Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Lakes and Mountains of Andorra
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Highlights

  • Hike the complete Coronallacs Trail, also known as the ’Crown of Lakes’
  • Discover the tranquil Andorran Pyrenees; its flora, wildlife and friendly locals
  • Challenging high-mountain hiking and first-class scenery
  • Stay in traditional mountain huts and chat to fellow hikers over a carafe of local wine
  • Relax in the ‘Caldea’ at the end of your hike, Europe’s largest spa

See a different side to Andorra on this hut to hut hiking tour. Mostly known for its ski resorts and tax-free shopping, summer-time hiking in one of the world’s smallest countries is a revelation.

Follow the Coronallacs Trail, a circular route of 5 stages, staying in each of Andorra’s four manned mountain huts. Starting and ending in the busy capital of La Vella, you’ll find yourself quickly immersed in the Andorran Pyrenees, walking on quiet trails shared with alpine cows, sheep and a few fellow hikers. Hike through Alpine meadows bursting with wildflowers, past scenic lakes, over mountain passes and through hamlets and villages. Keep your eyes peeled for Golden Eagles as they soar over meadows, looking for marmots.

Embrace the simple life of hut to hut hiking, and relish in the routine of challenging yet beautiful hikes, arriving at your destination and knowing there will be a hearty home-made meal waiting for you. Relax, refuel and enjoy the convivial atmosphere of the mountain huts, chatting to hikers from all over about the delights of the trail.

Day 1 Arrive Andorra La Vella

Andorra is easily accessible by shuttle bus from Barcelona or Toulouse airports (both approx. 3 hours). Take some time to wander the Principality’s capital, Andorra La Vella. Visit the 12th-century Sant Esteve church and walk around the cobbled streets of the original settlement.


Overnight: Andorra La Vella


Day 2 Walk to Rifugi de L’illa

Take a local bus or walk to the start point of the trail, Escaldes-Engordany, where you can pick up your Coronallacs Trail passport. Head into the peaceful UNESCO World Heritage site of the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley.


Walking on former dam and forge paths, pass through tranquil meadows dotted with Pyrenean cows. Make a couple of easy river crossings and ascend rocky zig zag paths to grassy bowls, where you will find an abundance of wildflowers, as well as the first of many lakes along the trail. Come to Refugi L'Illa, your overnight stop where you can enjoy a delicious, hearty meal washed down with some tasty red wine. 


Walk: 15 km, 1,450m Ascent, 30m Descent


Dinner & Overnight: Rifugi de L’illa


Day 3 Walk to Refugi de Juclà

A tough but superlartive day. Start off early from the Refugi de L'illa and make your way to the Collada des Pessons, at 2,810m, it is the highest point of the entire Coronallacs trail. Enjoy views to the French and Catalan peaks in the distance, before beginning a long descent back to civillization and the town of Bordes. Continue to ascend and descend until you reach the Refugi de Juclà.


Walk: 23 km, 1,155m Ascent, 1,380m Descent


Dinner & Overnight: Refugi de Juclà


Day 4 Walk to Refugi Sorteny

Leave Refugi Juclà behind and descend to the valley floor, a picturesque farming land with a few small meandering rivers. From here, climb over two cols, the last being the Collada dels Meners which is also the entry way to the Sorteny National Park. A lovely descent through colourful meadows brings you to the modern Refugi Sorteny, where you will spend the night.


Walk: 19 km, 1,215m Ascent, 1,485m Descent


Dinner & Overnight: Refugi Sorteny


Day 5 Walk to Refugi Comapedrosa

Another long and varied day in the mountains awaits, make your way from Sorteny and descend to the valley floor. Catch a bus to traditional Llorts, where the first of today’s ascent begins! Walk along an undulating ridge, a grassy descent to the valley and join a scenic forest path before tackling the final ascent to to the Refugi Comapedrosa. The refugi sits at the foot of the Comapedrosa mountain, the highest peak in Andorra at  2,943m.


