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Eagles on a trip - a trek in Andorra

Our main destination in Andorra was the high-altitude mountain valley of “Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley”, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2004. The inhabitants are no longer there however, but there is still enough evidence regarding their presence on the deserted pastures. Yeah, that sounds pretty good doesn’t it? We decided to enjoy an overnight two-day trek in the local mountains.

Andorra is a small country between France and Spain and we didn’t want to miss it during our trip. It was a good thing that we didn’t!

 We parked our car “Vitek” 5 km beyond Andorra La Vella the capital at the little gravel car park that was available free of charge. We had packed huge backpacks and I had the first chance to test my new ARROW 45 backpack, produced by Hannah that highly satisfied me! Hannah backpacks simply suit me altogether. They fit me and my back doesn’t hurt, which is in fact the biggest advantage. The backpacks were stuffed with sleeping bags, sleeping mats, warm clothing, food, drink and the necessary equipment for photo shoots and filming, and in addition, Michal was carrying the tent. Well, do you have any idea how heavy it was? We were ready to set forth even though the parking took us a little while. We left our “temporary home Vitek” with a really heavy heart. For the first time, the car was to be alone over night. We were concerned that someone would rob it, but everything worked out great!
So, we set forth on the two-day crossing of this picturesque mountain valley, which we loved so much. Look at the photos, I believe you’ll understand the reason why a little better.

In the front of us we have a 26 kilometer circumference, and most of the time we will walk uphill, with only a little part of our route downhill.
Let’s go, let’s do it!

It started on such a beautiful road...

After ten minutes of walking the first gorgeous view opened up to us

There were several mountain huts, during our journey, where you can stay overnight.

It is here we had our first lunch stop. Michal had bread and beans and I prepared a MANA drink for myself. There had been several similar pretty chalets on our route. You can stay there overnight free of charge. These chalets are commonly furnished with simple bed frames while some of them have even a foam mattress. You can usually find there some food, which you can take if it is necessary. On the contrary, if you use the chalet as sleeping accommodation, you can leave there some nonperishable food for other visitors. All chalets are equipped with a stove where you can heat the chalet and warm yourself. This one also had available a nice outdoor seating area and barbecue.

A pretty luxurious outdoor toilet.

Straight after our lunch we carried on!  To reach our goal for this day, we had to walk a few more kilometers uphill. It was beautiful weather and so we enjoyed the whole day long, even though our foreheads were sweaty, we didn’t mind! We treaded on! 

The further we went, the more beautiful the views that were opening in front of us.

Another of the chalets – here we loved it most! There was a gig hill behind the chalet and a beautifully clean stream just outside the chalet. We decided to stop here and have a coffee break while we were drying our sweaty T-shirts in the sun. Well, as I have mentioned already, the path was constantly uphill and it wasn’t “a piece of cake.” Obviously, we took fresh water from the stream to prepare the coffee. We also drank the same water and it was excellent and absolutely refreshing.

The coffee, with something sweet to add energy.

After our rest period, we continued walking on! The landscape was starting to change. Trees were receding and we entered a dried-up plateau, full of rocks. Even the path we walked along was getting more demanding because of the stones.

During the trip, you can also stay in more modest chalets. It will certainly work well but do not expect any luxury.

Our target point for this day, which we had arrived at a couple of minutes after 4 p.m. – is a more modern bigger chalet, you can see it in the picture. The possibility of overnight accommodation is a matter of course. In the vicinity, there are three lakes and one large water reservoir. However, we had brought our new FALCON 2, ultra-light tent which we wanted to test for the first time.

At the far end beyond the chalet, we found a suitable place where Michal could pitch our humble abode. I am released from this obligation, because I don’t like pitching tents. I really don’t like it! Within a quarter of an hour Michal had pitched the tent!  Considering that he did it for the first time, it was a job well done! He will make it within ten minutes next time, I am absolutely sure about that!

The tent has two entranceways and that was great because we did not have to climb over one another when one wanted to go out. If it seems to you to be too small for two people – it only seems that way really! The tent is just right for two!

After dinner, when the sun went down, we enjoyed the view of the evening sky for a little while. Not long after though, we snuggle into our sleeping bags because as soon as the sun went down, it turned significantly colder. It’s a good thing that we came properly prepared!

We survived the night perfectly well and I have to say that I have not ever experienced such peace and silence anywhere before. No even an animal came to surprise us in the night. Simply nothing happened. Just ever-present silence! We had slept at an altitude of 2 500 m above see level, therefore we should have expected it but we were still surprised. During the night we kept waking up – I had slid down in my sleeping bag and it was the reason why I kept waking myself and Michal also.  I then put the backpack under my feet, the same way as Michal had, and it worked fine!

And then the morning came…

After breakfast we set forth to the peak. Our peak! Our absolute top of this trek with this beautiful view of the surrounding areas!

Our last stop – at the chalet where we had lunch

We get some rest and then set off on our final stretch of the journey that led us back to our car “Vítek”

Ultimately we had walked 32 kilometers in total and because the path wasn’t well marked (there was in fact, no tourist markings at all in places), we got off the route and we walked more kilometers then were necessary. We had the circuit in our mobile phones, but the route had been entered onto the phone four years ago, and obviously it had changed a lot during the time, and what used to be a pathway, was now, four years later, an overgrown meadow or a forest. We finally got on to the right route and we were a bit annoyed, but fortunately, we had walked the extra kilometers downhill. It would have been much worse if had we walked the extra kilometers uphill.

The summary of our two-day trip? It was marvelous! It was worth it! We strongly recommend a visit to this valley. Andorra has beautiful nature! The Hannah equipment didn’t disappoint us at all and accomplished all of its purposes. For that, we are truly grateful!! There is nothing worse than setting off hiking with a backpack that hurts your back. Surely you will know that your selves, won’t you?

Markéta and Michal