This very special tour will takes us through a time tunnel to the very heart of Catalan history and culture, to places that few of the visitors to Barcelona ever see. The trip will include and combine different highly enjoyable activities, specially planned for families with children. The emphasis is on the experience and on nature rather than on driving off-road, although each day will include some such driving through breathtaking scenery.
The Pyrenees mountain range covers an area of 450 square kilometers, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Mediterranean in the east. It acts as a natural border between France and Spain. An excursion in the Pyrenees brings you face to face with alpine scenery, lakes, waterfalls and cliffs – a breathtaking backdrop to the singular cultures that developed over the years under the auspices of the isolation amid the mountains.
The various peoples living in the area were cut off from the rest of the world due to the difficulty of crossing the mountains, and developed their own folklore, customs and languages and this adds an intriguing substance to the scenery.
Having met in Barcelona in the morning, we will proceed to sign up for the vehicles after having been given a short briefing. We will set out northwards towards the Collsecabra. This region is the very heart of Catalunya and is characterized by steep cliffs, forests, isolated farms and ancient villages. We will visit the village of Rupit. Going back hundreds of years, we will wander along the picturesque winding streets. This enchanting village is still inhabited, but we will not find here the hordes of tourists who crowd the streets of Barcelona, and the contact with the locals is direct.
We will carry on, driving off-road through the forests of Collsecabra towards the Panta de Sau, a lake surrounded by tall mountains. It gives one the feeling of being at one with nature. We will end the day with dinner at the village and spend the night at a hotel in the area.
After breakfast we will advance in a north-westerly direction towards the Cadi Moixero region beyond which range lie the Cerdanya region and the high Pyrenees.
In the late morning we will come to the “Tree-Top Park” which offers a course of activities based of challenging and unifying experiences on tree-tops in an enchanted forest of outstanding beauty.
The park has an assortment of facilities which combine a variety of challenges – ladders, Tibetan bridges, omega slides, nets, swings and more, all these along a route completely above ground. This activity offers the chance for a hike in the forest with a different point of view and participants enjoy a singular experience within a natural setting.
This activity is very suitable for both individuals and groups and takes place in natural surroundings in the wild nature of the park. There are several routes suited to every age, according to difficulty: a children’s’ route, a family route and a particularly challenging route.
After this activity we will carry on driving along the ranges from which Andorra can be seen till we reach one of the highest vantage points in the Pyrenees from which we can view both the valleys spread out before us and the mountains all around.
Time and weather permitting, we will do some horseback riding.
Towards evening we will reach our hotel in the Cerdanya region.
In the morning we will climb the range leading to the Principality of Andorra and, from the height of over 2000 meters we will view the Cadi range. Then out for a short trek to visit one of the enclosed lakes.
A drive along high mountain roads will bring us to La Rabassa Pass, an old smugglers’ route which will lead us into the Principality of Andorra through the back door. Weather and time permitting, we will go up to the Black Summit at a height of almost 3000 meters.
Entering Andorra we will experience the singular excitement of the Tobotronc – a mountain sledge with the longest and most winding route in Europe. This sledge glides on an iron rail and enables everyone to go at the speed he/she feels most comfortable with and to produce the desired degree of adrenalin.
Dinner and lodging at a mountain hotel in Andorra.
After a farewell observation over Andorra we will go off-road along the ancient smugglers’ routes between Spain and Andorra used nowadays not only by tourists but also the occasional smuggler. We will arrive at observation points where we will be able to see the valleys far away beneath us and the mountains all around. We will make our way along ranges and through picturesque villages to the Aiguas Tortes National Park, one of the most beautiful and famous reserves in Spain. Once there we will transfer to the reserve vehicles which will take us up to the Amitges Bridge which is at a height of 2400 meters. According to the season (up to about mid-June) there is a chance of seeing snow and floating icebergs upon these elevated lakes.
The downwards journey will be on foot (those who prefer cab use the vehicles) to the Lake Maurici. After a short rest we will rejoin our own vehicles and drive along a breathtaking route outside the reserve and then drive along the watershed line with spectacular scenery in all directions.
Towards evening we will arrive at our hotel in the Noguera Pallaresa Valley.
Our day will begin with some rough and exciting Rafting – raging water, amazing scenery and a lot of fun – what more could be desired? This exciting and refreshing activity – professional rafting – will take place on the Noguera Pallaresa River the beauty of which is breathtaking. The experience is not only the rafting itself but the surroundings as well – the wild nature, the vegetation and the mighty cliffs.
Wet-suits, helmets and safety equipment will keep you warm and safe and the experienced professional team will ensure your safe arrival at the finish. Participation is not compulsory but is highly recommended!
After a short rest we will continue, driving through the valley and enjoying the view. We will climb off-road to a vantage point overlooking the Pyrenees, and will drive along a road that crosses the ranges. We will be enchanted by the scenery of verdant forests and green fields where bell carrying cows graze and with the odd isolated farm here and there. At this point we will bid farewell to the Pyrenees, return to the road and make our way to Barcelona which we will reach in the late hours of the evening.