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Andorra Travel & Holiday Tips


Almost hidden in the eastern Pyrenees, the tiny Principality of Andorra is a land of narrow valleys and mountainous landscapes, bordered by France and Spain.

Most of the settlements can be found along the main road that traverses the country – many villages or hamlets are filled with Romanesque churches and houses built in the local style. Others, off the main road, are even more unspoilt, and provide spectacular views across the rugged countryside.

Andorra is mountainous, traversed by a main road which runs roughly north-east to south-west, along which most of the settlements are to be found. Many of these are villages or hamlets with Romanesque churches and houses built in the local style; others, off the main road, are even more unspoilt, and provide spectacular views across the rugged countryside. For the visitor, however, Andorra’s two greatest attractions are that it is both a duty free state and a centre for winter sports, a combination which has led to a great deal of overt commercialism, particularly in the main towns of Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany.

Andorra la Vella & Escaldes-Engordany

Andorra la Vella, the country’s capital, lies at the junction of two mountain streams. Sights there include a fine 12th-century church and the Casa de la Vall, the ancient seat of government. Adjoining the capital is the spa town of Escaldes-Engordany which also has examples of Romanesque architecture. These towns are also the centre of the colourful Andorran local festival in early September, in honour of the Virgin of Meritxell. Approximately 18 km (11 miles) from Escaldes-Engordany, off the main road, is the hamlet of El Serrat, which commands a breathtaking view across the mountains. The town of Encamp, between the capital and the French frontier, is also worth a visit.

Ski Resorts

There are several ski resorts in Andorra, most of which offer good facilities. The main centre is Soldeu, the first major settlement on the road after the French frontier at Port d’Envalira. Both nursery slopes and skiing for intermediates are available, with a good ski school offering tuition at reasonable prices.

There are also ski centres at Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig, on the French frontier, and at Ordino-Arcalis and Arinsal-Pal, all north of Andorra la Vella. Cross-country skiing is available in the resort of La Rabassa.