In street journey via Europe, the tiny nation of Andorra was on our route again to Provence, France.Let’s find out some best places to visit in Andorra 2020.
We hadn’t heard of Andorra earlier than this journey, however having the chance so as to add one other nation to our ever-growing journey listing, gave the impression of a terrific plan. So we set our GPS to Andorra La Vella and discovered a couple of information about this small principality located within the Pyrenees between France and Spain.
Quick Andorra Info
The place is Andorra situated?
Andorra is situated within the Pyrenees between Spain and France.
Is Andorra a rustic?
Sure, Andorra is a rustic. It’s formally a principality, which suggests it’s a nation ruled by a Prince or Princess. (however the roles are honourary)
What’s Andorra identified for?
Andorra is understood for tourism, notably snowboarding because it has many ski resorts. And for its Obligation-Free purchasing.
Is Andorra Protected?
Andorra is without doubt one of the most secure nations on this planet to go to.
It’s superb to listen to what number of seasoned vacationers did not know that Andorra is a rustic. Really, it’s superb to learn the way many individuals have by no means heard of Andorra. Yours really included (earlier than we visited after all).
Andorra Inhabitants: Andorra has a inhabitants of solely 76,965 individuals, it has fallen since we visited. After we had been in Andorra, it had 81,000 individuals.
Language of Andorra: The primary language of Andorra is Catalan. It is sensible that the Andorra language is just like northern Spain with its location within the Pyrenees.
However do you know that Andorra is the one nation on this planet the place Catalan is the official language? I do know that Catalonia has been attempting to separate from Spain, however for the second, Andorra has that distinction all to itself.
Andorra is outdated: It’s shocking that not many individuals know of Andorra because it has been round for hundreds of years.
In actual fact, Andorra is the 14th oldest nation on this planet courting again to 803 AD. Making Andorra 1216 years outdated!
Andorra is tiny: Andorra is simply 468 Sq. km in complete (180 sq. miles) however it’s a very affluent nation.
Andorra is Well-liked – eight – 10 million individuals go to Andorra annually benefiting from winter sports activities.
With 303 km of ski slopes reaching 2640 meters (8661 toes) excessive within the Pyrenees mountains, it is a perfect spot for snowboarding.
Our Time in Andorra
Andorra La Vella, We Like It!
Rick Steves says to neglect about Andorra. You possibly can see the Pyrenees in France and have a greater expertise. However we disagree.
We love including a brand new destiantion to our repertoire and Andorra felt completely different from Spain and France. So when you occur to be within the are, go for it!
You do not want a Visa or any particular paperwork, it is simple to cross the border and go to Andorra.
The individuals right here had been friendlier and extra useful than each France and Spain and the surroundings is terrific.
Get out of Andorra la Vella
Andorra La Vella is the capital of Andorra, and this is a enjoyable truth, it’s the highest capital metropolis in Europe. Its elevation is 1023 meters.
It’s identified for its duty-free purchasing and tobacco making it a really busy hub with practically 300 motels and 400 eating places.
We extremely suggest getting out of Andorra la Vella. Lots of people go to Andorra! And it reveals. Site visitors is a multitude and the streets are crowded.
Andorra’s Tobacco Historical past
Andorra as soon as dominated the tobacco trade and it nonetheless grows numerous tobacco. In actual fact, the individuals of Andorra are the #1 people who smoke on earth!
It’s a duty-free haven although, so the variety of cigarettes bought, are in all probability to individuals not solely dwelling in Andorra however from throughout Europe who cross the border for affordable items.
Andorra is not a part of the EU, so you’ll go throughout a border if you enter and exit. We had been stopped on our means out of Andorra to ask if we had something to declare.
We did not purchase something as we spent our time mountain climbing within the hills.
Coma Pedrosa is the hike to do in Andorra
There are greater than 60 completely different mountain climbing routes via Andorra’s three completely different nature parks ranging in problem and elevation acquire.
It may be overwhelming to decide on and you will get a mountain climbing information from the tourism workplace for €6.
