This getaway will take you to the neighbour country: Andorra. More precisely, to the little mountain village of Arinsal.
The itinerary includes a stunning hike in which you’ll climb the highest peak of Andorra, stay in 3 different countries (yes, you heard us right!), and see more than 5 lakes.
And would it be a perfect escape without being spoiled with delicious food? We’ve picked a cute cafeteria and an Argentinian restaurant that will keep you fuelled for the adventures ahead!
Suggested 1-day itinerary in Andorra
Start the day with a delicious breakfast at Oolong Coffee and Brunch. Here, you’ll find toast with avocado, cured meats, cheese, or ham, cakes, and smoothies. They also serve a wide selection of special teas. If it isn’t too cold outside, we can’t recommend sitting on the terrace overlooking the river to enjoy the food.We suggest getting there when they open, at 8 am, because you have ahead a long journey and better to finish the hike before it gets dark!
Also, it would be nice to ask for a sandwich to take away so you have something to eat for lunch during the hike. You can also buy something in the nearby supermarket if you prefer eating nuts, bars, or fruit.
Morning and afternoon 🏔
Once your belly is full and happy, it’s time to head to the mountains. Your destination is the Comapedrosa natural park.
The circular hike we propose is 16.26 km long, with an elevation gain of 1836 m. The track doesn’t present any technical difficulties except for the distance and the cumulative gain. We recommend it to experienced hikers and people in good shape.
If you think this hike is too much, no worries. There are several ways to shorten it so you can enjoy some beautiful spots in the Comapedrosa natural park.
🧭 Wikiloc track
The route is signed with red and white striped marks, and with yellow circle marks. However, we can’t recommend enough taking a map with you or downloading the Wikiloc track of the route.
The hike starts after crossing the tunnel that links Arinsal with the Comapedrosa natural park. From there, you start climbing steadily following a wide track that will later turn into a mountain path. After a while, you find yourself away from civilisation and lost in the mountains.
The first stunning spot is the Pla de l’Estany, a meadow with hut and a little lake. From there, the views of Arinsal are breathtaking.
The trail keeps going up to finally reach three lakes known as Estanys Forcats. It had snowed the day before when we were there, leaving the mountains sparkled in white.
As the trail gains altitude, the lakes become smaller and smaller and the views become more and more impressive. You can spot Arinsal in the distance, surrounded by high peaks.
And then comes the first summit of this hike: the Medacorba. As a curious fact, this peak is a natural border between Andorra, Catalonia, and France. So, you’ll be standing on the border of 3 countries! Plane pilots use this peak to orientate when flying from Spain to France and vice-versa.
The 360º views from the top are SO beautiful. On one side, you have the Estanys Forcats (Andorra). If you turn right, you can admire the beautiful Estanys de Baiau (Catalonia). And, if you keep turning right, you spot the Étang de Médécourbe (France). Isn’t that cool?
After resting and admiring the views, it’s time to continue. Descend the peak following the same path, and once at the Estanys Forcats mountain pass, follow the red and white striped marks to the Estanys de Baiau.
Those are two emerald lakes, with a little hut nearby. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic and grab some energy for the final climb of the day.
Time to leave Catalonia behind and return to Andorra by crossing the mountain pass known as Portella de Baiau. Make sure you’re wearing proper mountain shoes because the rocks at this pass are a bit decomposed, making it easy to slip.
Once on top, you can quickly spot the highest point of Andorra: the Comapedrosa summit. The peak is 2.942 m high and has a cross on top. Now that you have admired it, it’s time to climb it!
From the top, you can enjoy panoramic views of mountain peaks stretching for km and km. Yes, you’ve made it to Andorra’s highest spot!
The way down the summit is done following the same path. From here, it is finally all descending!
Not long after descending the peak, you come across the Estany Negre, a gorgeous crystal-clear lake.
As you descend, the landscape turns more autumny, and the first orange, red, and yellow trees appear. Keep walking along the river, admiring little waterfalls, until finally coming across the track from the beginning. Walk for 1.5 km more, and you will see the tunnel that takes you back to civilisation again.
Well done, that was good exercise!
Shorter versions of this hike
You have 5 options:
1. Hike to the Estanys Forcats: 5.6 km one way. The way back is done following the same trail.
2. Hike to the Pic de Medacorba: 6.5 km one way. The way back is done following the same trail.
3. Hike to the Pic de Comapedrosa: Climb the highest peak in Andorra. The track is 6.9 km one way.
4. Hike to the Pla de l’Estany hut: 3.5 km one way. The way back is done following the same trail.
5. Hike to the Comapedrosa hut: 3.7 km one way. The way back is done following the same trail.
Time to relax! You can stroll along the narrow streets of Arinsal surrounding the church to see cute stone houses or sit in a bar and grab a cold beer. You deserve it!
And now, yes, time for dinner! Your next destination, the restaurant Surf, will delight you with delicious Argentinean meats and dishes.
If you like meat, the “Parrillada Argentina” is to die for! It mixes various types of meat together with fries and salad. Take into account that the portions are huge! With the parrillada for 2 people, you can easily eat 3 or 4.
If you’re a vegetarian, there are several options you can choose from, such as veggie empanadas, soups, salads, and pizzas.
If you still have energy (wow!), you can grab a drink at the same place you had dinner. The other option is to go and enjoy a good night’s sleep!
If you follow this itinerary, we’d love you to leave a comment and let us know how your experience was.