Top 5 hiking routes to take in Andorra

Andorra is a true natural paradise. Although there are many and varied activities that can be done throughout the year in the country, those related to sports are the most practiced. In fact, when the good weather approaches, many hiking enthusiasts decide to come to this land to enjoy the large number of beautiful routes for all levels.

If you ended up reading this post, I suppose it is because you also have in mind to take some of the routes through this green country. So, next, I am going to reveal you which are the 5 best hiking routes to take in Andorra in the summer, so that you can enjoy your visit to the country to the fullest. Although before that:

RECOMMENDATIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS

  • I recommend you download the MAPS.ME app. It is a very useful application that serves as a GPS. It is free, it can be used without an Internet connection, it allows customization and in this case, it is even more interesting, as it will mark all the routes that I am going to share with you shortly and that many other GPS devices do not identify.
  • It is very important to be well equipped, especially when taking the most demanding routes. So, let me propose you a list of what you cannot miss:
  • The data regarding “distance”, “duration”, “slope” and “difficulty” that I am going to provide you below on each of the routes, are approximations based on my experience, ability and my own criteria. Moreover, times provided are considering short stops.

Now, let’s start with this post about the best hiking routes you can take in Andorra in the summer, which are listed from least to greatest difficulty. There we go!

1. ENGOLASTERS LAKE

DISTANCE: 2KM

DURATION: 30 MIN

SLOPE: 62 M

DIFFICULTY: LOW

One of the easiest and nicest hiking routes you can take in Andorra in the summer is the one that surrounds the Engolasters Lake (marked in blue and green on the map shown below). Due to this and its low difficulty, it is an ideal route to enjoy with kids and for those who want to be active and enjoy nature without having to do a lot of sport.

This circular route begins and ends in the parking lot located just in front of the Engolasters information point, where I recommend you park your vehicle. Moreover, it is signposted in many points of the way, so there is no loss.

In addition to this route in which you will continuously have views of the lake, there is also another one known as “Circuit del Bosc” (marked in yellow on the map shown below), which, as its name suggests, will take you through a nice forest plenty of pines. Like the previous one, its starting and ending point is located in the parking lot in front of the Engolasters information point.

Engolasters Lake information panel

2. TRISTAINA PONDS

What a beautiful route! Although all the ones I am listing have something special, I would dare to say that this is my favorite route of all of them, so it could not be missed in this post about the best hiking routes to take in Andorra in summer.

You have several options:

  1. Round trip by cable car: the best option for those of you who go with children and / or want to get the least tired.

After leaving your vehicle in the parking lot at the Ordino – Arcalís station, you will have to take the cable car in that same station, whose round-trip prices are the following ones:

ADULTS (18 years old and older) : 12 €

CHILDREN (6 years old and older): 8 €

NIÑOS (under 6 years old): FREE (documentation required to prove it)

When you arrive at the station on the top, you will see a path on the right-hand side that will take you to “Estany del Mig” or Tristaina Middle Pond. Once there, it’s time to move around the lakes and enjoy the area. Whenever you are done, you will only have to go back to the same station and take the cable car down to the parking area.

2. Round trip on hiking trail

As shown on the map, just a few steps from the Ordino-Arcalís parking lot, where you will have your vehicle parked , a route starts towards the Tristaina lakes.

DISTANCE: 6’5 KM

DURATION: 4 H

SLOPE: 380 M

DIFFICULTY: LOW – MEDIUM

In addition to the guidelines of the MAPS.ME app, you will also find numerous indications along the way that will show you the direction you have to take to reach the lakes.

As soon as you have finished seeing the lakes, you will have to take the same route to return to your starting point.

3. Way up on cable car and way down on hiking trail

Although it is another alternative, it is the one that I would recommend you the least for various reasons:

1.I think that once you have visited the lakes (the most beautiful part of the route) it is not very motivating to have to go down to the parking lot on foot.

2. You will have to pay for the round trip cable car ticket even if you only take one way.

Tristaina Ponds hiking route

4. Way up on hiking trail and way down on cable car

DISTANCE: 5’5 KM

DURATION: 3 H

SLOPE: 380 M

DIFFICULTY: LOW – MEDIUM

From my point of view, this is the best option of the four mentioned, since after going through the “hardest” part of the way (with beautiful views and landscapes included), the satisfaction felt when you reach the lakes is priceless. After walking around and enjoying the area, you will only have to take the cable car at the Ordino – Arcalís top station, which will bring you down to the parking lot.

