HIKING: PRATS TO THE SANCTUARY OF MERITXELL

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Distance

3,79 km

Level

Easy

Height difference

+0 m / -181 m

The trail from Prats to Meritxell is an easy route, perfect for a family hike. It is 3.79 km long with very little ascent or descent.

This route can be completed at a relaxed pace in just over 40 minutes. All along the trail, there are water fountains and rest areas. The route connects the Romanesque Sant Miquel de Prats Church, the start point, and the Sanctuary of Meritxell, patron saint of Andorra, at the other end of the trail.

The itinerary begins in the village of Canillo, specifically at the Santa Creu Chapel (42º33.922N–001º35.972E), although you can also start directly in Prats.

The route passes through a meadow parallel to the road and carries on along the path signalled by red markers until you arrive at a large field. On your way, you will come across the Cross of the 7 Arms before arriving at the village of Prats.

Upon leaving Prats, passing the Romanesque Sant Miquel Church, you will see 2 paths: the left one will take you to Roc de le Bruixes, a set of prehistoric engravings that date from the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages and were discovered in 1962. However, to get to Meritxell, you must follow the right-hand path: the old Camí Ral trail.

As you progress along the path, you will glimpse the sanctuary and the Meritxell wayside cross. This sixteenth-century cross is also known as the Cross of Charlemagne and was used as a reference point for all the pilgrims who travelled to the sanctuary.

Following the trail, you will find two chapels, which indicate that you have reached the Sanctuary of Meritxell and the end of the route.  The return route is via the same trail.

Find more details on this and other routes in the Andorran Trails Hiking Guide.

For your safety, we recommend that all routes above an altitude of 1,700 metres be followed only between the end of June and late September. However, if the weather and terrain conditions allow it, the season may extend from May to October.

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The 3-star Hotel l’Ermita is a family hotel in natural surroundings in the little village of Meritxell.

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The Aina Rural House is in the outskirts of Canillo on the way to El Tarter and is open both to groups and individuals. 

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