Andorra: Hike, Bike & Raft

Trip Code: AAXS

Why we love it

Enjoy a thrilling bike ride down some of the best mountains trails in Andorra, including the historic Iron Route. Wild evergreen slopes and white peaks offer a spectacular backdrop, Hold on tight for some exhilarating white-water rafting through the Pyrenees, under the supervision of highly experienced guides, Explore the quaint town of Soldeu, based at an impressive elevation of 1,710 metres above sea level, Cycle along the scenic trails of Port de Cabus, the mountain pass on the Pyrenees Andorran-Spanish border, Get the blood pumping, as you zip-line between the trees and over some rope obstacles in the beautiful set up of Cortals Valley., Trek through the stunning Siscaro reserve, keeping an eye out for native flora and fauna along the way, Practice you language skills. Most people in Andorra speak Catalan, Spanish and French, but if you can't remember your fromage from your queso or your chapeaux from your sombreros, don’t worry, English is widely spoken om Andorra, By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

Is this trip right for me?

This is an active trip packed with activities such as cycling, white-water rafting, zip-lining and trekking. To fully enjoy it, you'll need a good state of health and fitness. To participate in the rafting experience, you'll need to be a confident swimmer.

The trip involves some early starts and long days, because the itinerary is packed with lots of exciting activities.

Soldeu, our base for this trip, is located in a rural area in Andorra's high mountains. Transferring to Soldeu from the closest international airports can take up to five hours, but the stunning scenery will help pass the time.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. DAY 1: A complimentary group arrival transfer from Toulouse airport is available on this trip for all flights landing before 11:30am. A transfer guide will meet you in Hall D international arrivals with the clipboard sign so be sure to look out for it. The group transfer departs the airport at the latest by 12:30pm.
DAY 8: A complimentary group departure transfer is also included back to the Toulouse Airport. The transfer arrives at the airport around 9am.
Both transfers must be booked in advance! Please provide your flight details to Intrepid or your travel agent at the time of booking so they can be added to your booking. If you simply turn up at the airport for the transfer without notifying Intrepid, we cannot guarantee that space will be available. In such case, you may need to take an taxi at your own expense, a 3 hour drive from Toulouse.
3. The trip is graded as active and requires no previous experience although an ability to cycle is essential for the mountain biking. Days of mountain biking, walking and rafting can be a rigorous test of stamina, but with full vehicle support we believe anyone in good health should be capable of participating. The difficulty of the walks and rides will depend on the ability of the group and will be adjusted accordingly. PLEASE NOTE, all the activities will take place in mountainous terrain where weather is rather temperamental. Some adjustments to the walks or cycling routes may be done on the day, depending on the weather forecast, and will depend on our experienced leader’s good judgement.
4. Most people buy packed lunches; you might find a sealable plastic box useful for storing it in your daypack. Although not essential, gloves for cycling make it more comfortable - especially if you grip hard. Wetsuits provided for rafting come with booties. Shoes are not provided for biking, so please bring comfortable shoes suitable for cycling.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, swimming suit, waterproof pouch/bag for phone, hiking shoes and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your group leader or local representative will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you., What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. As this is a centre based trip, once you check in to your hotel you will not need to pack again until the end of the trip. In that respect, suitcase with wheels may be an option too, especially if you are taking a group transfer from and to the airport.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

MAIN LUGGAGE

What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.

You need to bring your main piece of luggage as well as a small to medium backpack for day activities (20-25 litres). One with waist strap would be most comfortable for walking around Pessons Lakes, Incles Valley and cycling the Iron Route.

ESSENTIALS

- Day pack: for carrying essentials during activities
- Lightweight clothing: A mixture covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers is recommended. Your activities will take place in the mountains where weather may change quickly. It is best to check the weather and seasonal information before travelling. Lightweight, comfortable and quick drying clothes for the activities are best. Laundry facilities may not be available on every day basis, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes.
- Warm jacket/fleece
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Hat and gloves
- Hiking boots with a good grip and ankle support that are comfortable to walk for an entire day are recommended for trekking, and closed toe shoes are required for cycling activities
- Sandals/flip flops/shoes: for white water rafting you will need footwear that can get wet. Sandals with straps or shoes which are not likely to fall off are preferable
- Cycling gloves will make cycling more comfortable but also come handy for other activities such zip-wiring and water rafting.
- Water bottle: you will need water during activities and it’s best to avoid buying unnecessary plastic. Tap water is drinkable in Andorra
- Lunch box: instead of using plastic bags please bring re-usable box for packed lunch
- Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Toiletries

RECOMMENDED

- Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, antihistamine tablets and any personal medication you may need
- Insect repellent
- Camera with spare batteries/power bank: You will have access to power to recharge your electrical items daily
- Electrical adapter plug
- Travel wipes/hand sanitizer
- Swimwear

OPTIONAL

- Torch/flashlight/headtorch
- Small towel
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- A good book, a journal and music player

VALUABLES

Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. It’s a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. It’s also recommended to bring a copy of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list.

