Hiking. Backpacks. Andorra
Long distance tracks
Walking is the best way to get acquainted with the landscapes of the country. During such journeys, a traveler discovers new and new secrets of nature step by step, without any hurry. Andorra offers several long-distance walking routes: far and wide of this amazing country.
LDP (Long Distance track)—is 120 km of way. The route is divided into 7 parts from 12 to 20 km each; depending on the location of specially equipped night lodgings (totally there are 29 of such places). If the tourists wish, it is possible to make overnight accommodation in the open air. Andorra GRP guide and a special map (Mapa de refugis I camins de gran recorregut d’Andorra) will help to find bearings – this is all you need to get to the furthest corners of the Pyrenees.
2LDP (2 Long Distance track)—this route presupposes multiple crossing of Andorran borders and attending the most picturesque mountainous lakes.
PHR (Pyrenean High Level Route)—the route goes over mountainous zone with altitude difference that vary from 2565m to 2770m above the sea level.
GR-7—the route with significant altitude differences: the lowest point is 850m (La Farga de Moles), the highest—2840m (Pessons Pass). The route encompasses western and southern parts of Andorra. This route is a part of Europien E-4 (Tarifa-Sparta) route, only 40 km of it goes through the territory of Andorra.
GR-11 (Great Pyrenees Route). This route is known under the name “The road over the Pyrenees” (Senda Pirenaica). It is really long. It consists of 47 parts and crosses the Pyrenees from the southern slopes– from the Bay of Biscay (Cape Higuer) to the Mediterranean Sea (Cape Creus). The route also encompasses picturesque valleys. It crosses over with another route that starts from Cote d’Azur in France and finishes in Spain, in Seu d’Urgell that borders with Andorra.
In case you plan a family walk, we advise you to see through the guide Camins d’Andorra, that offers 54 routes. There are the walks over 2 national parks. One of them –Madriu-Perafita-Claror is under the protection of UNESCO. Look here for their blog about the routes and the information about the cultural heritage of the valley
The road Fontverd leads to the heart of the valley. Both in here and at Sorteny National Park one may find more than 800 species of plants, quite a number of them can be found only in the Pyrenees. Manifold wooden markings, information panels and terrain maps will help not to get lost. It is really involving to walk along ancient roads that have preserved the history of ancestors: woodsmen and shepherds. Woodsmen’s road goes through La Rabassa forest (Sant Julia de Loria) with Scotch pines. Its height makes up 1400-1500m above the sea level.
In case you wish, it is possible to use the services of experienced guides that will help you not to get lost and will reveal you the most mysterious secrets of the Pyrenees. All eco-touristic routes will demonstrate you the peculiarities of flora and fauna, Andorran culture and traditions and will show you all quiet nooks of these places. For instance, you will see and hear the voices of rare birds, such as: gold-crested wren – the smallest bird of European continent. Among the mammals, that live in the Pyrenees, one may see chamoises and groundhogs. Enclar valley shelters a big amount of chamoises. Forests are rich with berries: blackberries, raspberry, strawberry, as well as with mushrooms.
There is also a special route that goes through Catalan speaking regions (EI CAMI).
Backpacks. The guide over the routes in parroquias
Hiking in Encamp:
Pessons “Ring” is one of the unique places in the Pyrenees. Among the amphibians, there are frogs; among the birds, there are redstarts and northern wheatear. Among the plants, there are sedges and ranunculi.
El Campea is a huge mountainous pine forest that is located in the shady part of Els Cortals in Encamp. Here in this place the trees with big diameter trunks as well as manifold bushes and thick under-wood are growing. Cocks of wood are also harboring here.
Another sight of Encamp parroquia is L’alt del Griu peak – 2874m above the sea level. One may see the traces of foxes and sables here; among the birds, mountain ouzel lives here. Sometimes it is possible to hear argute screams of groundhogs that hide in granite blocks.
Padern peak and Beixalis cloves are harbored by birds of prey.
Hiking in Ordino:
The path of this route goes around glacial Tristaina “ring” that encompasses 3 lakes. Ermines and other carnivore mammals of 20-30 cm size feel more than comfortable at the stony soils of this region.
Estanyo and Esbalcat lakes have a picturesque view at Font Blanca peak.
Botanic gardens, that grow on the way to Sorteny Valley Natural Park, are rich with mountainous plants. From Quer table-land the tourists may admire the amazing view at Estanyo reservoir and Serrera peak. There is a place for overnight lodgings, where travelers can have a rest in a quiet place and recover the forces for further travelling.
Hiking in La Massana:
Natural Comunal Park as well as one of the most popular touristic places Comapedrosa valley with Scotch pines belong to this parroquia. Travelling around stony cliffs, here it is possible to encounter wagtails, the birds of passerines, trushes, azure tits, black caps and swallows. The route lasts half a day: from 9.00 till 15.00 (on Tuesdays). It starts from the touristic office in La Massana. The final destination is Pla de l’Estany or River Pollos. The cost is 5 euro (guide services), children 6-12 years-old –2.5 euro, children under 6—free. The guided tours at night time are also organized.
A separate route from La Massana touristic office leads to Pic des lacs, where the visitors may enjoy an incomparable view at Andorran valleys. This road can be attributed to the category of easy ones. Previously, it was used by smugglers. The route takes half a day: from 9.00 till 15.00 (on Wednsdays). It starts from La Massana touristic office. The cost is 5 euro (guide services), children 6-12 years-old — 2.5 euro, children under 6—free.
