Discover the only Pyrenean territory declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the category of cultural landscapes: the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley. With a total area of 4,247 hectares, it represents 10% of the total land of Andorra. It is entirely a natural landscape and is located in four of the seven parishes of the Principality: Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra la Vella, Sant Julià de Lòria and Encamp.
What to do in the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley
The territory is very rough and offers many options to enjoy the mountain and the pure air 100%. It hides an endless number of natural spots, lakes, natural viewpoints and abundant native fauna and flora. There are a lot of paths to practice trekking and excursions, of different difficulties and times. In addition, the Madriu Valley - Perafita - Claror is crossed by 3 of the great routes of long distance hiking: the GR7, GR11 and the GRP. Along the different routes you will find signs indicating the next points and the estimated time to reach them. You can also practise climbing in areas that have been prepared or in via ferrata, as well as horseback riding.
The mountain culture
The Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley of Andorra perfectly represents how man has known how to take advantage of the resources to survive, finding a balance with the environment. The stone buildings that are still standing today are testimony to the social and economic changes. A luxury to still be able to find these vestiges while hiking:
- "Orris" (simple constructions with the dry stone technique to keep livestock) located in Perafita or Setut.
- Remains of shepherd's huts in Pleta de l'Estall or El Tancat de Graus.
- Cultivation terraces also created with dry stone, at the bottom of the valley.
- Edges, some still standing and others in ruins, such as those at Entremesaigües and Ràmio.
- The paved path.
- The iron mines at La Maiana, with a forge on the Madriu River.
- The water dams at Ràmio and Illa.
And the most modern constructions such as the mountain huts located in Claror, Fontverd or Riu dels Orris.
How to get there
Do you know that you won't find a single road that crosses this valley? As we told you, only stone roads, forests, meadows and lakes. You can only get there on foot and on some mountain bike routes. So get yourself a good pair of shoes and enjoy the views. There are many accesses, but the best known is the one in La Plana, Escaldes, on the way to Engolasters lake. You will find a car park to park the car and in summer, you can also go up by public transport.
You are going to the mountain and it is not superfluous to have some basic precautions to make the day more pleasant. We recommend that you take suitable clothing and shoes, sun protection and water, a map of the area, your mobile phone with the GPS activated and some snacks in case you get hungry on the way.
The Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley is ideal if you go with children or if you are an experienced mountain lover. Don't miss it on your next visit to Andorra.