WATER BOTTLE

Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

Physical rating

4

You’re in for an active trip! Whilst previous experience isn’t essential for getting involved, a good level of fitness will really help you get the most out of this tour. There are certain activities it’s not possible to skip. If you can imagine yourself hiking for two days on the trot or canoeing for a couple of days and setting up camp on the shore; this is the adventure for you.

If you’re already a regular exerciser, it might be an idea to up your game a little. Run those extra laps, cycle the extra mile or swim a few more lengths to make sure you’re on top form. If you’re not exercising so regularly (we’re talking 2-3 times a week here), it’s important to start in the weeks leading up to your departure. Your best bet would be to tackle trip-related activities (yes, that’s cycling and hiking), but anything cardio based will make a huge difference (swimming, running or rowing). Add it to your routine now and you’ll be ready to go in no time.

Joining your group

Hotel Roc de Sant Miquel, Carretera General, Soldeu, ANDORRA, Phone: +376 346791

Hotel Roc is located in heart of the Pyrenees Mountains. The building is a charming stone chalet with a modern and warm feel. The hotel has 12 rooms offering triple and family rooms. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, telephone, TV, and tea & coffee making facilities. The hotel has it's own restaurant and bar. There is also WiFi access available throughout the hotel.

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

COMPLIMENTARY TRANSFERS:
This trip includes complimentary group transfers. If you wish to travel on these transfers, please speak to your booking agent as this will need to be organised in advance. The transfers only operate at certain times of the day so you will need to book your flights accordingly. See below for more details.

DAY 1: A complimentary group arrival transfer from Toulouse airport is available on this trip for all flights landing before 11:30am. A transfer guide will meet you in Hall D international arrivals with the clipboard sign so be sure to look out for it. The group transfer departs the airport at the latest by 12:30pm.

DAY 8: A complimentary group departure transfer is also included back to the Toulouse Airport. The transfer arrives at the airport around 9am.

Please provide your flight details to Intrepid or your travel agent at the time of booking so they can be added to your booking.

If you arriving a few days prior the start of the trip, the most convenient way to reach Soldeu is to travel by public bus from either Toulouse or Barcelona airports. Transfers are provided by Novatel and stop directly in front of Hotel Roc de Sant Miquel in Soldeu. For more information on timetables please visit https://www.andorrabybus.com/en.

If you have any questions in regards to your transfers, or are aware of any delays in your flights, please contact our local operator on 00376 346791.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Roc de Sant Miquel, Carretera General, Soldeu, ANDORRA, Phone: +376 346791

Hotel Roc is located in heart of the Pyrenees Mountains. The building is a charming stone chalet with a modern and warm feel. The hotel has 12 rooms offering triple and family rooms. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, telephone, TV, and tea & coffee making facilities. The hotel has it's own restaurant and bar. There is also WiFi access available throughout the hotel.

Alternate Finish Point


Intrepid offers a complimentary group transfer back to Toulouse airport.
If you wish to travel on this transfer, please ensure your transfer is book in advance, please speak to your sales consultant for timings or check the Important Notes section of this Trip Notes.

You can travel by public bus to both Toulouse and Barcelona airports. For more information on timetables please visit http://www.andorrabybus.com/en/1/travel-andorra-bus

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 7

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 4

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

This centre based trip have all the breakfast and most of the dinners included in the cost of the trip, however, you will have some flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, on those days where meals are not included. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C/104°F), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

SHOULDER SEASON
In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In the case of genuine crisis or emergency please call our partner High Trax on their 24 hour emergency number
Tel: 00376 346791

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +00376 346791

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

The Hotel Roc de St Miquel is a small and friendly, family run chalet hotel. The Roc has a total of 12 rooms with a range of singles, doubles, twins and family rooms. It offers clean and comfortable rooms that all have en-suite facilities, fresh linen, a daily maid service, telephone, television and tea & coffee making facilities. The restaurant caters all diets with a wide range of tasty menus. Breakfast is a buffet continental style with some hot options also available. The bar lounge is the perfect place to relax after an active outdoor day.

Transportation

On this trip we are travelling in our own private minibus, as this allows us to reach some more off the beaten track destinations and give us flexibility which would not be possible by public transport. Please note that traveling is not particularly long, but you will experience some rough stretches on gravelly and windy roads. On some days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time for included activities.