Because of the pleasant clerk at our lodge, we had a lot info on mountain climbing in Andorra that we didn’t even have to go to the vacationer info workplace.
The individuals of Andorra are very pleasant and useful.
He advised us that Coma Pedrosa in Arinsal was the toughest and the very best trek in Andorra. So, naturally that’s the place we went.
Climbing Andorra’s Coma Pedrosa
We adopted our GPS to the city of Arinsal some 10 km from Andorra Vella to the trailhead of Coma Pedrosa.
After a few stumbles of stopping on the flawed car parking zone and solely going via one lined bridge as a substitute of two, we discovered our strategy to the trail.
It was a enjoyable hike up the mountain with very nice views.
There’s nothing that makes Dave and I really feel extra alive than climbing up one thing.
We made it to the highest of our route and loved our panoramic view.
If we had extra time, we might have positively carried out one of many hut-to-hut climbs in Andorra.
Climbing Hut to Hut in Andorra
All through the hills of the Pyrenees, there are little huts you could keep in when you determined to hike in Andorra.
Andorra is legendary for its six long-distance trails referred to as the Grandes Randonnees.
These huts are free to make use of for these taking over the difficult trek. They had been as soon as farmers storage for cattle, however immediately they’re open for hikers.
Our climb up “Coma Pedrosa” was numerous enjoyable, being a steep path crossing rivers and going via forests and unfastened rocks.
We hiked up rapidly and made it to the home with loads of time to spare earlier than the solar went down.
The Free Huts of Andorra
We had been shocked to see that the doorways had been locked to the hut after we arrived.
We had learn you could keep at these homes within the hills free of charge all 12 months lengthy.
They’ve beds and fireplaces and they’re specifically stored for trekkers mountain climbing via Andorra.
Maybe, it was as a result of we had been in-between seasons.
We did not discover something about having to ebook prematurely however discovered later that you want to ebook them prematurely on the town to choose up the keys.
The Finish of the Day
We had been on our means down at sundown after we crossed paths with an area man strolling up speaking on his mobile phone smoking a cigarette.
This nation of Andorra is unusual. Does everybody exit at nightfall and determine to climb a mountain in a costume shirt and footwear with a mobile phone in hand?
The place was he going right now of night time?
We did not cease to ask. The solar was setting and we had been on our means again to benefit from the metropolis.
Southern Europe’s Largest Spa Complicated
Andorra La Vella is busy and hectic, it is no marvel the neighborhood is so energetic getting out to nature for snowboarding, downhill mountain biking and mountain climbing adopted by many zen experiences. One specifically at Southern Europe’s largest spa advanced.
The Caldea Spa is fed by thermal springs wealthy in minerals. The large advanced has a futuristic design providing therapeutic massage therapies for as little as €20.
Thermal springs could be discovered throughout Andorra making it one of many largest spa getaways in Europe.
Even our Ibis Resort has a Turkish spa, sizzling tub, swimming pool, and sauna. Not dangerous in any respect!
Take a look at TripAdvisor for extra Andorra Lodges
It was pure heaven to go for a hike after which head to the spa on the finish of the day.
After a couple of days in Andorra, we give it Two Thumbs Up.
It seems to be like a superb ski neighborhood so we should return to hit the slopes!
Nonetheless desirous to know extra about Andorra?
Things to do in Andorra
Go to the Spa
Andorra is a spa lover’s paradise and lots of motels have spas within the resort. Different locations to go to the spa beside the Caldea Spa are The Sports activities and Wellness Mountain Spa, Inuu which is hooked up to the Caldea Spa, and a number of other lodge spas you could enter with a payment.
Take a look at TripAdvisor for luxurious motels with wellness spas.
The Andorra spas comply with a circuit of hydrotherapy swimming pools and are modeled after a Turkish bathtub. It’s positively one thing you could do when in Andorra.
The therapeutic waters should work some magic, Andorra has one of many world’s longest life expectancy charges.
