Hiking Adventures Await in The Pyrenees
If you love hiking, then Andorra should be at the top of your list. Towering mountains, abundant wildlife, rich flora and picturesque valleys dotted with medieval villages and riddled with alpine lakes and rivers. Andorra is nature at its best.
There is much more to be discovered in the ’Country of the Pyrenees’ than shopping and skiing. The magnificent peaks rising to 9,000ft along the French/Spanish border provide a photogenic backdrop as you explore the remote quiet valleys and lonely mountain lakes.
Video source: visitandorra.com
The principality of Andorra stands out for its three nature reserves, one of which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Nature invites you to take trails that have been adapted for both professional and amateur hikers. There are no less than 54 routes throughout the country, some short and easy while others are long and difficult. For longer hikes there are 26 mountain huts with simple lodging, as well as eleven campsites spread throughout.
If you would like to try something more adventurous, then try climbing a few of the 13 Via Ferratas that Andorra has to offer.
A Via Ferrata (Via=route Ferrata = metal or iron) is a route “built” on a rock face which has been equipped with specific elements (cables, steps, ladders etc) in order to help the climber in his progression and to maximize security.
Unlike some countries, The Via Ferratas in Andorra are free. They are built and maintained to a very high standard by the Andorran government and the local communes.
You need to be in fairly good physical condition in order to climb a Via Ferrata but no rock climbing experience is necessary. For those not afraid of heights can climb a Via Ferrata.
Arriving at the summit gives you an incredible sense of joy and a tremendous feeling of accomplishment that, up until now, only rock climbers enjoyed.
Some of the routes you don´t want to miss
One of the most popular trails is the hike to Tristaina Lakes. It takes just over an hour and brings you to stunning vistas overlooking several picturesque lakes. Its easy access makes it very popular.
A more challenging route is the Pic de Médécourbe, near Arinsal. A gradual climb will take you past farmhouses and springs before stepping along steep ravines that house several caves.
After a few hours you will arrive at a place that looks like the moon, with small lakes scattered around. Magnificent views of Andorra, Spain and France greet you at the top, which is just under 10,000 feet (3,000m) high.
Things you should consider
- Bring your camera.
- Maps – Research the area-there are dozens of hiking trails in the country so find those that best fit your physical abilities – see tourist office for details.
- Trail information – leave your hiking route with hotel for safety.
- Stay in the shelters strewn throughout the mountains. There are 26 huts along the hiking trails. You will find more information about them in the tourist office. These huts are free of cost with fireplace and water supply.
- Andorra is one of the safest countries in the world and petty crime is rare.