The route starts in Alp village, situated on the E-09 at an altitude of 1,159 metres surrounded by an incomparable landscape of forests and pasturelands.
The municipal area of Alp stretches from the plain to the Collada de Toses mountain pass, and boasts the largest alpine ski resort in Spain, Alp 2500, which combines the La Molina and Masella slopes.
Before setting out, look around Alp village with its narrow streets and stone houses typical of the Girona Pyrenees. Today Alp is a first-class tourist centre, situated on the main road with a direct link to the Cadí tunnel, Cerdanya aerodrome and Fontanals Golf Course.
Drive up to La Molina along the small road leading out of the village (GIV-4082), through the River Alp valley, and enjoy the splendid views on the way.
Carrying on along the way:
After several kilometres you will reach La Molina resort, set in a privileged location surrounded by peaks of over 2,500 metros. Skiers have been coming here since 1908; the sports complex, dating from 1909, is considered to be the pioneer Pyrenees ski resort. The first official competition was held here in 1911. La Molina was host to the Spanish and Catalan ski championships in 1924.
The construction of the railway line in 1922 was the major event in the history of tourism at La Molina, which then developed into one of the best ski resorts in Europe. Today it is a major tourist centre with a huge infrastructure of slopes, ski lifts, apartments for rent as well as many hotels and restaurants.
The road leads on up to a place called Font Canaleta where it meets the GI-400 (km 9.5) coming from Collada de Toses. After about 500 metres further along this road you will reach Pista Llarga, the birthplace of winter sports tourism in Catalonia.
Now turn back to the last crossroads and continue along the GI-400 towards Alp via Masella resort, through the green, leafy countryside of the northern slopes of Tosa d’Alp.
At km 16 you will reach Masella resort, constructed in 1967, which consolidated the area as a ski destination. Masella and La Molina have joined up to create Alp 2500, a huge skiing domain with a joint ski pass covering over 118 km of slopes of different levels, 29 ski lifts and over 680 snow cannons.
When the winter sports season ends and the skiers depart, the resorts become mountain activity centres offering hiking trails, mountain biking, quads, tennis, kayak, archery, pony riding and hot air balloon flights.
Continue on along the GI-400 towards Alp. Pass the turnoff to Das and after 22 km you will arrive back at the starting point.
In order to replenish the local hunting preserve, a herd of deer was released near Alp
in November 1957. One of the animals sought refuge in the village, where the inhabitants named it Alpi
and adopted it as their pet. The animal was often to be seen with the tourists at the railway station, or at the schoolhouse where children used to feed him titbits from their lunch boxes. Alpi
eventually grew into a 2-metre tall stag weighing 150 kg. One day, however, a doctor from Olot arrived in Alp with his hunting gun. He sighted Alpi and, unaware that the stag was the village pet, took aim and shot the animal dead. Alpi
’s stuffed head and antlers are now conserved in a privileged position in the Town Hall reception room.
Observations and recommendations:
There may be snow on the roads in winter and early spring. Tyre chains are recommended.