Hit the Slopes
We weren’t there throughout ski season, however it’s one among Europe’s premier ski locations. If you happen to love snowboarding or snowboarding, that is the place to go!
Andorra Ski resorts are thought of the sunniest in Europe creating a super environment for hitting the slopes.
There are two ski resorts in Andorra. Grandvalira and Vallnord can transfer 160,000 individuals per hour and between the 2 of them have a mixed complete of 350km of trails.
It is no marvel, it’s a sizzling spot for snowboarding.
When the ski slopes shut, the biking trails open and Andorra has numerous mountain biking choices from newbie trails to professional downhill programs.
Mountain biking excursions will also be booked in Andorra the place you’ll be able to lease your gear, and have a information take you thru the backcountry.
If you’re in search of one thing distinctive to do, try one of many many bike retailers in Andorra La Vella.
Oysters and champagne a terrific mixture
Andorra is a ski city, so there are many eating places and bars to get pleasure from an after-ski or mountain biking cocktail.
Take a look at the bars on Avenue de Sant Antoni in La Massana or anyplace downtown Andorra la Vella is an choice.
But additionally, like ski resorts all over the world, the slopes themselves have a terrific Apres Ski tradition. So select your lodging properly.
Discover Andorra’s Church buildings
As we mentioned above, Andorra is an outdated nation and there are many historic church buildings to go to. Isla Santa Coloma has a beautiful mountain setting.
Sant Joan de Caselles is one other must-visit church if you’d like a style of Andorra Cultural heritage.
And the CS Santa Coloma is a construction courting again to the 10th century. Being located within the valley of the Pyrenees, the stone church buildings make for very scenic views.
Andorra is a duty-free haven that means it’s stuffed in luxurious model shops. Centro Business and Pyrenees Andorra. However there’s loads of purchasing to be discovered throughout Andora La Vella.
The perfect issues to purchase in Andorra are electronics, digital camera gear, jewellery, and luxurious baggage. Cigarettes and Alcohol can be a cut price in Andorra.
Andorra has some attention-grabbing museums to go to on a wet day. Listed here are a couple of notable ones to go to.
Tobacco Museum – Andorra’s predominant export is tobacco and this museum reveals how grown, dried and it’s made.World Champions Museum – System One will get a kick out of this personal assortment of racing memorabilia.Casa de La Valle – This constructing was the seat of parliament for greater than 300 years.Fragrance Museum: It is sensible that Andorra has a fragrance museum because it sells a lot in duty-free.
Attending to Andorra
Andorra doesn’t have an airport, due to this fact you’ll have to fly into France or Spain to achieve Andorra after which drive throughout the border.
We suggest renting a automotive and exploring Andorra that means.
In any other case, you’ll have to take a bus.
Barcelona and Girona are good choices for Spain and in France, Carcassone handles finances worldwide flights and flights from Paris. One other good choice is to fly into Toulouse-Blagnac worldwide airport.
However we suggest going to Andorra if you find yourself touring via Europe since it’s fairly tough to get to.
I’m not positive Andorra warrants a visit by itself, however in case you are street tripping via Europe, you should definitely make a detour to see this tiny principality.
Additionally it is a well-liked day journey from Barcelona, however in case you are on a time restrict, you may wish to skip it as visitors could be horrendous coming into Andorra.
Plan Your Andorra Journey
You do not want a visa to enter Andorra in case you are a citizen of the EU, USA, UK, Canada and Australia.We drove to Andorra utilizing our Canadian driver’s license.Andorra makes use of the usual European voltage for electrical energy of 220V at 50 Hz. We recommend a world adapter.WiFi is accessible in motels in Andorra.We use KnowRoaming for roaming and information. Simply $three.99 per day Limitless information. PlanetD readers obtain an additional 50% off utilizing promo code DDSave50Getting Round Andorra – we suggest getting a automotive.Biking can be fashionable in Andorra, however it’s situated within the mountains so be ready for climbs and excessive altitudes.
We use Get Your Information for day tour and metropolis excursions. We recommend these excursions from Barcelona to Andorra
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