"Estany Primer" (Tristaina First Pond)
"Estany del Mig" (Tristaina Middle Pond)
"Estany de Més Amunt" (Tristaina Top Pond)

3. PLA DE L’ESTANY

DISTANCE: 9’5 KM

DURATION: 5H 40MIN

SLOPE: 640 M

DIFFICULTY: MEDIUM – HIGH

This beautiful circular route begins and ends in the town of Arinsal. Going up the main road (northwesterly direction), you will see on the right a sign that says “Camí de Percanela. Les Fonts”. That one is the path you have to take.

You will experience how the initial section of the route is the most demanding one and has a very steep slope. Despite this, the views of the valley will be more and more beautiful and impressive. Until you reach the “Pla de l’Estany”, you must go through the following crossing points: Bordes de Percanela > Bordes del Torner > Bordes dels Prats Nous > Collado de Font Podrida > Refugi del Pla de l’Estany.

If you are lucky, when you get to Pla de l’Estany, you will find many beautiful wild horses. I recommend you take a break and enjoy the area before returning to Arinsal, this time along the “Rec de Areny” path to the “Bordas de Coruvilla” and then along the path that leads to the Prats Sobirans urbanization. After this, all you need to do is to go through the tunnel and continue along the road back to the center of Arinsal.

One way route to Pla de l'Estany
Way back route from Pla de l'Estany

4. PERCANELA PEAK AND ANGONELLA PONDS

DISTANCE: 15K

DURATION: 8H 30MIN

SLOPE: 1100 M

DIFFICULTY: HIGH

The route to the peak of Percanela and the Angonella Ponds, is another of the best hiking routes you can take in Andorra in the summer, not only for the amazing views you will have from the various sections, but also for how demanding it is. In other words, this route is ideal for those of you who like challenges and, very importantly, that you are in good physical shape as well.

This route starts at the same point as the previous one, on the path marked by the sign “Camí de Percanela. Les Fonts”. In fact, the starting section is the same one as that of the “Pla de l’Estany” route, until you reach the “Bordes dels Prats Nous” crossing point, where you will have to take the path to the “Collada del Clot del Cavall”, passing through the Ros Gros Forest. At this point the route will continue towards the Percanela Peak, at 2,422m altitude.

From the peak, just in the opposite direction you are coming, you will see a small mountain, with a narrow path crossing it. That is the one you have to take. If you follow it, you will cross the Avier Mountain Range (Serra de l’Avier) until finally reaching the Angonella Ponds. NOTICE: The final stretch to the first pond is quite dangerous, as it is very steep and full of small stones that make it slippery. So, let me insist on the importance of taking hiking poles that give you greater support throughout the trail.

One way route to the Angonella Ponds
Way back from the Angonella Ponds

Once you arrive at the ponds, it is time to enjoy the area and make a brief stop before heading back. In our case, due to the difficulty of the last section mentioned, we decided not to take the same path to return. We went in the direction to Llorts instead. In fact, after having made the route, I recommend you do it as we did it, since both paths are very different and beautiful at the same time.

So, once you are ready to continue with the route, you will have to go towards the refuge of l’Angonella. You will pass through a couple of waterfalls and then, you will enter through a beautiful forest full of pines and ferns until you finally arrive at Llorts. From there, many public buses depart very frequently to different areas of Andorra, so that you can go to your accommodation or to where you have left your car in Arinsal.

Percanela Peak
One of the three Angonella ponds
View to Sornás

5. COMAPEDROSA PEAK

DISTANCE: 16’5 KM

DURATION: 10H

SLOPE: 1500 M

DIFFICULTY: HIGH

Last but not least impressive, the most demanding of these top 5 hiking routes to take in Andorra in the summer, the ascent to the Comapedrosa Peak, at an altitude of 2945m. It is a circular route that departs from Prats Sobirans, very close to Arinsal. From there you will follow the GR-11 Pyrenean path, passing through the Comapedrosa Refuge (Refugi de Comapedrosa), the Trouts Pond (Estany de les Truites) and the Comapedrosa Pond (Estany de Comapedrosa), to the Black Pond (Estany Negre). At this point, you will leave the path behind and ascend to the Comapedrosa Peak.

After enjoying the views and after a well-deserved rest, it is time to head off to “Pla de l’Estany”. Be careful because the beginning of this path is very steep and dangerous. Once in “Pla de l’Estany”, the way back to Arinsal is the same one as that explained in point 3, which means that the third route is included in this challenging one. Nevertheless, if you prefer to avoid the dangerous section mentioned, you can return following the way up route.

One way route to Comapedrosa Peak
Way back route from Comapedrosa Peak

So, here you have the 5 best hiking routes to take in Andorra in the summer. In case you liked this post and would also like to take any of the routes, I encourage you to share it with other hiking lovers. Remember, sharing is living!

Do not hesitate to write any messages or doubts in comments and/or directly to travelwithlorens@gmail.com . I will be so happy to read them and be of any help to you. Greetings dear travelers!

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