This co-principality has two heads of state, the French President and the Bishop of Urgel. If you don’t know who the Bishop of Urgel is or where the hell Urgel is located, never mind, nobody does. Andorra on the other hand is situated in the Pyrenees, sandwiched between France and Spain. It has made the most out of its situation by luring in the tourists and businesses with its low tax rates.
The main language is Catalan, though French, Spanish, and Portuguese are also widely spoken. All that fresh mountain air has also resulted in the Andorran’s having one of the highest life expectancies in the world.
Andorra is principally a country for out-door activity, from hiking to skiing to para-gliding, it is all possible in this Pyrenean state, and while you are there, you might as well buy some of its duty free products. Whether you ski in Vallnord, go hiking around El Serrat, relax in a hot spring in the spa at Centre Termolúdic Caldea, or go shopping in Andorra la Vella, you won’t be disappointed.
If you are on your way from France to Spain, you might as well stop in this little country and discover what it is all about.
Highlights from Andorra
- Go shopping in Andorra la Vella, and while you are there visit Casa de la Vell, the seat of government
- Ski or snowboard in Vallnord, a ski area comprising three resorts
- Admire the chapel of Sant Joan de Caselles in the village of Canillo
- Visit Ordino with its Casa Plairal d’Areny de Plandolit
- Hike around El Serrat
- Relax in the hotsprings of Les Escaldes
- Fish or walk around Lake Engolasters
- Drop by Santa Coloma with its fine church and castle
- Enjoy a spa-treatment at the Centre Termolúdic Caldea
Hints and Tips for Andorra
- There is neither an airport nor a train station in Andorra, though there are buses. The nearest airport is Perpignan-Rivesaltes Airport, the nearest train-station is just over the border in France at l’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre. There are regular buses from Barcelona (including from the airport) in Spain and Toulouse (including from the airport) in France to Andorra la Vella, this is probably the easiest way to reach the country without your own transport.
- Apart from the tourist resorts, English isn’t widely spoken.