The Val d'Aran (Occitan: [ˈbal daˈɾan]; Catalan: Vall d'Aran [ˈbaʎ dәˈɾan]; Spanish: Valle de Arán [ˈbaʎe ðe aˈɾan]), sometimes referred to as the Aran Valley in English. is a valley, 620.47 square kilometres (239.56 sq mi) in area, in the Pyrenees mountains and a comarca (county) in the northwestern part of the province of Lleida, inCatalonia, northern Spain. Most of the valley constitutes one of only two areas of Spain, and the only part of Catalonia, located on the northern side of the Pyrenees. Hence, this valley holds the only Catalonian rivers to flow into the Atlantic Ocean; for the same reason, the region is characterized by an Atlantic climate, instead of a Mediterranean one. As of 2001, most people in the Val d'Aran spoke Spanish (38.78%) as their native language, followed by Aranese (34.19%), then Catalan (19.45%) with 7.56% having a different native language. Speakers of languages other than the local Aranese are typically people born outside the valley, or their children. The Val d'Aran borders France on the north, the Spanish Autonomous Community of Aragon to The capital of the comarca is Vielha, with 3,692 inhabitants (1996). The entire population of the valley is about 7,130 (1996). The Garonne river passes through the Val d'Aran after rising on the Saburedo Cirque and receiving the water of the Joèu river (from the slopes of nearby Aneto mountain and passing underground at the Forau de Aigualluts). It then reappears in the Val dera Artiga as a resurgence and flows into the Val d'Aran which is one of the highest valleys of the Pyrenees. The Noguera Pallaresa, with its head only a hundred meters from that of the Garona, flows the other way, toward the Mediterranean.