This is a 7 day walking tour in Andorra. A well-known destination for skiing in the winter, Andorra becomes a paradise for nature-lovers in the summer months, but besides the natural beauty you will see picturesque little villages that nestle into the valley slopes and pretty, well preserved medieval buildings. You will be able to be absorbed in times gone by and try the life of shepherds and smugglers.
This tour is starts from St Julia de Loria and follows routes GRP, GP 7 and GR 11 to Arinsal, stopping 5 nights in different hotels and 1 night in a mountain refuge. For nights spent in hotels, luggage is forwarded so as to be ready on arrival. The approximate walking time is 6-7 hours per day, and it is ideally suited to those experienced trekkers who enjoy a demanding experience and is NOT for those wanting a more relaxed experience.
Day 1: Welcome to Andorra
After your arrival in Barcelona, you will be taken to your first night's accommodation in Andorra, which will take around 3 hours. After check-in at your hotel in Encamp you will have welcome meeting and introduction to provide an explanation of the plan for the next day. After this you will have an opportunity to visit the capital of Andorra, Andorra-la-Vella, followed by dinner in your hotel in the evening.
Day 2: La Rabassa
From St Julia de Loria to La Rabassa
Distance: 7470 m
Elevation change: 1070 m
Duration: 5 h
Following breakfast in your hotel you will take your first excursion to the impressive mountains of Andorra. You will pass through the valleys of Andorra and a forest which will take you to a place where you will get perfect view of the mountain village of Juberri.
Then following GRP through forests, along meadows and Vinyas snuff fields you will reach La Rabassa and its famous mounting resort, Naturlandia. In both winter and in summer there are many activities here. In fact, one of Naturlandia’s main leisure attractions, The Tobotronc, is the longest nature toboggan in the world, at 5.3 km in length. It offers a journey through the heart of the forest whilst sitting in a comfortable two-seater sled that you control at all times.
You will end the day with a dinner of traditional Andorran mountain food cooked over an open fire after which you will stay for night in the mountain refuge of Roca de Pimes.
Day 3: Prat Primer
From La Rabassa to Andorra-la-Vella
Distance: 9600 m
Elevation change: 1651 m
Duration: 7 h
Your morning starts with a very early breakfast in Roca de Pimes, because the distance this day is longer and the elevation change is harder: 500 m up and 1150 m down. Arriving in Sierra de la Cruz you will descend to the viewpoint of the Palomera.
The scenic view around refuge Prat Primer will be worth your notice as well. Following La Comella Road you will arrive to your hotel where a nice hot dinner will await you.
Day 4: Madriu vallay
From Andorra-la-Vella to Encamp
Distance: 14900 m
Elevation change: 1356 m
Duration: 7 h
Early morning, following breakfast you will be on the road again. The glacial valley, declared as a World Heritage Site in 2004 by UNESCO is waiting for you today.
The cultural landscape of Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley offers a microcosmic perspective of the way people have harvested the resources of the high Pyrenees over millennia. Its dramatic glacial landscapes of craggy cliffs and glaciers, with high open pastures and steep wooded valleys, covers an area of 4,247 ha, 9% of the total area of the principality. It reflects past changes in climate, economic fortune and social systems, as well as the persistence of pastoralism and a strong mountain culture, notably the survival of a communal land-ownership system dating back to the 13th century. The site features houses, notable summer settlements, terraced fields, stone tracks and evidence of iron smelting.
On the way to Encamp through the viewpoint and the pedestrian tunnel you will visit the amazing lake Engolasters and, as usual, a tasty dinner and a cosy room at your hotel.
Day 5: The geographical centre of Andorra
From Encamp to Arans
Distance: 14500 m
Elevation change: 1490 m
Duration: 7 h
Another early morning start, and after a nice breakfast and you will climb from the little village of Les Bons to see the Romanesque 12th Century chapel of St Rome, which has a 13th century watchtower. There is much climbing this day but after a few hours you will be on the top of the hill that is the geographical centre of Andorra.
Here you will get great views and a special noticeboard placed here will help you with orientating yourself. After this you descend to Ordino and to your hotel in Arans – in good time to have a meal and to rest.
Day 6: Llorts Mine
From Arans to Arinsal
Distance: 13000 m
Elevation change: 1775 m
Duration: 7 h
The last day, but not the least in terms of things to see. Your journey goes through Llorts and La Cortinada – two small but very picturesque and typical Andorran villages. Just one hour after you will be able to see the iron mine at Llorts, which is one of the last vestiges from 19th Century of iron ore prospecting and later extraction in the country. At present, there is a 30 m gallery that was blasted open with gunpowder and which has h no wooden beams. It will take you into the life of miners in the period.
Continuing the trip you will cross the highest point of all your journey 2060 m and come to the refuge of Pla de l'Estany – an excellent opportunity to make nice photos. The way down will take you to your hotel in Arinsal were you can celebrate the end of this unforgettable adventure in magical Andorra.
Day 7: Time to say goodbye
This morning, after breakfast, you transfer to the airport in Barcelona