Orri de la Coma del Forat
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This old orri, which was rebuilt in the mid-20th century, is a small circular or oval building, finished off with a cone-shaped stone roof and surrounded by walls, and is where the shepherds herded their sheep for milking. It is situated in a glacial cirque in Arcalís, set in a rocky mountain landscape at 2,396 m above sea level. The buildings, consisting of traditional cabins, enclosures and orris built from dry stone, are a valuable example of rural life centred on pasture and livestock in a natural environment.
In addition, the wet zones in the Coma del Forat important in terms of biodiversity, and are home to a wide variety of animal and plant life, such as common frogs and newts.
To get there, drive up to the Coma service area at the Ordino Arcalís resort (end of the CS-380 road). Whether you walk to the Orri de la Coma del Forat that runs up to Port del Rat pass, from where you can see the mouth of the tunnel can be seen, or across the fields, you’ll get a great idea of the beauty of the area.
In the summer months, road access to Coma del Forat is closed to traffic during the day, and only open to cyclists wanting to reach the top, the Port d’Arcalís mountain pass. If you prefer not to cycle or walk up, the cable car is the only way to reach the Coma del Forat.
Dry-stone structures are an example of the use of locally available natural resources, stone and wood; this has imbued many natural spaces in Andorra and the Pyrenees with a unique personality, both at the bottom and the top of the valleys, such as in the Orri de la Coma del Forat.
Following this ancient construction method, in Encamp you can walk the route of the orris along three different trails and visit up to eight orris and a variety other annex buildings.
Dry-stone construction is also a feature of a high-quality cultural facility, the Cal Pal educational space, housed in the La Cortinada (Ordino), a centre for reflection and debate on the identity, origins and natural and cultural heritage of the country, which carries out important work in this field. Cal Pal has published a book on dry stone and also offers courses and guided walks. You can find more information on the Dry Stone activities and project via this link.
Whatever time of year you decided to walk one of the signed routes, we recommend you always take appropriate equipment. And only take the routes over 1,700 from mid June to the end of September.