Alto de Fanlo s(u)

This is probably the most spectacular way to enter the Parque Nacional Odesa y Monte Perdido, at least if you confine yourself to routes that stay under 2000m. But this is not a heavily traveled tourist road, but instead a narrow route of potholes. Scenically the most spectacular part are the two lower options of the eastern approach, including the Canyon de Anisclo. But those can be cycled in a loop without actually having to go over this summit. They are described on the Vio-Buerba s(u) page. And then there is the village Fanlo at the summit ... more below.

I have used the pictures of panoramio and flickr contributors, as well as other web sites to illustrate this page. There are copyright notices and links  to all original pictures. My own pictures were on a computer, that was stolen at the train station Frankfurt Airport (model Acer Aspire One (serial# NUSGPAA01625101C947600F)


1.(00.0km,0860m)START-END WEST: road to Fanlo takes off from N260-A in Sarvise
2.(11.2km,1399m)TOP: turnoff to Fanlo on right
3.(07.0km,1140m)turnoff to Nerin is on left
4.(19.7km,1000m)right goes to Vio-Buerba s(u); profile goes left into Canyon de Anisclo
5.(34.6km,0610m)START-END WEST: Canyon de Anisclo turnoff from A-138


From West.
When the road to Fanlo leaves N260-A in the small vacation settlement of Sarvise, it is just a regular old road through the forest. It climbs gently, rolls along in a straight direction, so that most of the turning of the handlebars is due to potholes.

The first change comes when the road crosses the stream Barranco de Jalle. This is becoming a real workout. The road now climbs steeply in switchbacks above the stream. The main ridge of the Pyrenees starts to appear, shaped like a giant pillow draped over a string, as if hung up to dry - a large shape, but not much shape. Climbing higher, you don't ever see the village Fanlo from this side.

Fanlo  copyright: Carles Garcia Deza; (Panoramio) piclink
lower wester approach; piclink
Copyright: Jes Do No Dz Noguero

The first time I arrive at the top, the sign at the turnoff is obscured by fresh cow manure and the road is also quite a rainy muddy cow mess. The second time I arrive here is so much better. Now I can see the beauty of this scene. I ride the extra half km above the summit to the village Fanlo. I spend quite a bit of time wandering through the village and also to wait for just for the right light to take pictures. When reading about this villiage, you can get the impression, that this is a real tourist town. However - when I am there, not a single building is open, no other person walks the streets. Neither is there evidence of stores or other commercial ventures. But the multitude of great images on the web of this village are proof, that I am definitely not the first to see the beauty of this location.

The short access road leading to the village approaches it with a traverse, that is slightly higher than the village itself, so that it is the perfect vantage point for the landscape down valley, reaching all the way to the other side of the Rio Cinca and the block Pena Montanesa. From here it looks like a block shape, almost like a volcanic plug. Nothing could be further from the truth. I reality it is a long limestone ridge, viewed head on. The mountain shows up in almost every picture of the village, including the one to the left. They are all taken with a very long focal length, In reality it is quite far away, but it is the essential background for this scene.

From East. (also described upwards). There are really two options for the approach from this side, the one shown in the profile through the Canyon Anisclo, and a roughly equally long option, involving more climbing over the Buerba summit. However when coming down you have to go over the Buerba summit, because the Canyon Anisclo option is a one way road, open uphill. Both options are described in the Buerba summit page. The profile contains the canyon option. That part of the profile  is a very rough, because it is tough to get a good profile in such a narrow canyon. One spike is also due to a tunnel.

Above this junction (between points 4 and 2) the rustic little road is a little more predictable again. The hilltowns between here and Fanlo are further up the north slope of the high valley, so that they can't be seen from the road. Especially tempting is the sidetrip to Nerin, which (as it appears from looking at a map) also gives access to spectacular high Pyreneen MTB routes.

On this side Fanlo comes into view from a few km below. The church sits apart from the cluster of houses, below the village. However, you don't get an idea from here, of how much more expansive the view is from above the village. But for all of this the weather has to cooperate, and preferably the cattle do not mess up the road too much.

Slideshow of the road between Sarvise and the jct with the Buerba-Vio summit
cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

A Dayride with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Puerto de Cotefablo
Notes: I rode the west side a second time as an out and back summit. That ride is on page Los Molinos s(u)
The village Fanlo, .5km above the summit:
cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow