Start: Barcelona Airport Finish: Barcelona Airport
Physical rating: Medium, Moderate
Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans
Tour code: PAW
Group size: 4 - 16
Tour operated in:
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Hidden deep in the Pyrenees, the little-known mountains of Andorra offers superb summer walking. Based in the alpine village of Soldeu, enjoy beautiful walks through protected valleys, meadows and glacial landscapes.
Sorteny Nature Reserve - A botanical haven with over 700 species of flora
The Andorran Valleys - Explore the scenic majesty of the Vall de Riu and the Incles Valley
Madriu - Perafita-Claror Valley - Explore the untouched wilderness of this UNESCO World Heritage glacial valley
Our trip begins at Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN) at 3.30pm, the latest your flight can arrive is 3pm. Please note that depending on which terminal you arrive into you may have to take the airport shuttle bus to terminal 2 which is where we'll be meeting.
We will travel together as a group to the small alpine village of Soldeu in the heart of the Andorran Pyrenees, a three hour drive. A popular ski resort, lying 1,710 metres above sea level, Soldeu is an engaging mix of traditional rural inns, converted farmhouses and lively bars, providing us with an ideal base for our Pyrenean adventure.
After settling into our hotel depending on traffic we'll hopefully have time for a short orientation walk around the village before dinner. Our base for the week is Hotel Soldeu Maistre, centrally located in Soldeu. This family-run hotel is furnished in local Catalan style. Built to replicate the mountain lodge look with a stone and wood panelled exterior the hotel is in keeping with its surroundings.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you may have time to wait ahead of our group transfer to Soldeu. You can make the most of this time by exploring Barcelona with its many attractions such as 'La Boqueria' food market, Las Ramblas boulevard lined with bars and restaurants and not to mention the many incredible architectural works of Antoni Gaudi. The Barcelona metro line L9 Sud connects terminals T1 and T2 with the city of Barcelona every 7 minutes and takes 32 minutes. Bags can be stored at the airports left luggage for around Euro 10 per piece of luggage.
Today we explore the untouched wilderness of Andorra's only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the beautiful and remote Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley. Covering nearly 50 square kilometres this pristine setting is the country's spiritual and cultural heart, as well as being a haven for wildlife that includes marmot, bearded vulture and ptarmigan. Driving to the small hamlet of Saint Miquel d'Engolasers, we then hike up to the refuge at Fontverd, where we stop to enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back to Soldeu by bus.
Today's 12 kilometre walk is expected to take around four-and-a-half hours with 900 metres of ascent and 400 metres of descent.
After a short taxi ride to the neighbouring village of Ransol this morning, we begin our walk into the Vall de Riu, another of Andorra's scenic gems. Encircled by a ring of glacial-formed mountains, the valley provides us with a beautiful backdrop to today's walk up to the small mountain village of Canillo. Home to Andorra's tallest church tower, and one of its finest Romanesque chapels, Canillo will be our final destination today, before returning to Soldeu by public bus.
Today's 11 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with 600 metres of ascent and 100 metres of descent.
Some free time today affords us a chance to pay a visit to Andorra's bustling capital, Andorra la Vella. Home to the smallest parliament in Europe and the oldest Romanesque church in the principality, the city is also a great place for shopping.
Alternatively you may wish to take a walk through the beautiful glacial landscapes of the Incles Valley. The walk begins gently, before following the course of the river up to the Cabana Sorda Lake. Nestling within a glacial cirque at some 2,290 metres, the lake provides us with a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. There may even be an opportunity for us to walk a little further, towards the Incles Pass, before we head back down to the hotel.
Today's optional 14 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with 700 metres of ascent and descent. To reach Port d'Incles it is a further three kilometre two hour walk.
This morning we drive a short distance to the Sorteny Nature Reserve, set amongst the fertile valleys of north-eastern Andorra. Renowned for its abundance of plant species, the valley is a botanical haven for over 700 species of flora, some of it unique to the Pyrenees region. The trail that we take today leads us up to Estanyó Lake (2,350 metres) and passes through an alpine landscape that is home to wild boar, martens, chamois and ptarmigan. Driving back to Soldeu later we may also have time to stop for a drink in the pretty mountain village of Ordino.
Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around four-and-a-half hours with 600 metres of ascent and descent.
Today's walk takes us into the beautiful glacial landscapes of the Incles Valley, home to Scots pine, Pyrenean chamois and one of the largest alpine lakes in Andorra. We begin the day gently, before following the course of the river up to the Siscaro Lakes. Nestling within a glacial cirque at some 2,350 metres, the lake provides us with a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. There may even be an opportunity for us to walk a little further, towards the Incles Pass, before we head back down to the hotel.
Today's 14 kilometre walk is expected to take around four-and-a-half hours with 900 metres of ascent and 1,350 metres of descent.
There is the option of a full day rafting excursion today. Travelling by 4WD vehicles we drive across the Spanish border, through the medieval hamlet of Tor and on to the village of Llavorsi. From here we then have a chance to raft down the Noguera River, along 14 kilometres of exhilarating white water rapids, before making the journey back across the border to Soldeu.
Alternatively you can just relax around the village, or take a trip to the capital.
We leave the mountains behind this morning, driving back to Barcelona Airport where the trip ends.
We will travel as a group, leaving our hotel at around 8am for the four hour drive to Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN). The earliest your flight can depart is 2.30pm.
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It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.
We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.
Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us
At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.
Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.
Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners
We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.
We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.
Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.
All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.
Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.
Yes on most of our trips.
Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o
Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.
Multiple Room Types
Multiple room types available. Choose your preferred room type when you book.