Join us on a tour of Andorra’s three natural parks that will make you fall madly in love with nature.
The Madriu Perafita and Claror Valley
This is the first on our list of natural parks. This impressive area was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004. It covers 4,247 hectares, which represents 10% of the country’s total territory, and it spreads over the parishes of Encamp, Andorra la Vella, Sant Julià de Lòria and Escaldes-Engordany. Here, nature is intertwined with history and culture, creating a unique landscape. Explore the trails that cross ancient shepherds’ paths and let yourself be captivated by the landscapes of mountains and green meadows.
As natural attractions you can enjoy peaks such as the Portella, the highest in the park (2905 m.) or the Pic Negre. There are around thirty lakes, such as l’Illa, the second largest in Andorra, and Montmalús. The park is also home to 70% of the Principality’s flora and fauna species.
On the other hand, the cultural heritage in this area preserves vestiges of the traditional life of the inhabitants of Andorra. Such as old stone huts, orris (shepherds’ huts) and ancestral paths. Not surprisingly, it has been recognised as a treasure.
Finally, here’s a curious fact: thanks to the Madriu river, 15% of the country’s electricity is produced and it supplies drinking water to 20% of the population.
The Comapedrosa Natural Park
We continue on our circuit and we cannot miss another of the country’s natural parks. It is located in the parish of La Massana, has a total surface area of 15.42 km2 and is home to the highest peak in Andorra: Comapedrosa at an altitude of 2,942 metres. Walking along the paths of this park is a paradise for lovers of hiking in Andorra. You will be captivated by its imposing peaks, valleys and waterfalls. You can enjoy different routes such as the Pla de l’Estany, reach the top of the country (only suitable for experts) or walk along the Pollós river. You’ll also have the chance to see native species of flora and fauna.
Among the three natural parks, it is the only one that has received the Starlight Reserve distinction. This is a recognition awarded by the foundation of the same name, which considers that an area has optimum conditions for the preservation of darkness. It is considered to have the darkest sky in the whole country, ideal for organising astronomical observation trips.
The third of the nature parks: Sorteny
Last but not least, we turn to the Sorteny nature park, which covers an area of 1080 hectares. It is the first nature park to be created in Andorra in 1999. Located in the parish of Ordino, it was declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve in October 2020. It is a paradise for botany lovers and photography enthusiasts. It has a botanical garden where you can observe part of the diversity of flora with more than 700 species of flowers and plants. It is the starting point for many hiking routes and in winter it is famous for its snowshoeing routes. This natural park is home to two of the highest peaks in the country: Estanyó (2,915 m) and Serrera (2,913 m).
It is also part of the Three Nations Pyrenean Park, together with the Comapedrosa, Pyrénées Ariégeoises and Alt Pirineu parks. One of the most emblematic points is the peak of Medacorba, which is the point of confluence between Andorra, France and Catalonia.
Activities in the natural parks
From the imposing grandeur of Comapedrosa to the exuberant beauty of Sorteny and the historical charm of Vall del Madriu. All the parks have a particularity that makes them unique and different from the others. What they all have in common is that they are areas of great natural value that deserve to be preserved and cared for. The natural parks offer a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking trails, with the possibility of hiring professional guides. They also have climbing and via ferrata routes, horse riding and mountain biking routes, and even ski mountaineering in the winter months.
So don’t hesitate any longer, put on your hiking boots and venture into these natural paradises, and don’t forget your camera, because you’ll find postcard-worthy snapshots here!
Don’t worry about your rest, we provide it in our flats: Els Llacs Mountain Apartments in Bordes d’Envalira .