The Pre-Pyrenees are the northern and southern foothills of the high mountains of the Pyrenees. On the French side the Pyrenees rise abruptly and only two ranges can be distinguished in the foothills: the Massif de Plantaurel and Les Corbières. On the Spanish side on the other hand we find a complex of several mountain ranges such as the Sierra del Montsec, the Serra del Cadí, the Serra de Boumort, the Serra de Moixeró, the Serra de Montgrony, the Sierra de Guara, El Turbón, the Sierra de Sis, the Sierra de Santo Domingo, the Sierra de Loarre, the Sierra Javierre, the Sierra Caballera and the Sierra de Leire.
This part of the Pyrenees runs from west to east over a distance of approximately 425 kilometres in the northeast of Spain through various Autonomous Communities: the Basque Country, Navarra, Aragón and Catalonia. The border between the Pre-Pyrenees and the central part of the Pyrenees is not really clear because the mountains gradually gain elevation the deeper you get into the mountain range. The peaks in the Pre-Pyrenees are considerably lower than in the Pyrenees and do generally not exceed 2,000 metres, with some exceptions such as the Cotiella which is 2,912 metres.
The valleys in the Pre-Pyrenees are generally narrow with an abundance of gorges and ravines. The rivers that flow through these gorges are generally very rich of water which makes these areas ideal for the practice of water sports. A good example of this type of landscape is the Sierra del Montsec, which is located in the provinces of Lleida and Huesca and which is separated by two beautiful gorges: the Mont-Rebei and Noguera Ribagorzana.
Jaca, a town in the province of Huesca, is an ideal starting point for visiting the Aragonese part of both the Pre-Pyrenees and the Pyrenees. In the immediate vicinity of this city lies the Peña Oroel, a peak that with its 1,769 metres is not high but lies very open and therefore gives a wonderful view of both the Pyrenees and the Pre-Pyrenees.