The Madriu-Perafita-Claror valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, after having applied in 2001. It is the only fully preserved valley in the Pyrenees. It is also considered to be a cultural heritage site, as it is a great link between man and nature.
It has a total surface area of 4,247 hectares and a distance of 12 kilometres, which means that it occupies approximately 10% of Andorra's territory and is divided between the parishes of Encamp, Andorra la Vella, Sant Julià de Lòria and Escaldes-Engordany. Moreover, the area coincides with the hydrographic source of the Madriu river. The highest point is at an altitude of 2,905 metres on the peak of La Portelleta.
It has a surface area of 4,247 ha and a distance of 12 kilometres, occupying 10% of Andorra.
The valley has more than 30 lakes of glacial origin, springs, streams, a large number of peaks, an important biological diversity with a variety of habitats, forming a landscape with great contrasts. As for its fauna, you can find reptiles (lizards and snakes), amphibians (newts, salamanders, frogs and toads), fish (trout), birds (notably the bearded vulture, golden eagle and capercaillie), mammals (mouflons, marmots, squirrels, wild boar...) and other invertebrates (insects, butterflies...).
With regard to the cultural heritage of the territory, the inhabitants of the early 20th century carried out agricultural, livestock and iron and steel-making practices, which is why you can find cabins, terraced fields, huts, mines and the iron forge. Also included in this section are the dry stone walls: a technique that has allowed these activities to be carried out with the minimum of resources and the maximum respect for the environment.
There are different hiking routes, climbing areas and via ferratas, sports such as ski mountaineering and snowshoeing, and activities such as hunting and fishing, always respecting the laws established by the country. There are also several shelters for overnight stays (guarded and unguarded). You can get more information at Andorra's tourist offices and at "El Portal de Valle", a service centre located at Carrer Prat de la Creu, 74-76, ground floor, in Andorra la Vella.
Location: We recommend starting the route on the road to La Comella and La Plana. A few metres away, on the Engolasters road, there is a car park where you can leave your car.
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