Cool off with a mountaintop dive! / Diving Andorra
Grandvalira Soldeu golf course is the highest in Europe
At just 181 square miles in area, the Principality of Andorra is the sixth smallest country in Europe. But with everything so close at hand, it's packed with possibilities for activity-intense getaways. A single day offers the chance for a wide variety of adrenaline-fuelled enjoyment from morning till night.
9 am. Start the day with a hike
The Grandvalira resort is set in the north of Andorra, on the border with France, amid the splendid scenery of the Pyrenees, an ideal place for hiking. A trek up to Lake Juclar, the largest lake in the Principality, will take a couple of hours and terminates at a picnic area which is a perfect spot to take a short break. The climb affords wonderful views out over the Incles valley.
12 noon. Pyrenean diving
What better way to cool off after the mountain hike than some mountaintop diving! Although it sounds strange at first, diving isn't simply a sea sport, and the lakes of Vall d'Orient are an ideal location. Not only is the scenery unbeatable, but the lakes range in depth from around 15 to 90 metres, making them suitable for both beginners and experts. Within Grandvalira's Canillo Family Park - a huge complex with any number of activities for all the family – Lake Forn, at a height of 2,000 metres is one of the most popular diving locations.
2 pm. Savour the moment
After the exertions of the morning, why not enjoy a traditional mountain meal of barbecued meats, potatoes and escalivada – aubergines, peppers, tomatoes and onions roasted in olive oil over embers – in a mountainside cabin in the Vall d'Orient.
4 pm. An afternoon of golf and relaxation
At two and a half thousand metres above sea level, the Grandvalira Soldeu golf course is the highest in Europe and is reached by eight-seater cable cars. Equipment can be hired and there is a driving range, as well as a practice area for beginners to get to grips with the secrets of the great game of golf. The nearby Sport Wellness spa, set at the foot of the golf course, is a veritable island of relaxation and wellbeing. The exquisitely decorated, five-thousand-square-metre facility is spread over five floors and, in addition to a wide variety of massage and hydrotherapy treatments, offers innovative 'a la carte' beauty treatments.
9 pm. Winding down
Whether you've spent your day in trekking, diving, golf and spa, or simply taken advantage of Andorra's famous bargain shopping experience, there's no better way to wind down in the evening than a candle-lit dinner at the Grau Roig Hotel Marmita restaurant. The speciality lobster risotto is best accompanied by fine white wine and convivial conversation.