasures of Pyrenean Baroque, the religious art of the villages.

This valley is also a land of witches. It is said that they held covens in the Pla de Fruita and the Planell de Malet in the village of Surri, just above Ribera de Cardós, and in the Pla de Nequa, a few kilometres away. All these popular and mythological beliefs began to capture big film productions in the 1960s. The elderly still remember anecdotes of those early films, and a few books have been written.

In the not so distant past, during the Civil War and the Second World War, we must imagine the roads of the valley connecting with France filled with the brave and clandestine passage of refugees in both directions. Incredible stories of life and survival that have crossed our borders and have become beautiful itineraries of historical memory, inspiring more novels and films.

The 1950s witnessed the construction of hydroelectric power stations for the use of high mountain water, and all the experiences of the daring workers who took part in it. There are still industrial remains of this period, such as the recently refurbished “Boïga”, where some of the events of the Tabaca Film Fest will be held.

Beyond its historical and mythological power, this corner of the world is also a paradise for lovers of nature in its purest state, sport, adventure, history and culture, and is connected to other equally spectacular valleys. A wild and authentic place full of mysteries.

When you come here, if you know how to listen, perhaps an old man sitting on a bench will tell you a secret legend of the valley. And maybe also, with a bit of luck, you will discover a piece of magical white cloth, left behind by an “Encantada”, or you will be surprised by the roar of a deer “a bocafoscant”.

We invite you to discover the Tabaca Film Fest and the unique Vall de Cardós.

a bocafoscant“: “as night falls” in local dialect

We are working to offer you the best selection of hotels, hostels, campsites and restaurants.

There are plenty of options to choose from, so there’s no reason for you to miss it! 

Car

There are three main access routes by car: from Pallars Jussà, via the Collegats pass (C-13); from Alt Urgell, via the Cantó pass (n-260); and from Vall d’Aran, via the Bonaigua pass (C-28).

Bus

By bus, there are several combinations from Lleida or Barcelona, with direct lines and daily services from ALSA.

Taxi

Taxis are another good option, with a network of taxi drivers who connect the Pallars Sobirà with the major towns, at a flat rate and sharing the journey with other passengers.

Train

The train arrives at La Pobla de Segur. From there, you can take a bus to Pallars Sobirà.

Car

There are three main access routes by car: from Pallars Jussà, via the Collegats pass (C-13); from Alt Urgell, via the Cantó pass (n-260); and from Vall d’Aran, via the Bonaigua pass (C-28).

Bus

By bus, there are several combinations from Lleida or Barcelona, with direct lines and daily services from ALSA.

Taxi

Taxis are another good option, with a network of taxi drivers who connect the Pallars Sobirà with the major towns, at a flat rate and sharing the journey with other passengers.

Train

The train arrives at La Pobla de Segur. From there, you can take a bus to Pallars Sobirà.
Whichever route you choose, and wherever you come from, you’ll be crossing majestic mountain passes that will gradually lead you to one of the wildest and least known areas of Catalonia’s high mountains.
More information on the Pallars Sobirà Tourism website.