Les to Andorra (Hotels) starts Saturday 12.00PM ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao
Sunday: Arrive Bilbao 12.45PM, travel to Les 5hrs some tolls, we use a family-owned hotel on the side of the river. We are at the hotel for 2 nights. We will arrive in time for an evening meal in the hotel.
Monday; After breakfast, we spend the morning on lush forest tracks, where we loop round and back down to Les, we then head to Bossot for lunch at a tapas bar, after lunch we head for a track that makes you feel on the top of the world or so it seems we just keep going up and up and may even run in to snow Pic de Montlude [2517 m]hopefully it will be passable as the views are quite amazing, even watching gilders flying way below us, we head back down into Les for our second evening , this time we eat at a restaurant in the town which the locals use, and there is good reason its excellent ! 5 hrs approx
Tuesday; After breakfast, grab supplies for lunch and we hit the road and into the Val D’ Aran valley, the first part of the journey takes you through what the locals call avalanche valley , where we have our drinks break at Sauth deth Pish waterfall 1,553m it is listed as one of Europe’s most dangerous roads, from here it becomes more interesting as we go higher and higher towards Col de Varrados we normally run into snow around the summit on this track at over 2000m. from here we drop down into the valley bottom towards the modern ski village of Baguergue, at this point we have ski resorts all around us and travel towards the Refuge Montgarri where we will stop for lunch. This refuge is so close to the French border and was used by people escaping from France during the war and is steeped in history. We then travel through this beautiful valley alongside the river for many miles, encountering horses and cattle plus the odd bull, from here we head towards Hotel Victor in Rialps our next hotel for 3 nights, as before if you want to have a afternoon or day off this is the place to do so, but I should say every day is a magical trek in this area. We will use the hotel restaurant this evening. 6 hrs approx
Wednesday: Hotel Victor the breakfast is brilliant, and set you up for the day, we pop down the road fuel up and get the supplies for lunch it’s going to be an amazing day! The day starts a little unusually as we head back up the valley on tarmac to the ski resort of Port de la Bonaigue why because there are 37 hairpins to the top, and the child in me says it’s got to be done, we stop at the top for a drinks break and take the scenery in! at 2072m, and there’s the next bit of good news we have to go back down again, it’s amazing how many Defenders become rally cars for a moment or two. Now we are on to the tracks high above the ski resort of Super Espot running unto snow again and cresting the Col d’Exoil, from there we cling to the side of the mountain looking out over mountains as far as the eye can see. This is rich supper pastures and cattle, and horses are everywhere, we travel all afternoon through the mountains until we finally start to drop down but not before passing through the deserted and abandon ski resort, as we drop further down you start to see road signs for flying cows and horses, I kid you not. From here we drop down to the hotel or you can pop down the road to the town of Sort for a wander round, this evening we will eat at the Pizza restaurant in the village, there are also bars/tapas in the village. 6 hrs approx
Thursday; Today after our bacon & eggs or muesli we head off again to what appears to be the top of the world the Ski resort of Port Aine, but it’s not we continue even higher through and along the pistes to the very top of the resort the views don’t get any better, no need for supplies today as we will stop at a Refuge for lunch, this is your main day and its along one you are on tracks nearly all day with little tarmac at all, we are high up looking across to Andorra, traveling through villages just wide enough to get the vehicles through, It is a stunning day and we will roll into Rialp around 6PM it’s the longest day. We normally eat at the Tapas bar in the village, but you can jump in jump out the evenings are up to you.
Friday: Rialp to Andorra via the smugglers route, hopefully the restaurant at Tor will be open, today is not a long day, we do not need to leave Rialp until around 10AM, fuel enough for 50 miles as we fill up in Andorra. To say the smugglers route into Andorra is famous is an understatement and it is for a very good reason its mind blowing the views the climb to the summit into Andorra its staggering and pictures do not do it justice, we arrive in Andorra around 1PM, check in at Hotel Pyrenees in the heart of the city, this is a major city and a culture shock from the last few days, the hotel has a underground car park which takes most 4×4’s for 10 euro’s a night well worth it. Now time to hit the duty-free shops that Andorra is famous for or chill by the pool if warm enough, in the evening we eat at the hotel or wander into town it’s up to you! 4hrs approx.
Saturday: Andorra to Santander to catch the new cruise ship Galicia 3PM sailing so we will have to leave Andorra at 5.30AM with a tank of cheap fuel! Its motorway and some tolls all the way. At best this is a 6hrs run, but we allow 7hrs for a fuel and comfort break, we must make good time the ferry will not wait for us! [Second choice we do not stay in Andorra and reduce the Saturday drive, depends a lot on the speed we can travel at]
Sunday: Time to relax on the Brittany Ferries cruise ship back home, we should arrive UK time 8.45PM