The Orri trail of Encamp

The three Orri trail routes
The eight orris on the Orri Trail

Orris are small buildings, in the high mountain, used in the past by shepherds over the summer months. They were seasonal settlements, usually consisting of a jut, milking pen, sheepfold, and other smaller structures such as shelters and larders. Here, they made Orri cheese from sheep’s milk, an important means of barter in old financial and tax transactions.

Archaeological digs have unveiled how these buildings evolved. The complexes, which date back to medieval times, underwent transformations in the modern and contemporary periods, alongside economic and legal changes in livestock farming. Research has also uncovered important prehistoric and Roman remains at some of the orris, highlighting their significance in Andorran history.

Orris are an essential component of the mountain landscape and a fundamental part of Andorra’s economic history. They constitute an important heritage of Pyrenean high-mountain vernacular architecture. All the buildings are made of dry stone, following the ancient architectural techniques of using local stone and earth.
The three Orri Trail routes winds past several orris in the high mountain of Encamp. Along the trail, you can see where the shepherds used to live and the remains of old buildings, and find out about their history, how they were used and how they evolved up to the present day, discovering the secrets of these typical Pyrenean structures.

The trial can be reached from different points in the parish and splits into three routes: Les Deveses, El Cubil and Encenrera. As well as unveiling part of Andorra’s history, it takes you to rivers, lakes, and marshes, and often close to screes, where we can find the ancient shepherds’ huts.

The trail crosses the eastern sector of Encamp, from Els Cortals to the glacial valley of Els Pessons, by Grau Roig. The routes can be reached using the ski resort facilities together with several access options. They can be completed solely on foot or in combination with a ride up or down in the Funicamp lift and the 4x4 bus service, which operate over the summer season.

The trail is suitable for all ages and can be adapted to time requirements. Each route crosses different valleys and offers a diverse view of the orris. So, you can either spend a few days exploring them or complete the whole trail in one day.