Walk: 21 km, 1,645m Ascent, 1,410m Descent


Dinner & Overnight: Refugi Comapedrosa


Day 6 Walk to Escaldes-Engordany

Start with an ascent from the Comapedrosa hut to the Collada de Sant Fonts. The views from the Col are stunning and should be savoured as the last true mountain views of the Coronallacs Trail. Begin a long descent through ski areas (wonderfully quiet and deserted in summer), through shared hiking and mountain biking trails, tobacco farm land, and through small hamlets before reaching the hustle and bustle of Sisphony, and then finally Escaldes where you can take advantage of Andorra’s natural hot springs in the impressive ‘Caldea’; Andorra’s tallest building and also the largest Spa in Europe!


Walk or take a bus to your hotel in Andorra La Vella. Congratulate yourself with a Caña or two  over a delicious Catalan-inspired meal and reflect on your time in the Pyrenean mountains. 


Walk: 23 km, 400m Ascent, 1,615m Descent


Overnight: Andorra La Vella


Day 7 Onward Travel

Check out of your hotel after breakfast and begin your onward travel. Take a shuttle bus back to Barcelona or Toulouse. If you have more time to explore the area, why not take on one of our trips in Catalonia? Just ask us for advice

Accommodation

Spend 2 nights in a 4* hotel and 4 nights in mixed-sex dorms in mountain huts. All of our accommodations are hand-picked and offer a warm welcome to walkers. In the huts you will stay in a mixed sex dorm, which will be shared with other hikers. Bathroom facilities are also shared and are located on the landings and hallways. Please see individual descriptions for information on shower facilities. You will find an example of the accommodation we normally use below. If these accommodations are not available we will use a hotel of a similar or better standard than those described.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is not available to solo walkers due to the challenging terrain. Single rooms and double rooms for single occupancy are available in Andorra La Vella only (not in the mountain huts) should someone in your party wish to have their own room on these two nights; a supplement is payable.


Alternate Accommodation

We will always try and accommodate you at the hotels listed. However, if those listed are unavailable, alternative accommodation of the same or better standard than those described will be provided.


Examples of accommodations we typically use are listed below.


Meals

6 breakfasts are included in the cost of your trip. In hotels, breakfast is always buffet-style with various options available. Expect a continental  breakfast with bread, jams, pastries, yoghurt and muesli available.
Usually there are also local meats and cheeses, eggs and fruit on offer.


Breakfast in mountain huts is much more modest. Expect bread, jams, butters, cereals and coffee, tea and juice. We suggest taking a couple of energy bars to supplement if you prefer a larger breakfast in the morning.


4 dinners are included (at the mountain huts) and tend to be basic, yet delicious homemade food. Expect soup for starters followed by some kind of meat and carbs, for example; pasta Bolognese, beef stew with rice, fish and rice etc. Dessert is often fruit or yoghurt. A carafe of red wine is usually included in the meal, if not, alcohol and other drinks can be purchased at the bar.


Lunches are not included. You will be able to order a packed lunch at each mountain hut for the following day. These normally cost around 12 euros per person and include sandwiches, rice salads, fruit, cereal bars/chocolate and juice/water. There are plenty of options for dinner in Andorra La Vella, either at your hotel or in nearby restaurants. If you have any dietary requirements please let us know at the time of booking.



 

 

 




Art Hotel - Andorra La Vella

A modern 4* hotel conveniently located in Andorra’s commercial and cultural hub. Rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable and it’s a great place to begin and end your adventure. There are two on-site restaurants, as well as a plethora of restaurants nearby.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Refugi de L'illa



Refugi de L'illa

An impressive mountain hut benefitting from a modern and well-thought out design, making for a pleasant stay! Dorm rooms have 6 beds, and are spacious and comfortable. Delicious 3-course dinners are served every night at 7pm.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Refugi de Juclà