If you believe in legends, we advise you to walk over the route that leads to Aiguesjuntes. Beautiful dryads, which hide among thousand-year old fir trees and dance at the waterfalls, live in here. Their traces are marked with violets. Insectivores also live here. The route takes half a day: from 9.00 till 15.00 (on Fridays). The route starts at La Massana touristic office. The cost is 5 euro (guide services), children 6-12 years-old –2.5 euro, children under 6—free.
Hiking in Sant Julia de Loria:
Besides the “road of woodsmen”, that was mentioned before (it goes through La Rebassa forest), the “road of craftsmen” also comes through this parroquia. During your voyage, an amazing discovery is waiting for you—La Margineda cave. This is the place, where the first settlement on Andorran territory was found. Bird’s nests decorate dark brown cliffs. The southern slope harbors different types of reptiles: blue-bellied race-runners and Shreiber’s green lizarsds.
“Wheat road” also comes nearby. This route presupposes night lodgings: Cal Mestre hut or Rebols hovel.
And finally, the “road of shepherds”. Here the tourists will see the hovels and cattle-pens that evidently demonstrate the way of life of shepherds that live high in the mountains.
Backpacks. The refuges in the mountains on the way of major hiking routes
Andorra has got 29 refuges of 2 categories (that correspond to * or ** stars) on the way of major touristic routes on the territory of National Parks of Andorra. 5 of them present full-fledged hotel type complexes where the guests are offered everything for comfortable walking over all the routs, including the major one (Gran Raid des Perenees GRP), that lasts 5 or 7 days.
1. La Massana ( the protected refuge Comapedrosa **). AD400 La Massana. Tel. (+376)850 656. GPS: 01:27:00. Lat.42:34:44
2. Canillo ( the protected refuge de Juclar**). AD100 Canillo, Val de incles. Tel.: (+376)678 145. CPS:01:42:59. Lat.42:36:27
3. La Massana (the protected refuge Natur Refugi Cortals de Sispony*). AD400 La Massana, Ctra. Dels Cortals de Syspony. Tel.: (+376)738 363. GPS:01:29:11. Lat.42:31:37
4. Ordino (the protected refuge muntanya Borda de Sorteny**). AD300 Ordino, Cami de Sorteny, Tel.: (+376)846 446. GPS: Long.01:33:53. Lat. 42:37:21
5. Canillo (the protected refuge Borda de les Re Reineres d’Incles**). AD100 Canillo. Tel.: (+376) 322 844. GPS:01:40:50. Lat.42:36:07
Non-protected refuges for backpacks on the major hiking routes over the territory of the National Parks
|Mountain hut de L’Angonella||G.P.S. Long 01:29:45 Lat. 42:36:29|
|Mountain hut de Rialb||G.P.S. Long 01:33:43 Lat. 42:38:25|
|Mountain hut de Comaubaga||G.P.S. Long 01:33:04 Lat. 42:36:24|
|Cabana de la Vall del Riu||G.P.S. Long 01:36:50 Lat. 42:35:44|
|Cabana Coms de Jan||G.P.S. Long 01:38:22 Lat. 42:37:06|
|Mountain hut de Cabana Sorda||G.P.S. Long 01:40:23 Lat. 42:36:41|
|Cabano de Siscaro||G.P.S. Long 01:42:34 Lat. 42:35:42|
|Cabana de la Portella||G.P.S. Long 01:43:16 Lat. 42:34:19|
|Mountain hut Pla de les Pedres||G.P.S. Long 01:40:46 Lat. 42:33:13|
|Mountain hut Montmalus||G.P.S. Long 01:40:53 Lat. 42:29:57|
|Mountain hut de Fontverd||G.P.S. Long 01:35:43 Lat. 42:29:31|
|Mountain hut dels Agols||G.P.S. Long 01:36:35 Lat. 42:30:40|
|Mountain hut d’Ensagents||G.P.S. Long 01:38:34 Lat. 42:31:01|
|Mountain hut de L’Illa||G.P.S. Long 01:39:26 Lat. 42:29:42|
|Mountain hut Riu dels Orris||G.P.S. Long 01:38:26 Lat. 42:29:06|
|Mountain hut de Perafita||G.P.S. Long 01:34:44 Lat. 42:28:47|
|Mountain hut de Claror||G.P.S. Long 01:33:53 Lat. 42:28:12|
|Mountain hut de Prat Primer||G.P.S. Long 01:33:03 Lat. 42:28:42|
|Mountain hut de Roca de Primes||G.P.S. Long 01:32:11 Lat. 42:26:01|
|Mountain hut de Francoli||G.P.S. Long 01:25:37 Lat. 42:29:24|
|Mountain hut de les Fonts||G.P.S. Long 01:28:47 Lat. 42:35:24|
|Mountain hut Pla de l’Estany||G.P.S. Long 01:27:40 Lat. 42:35:38|
|Mountain hut de Besali||G.P.S. Long 01:32:98 Lat. 42:37:67|
|Mountain hut Collet Marti||G.P.S. Long 01:28:96 Lat. 42:28:14|
|Mountain hut de Ribaescorjada||G.P.S. Long 01:38:31 Lat. 42:34:03|