26 club members recently returned from a very successful walking trip to Andorra.
Despite a stressful transit through Dublin airport we arrived at a very comfortable Hotel Magic in the pretty town of La Massana high up in The Pyrenees. Wonderful friendly and generous staff treated us like VIPs. A home from home.
A basket of oranges was available every morning to make fresh juice and a delicious picnic lunch was provided everyday. Red and white wine was included free ever night with a dinner offering wonderful choices.
A very interesting initial itinerary of 5 guided walks with summits up to 2950 metres were planned. We were very fortunate to have a very experienced, capable and pleasant lead guide and team.
Taking weather, safety and local conditions in account, slight adjustments were made and we formed two groups. We had several of the clubs A+ walkers in the group and they, as well as all the others were well pleased the day Comapedrosa Peak known as The Roof Of Andorra 2942 metres was reached. Snow caps posed no problem to the happy climbers.
A smaller group was formed for anybody who felt like taking a day off from the high climbs or wasn’t feeling quite up to par on any particular day.This group were equally pleased with considerable climbs achieved at a slightly lesser pace. The terrain lent itself well to adjustments. Andorra is a bit like a Toblerone. Amazing peaks and beautiful valleys.
The time of our visit 28 May to 4 June was ideal. Despite, a not unusual thunderstorm on Monday we had warm sunny weather every other day.
The mountains and valleys were at their most magnificent. Having just emerged from the winter snows and just before the cows and horses began grazing. They were clothed in the most beautiful alpine flora. The most prolific being their national flower. The white narcissus from the daffodil family. Spring gentian reminded us of the Burren. The bright pink alpine rose was beginning to blossom and was about to colour the mountains just like our heather. It truly is a botanist paradise.
Everyday the views were breathtaking with long views into France and Spain. As if all that climbing wasn’t enough high- octane ,some of the group did Via Ferrata and were totally hooked (pardon the pun).
Would I recommend a Walking/ Climbing holiday in Andorra? I would give a resounding yes. It suits people of varying levels of fitness and adventure.
It's people are proud and friendly. They have a deep respect for the environment and do everything to protect it for all of us.It’s streets are safe at any time of night or day. It is litter free and it’s natural beauty is unparalleled.
Many thanks to club member Mary Ryan for suggesting Andorra and for putting in tremendous work to keep it all together during Covid.