Three Nations Freedom Trail – France, Spain and Andorra I 6 days I JUL I AUG I SEPTfrom
On the 3 Nations trek we will visit the Alt Pireneu Natural Park in Spain, the Sorteny valley and the Coma Pedrosa valley in Andorra and the national park of Ariège. We will be able to attempt the highest mountain in Andorra, peak Coma Pedrosa.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderately Challenging, not technical - Trip grade 1
Three Nations Pyrenees Trek Peaks & Andorra’s highest mountain Pyrenees – France, Spain and Andorra
Duration: 6 days, 4 days of trekking through France Spain and Andorra in this fabulous border region
Accommodation: 5 nights accommodation – Mountain Huts and Hotel;
On the 3 Nations trek we will visit the Alt Pireneu Natural Park in Spain, the Sorteny valley and the Coma Pedrosa valley in Andorra and the national park of Ariège. We will be able to attempt the highest mountain in Andorra Coma Pedrosa. This is of historical significance in with the aim to create a trans boundary biosphere region with sustainable development and sharing of natural heritage agreed in 2018 in La Massana.
This territory covers more than 400,000 hectares in Andorra, Spain and France. It highlights the cooperation that has been achieved over several years between these three countries and is a good omen for the implementation of future actions and projects. Regularly, Catalan producers come to Castillon-en-Couserans to discover their cheeses, and Ariège producers also visit regularly.
- Accommodation and food as specified in the programme;
- Transport to and from Toulouse Blagnac on a single timed transfer per group;
- Local transport as per the itinerary
- Guiding by an International Mountain leader 1:10 maximum.
- Visit to a spa and opportunity to shop in Andorra
- Mountain snacks; phone calls; alcoholic beverages
- Additional transport or accommodation needed if you have to leave the group for a medical or fitness reason
Arrival at Toulouse and transfer to Tarascon sur Ariege
We pick you up from Toulouse airport and transfer to accommodation
You will stay in a 2* hotel in Tarascon sur Ariege or at chezarran apartments with pool. Many routes started from Ussat les Bains (where our base www.chezarran.com is!! according to the WW2 Escape lines Memorial Society) and when there was no moon the mountain nights would be pitch-black. Sometimes the guides had their own deadlines to meet and if the evaders could not keep pace they found themselves sent back down the mountain or, at times, left behind to make their own way. We will eat in a traditional farm restaurant in Les Cabannes or Tarascon Sur Ariege and visit the war memorial and clock tower
Walk from France to Spain: Monicou 1138m (Fr) via the porte de Bouet (2500m) – Refuge de Vallferrera +1360m
Day 2 Transfer to Monicou and walk Monicou 1138m (Fr) via the porte de Bouet (2500m) – Refuge de Vallferrera, Spain +1360m
After crossing the Etang de Soulcem we ascend past the Orri’s of Carla, ancient stone dwellings we climb to the Porte de Bouet and descend to the refuge of Vallferrera in Spain. Andorra was under close observation from spies and agents from all belligerent countries. Many clandestine meetings are reputed to have taken place in the Hotel Mirador, where everybody watched everybody else! Most of the guides on the Andorran routes were Spanish – often smugglers; sometimes their groups were quite large. (B,L,D)
Walk Spain to Andorra: refugi Vallferrera – Peak Coma Pedrosa – refugi Coma de Pedrosa (2,265 m)
Day 3 Walk refugi Vallferrera – Peak Coma Pedrosa (Andorra’s highest peak)– refugi Coma de Pedrosa (2,265 m)
Today we cross a high pass as the smugglers would have done to reach Andorra passing four beautiful high mountain lakes. Should conditions allow we will climb a peak and may cross some residual snow. If conditions allow we will climb the highest peak in Andorra, Coma Pedrosa (2942m).
Radio Andorra, a powerful radio station that aimed to remain neutral, broadcast all over Europe and was greatly coveted by the Germans who dearly wished to purchase it or at least manipulate it for propaganda purposes – all to no avail, although they did succeed in gaining access to Radio Montecarlo. However, Radio Andorra did apparently provide a platform for some refugees to send coded messages in the form of dedicated songs, to their relatives in France. (B,L,D)
Refugi Coma de Pedrosa to Pla d’Estany - El Serrat – La Massana (Andorra) 8hrs, + 816m
Day 4 Refugi Coma de Pedrosa to Pla d’Estany – El Serrat – La Massana (Andorra) 8hrs, + 816m,
Today we will see some ancient mines and cross a col of 2591m on our trek to El Serrat. The Pat O’Leary, Dutch-Paris, Francois and the Marie-Claire Lines all used Andorran routes. Having been compromised in the lower and coastal regions the lines had moved inland to take on the high level routes where, it was rightly thought, they were less likely to encounter enemy patrols as the dangerous and difficult terrain was a deterrent to their pursuers. From El Serrat we will take a short bus or taxi to buzzing ski resort hub of La Massana where we will stay. You will love the ambiance of this lively town which sports a great variety of tapas bars, restaurants and outdoor shops. We stay in a hotel with spa facilities. (Hotel & Spa 4****)
Walk El Serrat – Ori’s of Carla (5hrs 30 mins) via the port de rat 14km + 1017m – transfer to Toulouse
Day 5 Walk El Serrat – Ori’s of Carla (5hrs 30 mins) via the port de rat 14km + 1017m – transfer to Toulouse
After leaving town we climb to the beautiful lakes of Tristagne for lunch. After a short descent we climb once more up and over the Port de Rat and back into France following the valley floor to the Ori’s of Carla where we will be picked up. If we chose it may be possible to take an alternative route via a series of more than eight beautiful mountain lakes to the other side of the Etang de Soulcem which involves a greater height gain and some steeper ground. We then take a transfer to Toulouse which is reached in under 2 hours after staying in a boutique hotel within easy reach of the enigmatic Place de la Capitol.
Departures to Toulouse Blagnac
Day 6 Departures to Toulouse Blagnac
From your boutique hotel you will make your own way to the airport in the morning using the airport bus from Gare Matabieu or by taxi.
- Airport transfers and local transport as per the programme
- Meals and accommodation as in the programme
- Qualified international mountain leader
- 2 nights refuge accommodation
- 2 nights hotel accommodation in Andorra
- 1 night hotel or apartment accommodation in France
- Drinks and snacks
- Telephone calls
- Your personal insurance for travel and trekking up to 3000m