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    Welcome to Andorra

    Andorra

    People may tell you Andorra’s nothing but skiing and shopping.

    They might add that Andorra la Vella, its capital and only town, is a fuming traffic jam bordered by palaces of consumerism. (Fact: Andorra has over 2000 shops – more than one for every 40 inhabitants). They’re right to a point, but also way off course.

    Shake yourself from Andorra la Vella’s tawdry embrace, take one of only three secondary roads in the state and discover some of the most dramatic scenery in all of the Pyrenees.

    This minicountry wedged between France and Spain offers by far the best skiing in the Pyrenees, like in Canillo & Soldeu or Arinsal & Pal. In the last five years, its resorts have invested over €50 million in mountain cafés and restaurants, chairlifts and gondolas, car parks and snow-making machines. And once the snows have melted, summer activities are to be had in Ordino & around. There’s great walking in abundance, ranging from easy strolls to demanding day hikes in the higher, more remote reaches of the principality.

    A warning though: this may not be the case a few years from now. Greed and uncontrolled development risk spoiling those side valleys. Already the pounding of jackhammers drowns out the winter thrum of ski lifts and threatens the silence of summer.

    From the Middle Ages until 1993, Andorra’s sovereignty was vested in two ‘princes’: the bishop of the Spanish border town of La Seu d’Urgell and the French president (who got the job from France’s pre-Revolutionary kings).

    Nowadays, democratic Andorra is a ‘parliamentary coprincedom’, the bishop and president remaining joint but nominal heads of state. Andorra is a member of the UN and the Council of Europe, but not a full member of the EU.


     


    Information & Facts

    Attraction Overview:

    Shrines and festivals are both key attractions to tourists. Romanesque churches and old houses of interest are located in Ordino, Encamp, Sant Julia de Loria, Les Escaldes, Santa Coloma, and other villages. The best known is the shrine of Our Lady of Meritxell, Andorra’s patroness, between Canillo and Encamp.

    Pilgrims come from France and Spain to pay homage on September 8th, the festival day of Andorra’s patroness. Each of the larger villages has its own festival during which the sardana, Andorra’s national dance, is performed.

    Business:

    Andorra is a prosperous country, mainly because of its tourism industry, which services an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually, and because of its status as a tax haven, although it is in the process of reforming its tax regime

    Communications:

    The international phone  access code for Andorra is + (376). 

    Duty Free:

    Andorra is a duty free zone .

    Electricity:

    Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. 

    Getting Around:

    There are no airports in Andorra, the nearest airport is Spain's El Prat Barcelona Airport (BCN).

    Six bus routes run by Cooperativa Interurbana (806 555) radiate out from Andorra la Vella along the three main roads.

    Tourist offices carry a free leaflet with timetables.

    The speed limit is 40km/h in populated areas and 90km/h elsewhere.

    Two irritations while at the wheel in Andorra are the recklessness of local drivers and Andorra la Vella’s horrendous traffic jams – bypass the latter by taking the ring road around the south side of town.

     

    Language:

    The official language is Catalan, although Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.

    Money:

    The Currency in Andorra is the Euro.

    Passport Visa:

    Although there are no visa requirements for entering Andorra .

    Time:

    GMT +1 

    • Visit Andorra !!