Escape for a long weekend tour in Andorra, where the mountains are the stars in one of the best short-break Pyrenees holidays. Andorra is home to many beautiful peaks; more than 100 can be climbed without needing a rope.
This 4-day tour involves summiting two of the most interesting: Tristaina and Estanyo.
We will stay in a staffed mountain hut, situated in the Sorteny valley natural park, which makes a good base to summit both mountains and to visit the flora of this dramatic Natural Park.
What to see? You will see Pyrenean lakes, high peaks, sunsets and sun rises, beautiful valleys and wild forests. If the days are hot enough you will be able to soak in one of the lakes.
What to learn? You will discover how life in a high mountain hut works; we will tell you stories and legends about Andorra, explain its flora and fauna, and the nature values of this part of the Pyrenees.
To learn more about Andorra, the country, its peaks, mountains and trails, take a look at this article in our blog.
You should plan to spend the night in Barcelona after the end of the trek, because we arrive back in the city too late for most connecting flights. The same applies the night before the trip, because we leave Barcelona early on the first day so we can arrive in Andorra before midday and take an interesting hike in the afternoon.
You will take an express bus from Barcelona airport or Barcelona city, which will take you to Andorra la Vella.
The guide will be waiting there for you.
After a 45-minute drive, we arrive at the Vallnord ski resort. The Cataperdis peak (2806m) is our goal for the first day. It takes us three hours to reach the top and come back down again, so not too long. It is a climb to gauge your level of fitness, and also a taster of the beauty and peace of Andorra’s mountains.
This peak is between France and Andorra. From the summit, breath-taking views of Tristaina, Font Blanca and Pica d’Estats peaks, as well as of the lonely Angonella lakes. Wonderful that such an easy peak can be so rewarding.
The road to Arcalis is closed between July 1st and September 15th, so during that period we visit the Esbalçat lake instead, following a circular trail.
Then, we drive to the Sorteny Natural Park, where we park the van. After a 30-minute walk we reach the Sorteny mountain hut, where we will spend three nights.
This is a circular hike; it takes us about 7.5 hours (including breaks) to walk 11 km, and the elevation gain is 1050 m.
Early in the morning we have breakfast and head to the peak. More information about this hike here.
Depending on the group, we may follow the south-west crest line instead of following the option described in the article. This is an easier and shorter circular option, but still amazing.
During this circular route we walk along two valleys separated by a pass at 2511m. The Rialb valley is full of charm and quietness. Not to be missed!
It takes us about six hours (including breaks) to walk 11.5km, and the elevation gain is 810m.
Besalí peak is the lowest peak in this trip, although it has better views than most of the peaks in Andorra: the whole Ordino valley, the Valira del Nord area and the Font Blanca, Estanyo, Serrera, Cabaneta, Casamanya, and many more peaks can be looked up from the summit.
If the fitness level of the group is high enough, we can climb Font Blanca peak (2903m) instead, which is located between Andorra and France. That makes the walk two hours longer.
Either way, it’s an enjoyable hike.
On our last day in Andorra, we drive to the starting point of the hike after breakfast.
Tristaina is a challenging peak with some very steep parts. Ropes are not necessary but you should be used to walking on rough terrain. What people love most is the view of the French side from the summit; there are plenty of deep-blue lakes, and sometimes the landscape below is covered by clouds so you feel you are flying like a bird.
The ascent is not too long (6.5km, 750m elevation gain, five hours), so you have time to travel back to Barcelona after it.
More details about this hike here.
The guide says goodbye at Andorra la Vella main bus station.
After arriving in Barcelona in the evening, those staying in the city will check into their hotel.
We will spend three nights, full-board, in the Sorteny staffed mountain hut, which caters diners, breakfasts and packed lunches four us. It is strategically situated in the best Andorra natural park for flora lovers.
The foodies will enjoy the excellent dinners.
Still available places for these trips:
– June 27 2020
– July 11 2020
– July 25 2020
– August 8 2020
– August 22 2020
– September 5 2020
– September 19 2020
>> Full-board accommodation: 3 nights in a staffed mountain hut
>> The staff will try to give us a dormitory room to ourselves
>> Meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 evening meals
>> Park fees as appropriate
>> Transfer from Barcelona to Andorra, and back
>> Transfers in Andorra to get to/return from the starting point of the hikes
>> Accident insurance while in the wilderness
>> Qualified English-speaking local mountain guide, expert in flora, fauna and geography of the Pyrenees
>> Personal equipment
>> Travel insurance
>> Meals and drinks not indicated in ‘Included’
The guide has the right to change the itinerary at any time if deemed necessary to guarantee the security of the group
Walking gear & equipment – We send you a list when you book
If you get to Andorra by your own, fly to Toulouse instead or live near Barcelona, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org