The high peaks of the Spanish Pyrenees
Mountain tracks are the norm for this tour. The route takes you to places you’d normally never get to; places you didn’t realise even existed in Europe. The variation in the landscapes we travel through is striking. No day is the same. We drive high up a mountain until over 2400 meters where it is crisply cold, barren and rocky. We descend into a lush green valley, with meadows, cows, sheep and have lunch in the shade because in the sun it is too warm.
Our route starts in Vielha. We drive up the Varrados Pass first on tarmac, on gravel as the ascent gets serious and down to Bagergue while we enjoy fantastic views over the mountains and valley. In the following days we drive via Espot to Rialp and have a number of extraordinary round trips from there. On the final day we go from Alins over the famous Smuggler’s Route on a mud track to Andorra, where a straight line marks the border. The transition of mud to tarmac symbolises the transition from a remote part of Spain to rich Andorra. The mountains are breathtaking, the views stunning and different every day.
Few people live here. In the village of Tirvia there is one bar, often closed. We pass by the Chapel of Sta. Magdalena, a perfect spot for lunch. We drive on over rocky mountain tracks traversing areas where little grows. Then, suddenly, we arrive in green, cultivated valleys with meadows, cows and sheep. Several time we pass the 2,400 meter mark. Whatever the time of year, you enjoy the fresh mountain are and the silence of nature.
The dates are the days on which we travel. We get together in Vielha in the afternoon of the day before our departure, allowing us an early start the next day. We end in Andorra in the afternoon of our last day, thus giving us a total of six full days of travelling.
No special preparation of you vehicle is necessary. Just make sure it’s in good overall condition and that you have all-terrain tyres with plenty of tread left. You will get a comprehensive information package well in advance of the start of the journey.
You drive your own 4×4 vehicle. If you do not have your own vehicle, contact us for a rental Landrover Defender.
The journey is approximately 450 km long, of which about 75% is on tracks. These are not difficult or technically challenging, though they are interesting enough as a driving experience. A 4×4 with good ground clearance makes life easier, as does a low range gear box. These are not strictly necessary: we have had clients in a Jeep Renegade Trailhawk and a Landrover Freelander 2 who completed the tour with careful driving without problems.
The time schedule is as follows:
- 27 June: everyone gets together in the hotel in Vielha.
- 28 June: first day of the trip.
- 2 July: final day of the trip, which ends in the afternoon.
If you wish to book the night of the 2nd of July in a hotel, we can do that for you at cost price.
Overview of the route:
- Six overnight stays during the trip in hotels, including breakfast
- Welcome and farewell dinners
- Six days of travel
- Researched itinerary
- Tour description
- Support car and two guides
- Hand held radio in car
- Any other meals
- Overnight stays outside trip dates
More information or booking
This offer is covered by the STO Garant guarantee. You can find the conditions for this guarantee scheme on STO Garant’s website (www.sto-garant.nl/en/downloads).