Freedom Trail - The Andorran Escape - Passeurs, fugatives and spies
Andorra played a crucial role in the Spanish civil war and the second world war both through its location and irrelative neutrality. Claude Benet documented in his book several escape routes crossing into Andorra via the port de Dret, col de juclar and port d'Incles, Sigeuer, Rat and Arinsal. Routes lead to either the spa town of Escaldes or to the now known famous ski resort of Soldeu.
This itinerary takes us from Auzat in France over the boarder into Andorra via the spectacular soulcem valley and Port de Rat. Continuing from El Serrat to Escaldes where two escape routes converged we then head on into Spain before heading finishing our walk in Andorra. Sgt Owens spent most of his evasion time with his commander Lt Olof Ballinger in and around Orne, Normandy. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, S/Sgt Francis E Owens lost his life at Port del Rat, Andorra on or about 25 Oct 1943.
Duration: 5 days trekking, 7 days including arrival and departure
Dates: Please enquire or see our new Freedomm Trail site on https://freedomtrailtreks.com/
Accommodation: During the trek we stay in a mixture of 2 * hotels or rustic gites with a pool, mountain refuge and one night of supported wild camp. If you would like to chose a luxuary start and finish 3 or 4* hotel we can create a bespoke itinerary for you to make sure your trek needs are met!
What's included: Accommodation and food as specified in the programme; transport to and from Toulouse Blagnac on a single timed transfer per group; local transport as per the itinerary; and guiding by an International Mountain leader 1:10 maximum. A visit to a spa and opportunity to shop in Andorra.
What's not included: Flights; insurance; mountain snacks; phone calls; or any additional transport or accomodation needed if you have to leave the group for a medical or fitness reason
Group Bookings & minimum numbers: If you have a minimum of 4 people we are happy to offer the trip on dates suitable to you. Guide ratio is maximum 1:10 so larger groups can be catered for if you would like to bring more people. We do also provide trips for large tour operators.
Fitness Level Needed: A challenging trip for those who can walk easily for 5-8 hours per day in the mountains.
Equipment: A full equipment list will be provided on booking. You will need: waterproofs; walking boots; a sleeping bag (carried for only half a day); trekking poles; and rucksack.
Day 1 Arrivals
Arrival Toulouse Blagnac and transfer to attractive Gite accomodation with pool in Ussat les Bains or a 2* Hotel
Day 2 Trek from Auzat to the Orris de Carla (an ancient settlement from the 13th century)
After a morning visit to the Centre of Interpretation we start walking from Auzat and ascend up the valley along a beautiful stream with plunge pools via Monicou and the Soulcem lake to the Orris of Carla (supported night camp.), 6hrs 30 mins
Day 3 Orris de Carla - El Serrat via Port de Rat
From the orris of carla we meander up a spectacular valley heading for the port de rat where we make our crossing into Andorra to El Serrat. Sgt Owens spent most of his evasion time with his commander Lt Olof Ballinger in and around Orne, Normandy. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, S/Sgt Francis E Owens lost his life at Port del Rat, Andorra on or about 25 Oct 1943. We will cross it in summer conditions.
(14km) +893m, 5hrs 30 mins
Day 4 El Serrat - Escaldes
From El Serrat we walk predominantly downhill to Ordino, 3hrs 30mins, and then across to Prats 3hrs 30 minutes.19km. 2* Hotel accomodation
Day 5 Prats - Escaldes and free afternoon
From Prats we head for the Estany de Endoglasters and then have a free afternoon in Escaldes. 2* Hotel accomodation.
Day 6 Escaldes - Refuge dels Estanys de la Pera - Andorra de Vella
From here we move up to the porte de Perefita and make our escape into Spain visiting the Refuge dels Estanys de la Pera before returning back to Andorra via the refuge de Claror and the valley and capital Andorra le Vella. We have a celebratory meal here and there will be a chance to shop before returning to France. Hotel or gite accomodation.
Day 7 Morning transfer to Toulouse Blagnac airport and departures