Hiking route: Llac d'Engolasters

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1.9 km



Height difference

+350 m / -45 m

The Engolasters route is an interesting options for anyone who fancies an easy hike in Andorra. It's a short, linear and fairly flat route with an elevation of only 408 metres over the course of 2 km. This route is approximately 2 hours long: 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the end and 45 minutes back (the return journey is downhill). The area that it passes through belongs to the parish of Encamp. The best time of year to take this hike is from June to September. However, if the weather and terrain conditions allow it, the season may extend from May to October.

Brief description of the route

This route begins in the town of Encamp, in the homonymous parish, or more specifically, in front of the Automobile Museum, where you'll easily spot the sign that indicates the beginning of the route, which sets off towards Lake Engolasters and the Blanc river. The pathway heads southward, passing over waterways and a few roads, which should always be crossed with utmost caution. The route eventually merges with the GR-11, which is one of the long-distance trails that pass through Andorra. From here on, hikers need only follow the red and white marks.

On either side of the path you'll find some of the region's most common species of flora, particularly the dianthus hyssopifolius, commonly known as the fringed pink. You'll also find plenty of traditional Andorran buildings scattered along the itinerary, such as the Cresper “borda” (mountain cabin).

Points of interest along the Lake Engolasters route

The Lake Engolasters route passes though typical Andorran landscapes, including a natural resource which Andorrans have used both for leisure and industrial purposes. The Electricity Museum organises guided hiking tours to the Engolasters dam, which is 178 metres long and played an essential part in providing electricity to Andorra until quite recently. The dam was built in 1934 by the Fuerzas Hidroeléctricas de Andorra electricity supplier and boasts the highest spillway in the country.

At present it serves a very different purpose: not only do hiking routes pass alongside it for its historical importance, but it also provides active tourism activities in the form of an adventure park, which opens as soon as the ski season ends. This adventure park offers a wide variety of thrills, ranging from zip-lines to games of balance and all sorts of activities, mainly for children.

There are also plenty of legends behind Lake Engolasters...Legends about witches! According to the locals, there was once a village that was engulfed by the water, partly because of the boldness of the men of the village: they visited this spot at night to watch the witches bathe, naked, in the lake. To punish them, the witches turned all “voyeurs” into black cats. Luckily, the witches abandoned this area at the start of the 20th century, when the dam and the hydro-electric power plant's construction began.

You will find further details of this and other routes in the Hiking guide Trails of Andorra.

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