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A Pyrenean experience – traversing beautiful Andorra (GR 7)

Joan (CC BY-NC 2.0)

A Pyrenean experience – traversing beautiful Andorra (GR 7)

Hiking Collection by Claudia Aguilar González



4-5 h

/ day

32.0 mi

11,925 ft

7,900 ft

The immensity of the landscape envelops you and the imposing peaks rise up high in the sky. The lush forests are at their most vibrant, the meadows are covered in flowers and the rivers flow through the valleys, forming beautiful postcard-like images. Lakes shimmer in the sun and the region’s nature is undoubtedly powerful, dynamic and full of life. These are just some of the signs that you’ve arrived in a very special place.

The Principality of Andorra is a small country situated between Spain and France, in the heart of the Pyrenees. How is it possible for such a small place to have so many natural wonders? The answer is simple: due to its rugged terrain, Andorra has the sixth highest average altitude in the World, after countries like Nepal and Kyrgyzstan. This means that the entire territory is dominated by mountains. In fact, there are 65 to be precise, all more than 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) high. Then, of course, there’s also the nation’s gorgeous lakes, natural parks and valleys. As well as all of this, Andorra la Vella, the state capital, is the highest city in Europe.

In this Collection, I immerse you in the wild landscapes of this Pyrenean heartland. The main protagonist of the adventure is the Madriu-Perafita-Claror valley, as well as its numerous crystal-clear lakes, challenging mountain passes and its peaks that tower more than 2,700 metres (8,860 ft) high. In total, it’s a journey of over 52 kilometres (32 mi) spread across three wonder-filled stages.

The route follows the GR 7, also known as the E-4 European Trail. It’s the longest footpath in Europe and runs from Tarifa, on Spain’s southern tip, to Cyprus on a journey of 10,500 kilometres (6,500 mi). This Collection focuses solely on the section through Andorra.

The route starts at La Farga de Moles, right on the Spanish border. You can easily get here by bus from Barcelona or Lérida. The journey ends at Portella Blanca, an emblematic mountain pass, on the border with France. As connections here are few and far between, I’ve decided to continue the itinerary of the last stage to the nearest village, El Pas de la Casa. This way, you have the possibility of taking a bus back to Barcelona or Lérida. Check the timetables at this link: omio.co.uk/?_ga=2.93885789.1531029291.1681466742-1407932817.1681466742

To tackle this route, you’ll need decent fitness, as you face long distances, steep slopes and some exposed and technical steps. It’s therefore advisable to equip yourself with quality hiking shoes and trekking poles. Take a waterproof jacket, warm layers, a sleeping bag, some snacks and water filters or water purification tablets. Remember to replenish your water fully before each stage.

On the first stage you’ll sleep in Andorra la Vella, a city with a wide range of hotels, and on the second stage in the l'Illa refuge. In both cases I recommend you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

The best period to enjoy this adventure is from June to mid-October. During the winter season, the snow makes many sections impracticable, especially without mountaineering equipment and experience. In any case, I recommend you always check the weather forecast, as conditions in the high mountains can change quickly, with little warning.

I hope you enjoy this magical experience in the heart of the Pyrenees, the trails are waiting for you!

On The Map


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Traversing Andorra (GR7)

31.0 mi

11,675 ft

7,625 ft

Last updated: May 25, 2023

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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  1. Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: La Farga de Moles to Andorra la Vella – GR 7 in Andorra

    12.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    4,050 ft
    3,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This exciting adventure through Andorra begins, ironically, in Spain. La Farga de Moles is a good starting point, as buses from Barcelona and Lérida arrive here.


    The rugged landscape of this country is noticeable from the first moment: as soon as you cross the border, a steep ascent begins that lasts

    translated byView Original


  2. 04:39
    9.32 mi
    2.0 mph
    4,925 ft
    100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you begin to enter the heart of the Andorran mountains. The splendor of forests and rivers, the majesty of the peaks and the transparency of the lakes are just some of the details that can be appreciated on this wonderful day.


    The Madriu river marks the path for you today. As soon as you leave Andorra

    translated byView Original


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  4. 05:35
    10.4 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,925 ft
    4,225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The third and last stage is a true fantasy, a high-altitude adventure that offers you the opportunity to visit the shores of more than 10 lakes. The profile of the Route is also quite abrupt, but in this case the negative slope is greater than the positive one. Grab your trekking poles to help you on

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    32.0 mi
  • Duration
    16:08 h
  • Elevation
    11,925 ft7,900 ft

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