- Posted: 28 July, 2018
- Category: Europe
Andorra | Hello965 Friends
Post by Hello965 Friend: @360voyage
Andorra – The Pyrenees Country
- Landlocked country between France and Spain.
- It’s known as a principality as it is a diarchy headed by two co-princes, the Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Spain and the President of France.
- Catalan is the official language but people of Andorra also speaks Spanish and French.
- 6thsmallest country in Europe and its population is less than 100 thousands.
- Euro is the currency however Andorra is not a member of the European Union.
- No airport or train stations, you can only enter Andorra through France or Spain by road.
- GCC residents (Except UAE) need a Schengen visa to enter Andorra.
My trip to Andorra:
Reached Andorra from Barcelona through Direct Bus Company. The ride was 3 hours one way and the return ticket costs around 65 Euros. The bus was clean and the ride was comfortable and the road views were stunning. At the boarder they checked our passports and a dog entered the bus and sniffed everyone!
We stayed at Hotel Plaza in Andorra La Vella, the capital city of Andorra. It’s a 5 star hotel and only 10 minutes by foot from the bus station and just 2 minutes from the main shopping street.
The hotel was clean and spacious.
Andorra is a small country and you can move between one city to another in few minutes by renting a car or with public transportations which I found very comfortable.
We spent the first day exploring the capital, Andorra La Vella, by foot. I got to see the below landmarks although it was raining but everyone was outside enjoying it:
- Puente de Paris – hanging bridge with views of the Gran Valira River.
- La Noblesse du Temps- Monument.
- Casa de la Vall- the headquarters of the General Council of Andorra.
- Centro Historico – small historic center that has some shops and Sant Esteve Church.
- Plaza del Poble for a great mountains view.
We spent the whole morning up in the mountains. It was mid of March and Andorra mountains were all white and cold. From the hotel in Andorra La Vella to Grandvalira resort in Canillo it took around 30 minutes by taxi. We enjoyed mushing and dog sledding, Safari on a snowmobile, skiing and having a cup of hot chocolate with French fries.
Skiing season in Andorra starts in end of November to mid of April and its better to stay at a skiing resort if the main purpose of visiting Andorra is enjoying the winter activities. Best skiing resorts in Andorra are: Grandvalira, Vallnord, Ski Plaza and Sport Hotel Hermitage & Spa
We continued exploring Andorra by visiting:
- Engolasters Lake (Les Pardines Path-hiking). The lake was frozen but beautiful. You can hike around it and stop in the few coffee shops there to enjoy the scenery and a good hot coffee.
- Ordino – a small town that is 15 minutes by car for the capital and considered the cultural center of Andorra. It has Romanesque Sant Corneli and Sant Cebrià church, a 12th century church. The car-free old town has a beautiful rock valleys and small restaurants and cafes.
- Sola Irrigation Canal Trail- a 15 minutes steep hike to see Andorra La Vella from the top. The view was completely worth the effort! The landscapes in Andorra are unbelievable. There are many more hiking trails in Andorra and some of them needs more than one day to complete but unfortunately the trails are closed during the winter. There are more than 40 hiking trails in Andorra but the famous ones are: Engolasters Lake-Les Pardines Path-hiking, Tristaina Lake Trail, Llac d’Engolasters and Via Ferrata Roc del Quer.
- Spent the rest of the last day shopping. Andorra is a shopping paradise and one of the cheapest countries in Europe because of zero Vat. In Zara, Mango and those well-known brands the tag has two prices, Europe price and Andorra price so you get to see the difference. Some of the shopping centers there: Illa Carlemany Shopping Center and Grans Magatzems Pyrenees.
Due to the location, you will find lots of Catalan and Spanish restaurants. The Paella is everywhere! Some of the restaurants I tried and recommend:
- Don Denis
- L’ESCENARI DE PIZZES
- Soho Chic Cafe
- Christophe Leon (in Ordino)
So is it recommended to spend your holiday in Andorra? My answer is no; however, I recommend visiting Andorra for 2 to 4 days maximum if you’re spending your holiday in Barcelona or Toulouse. Three main reasons to visit Andorra:
- Skiing and winter activities – End of November to mid of April
- Hiking – April to November
- Shopping – zero Vat
A big thank you to @360voyage for this blog post! ♡