Refugi de Juclà

Situated at 2,310m next to the picturesque Juclar lake. One of the more traditional huts along the route, dorms are varying in size, there are 43 places in total. Run by a local family, there is a friendly atmosphere in the hut. Toilets are dry but there are hot water showers available.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Refugi de Sorteny



Refugi de Sorteny

This refugi has been recently renovated and has modern flushing toilets and hot water showers. There are 50 places here, made up of six rooms, five 8 bed dorms and one 10 bed dorm. Enjoy magnificent views of the Estanyo and La Serrera peaks from the outdoor terrace.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Refugi Comapedrosa



Refugi Comapedrosa

This is the most basic of the four huts. Situated at 2,265m and just at the foot of Andorra’s largest peak, it’s a popular overnight location for visitors and locals alike. Toilets are flushing and there are communal solar powered hot water showers available after 6pm.


 

 

 

Time of Year & Availability

This trip is available to start any day of the week, from mid
of June to mid September, subject to availability. Any time during this
period is ideal for walking, the month of  August is high season and
the trails and towns will be at their busiest


Grade & Terrain

This tour is rated moderate to strenuous.  Distances vary from 15– 23km, and the ascent/descent is considerable, ranging between 400m and 1,645m each day. This tour involves long days of walking, usually between 6-9 hours a day depending on your pace. To get the most from this tour you should be in good physical shape and be an experienced, sure-footed walker. The terrain is alpine in nature, and paths are a mixture of woodland trails, rocky mountain paths, gravel tracks, boulder strewn-paths and faint, narrow grassy trails. There are cables, ropes and chains to aid ascent/descent in one or two places. Walking shoes or boots with good grip are essential, as are walking poles.  


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

All of the walks are way-marked to varying degrees, some walks better than others. We provide you with turn-by-turn instructions for each walk, maps and access to our GPS smartphone navigation app, so you will have no problem finding your way!


Baggage Transfers

There is no bag transfer available on this trip due to the remote location of the mountain huts. You can of course leave excess baggage at your hotel in La Vella and pick it up on your return. Since the mountain huts are well equipped, you do not need to carry a lot when hiking. A sleeping bag is not required, but a lightweight sleeping sheet is. We recommend carrying no more than a 30-40 litre backpack, anything bigger than this will make your walking less enjoyable, and you might be surprised how little you actually need for a 5 day trek!


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which ncludes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to and from Andorra La Vella

By Air: Fly into Barcelona Airport or Toulouse Airport from where you can take a shared shuttle transfer to Andorra La Vella (both approx. 3 hours) Simply retrace your steps to get back to either airport. For more information about the shuttle transfers, check:  www.andorrabybus.com/en



Included

  • 2 nights accommodation in 4* hotels
  • 4 nights in mixed sex dorms in mountain huts
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners
  • Detailed information pack, route notes, maps and access to our navigation app
  • 24/7 support from our UK office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to and from Andorra La Vella
  • Public transport (to be paid locally)
  • Lunches and 2 dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Single Room Supplement(s)

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is rated moderate to strenuous.  Distances vary from 15– 23km, and the ascent/descent is considerable, ranging between 400m and 1,645m each day. This tour involves long days of walking, usually between 6-9 hours a day depending on your pace. To get the most from this tour you should be in good physical shape and be an experienced, sure-footed walker. The terrain is alpine in nature, and paths are a mixture of woodland trails, rocky mountain paths, gravel tracks, boulder strewn-paths and faint, narrow grassy trails. There are cables, ropes and chains to aid ascent/descent in one or two places.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

The closest airport is either Barcelona or Toulouse airports, both are served by flights from throughout Europe and around the world.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised. This is a very popular area with hikers, especially during the high season (August)

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/trail shoes with a solid sole and good grip, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers a day pack and hats. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack. A detailed kit list is included in your information pack.

When is the best time of year?

This trip is available to start any day of the week, from mid June to mid September, subject to availability. Any time during this period is ideal for walking, the month of August is high season and the towns and trails will be at their busiest. 


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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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