GR 7:Andorra - Fredes
This was the first signposted GR route in Spain.
Its signposting began in 1974 following a request from Le Comité National de Sentiers de Grande Randonnée (F.F.R.P.) of France to teh Federación Española de Montañismo (F.E.D.M.E.), requesting the continuation of the French GR 7 to the Strait of Gibraltar. The commission was taken up by the Catalan Federation, as Catalonia is home to the entry of this European path. The path enters the border along the road between La Seu d´Urgell and Andorra, although in the early 70s nobody could enter or leave Spain at any point that was not an official customs point.It initially follows the right-hand bank of the river Valira until entering La Seu d'Urgell. It then heads south, climbing the western spurs of the Sierra of El Cadí until reaching Tuixén, where is climbs over the Collado dels Ports, which separates the Sierra of El Cadí from that of Port de Comte. It then enters the basin of the river Cardener, passing close to its Sources before dropping down through the valley to Sant Llorenç de Morunys where it joins the path direct to Solsona, which passes the foot of the formidable plateau cut out by pickaxe around its circumference, on the peak of which is the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Lord. From Solsona it goes to the relative modern Sanctuary of El Miracle, run by the Benedict Fathers and currently the home to old-age or ill monks. The church is worth a visit, with a lovely baroque altar by the sculptor Carlos Morató (18th century). It then passes the Castle-Sanctuary of Pinós where, in front of the cemetary, the GR 171 leaves directly for Paüls. It follows the heights of the sierra to reach the very well reconstructed Castle of Boixadors. It continues south through Rubió and from the outskirts of Jorba turns south east away from Igualada to pass through the small village of Bellprat, located at the foot of what was the formidable Castle of Queralt, one of the bastion strongholds of the ancient Spanish March to fight off the Arabic armies.From here the GR 172 variant leaves east to pass Montserrat and rejoin the GR 7 in La Mussara. It crosses the river Gaià and passes Pontils, Vallespinosa and Cabra del Camp, from where it climbs the coastal mountain range to pass the pretty village of Miramar. It drops down through Lilla and crosses the river Francolí through La Riba before reaching Mont-Ral. It then follows the high part of the Sierra of La Mussara, passing the refuge of La Mussara very close to the connection with the GR 172, and then Gallicant, Arbolí and the Mountain Pass of Alforja. From here is goes to the Sanctuary of Puigcerver and before reaching the Mountain Pass of La Teixeta it passes close to the Mas de Mestres Residence. It drops down to La Argentera, passing through the cuttings of the old silver mines that gave their name to the village, before climbing to the top of the sierra to head for Colldejou and from here to Llaverai and Tivissa. It crosses the depression fo Els Burgans to Rasquera, at the foot of the Cardó Mountains, to cross the river at Benifallet, climbing again to Paüls, where it joins the GR 171 that it had left in Pinós. Here, the GR 7 has two possibilities: climb the sierra of La Espina to continue until the Refuge of Caro or take the GR 7.6 variant, a less difficult route, that passes Alfara de Carles and El Toscar to also climb up to the Refuge of Caro. From the refuge, it follows the crests of the mountain ranges of Les Ports de Beceite until passing the refuge of La Fontferrera and then entering the province of Castellón, close to El Tossal dels Tres Reis, where the border of the kingdom of Aragón, the kingdom of Valencia and the Principality fo Catalonia once stood.Dropping down slightly, the path finally reaches the small village of Fredes, where the GR 7 path of Valencia begins.
Departure point: Andorra
Arrival point: Fredes
Distance (km): 375
No. of stages: 15
La Farga de Molas (Lleida) - Anserall - La Seu d'Urgell - Bastida - Fòrnols –Tuixén - Coll de Ports - La Coma - Sant Llorenç de Morunys - Lladurs –Olius - Solsona - el Miracle - Sant. de Pinós - Sant Pere Salavinera - Rubió –Bellprat - Pontils - Vallespinosa - Cabra del Camp - Miramar - Lilla – Vilabert - La Riba - Mont-Ral - Mussara - Arbolí - Puigcerver - Coll de la Teixeta –Argentera - Colldejou - Coll de Guix - Llavería - Coll de Montal - Tivissa –Rasquera - Benifallet - Paüls - Caro - Casetes Velles - Refugi Font Ferrera (GR 8) - Fredes (Tarragona).
Variante GR 7-3:
Coll del Guix - Mola de Colldejou - Coll Roig. GR 7-8. Prenaleta - Lilla.
Railway in Sant Pere Salavinera, Vilaverd, La Riba, Argentera. Buses in La Seu d’Urgell, St. Llorenç de Morunys, Solsona, Bellprat, Cabra del Camp, Lilla, Argentera, Colldejou, Tivissa, Benifallet. Accommodation in La Seu d’Urgell, Tuixén, La Coma, St. Llorenç de Morunys, Solsona, Sanctuary of Pinós, Jorba, Pontils, Lilla, Mas Mestres, Coll-dejou, Tivissa, Benifallet, Paüls, Caro, Fredes. Guarded refuge in Can Escolà, El Tronc, Miramar, Mont-Ral, La Mussara, Puigcercer, Caro, Fontferrera. Supplies in all places where there is a possibility of accommodation, as well as Sanctuary of Pinós, Can Escolà, Cabra del Camp, Vilaverd, La Riba, Mont-Ral, Arbolí, Argentera, Rasquera.