Geography, Climate, Nature
The Andorran relief is mountainous, with 65 peaks, some over 2000 m high, which makes Andorra one of the highest countries in Europe.
The highest point in the territory is the Comapedrosa peak (2,942 m) and the lowest point is where the river Runer crosses the frontier with Spain (838 m). The average altitude is 1,996 m.
The quaternary origin of the Andorran land is revealed by the routes of the main river axes in the country: the Valira del Nord, the Valira d’Orient and the Gran Valira. These rivers are joined by other tributaries, where the main towns are located.
The lakes, mainly small and round, form part of the scenery of Andorra. Andorra has more than 70 lakes, the largest of which is the Juclar, which occupies an area of 29 ha, although other well-known lakes are Tristaina and Pessons, amongst others.
The Andorran climate is of Mediterranean mountainous type, with hot summers and cold winters and considerable snowfalls. The average minimum is -2ºC and the maximum 24ºC. Snowfalls are frequent and the rain is concentrated mainly in the months of October and May. Andorran biodiversity is very rich, with more than 1,500 species of fl ora and fauna spread mainly in the four zones: Mediterranean, montane, sub Alpine and Alpine.
Of all the vegetable species, one stands out, the Poet’s Daffodil (Narcissus poeticus), the emblematic fl ower of the Principality; amongst the fauna, the two most representative animals are the river trout and the chamois, which live at the highest points.
The fauna and fl ora of Andorra vary depending on the zone. Some of the most frequent animal species we find are: the marmot, the ‘pallaresa’ lizard, the squirrel, the boar and the birds of prey such as the bearded vulture.
Just like the fauna, the species which form part of the country’s fl ora are highly varied and we can fi nd from medicinal herbs (strawberry and ilex), wild mushrooms and flowers (narcissus) to a large number of trees and bushes (hazelnut and box).
The biological wealth of Andorra justifi es its preservation, and over the years different areas have been protected such as the hunting and fi shing grounds and the nature parks.
The Parc Natural Comunal de les Valls del Comapedrosa nature park and the Vall de Sorteny nature park are two protected areas created with a double intention: on the one hand the ecosystems are preserved and on the other a rational use is made of them. This is a fi rst step towards respect of the environment and the nature of the country. The Madriu- Perafi ta-Claror valley, declared World Heritage by Unesco in 2004 for its natural and cultural wealth, is in the south of the country and covers 10% of the territory.
Given the importance of this area, it is the only valley in the country in which vehicles may not enter. These protected areas and other valleys of the country, such as the Incles Valley, of glacial origin; the Enclar Valley, part of the Anella Verda (Green Ring) route; the Pessons cirque or the Camins dels oficis (Old trades route), offer a wide range of ecotourism trails which you can do in the company of professional guides who will help you to discover our natural heritage.