Gran Valira

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Gran Valira
Gran Valira flowing under the Pont de Paris in Andorra la Vella
CityAndorra la Vella
Physical characteristics
Source confluenceValira d'Orient & Valira del Nord
 - locationEscaldes-Engordany, Andorra
 - coordinates42°30′42″N 1°32′09″E / 42.5116°N 1.5357°E / 42.5116; 1.5357
 - locationLa Seu d'Urgell, Spain
 - coordinates42°20′45″N 1°26′33″E / 42.3458°N 1.4425°E / 42.3458; 1.4425Coordinates: 42°20′45″N 1°26′33″E / 42.3458°N 1.4425°E / 42.3458; 1.4425
Length35 km (22 mi)
Basin size592 km2 (229 sq mi)
 - average9.5 m3/s (340 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionSegreEbroMediterranean Sea
 - leftValira d'Orient, Madriu
 - rightValira del Nord

The Gran Valira is the biggest river in Andorra. It flows through the capital, Andorra la Vella, and exits the country in the south near the Spain–Andorra road border crossing.

The Gran Valira is a tributary to the Segre, a tributary to the Ebro. It flows into the Segre in La Seu d'Urgell, Spain.

Geography[change | change source]

The Gran Valira river has a length of 41.4 kilometres (25.7 miles), only 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) outside Andorra, and a drainage basin with an area of 591.6 square kilometres (228 square miles) for the whole Valira system including the Valira d'Orient and the Valira del Nord rivers.[1]

Its average yearly discharge (volume of water which passes through a section of the river per unit of time) is 33.70 cubic metres per second (1,190 cubic feet per second) at La Seu d'Urgell in the Catalonia, Spain.[1]

The Valira river has the shape of Y. The upper branches are the Valira del Nord an the Valira d'Orient rivers. They join in Escaldes-Engordany and, from here, the river is called the Gran Valira.

Valira del Nord[change | change source]

Le Valira del Nord river is also called Valira de la Massana, Valira de Ordino or ribera de Ordino. It starts in the Estanys de Tristaina, a group of 3 lakes in northwestern Andorra, in the Ordino parish at an altitude of 2,306 metres (7,566 feet) above sea level.[2] From here, the river flows to the centre of the country, flowing through the villages El Serrat, Les Salines, Llorts, Arans, La Cortinada, Ansalonga, Ordino, La Massana, Anyós and Engordany (part of Escaldes-Engordany). Its main tributaries are the Sorteny and Arinsal rivers.

Valira d'Orient[change | change source]

The Valira d'Orient river is also called Valira de Encamp, Valira de Canillo or Valira de Soldeu. It starts in the Cirque des Pessons in northeastern Andorra, in the Encamp parish. From here, the river flows through the villages Soldeu, El Tarter, L'Aldosa, El Vilar, Canillo, Molleres, Les Bons, Encamp et Escaldes (part of Escaldes-Engordany). Its main tributary is the Madriu river.

Gran Valira[change | change source]

The Gran Valira river starts with the confluence of the two previous rivers in Escaldes-Engordany. It flows through the towns Andorra la Vella, Santa Coloma, La Margineda, Aixovall and Sant Julià de Lòria. Then it flows into Spain where it is joined, by the left side, by its main tributary, the Runer river.

Finally, it flows into the Segre river in La Seu d'Urgell.

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "la Valira" (in Catalan). Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  2. "Estanys de Tristaina" (in Spanish). Ibones y lagos del Pirineo. Retrieved 28 December 2016.