Day 1 - Soldeu
Welcome to Andorra! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Situated on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees, nestled between France and Spain, the principality of Andorra measures a mere 25 kilometres by 30 kilometres, with an average elevation of 1,996 metres. Although small, Andorra is blessed with some of the finest scenery in the Pyrenees and is a great place for an active week in the mountains. Once you arrive at your base for the week, you will have time to explore or relax until the evening.
Day 2 - Siscaro Reserve
Make your first excursion into the glorious mountains of this tiny country. Drive to Port Envalira (approximately 30 minutes). At 2,408 metres, this is the highest road pass in Europe, connecting El Pas de la Casa to the rest of Andorra. Starting at 2,500 metres, you will have a short 100-metre climb to the summit of Pic Maia. At this height there are spectacular views across the mountains. The rest of your day will be spent completing a ridge walk. It's mostly flat or downhill, so it's a good chance to acclimatise. Keep an eye out for the griffon vultures which are often seen circling high overhead. On the way you will pass the Siscaro Lakes which, on hotter days, are nice for a swim. From here the descent is more rapid and the path brings you out right opposite the hotel. Arriving at 3 or 4 pm, you can relax in the sun, go cycling or perhaps make use of a neighbouring hotel's spa.
Day 3 - Cortals Valley
Drive to the stunning Cortals Valley (approximately 30 minutes). Here you and the family will enjoy a full day of activities. Half-way up the valley you will jump on bikes for a ride along a flat track to Engolasters Lake, glimpsing some beautiful scenery along the way. There are plenty of fun tracks around the lake for all skill levels. There's also a lakeside bar. After returning to the vehicles via the same route through the woods, there's the option of a demanding 3-kilometre ascent up a tarmac road to the barbeque area – part of the Tour of Spain route (the vehicles are available for anyone who's not up to the walk). For lunch you'll stop for a picnic in a Pyrenean meadow (you'll have time to buy for this picnic before setting off today). After lunch, cycle to the top of the valley. You'll then cross a rope-suspended bridge and take an off-road descent, followed by an exhilirating on-road switch-back descent to Encamp (a total descent of 800 m). Today's routes can be walked if you'd rather not cycle, and there may be an optional gondola ride – this is the largest ski lift in Europe. Return to Soldeu in the vehicle at the end of the day.
Day 4 - Free day
Today has been left free for you to choose from the many activities that are on offer in Andorra. You may decide to go horse riding, or perhaps visit the thermal baths of La Caldea. The more adventurous members of your family might like to take to the trees for some zip-lining adventures through the tree-tops. Canyoning is also a great option. If you have a head for heights and a good level of fitness, you can try your hand at via ferrata climbing. This is a style of climbing that uses handy equipment such as rungs and a steel cable to traverse tricky and rugged terrain. Further cycling – perhaps mountain biking – is a solid option also. Otherwise, simply relax and enjoy the sunshine, or do a spot of duty-free shopping.
Day 5 - White-water rafting
Crossing the border into Spain, take the high mountain pass over the Port de Canto through very some Mediterranean scenery, still at 1,000 metres high. You can stop at the Port de Canto lookout point to take in the lovely foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees. Continue down to the village of Sort (Catalan for 'luck') where at the rafting centre you and the family will be kitted out with wetsuits, helmets, life jackets and a paddle. From the top of the Noguera River, enjoy 14 kilometres of exhilirating white water rafting. Noguera River is renowned as one of the top five rivers for rafting in Europe, thanks to nice stretches of continuous but not too rough water, and many exit points. After a fun ride over a weir and through the Olympic kayaking course, arrive back at the rafting centre to take a shower. The centre has a beautiful garden with a swimming pool and a bar, so you can spend some time here before heading back to Soldeu.
Notes: There is a support vehicle that follows the rafting. Those who don't want to, or are too young to raft, can follow along in the vehicle or relax and unwind at the centre. Children must be at least 8 years old to participate, and 8–12 year-olds will be able to raft grades I & II only.
Day 6 - The Iron route
Venture into the Ordino Valley in the vehicles with the bikes. This is one of the most picturesque parts of Andorra. Starting at the top end of the valley (2,000 m), you will get fitted with a bike and helmet and then follow with a guide the old iron route of Andorra. Easy-going off-road tracks take you along the valley, past the old iron mines, mills, and forges, finishing in the village of Ordino. You will follow rough tracks, mostly wide dirt roads where only 4X4s can go. But you won't need advanced mountain biking skills, as the tracks aren't too technical. After a rest and a drink in the village, jump aboard the vehicle again and head up to Col de Beixalls (1,800 m). Cycle a thrilling 8-kilometre off-road descent into Encamp. Throughout the day there will be full vehicle support, so if you'd rather not cycle you can ride in the 4X4 or walk. From Encamp it's a 15-minute drive back to the hotel, and you should arrive between 5 and 6 pm.
Day 7 - Incles Valley
Drive the nearby Incles Valley where today's walk starts. Set off along forested mountain slopes and along a single track through the woods where there are beautiful flowers, rhododendrons (in June), wild fruit (midsummer) and wild mushrooms (in September). Arriving on a plateau just above the tree line (2,000 m), the gradient lessens as you reach the beautiful Querol and Salamander Lakes. Watch for thick-set mountain horses grazing on these high slopes. Contouring along the valley you will come to the Cabana Sorda Lake, which sits below an impressive semi-circular amphitheatre of rock – an ideal stop for lunch. From the lake, eager walkers can continue the hike up to the peak (2,600 m), which gives you a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous valley. Those staying at the lake can take a refreshing swim in a waterfall or perhaps watch the fishermen catching mountain trout. After lunch, descend to the grassy higher slopes through thick woodland to the top of the valley where you can either take transport back to the hotel or, if you have the energy, continue back on foot.
Day 8 - Departure day
Your trip ends after breakfast, with no further activities planned. See the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section of the trip notes for checkout times and luggage storage options. Those who have booked an airport transfer will be taken to the airport in time for the group flight.
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Flights, Travel Insurance, Visa, Vaccinations or Personal Spending Money