If you’re looking for a common thread that brings you closer to the culture and past of the countries you visit, here you will find several options that will let you discover Andorra’s many facets. A hydroelectric tour, the iron route, discovering the rural habitat, contemporary sculptures...
Read on to see the available options!
Engolasters Hydroelectric Tour
A visit to the water collection facilities that feed the Engolasters hydroelectric power station (the only one in the country, which today is capable of generating between 15 and 20% of the electricity consumed in Andorra). A journey that will take you back to the 1930s, when all our infrastructure was built, to learn about the repercussions that this construction had on society and what working conditions were like at that time. Complementing the visit with the Electricity Museum is highly recommended, so you can learn more about the process of electricity generation.
The Iron Route
A pleasant walk of about 10 km through the parishes of La Massana and Ordino (you can do it all on foot or you can choose to do some stretches by car). Along the route, which you can start at the Llorts Mine, you will visit the following points of interest, all of which are related to the iron production process in Andorra:
- Llorts Mine
- The contemporary sculpture route/Path of the Iron Men (the route followed by the men who transported the iron from the mine to the forge).
- Church of Sant Martí de la Cortinada (an example of 12th century Romanesque architecture that still preserves the mural paintings by the Master of La Cortinada (late 12th century).
- Casa d’Areny-Plandolit (the only stately home in the country that has remained intact to this day).
- The Rossell Forge (a forge with demonstrations of the use of the hammer to work iron).
If you are choosing to cover the route on foot, you can take a bus to Ordino, and from there another bus to Llorts.
The rural habitat route
This route will give you a glimpse into the life of traditional Andorran society. You will see into the lives of peasants, shepherds, colliers... and also lords such as those who lived in the Casa d'Areny-Plandolit in Ordino. In addition to this house museum, the only stately home that has remained intact to this day, this route gives you the opportunity to visit:
- Casa Rull in Sispony, a glimpse into the life of a peasant family with land.
- Casa Cristo in Encamp, a testimony to the life of a humble family from the 19th to the mid-20th century.
The contemporary sculpture route
Under the slogan "Monument de l'home, monument de la natura" ("Monument of man, monument of nature"), the Andorran Social Security Fund (CASS) invited eight internationally renowned sculptors to take part in an open-air sculpture symposium. The result was the addition to the country of 8 sculptures that you will be able to see in all the parishes:
- Estructures autogeneradores (Canillo)
- Lloc pagà (Cortals d’Encamp)
- Arcalís 91 (Ordino Arcalís; the famous "O" or the Ordino Ring)
- Homenatge a Andorra (Ordino)
- Tempesta en una tassa de te (La Massana)
- Robot en suspensió (Andorra la Vella)
- Fisicromia per a Andorra (Sant Julià de Lòria, at the crossing on the Spanish border)
- Pep, Iu, Ton, Meritxell, Romà, Anna, Pau, Carles, Eugènia... i els alters (Escaldes-Engordany)
You can complete the set with the famous Estripagecs that you will find on the access route to the Sorteny shelter, in the parish of Ordino.
Between the 1930s and 1960s, the traditional Andorran stone buildings were replaced by granite constructions, a clear testimony to the process of economic, social and urban transformation that Andorra underwent in the mid-20th century. The availability of this rock across the country drove the proliferation of granite architecture, leaving as a legacy the following buildings in Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany, which we suggest you follow as a route:
- Edifici Xavier Maestre
- Casa Serola
- Plaça Guillemó
- Casa Isern
- Xalet casa Arajol
- Casa Felipó
- Casa Nyerro
- Casa Massip-Dolsa
- Casa Cassany / Hotel Bellavista
- Hotel Isard
Les Bons historical complex
A walk from the historic centre of Encamp to the village of Les Bons, which will let you discover what life was like in the parish by following the points of interest below:
- Start in front of the Comú d’Encamp (a contemporary building from the late 1980s)
- Hotel Rosaleda (an example of the granite architecture of the 1940s)
- Beginning of the road to the Oratory (a road which linked Encamp to Canillo and France, along which men and goods travelled)
- Les Bons Oratory (a place of worship constructed at the end of the 19th century)
- Les Bons Bridge (access point to the village of Les Bons)
- Cal Cotxa (an Andorran house from the 18th century, with large iron balconies, a symbol of wealth at the time)
- Sant Romà de les Bons (a Romanesque church from the 12th century)
- Torre dels Moros (the remains of an old military tower, which may have formed part of a walled enclosure and is believed to date back to the 16th century)
- Bath of the Moorish Queen (a water pool in the walled enclosure. Legend has it that on nights with a full moon, the Moorish queen would go there to bathe and the men of Les Bons would hide so they could watch her.)
- The Rossell and Cotxa dovecotes (typical dovecotes from the 16th and 17th centuries, where domestic pigeons were bred. They acted as a sign of wealth and power for the house that owned them.)
- Font de les Bons (old water source for animals)
- Tona lime tunnel
- Ca de Mas (one of the most important houses in Andorra from the 16th to 18th centuries)
- Placeta de les Bons and manual laundry location (one of the country’s few remaining places for manual laundry)
- Cal Toles (Andorran house, now restored)
- River promenade (ideal for taking great panoramas of the village)
- Hotel Oros (a pioneering hotel for the country, rebuilt after it was swept away by a flood in 1937)
Hover over the valley with Canillo at your feet on a walkway with a transparent floor.
Cross the Montaup Valley on one of the longest simple suspension bridges in the world.
Let time stand still as you walk on a sundial that overlooks the lakes of Tristaina.