Hiking with children in Andorra
Introducing children to hiking is a great idea, since being surrounded by nature is hugely beneficial for them. They’ll get to breathe in pure fresh air whilst also getting some good exercise. Andorra makes it easy for you, with thousands of options for young and old alike to enjoy a full day in nature.
Walking doesn’t have to be boring! We have lots of routes where kids can develop their skills and learn while having a great time. Whether it’s looking for a Tamarro or learning about mushrooms, tracking and native species, or even letting their imagination run wild with legends about witches, these trails are perfect for all ages.
Below, we give you an idea of some of the easiest, most fun and most enjoyable itineraries that we have in mind for you. There are also many, many more to choose from. Read on to discover the best options for kids who are just getting started and for those who have a bit more experience.
Macarulla: little magic trails
These educational routes are split into four trails in different parishes across the country. Along the way, children will learn as they come into close contact with nature. ‘The Menairons Forest’ – In this fantasy world in La Massana, kids can discover the habits and ways of life of the mystical little beings of the forest. ‘Where are the Mushrooms?’ – On this Canillo route, children will discover everything about the world of the most common mushrooms and fungi in Andorra. ‘Quela the Witch’s Potion’ – Located in Escaldes-Engordany, this route touches on legends and beliefs about the witches of times gone by in the Principality. Finally, ‘Tracks and Prints’ – This route in Encamp teaches children to recognise the footprints and tracks left by some of the animals that inhabit Andorra’s forests.
Looking for Tamarros
Tamarros are tiny little beings that move almost imperceptibly through Andorra’s mountains. They are in charge of protecting and caring for the nature and forests of Andorra, and are in a constant struggle against Brutícia, a troll that pollutes nature and destroys everything in her path. In order to complete their mission and defeat the fearsome Brutícia, the Tamarros enter our world through magical portals, which you will find hidden throughout the forests of the Principality. To activate the mechanism that opens them, each participant needs to leave a round stone in each portal. On these routes, children will have fun exploring our forests and looking for the magical portals. It’s a very enjoyable and rewarding way to spend time as a family. With Tamarros, you have guaranteed fun for several days, as there are seven portals, one per parish.
“We Are Mountains” Moments
This route, which forms part of the “Moments” wellness walks, is specifically designed to be enjoyed with the family. The activity invites young and old alike to discover values and emotions, while exploring a beautiful open space in a natural setting. The location where this experience takes place is Rialb Valley in Ordino, adjacent to Sorteny Valley Natural Park. The route starts at an easily accessible point in the centre of the valley and is designed to act as an orienteering course. This means you will have to find seven locations in the surrounding area that have been named after some of the parish’s most iconic peaks. Each peak or marker is positioned just a short distance from the next and enables you to explore a positive value or emotion, such as empathy or gratitude. “We Are Mountains” is an excellent route to enjoy with children aged between six and 12, and forms part of the “Moments” wellness walks. It is a paid activity and can only be booked through Ordino Tourist Office and the Sorteny information cabin (in summer).
Magical Sant Julià
This family route is of moderate difficulty and explores one of Andorra’s best-known legends: the White Lady of Auvinyà. According to the legend, the White Lady was a woman with magical powers who used to keep watch over the Spanish border from the Roc de la Senyoreta. This route follows the trail of the same name and comprises an interactive, semi-circular circuit that takes around three hours to complete. There are ten stops along the route where you can discover the legend through games and a varied cast of characters, who will reveal the secrets and mysteries behind this remarkable story. The route includes a visit to the Roc de la Senyoreta and offers a unique opportunity to explore the natural surroundings of Sant Julià de Lòria. Due to the nature of the trail, the route is only recommended for children aged seven and over. The walk is complemented by a free workbook filled with activities and games, which you can obtain from Sant Julià de Lòria Tourist Office.
Bosc Viu: a forest full of life
Do you know the tradition of the Christmas Tió log? In the Esquella Forest, you can find out all about the tradition as a family. Once you’re there, you’ll also be able to see how it comes to life. With trees that shake hands, trees with blankets, wooden sculptures with human shapes and even faces drawn on several trunks, this forest is a unique place that will delight young and old alike. Delve into this magical forest and learn the true story of the famous Christmas Tió log through protecting and respecting nature. This route can be done either in 10 minutes if you start at the Coll de Ordino road or in an hour if you enter through the Segudet forest. Ordino Living Forest awaits your visit.
