Hi there! I’m Kim, the Abundant Traveler, and welcome to my channel. I am all about laid-back luxury, and today I’m in Andorra. I’m going to share with you my tips, ideas, and a little information about going to see the Sundial and Lake Tristana. The Tristana Lakes hike is one of the most popular in all of Andorra. It’s relatively easy, it’s a short hike, and you are rewarded with one of the most beautiful places in all of Andorra. In 2022, a 25-meter Sundial was added to one of the peaks in the area with 360-degree views; you can see all of Andorra and all the way to France.
I am headed back down the mountain to Andorra La Vela, which is the capital of Andorra, and it’s about a 40-minute drive from the capital city up to the car park where you can get the gondola and the chairlift up to these two gorgeous locations on the top of the mountain. On the way up to this gorgeous area, you are traveling up the North Valley, which, in my personal opinion, is more charming than the East Valley. You pass the main town of Ordino, which you definitely have to stop and check out, and also passed the town of El Sarat and a tiny little town named Yorks L-l-o-r-t-s, which is super charming.
Once you get up there, after about a 40-minute drive, then there are going to be three different parking lots. If you’re there early in the morning, then you’ll be able to get in the one closest to the gondola. If not, I ended up a little late this morning, and I had to park in the third parking lot, which is only about a three-minute walk up to the gondola. The gondola and the chairlift they open at 8:30 in the morning and then they close at 5:15. So you can buy a ticket; it’s 22 Euros for both the gondola and the chairlift, and you can use them one time up and one time down. Just something to know, on the way down the chairlift, the last ride down is at 4:15, and the last gondola ride is at 5:15. Yes, you can hike down if you want if it’s a little bit later, but it is quite a hike.
The main town, or the last town that you’ll see, is El Sarat, and it is a two-and-a-half-hour hike down. So, I don’t know if you want to miss the gondola. Once you get up there, just get in line and buy your 22 Euro ticket, and then there’s a restroom there and a bar, and sometimes, the restaurant is open. This morning when I was there, the restaurant wasn’t open, but the bar was. Something to note, there are not many grocery stores past Ordino, so make sure to stop at a grocery store if you don’t want to pay mountain prices for food and drinks. I did not bring enough water with me, and I was paying 250 to 3 Euros for a 500 mil water. I should have bought it for 50 cents at the grocery store this morning.
Now that you have your gondola ticket, it’s about 15 minutes up the gondola, and it’s a gorgeous, gorgeous ride. What an incredible ski resort in the winter, of course. Once you get to the top of the gondola, you have one restaurant with restrooms. You also have another snack bar which has some delicious hamburgers and brats.
That type of thing also includes a formal sit-down restaurant, more restrooms, and more water. However, it is also very expensive. What I loved when I got there this morning was a herd of mamas and baby horses that were right there at the gauntlet. They were gorgeous, and one of the horses actually walked up to the sitting area where people were drinking and having coffees, just like a lap dog. I didn’t spend much time here, just used the facilities and grabbed a water, then headed up the chairlift, which is a 20-minute ride to the top where you can go see the Sundial.
Once you get off the chairlift, it’s another 15-minute walk straight uphill to get to the Sundial. Once you are up there, everybody congregates in one small area, so there are a lot of people. However, it is a really cool experience to see this incredible Sundial that the critique of Endora has created as a tourist attraction. The Sundial is 25 meters in diameter with a 27-meter Mast, and it keeps perfect time at an angle of 42.55 degrees. They chose a sundial and erected it here because this particular peak is known as Solar Mountain.
I spent about 30-45 minutes up at the Sundial and decided to have my lunch underneath it over to the ledge where you can see a couple of the beautiful lakes. I do suggest stopping at the grocery store on the way up and getting snacks, at least a few things like nuts, bread, cheese, and maybe some salami or Jamon, so you have something to snack on when you’re up there because you are hiking at altitude and you actually get hungrier than you think you’re going to be.
