Andorra, a small country in the Pyrenees, on the French-Spanish border, has long been an exception. Despite its Romanesque remains, Andorra, haven of liberalism derives its wealth from trade.
Crystallization many desire this wealth stirs many jealousies. But Andorra is also the exhilaration of heights. A change of scenery that deserves that one spends a few days before or after a stay in Catalonia.
In Andorra, everything begins with nature that every winter, patiently removing his stack of “white gold”. How not to be seized by the virgin expanse windswept?
Then the “green gold” comes to the rescue. As the snow melts, the small streams music engages and announces the time of the first flowers piercing the froth of altitude plains. For the mountains rend the clouds, a crowd of marchers arrived on the hiking trails still sore from the long winter.
Exceptional figure, even for his identity. Facing the proud Catalonia, backed by the generous Ariege and eye inseparable from Toulouse, Andorra is marked with a little inferiority complex. Both hinge, latch and buffer, it suffers from its Lilliputian size. Taxed archaic for its ancient institutions and questioned for its tax system, it occupies a special place within Europe: surely the first European continent State, by its binational co-chair.
A good hiker is someone careful. Here are some essential tips.
The weather changes quickly in the mountains; so take what react according to the weather . If you are hiking for a day, no need to go with an Irish wool sweater in the middle of August. However, a waterproof jacket or rain gear is essential.
Similarly, a small first aid kit and of very good shoes (which hold the ankles) are required.
Do not rely on groundhogs to pass you their cereal bars, so bring along something to snack, energy bars, chocolate, dried fruit. It is allowed to carry a knife.
A tip: a cord of 2 m is ideal for repairing backpack straps.
The sun often tape without being noticed, so plan ahead to avoid sunburn .
Before departing, tell someone where you are going ( routes, stops …).
The stream water is drinkable in theory, but no authority to recommend you drink to not get wet … Rest we drank, and after we walked on. Choose the outgoing preference of a mountain and not being stagnant or downstream of an altitude plains.
Sometimes there herds grazing in the pastures. Even if you stay in the roads, it is not excluded that you cross some vipers.
In the shelters , be nice. Store your belongings and take your waste. Use barbecues at your disposal and let them as clean as possible.
For mountain bikers , in most stations, maps are available. Otherwise, many of the rental companies can show you interesting routes. We do not want to lose you!
There are three Andorra GR: GR 11, GR 7 and GR Andorra does all around the country.
Andorra property include hiking enthusiasts almost thirty shelters . Perched in the mountains, at elevations ranging from 1800 to 2480 m, they allow hikers to consider long walks and pauses.
Access to shelter is free (except Juclar, Coma Pedrosa and-Cortals Encamp approximately 7.50 € per night, half board € 20-32). Often included is a kitchenette with a supply of wood (unless earlier burned everything without worrying about those coming after them), one or more bedrooms with bunk beds.
On the other hand, you need to bring mattresses and sleeping bag . We can basically pitch a tent if the shelter is full. And you will find bags for waste near shelters.
When going skiing in Andorra?
As there is always snow, it only remains to ask her vacation. But not anytime!
The seasons are broken down roughly as follows:
– From the first snow in December 6-8, stations are crowded. Many Spaniards and Catalans enjoying the first weekend in December, which is a holiday, to go skiing in the . Andorran resorts
– from 10 to 20 December, there is rarely the world: this is the perfect time .
– from December 20 to January 3, period red or black … of the world. We expect a leaden foot of lifts, to avoid so.
– Every January, the feast ended, the tracks are left to real skiers. Other preferred period;
– February: school holidays in France … and in England. many darlings of perfidious Albion choose indeed Andowa . Result, some stations, it is sometimes almost impassable.
– March and first half of April: suitable period. Seasonal beginning to see the end of the tunnel and the sunny days approaching, everyone is smiling, of so that there is less crowded.
– S econde half of April: rebelote. again, holiday camps. That said, it plays music …
– For snow enthusiasts who would like to eat the way, the last stations usually close after May 1st.
The different stations of the principality joined forces to improve their offers and services. Thus was born in 2003 Grandvalira , meeting stations of Soldeu-El Tarter and Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig, and since autumn 2004, Vallnord includes Pal-Arinsal and Ordino-Arcalis.
Each of these major ski areas offers its course own package, valid on all field stations.
Before you throw your heart on a particular location, be aware that these packages allow their holders to operate in any of the stations in the area, while the number of days purchased (a station can be tested daily, for example).
for 5 consecutive days, starting 200 € for an adult on the field Grandvalira (135 € for 6-11 years and 180 € for 12-17 years) or € 152.50 to 170 over that of Vallnord (107 to 122.50 € for 6-11 and 130-146 € for 12-17 years).
The package is free for children under 6 years for people over 70 years.
In addition to the package, insurance covers many details that enquiquinent life on the slopes. For 3-4 € per person per day, number of expenses are covered. For example, hospital, transportation, civil liability, thus collision. For that price, do not hesitate. However, if you set your package with a payment card Gold or First , these assurances are included in your coverage.
Basically , here the rates charged in most rental shops. Some have the advantage of having branches in the same stations, allowing to make its hardware wherever you want.
All accomodations apply the AFNOR standard for adjustment of ski bindings.
One must usually pay the minimum € 8 per day for a complete equipment (skis, boots and poles) or 80 € from one week. Prices are a bit higher for snowboards. It is not uncommon for some stores ask a security deposit at least € 65 per skier.
– VTT: many routes and one of the best bike parks in Europe in the area of Vallnord. Specialized books in bookstores. Fifteen itineraries are detailed in the free brochure Mountain , distributed in tourist offices. There are tours of different difficulty levels, from 2 to 40 km, and the list of places to rent mountain bikes.
– Horse : Ordino, La Massana, Canillo, Engolasters, El Tarter Fontaneda and La Comella, you will find equestrian clubs. For info, contact the Federació andorrana of hípica .
– Ecalade: nearly 200 locations where rock climbing and 3 training walls. Info on federatio andorrana of muntanyisme .
– Fishing: fishing season in rivers from mid-April to early September, and in ponds and lakes late June to early September. Many fishing license outlets (there are also the day).
– Not to mention the many sports facilities (the famous esportiu centers ), especially advanced, all over the country, and have impressed us.