Learning on the Iron Route
This route takes us to Ordino. It’s known for being one of the best trails to do with children, teaching them about the importance of the iron industry in Andorra. The Iron Route is full of surprises. Not only will you find numerous sculptures of ‘The Iron Men’ along the way, but you’ll also discover the fantastic world of metallurgy: from its prospecting and extraction in the Llorts mine – one of the country’s preserved mines – through the transformation of the mineral into metal at Rosell Forge, the last forge that was in operation in Andorra. There, you can attend a demonstration on how iron was worked. The a route is packed with fun details and knowledge, suitable for all audiences!
If you’re looking for a walk to do with children who are a bit more advanced, this is the one for you: a 4.4 km circular route that passes by all three Tristaina lakes. Classified as a moderate level route, it’s relatively easy to the first lake, but then the trail becomes slightly more complicated going up to the second and third lakes. That’s why it’s recommended for kids who are used to hiking in the mountains. The Tristaina Lakes route is located in Ordino parish, which has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2020. Along the route, you’ll witness the splendour of nature, with species typical of alpine habitats. Depending on the time of the year, you might also see horses grazing freely.
Camí de les Pardines and Lake Engolasters
Camí de les Pardines is a very wide and flat trail that starts in Encamp parish. It sets off from the borda mountain lodge of the same name. With a distance of just over 3 km, it takes you past small botanical gardens with plants from the Pyrenees. You’ll go through a tunnel, over a bridge and see a waterfall. As a finishing touch, the route ends at the beautiful Lake Engolasters, one of the greatest tourist attractions in Andorra. When you get to the lake, you can also do the Hydroelectric Trail, which reveals the history of electricity production in Andorra. If you’re looking for some extra fun, a few metres away is Bosc Aventura, an adventure park with aerial circuits and zip wires that will put your skills to the test.
Discovering the Incles valley
Aside from fantasy worlds and magical beings, there are also some very accessible routes to do with children, such as those found in the unique Incles valley. Here, you not only enjoy a fun walk, but you’ll also visit one of the country’s most beautiful and iconic valleys. You can take the route through the valley or follow one of the two educational trails especially created for children, ‘Incles Valley in Your Rucksack’ and ‘Buscal’s’. On the ‘Incles Valley in Your Rucksack’ route, children will learn about the nature that surrounds them through an educational guidebook/notebook. With ‘Buscal’s’, you can follow up to six different trails on which you’ll look for signs that are the same colour as the chosen trail and number, noting them down in the guidebook. At the end, you can go to the tourist information office to collect a little reward!
Rec de l’Obac and Rec del Solà
These mountain trails around the capital are easily accessible and perfect to do as a family. With a distance of around 2 km, the Rec de l’Obac route is well-shaded, so it is recommended for spring and summer. On the other hand, the Rec del Solà route is very sunny, making it pleasant for any time of the year. Both routes have benches to sit comfortably and take in the views, as well as some fountains. The spectacular views over the capital Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany are definitely one of the biggest draws of these routes. According to regulations, these trails are recommended starting in early summer.
Toll Bullidor Trail: a staircase to the water
This trail is located in Canillo parish, near the Our Lady of Meritxell Sanctuary Basilica. The walk goes through a wooded environment that is perfectly signposted with a lookout point to enjoy the panoramic view. The route continues, always with the sound of the river in the background, to a spiral staircase that leads up to the lookout point, where there is a view of the waterfall that empties into the pool that Toll Bullidor is named for. This short walk is great for families as it’s just over 800 metres in total and in a natural setting easily accessible by car.
Camí de les Abellettes
Located in Pas de la Casa, the Camí de les Abelletes is an ideal route to do as a family. The route begins at the base of the Coll dels Isards chairlift, in the ski resort area, continuing along the river bank on the forest trail that ends at Lake Abelletes, well-known by fishermen for its abundance of trout. Interestingly, the lake is partly in France and partly in Andorra. In terms of difficulty and duration, this is a short walk (under 1 km) with a gentle incline, so you can do it in one hour. Because it’s so easy to get to from the centre of Pas de la Casa, it’s a perfect option for summer.
With these ten great options, Andorra has many ways to delve into the fabulous world of hiking. You can find out more about these and many other ideal routes for the whole family at this link.