Sat 8th March 2025
- Fri 14th March 2025
For our WinterWonderland holidays we seek out wonderful places that are great for trying out winter walking.Places that keep us active and outdoors even when it’s a little cold - and where we can return to roaring fires, a cosy hotel and great local food. Andorra is perfect with its quiet Pyrenean mountains, well marked trails and lovely landscapes.To return to our family run cosy Andorran hotel is a delight. Your winter journey can begin with us … or continue with us …
Date: Saturday March 8th to Friday March 14th 2025 – 6 nights/7 days
Guide:our local guide Nicola
Walking Grade: 2 Goats- we will do some snow shoeing as well as walking. 2 days of each.
We will give you get goat fit tips to get you ready!
Base: Hotel Coma an old favourite of WalkingWomen, Ordino in the heart of the Pyrenees. It is a walk into the small town where there are lots of cafes and restaurants. The hotel has a lovely cosy bar with a pool table for gathering in the chilly evenings.
Arrivals: Fly to Barcelona to arrive for a group transfer leaving approx 3pm. We arrive for a welcome briefing and dinner together at the hotel.
Departures: For the return journey we will leave the hotel after breakfast so return flights best after 14.00 .
The journey is approximately 3 hours from the airport to Ordino and a group airport transfer is included in the price.
Price: £TBC per person for this inclusive holiday to include:
- Solo occupancy ensuite accommodation with breakfast and dinner each night. All with views. One night we will eat in a nearby traditional restaurant.
- Lunches on 4 walking/snowshoe days.
- Group airport Transfer to and from Barcelona – 3 hours
- Tourist Tax
- Experienced local english speaking guiding
- Snow shoes when required.
- Local transport required for walks each day
The price is £tbc per person if you bring a partner/friend and share a room.
- Travel to Barcelona
- Additional drinks
- One lunch on free day
- Any additional activities or use of the town swimming pool and spa (hotel gives discount vouchers)
This holiday is located in the picturesque town of Ordino which is home to museums and the starting point of many varied walks to explore the Andorra side of the Pyrenees and surrounding area.Our walks will give you a spectacular introduction to Andorra,or if you have been before, a chance to rediscover the beautiful country.
Our hotel is known for charming Andorran hospitality and traditional cuisine.It has a warm cosy bar,pool table and has a restaurant with views of the mountains.
The town has a fabulous sports centre with swimming pool and spa facilities.There is even an ice bucket! There are also many cafes, bars and restaurants in the town.
In the winter there are plenty of places to get cosy and enjoy a warm drink or two!
The itinerary will depend on the weather as snow conditions have been very changeable. This time of year is recommended as a good time to come when the hills are less busy. If we can’t snow shoe we can hike in the stunning Pyrenees.
Day 1 Saturday: Arrival into Barcelona by 14.00 for a group transfer at 15.00 to travel by road to Andorra. We will arrive for a welcome drink , a briefing with the guide followed by dinner and a chance to get to know each other .
Day 2 Sunday: Snow shoeing in Sorteny Natural Park
Natural Park of Sorteny. The word Sorteny originates from the Basque language as before the arrival of the Romans and Greeks to the Iberian peninsula, the whole of the Pyrenees was inhabited by Basque people. So Sorteny means “witch” and most probably refers to the Witch doctors who frequented the valley looking for plants to use for their medicinal remedies.
We put on our snowshoes at the parking where the Sorteny valley and Rialb valley converge. From here we follow a wide track which winds its way up to the Portell (gateway) and the start of the Sorteny valley. From here we can see the third and fourth highest peaks in Andorra, Serrera peak and Estanyo peak as well as the mountain hut which we will be heading for. The mountain hut is at exactly 2000 meters above sea level. It used to be a barn and a storage shelter for hay and iron ore. Dry-stone walls separate the fields around the hut, fields in which grass is left to grow during the summer months and then taken down to the villages as hay for the winter. The hut was also used to store the iron ore which was brought down from the iron mines located at 2700m on a pass overlooking the valley, then to be taken on down to the forge in the village of Ordino.
After having a coffee in the hut we continue to the end of the valley on the south side and then return on the north side crossing two bridges. This is a good opportunity to see how the north and south faces differ in snow-type and vegetation in this east to west oriented glacial valley. Tracks will enable us to identify the animals that roam the valley.
For the stronger walkers there will be the possibility of going on up to the Estanyó lake, a 600m climb.
ASCENT: 250 meters
STARTING POINT: 1800 meters
HIGHEST POINT: 2050 meters
DISTANCE: 5 km
Day 3 Monday: Walking to the villages of la Cortinada and Llorts
The village of Ordino is one of the most well-preserved villages of Andorra, home to the Areny Plandolit family house, now turned museum. This was the summer residence of one of the wealthy Andorran families in the 19th century, owners of the iron mines. From Ordino we follow the cami Ral, the old, historic path which leads up the valley and eventually into France. It follows the river passing through the traditional villages of Sornas, Ansalonga, La Cortinada, Llorts and the last village is El Serrat. Sornas is a pretty little mountain village surrounded by forest and terraced fields typical of mountain agriculture. La Cortinada boasts a Romanic church with fresco paintings dating from the 11th century.
After La Cortinada, the track takes us past a field with 7 iron sculptures made by 7 different artists from all over the world, and the Llorts iron mine which dates from 19th century and was reopened a few years ago. On this section we will be following the Iron Route.
There is the option of making this walk longer by following the GR 11 from Ordino, which winds up through the forest above the Cami Ral, The elevation would be about 450 meters in total.
ASCENT: 150 meters
DISTANCE: 8 km
Day 4 Tuesday: Snow Shoeing in the Incles valley
We start at the entrance of the Incles valley, a typical glacial valley. The mountain path follows the river on the north side, on a very gentle slope with occasional steeper parts. We wind in and out of a pine forest to a stone bridge. The return is on the south-facing side of the river back to the starting point. Incles is one of Andorra’s best preserved valleys, with mountain meadows dotted with traditional Bordas (local barns) along the valley floor. It was also one of the main escape routes during WWII used by the French Resistance to guide refugees through. Throughout the walk we will be able to see tracks left in the snow from hares, foxes, squirrels, pine martins and many other animals.
ASCENT: 180 meters
STARTING POINT: 1750 meters
HIGHEST POINT: 1930 meters
DISTANCE: 8 km
Day 5 Wednesday: Rest day
A day to rest legs and relax at the hotel, stroll around town or visit the swimming pool and spa for some true wellbeing therapy. There are other excursions you can do to neighbouring towns and we will brief you on options during the week.
Day 6 Thursday: Walking in the Madriu valley
This is a round walk in the south of Andorra, so normally has less snow. The walk starts at the Engolasters reservoir above Escaldes. The path at the beginning follows the water channel bringing water to the reservoir which is used to supply the hydroelectric power station which provides 20% of the electricity used in Andorra. At the end of the channel the track turns into a mountain path which goes up through a pine and fir forest to the Jou col. From here there are spectacular views of the Madriu valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the traditional farming methods and buildings that have been maintained over the years. The path drops down into the valley to the little hamlet of Ramio, a cluster of traditional houses and barns surrounded by fields and dry-stone walls. From Ramio we follow the main path down the valley following the river to Entremesaigues (meaning between two rivers as this is where the Madriu river is joined by the Perafita river). The stone path continues to Sessenat bridge before coming out onto the road, through the main entrance to the valley.
ASCENT : +150 meters . DESCENT – 547 meters
Day 6 Friday : Check out and return to Barcelona