Andorra Freedom Trail

6 Days

Join Our Fixed Trip Starting Date

TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
July 1, 2024 - July 6, 2024 Available £995
Available
September 28, 2024 - October 3, 2024 Available £995
7 Available

Ask us for dates from Mid June – September 25 now

  • Refuge, apartment or hotel
  • Toulouse
  • Toulouse or Andorra
  • Medium
  • 2-30
  • Summer

Overview

Follow the historic Andorra freedom trail from France via the spectacular ports of Fontargente or Juclar. This trail over the Pyrenees was a key escape route during both the Spanish civil war and World War II. 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.

This trek has one night in a high mountain refuge and the rest is hotel or auberge based though we can offer an extention over the col de Juclar (a used escape route) for an extra night in the high mountains or in Toulouse to experoience the resistance Museum..

Four days of trekking will take you past high mountain lakes, waterfalls, and Europe’s largest health spa. A final section of the Andorran Way leads to Andorra la Vella, where you can admire romanesque art and enjoy tax free shopping! We can usually run this throughout the summer so please enquire if our dates are not suitable.

If your preferred dates are not available, please contact us to enquire about alternative dates.

Itinerary

Local river walk on arrival or see a Cathar “spouglas” where they were hiding out in the valley. We can also be an optional visit to the WW2 Evadies memorial in Tarascon sur Ariege where many evadies met their passeurs to head towards the Spanish or Andorran borders. In the evening we will visit the bustling spa town of Les Cabannes village or Tarascon sur Ariege and eat together in a traditional restaurant using locally grown or farmed produce. Many escape routes started from Ussat les Bains and when there was no moon the mountain nights would be pitch-black… Chez Arran apartments with pool or local hotel.

We transfer up the Aston valley to the damn de Laparan before heading through woodland and the open valley lined with flowers to climb up to a stunning mountain lake for lunch. After admiring the scenery, we climb to the Refuge de Rhule via a col nestled on a high plateau below the peak de Rhule. This is the domain of meran horses, sheep and a huge diversity of other fauna and flora. You won’t be disappointed by the authentic mountain ambience, food or organic wines with the majestic pic de Rhule above us. There are 3 main escape routes that were used starting in the Aston Valley in WW2 crossing Fontargente or Juclar into Andorra. Durandeau was the local passeur who often helped escapees reach freedom. Refuge de Rhule (B,L,D)

Today we cross a high pass as escapees did to reach Andorra seeing some spectacular high mountain lakes en route. From the refuge we can see peak Escobes, which is one of the most beautiful mountains in Andorra. We climb upto the border col before descending into a beautiful valley with spectacular mini waterfalls and lined with rhododendron bushes to the Pont de la Baladosa via the Pont del Travenc via col de Juclar or alternatively drop down from the Etangs de Fontargente into Andorra. There is often the chance to see bearded vulture in this area. Once reaching the valley floor we then walk or catch the bus into Soldeu which is a lively ski town. We can celebrate reaching a new country Andorran style in the afternoon. 12.75km 3 or 4* hotel (B,L,D)

Today we will walk to Canillo (8km) on the Cami del Gall through beautiful woods from Soldeu with the option of continuing on to the stunning Estany de Endoglasters via the Cami de la Canal. There will be an opportunity to visit Caldea – Europe’s largest health spa that offers 6,000 square metres of inside and outside lagoons, saunas, jacuzzis, Indo-Roman baths, cascades and bubble beds. We will stay in a hotel in Escaldes where WW2 escapees stayed. Some of the best examples of Andorran romanesque art are situated in and around Andorra la Vella. Escaldes is on the edge and world class shopping is also available in this tax-free area. Bus or taxi transfers to our accommodation. We will see the tower of the old radio Andorra building used to send messages during the war on the way which is now home to Andorra’s ministry of Tourism. 3 or 4* hotel (B,L) 16.5km.

Today we will do a local long half day walk above Andorra La Vella or visit the old parliament building in Casa le Vell before transferring to Ax les Thermes after tapas lunch which takes just over an hour. From France the journeys into Andorra could last between three and seven days depending upon the weather conditions. Despite being neutral, 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! Radio Andorra, a powerful radio station that aimed to remain neutral, broadcast all over Europe. 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 to raise awareness of a successful crossing. Restaurant meal. Hotel in Toulouse or Barcelona. (B,L) NB if staying in Barcelona for your final night we charge a supplement.

Day 6 :
Departures

What is included

Included in this trip

  • Accommodation and food as specified in the programme
  • Transport to and from Toulouse Blagnac on a single timed transfer per group. Other transport options on request.
  • Local transport as per the itinerary
  • Guiding by a qualified International Mountain leader
  • One guide to 10 guests maximum ratio
  • Tents carried in by our team
  • Sleeping bag and mat carry out on request by our team so you travel lighter
  • Transfer of bags from location to location

Not included in this trip

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Mountain snacks
  • Any additional transport or accommodation needed if you have to leave the group for a medical or fitness reason

Join Our Fixed Trip Starting Date

TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
July 1, 2024 - July 6, 2024 Available £995
Available
September 28, 2024 - October 3, 2024 Available £995
7 Available
How much do I need to carry on the trek?

3-4kg in your rucksack including your days food and 2l of water.

Accommodation

Chez Arran or local hotel accommodation in Tarascon sur Ariege 

Refuge de Rhule

Refuge de Juclar (Optional extension)

Soldeu 4* hotel

Andorra la Vella 3 or 4* hotel

Hotel Roc Blanc, Escaldes or similar.

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Andorra Freedom Trail
From £995
/ Adult