Tristana Lake is supposed to be one of the easiest hikes in all of Andorra, but I do recommend wearing good sturdy shoes like hiking boots. If you’re a little unstable, then I recommend you bring your walking sticks as well. As far as clothes are concerned, I’m wearing a wicking shirt and long pants, but it would have been great to have the long pair with a zipper on them. I do recommend bringing a light jacket, possibly a windbreaker. It did get windy at the top of the Sundial, and it was a little cool on the chairlift.
In the middle of summer, a windbreaker would be perfect, and definitely, I recommend stopping at the delicious restaurant if you want. However, I just pack my lunch every time I go hiking. These are just a few tips about what to bring, what to wear, and what to pack in with you in your backpack. If you’re interested in what I put in my backpack for day trips, make sure to go to the description below and download the free guide.
It is everything I put in my day pack when I go hiking. So Tristana Lake is supposed to be one of the easiest hikes in all of Andorra, but I do recommend wearing good sturdy shoes. I wore tennis shoes and they wear a little wishy-washy. I wish I would have had on better shoes, hiking boots not boots but hiking shoes that would have been great. If you’re a little unstable, then I recommend you bring your walking sticks as well. I have some but I did not need those today.
As far as clothes are concerned, I’m wearing a wicking shirt and then I wore long pants, but it would have been great to have the long pairs with a zipper on them. I do recommend bringing a light jacket, possibly a windbreaker. It did get windy at the top of the Sundial and it was a little cool on the chair lift. It was cold and then hot and then cold and then hot. So a windbreaker would be perfect in the middle of the summer.
Definitely, definitely, I recommend that you bring some good sunscreen. I got burned up there today so it’s extremely important. Bring enough sunscreen for your face and your arms and your legs. As far as snacks are concerned, I always recommend bringing a little protein, a little fat, and a little bit of carb. So I had some delicious gluten-free bread from zero percent gluten in indoor lavella. I had some hamon, and then I also had some nuts, and it was a perfect combination.
I also got a little bit of butter that I put on my bread, so I had some extra fat just to give me a little more energy that wasn’t quite so curvy. The views are so spectacular from the chair lift.
It was a great ride back down and unless you’re a big hiker I do recommend taking the Cherry lift back down. Once I got back down, I had a little snack at the snack bar, got some more water, and then I headed up to see the Lakes.
The hike up to Tristana Lake was not very long, it was about 20 minutes but it felt like it was straight up. But I have to say, you are so rewarded once you get up there. There are two gorgeous, gorgeous Lakes. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to spend up there and walk around both of them, but if you can take all day up there and go up to those Lakes, go swimming, at least dip your toes in those icy lakes, and just enjoy the view. Sit and relax, get in some sun, just enjoy your time there. It was so, so gorgeous.
The Tristana Lakes hike is 4.4 kilometers and it is an out and back hike. It is about 30 minutes up and 30 minutes down with 201 meters of ascent. It is constantly up and down, everyone, it is quite a hike up. The maximum altitude is 2330 meters and you can see all three Lakes. Plan on spending about three hours or a little bit more on this hike.
I got up there a little late today, so I didn’t get to spend as much time at the Lakes as I wanted to. I really wish I would have had probably an hour at each leg, and then it’s about a half an hour walk in between the two, so I wish that I had two and a half to three hours at the Lakes, but alas, I didn’t get as much time as I wanted to.
One of the best parts about the Lakes is, even though there are a lot of people up there, the lakes are big and so everybody is spread out. It’s not like at the Sundial where everybody was in one tiny little location.
It was about an 80-25 minute walk back down to the one restaurant, and then I went ahead and I took the gondola which was another 15 minutes, and then it was a five-minute walk back to the car park. So all in all, it was probably from the top of the lakes to my car, let’s say 30-45-50 about an hour. It took me about an hour to get all the way back, and then it’s a 45-minute drive back to Endor lavella.
I hope that you found this video valuable, and I hope that you go see indoor very, very soon. I’m Kim the Abundant traveler, and I will see you on some amazing Mountain Adventure very, very soon. Bye, y’all. Thanks for watching.
For a short hike up to the Sundial, I’ve taken a car, a gondola, a chairlift, and now I’m on my own two feet.