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Andorra

Andorra Andorra Andorra

Places in Andorra

Click a link below for comprehensive information about the destination, activities available and accommodation:

Destination Ski X
Country
(km)
Ski
Lifts
Ski
Runs
Spa GR10/
GR11
Bars &
Restr's
Canillo12 64 110 N Y 6-10
La Massana0 43 87 N N 11-20
Pal Arinsal0 43 87 N Y 11-20
Ordino-Arcalis0 43 87 Y Y >20
Vallnord0 43 87 Y Y >20
Pas de la Casa - Grau Roig12 64 110 N N >20
Grandvalira12 64 110 Y Y >20
Soldeu-El Tarter12 64 110 Y N 11-20
Andorra La Vella      Y   >20
Encamp0 64 110 N Y >20
Sant Julià & La Rabassa15 0 15 N N >20
Tradition credits Andorra’s independence to Charlemagne in recognition of the aid given by its inhabitants fighting against the Moors in 803AD. Since then this pocket-sized principality has ploughed its own furrow, sometimes sitting uncomfortably between its neighbours and protectors, France and Spain.

Since 1288 Andorra has been in the unique position of having two heads of state or co-princes, neither of which actually live in the country. These ceremonial posts are occupied by the French President and the Bishop of the Spanish city of La Seu d’Urgell, although real power is wielded by the Executive Council.

Andorra is unique in many other ways. One of the smallest (468 sq km) and most mountainous countries in the world, its 68,000 inhabitants live in a tax haven and are actually a minority in their own country – as few as 33 per cent of residents are native Andorrans. In recent years Andorra has become very prosperous, principally due to a phenomenal growth in tourism which accounts for 80 per cent of its GDP, and as a centre for duty-free shopping which grew out of the smuggling of French goods to Spain during the Spanish Civil War and Spanish goods to France during World War Two.

There’s a lot more than just shopping to attract the visitor to Andorra (although Andorra La Vella’s endless retail opportunities, especially for those seeking keenly-priced electrical goods, will amaze). Enormous investment has developed Andorra’s ski stations into huge, Alpine style ski circuits. Granvalira, which comprises of the resorts of Pas de la Casa, Grau Roig, El Tarter and Soldeu, boasts 193km of pistes for all standards allied to a modern and expanding lift system. On the other side of the country, Pal-Arinsal, Ordino-Arcalis and La Massana make up the Vallnord ski area, which although smaller, will still occupy the keen rider for a full week of sliding down the white stuff. The third, lesser-known area is La Rabassa, a Mecca for cross-country aficionados and for the growing pursuits of snowshoeing and husky sledding.

Outside of the winter season, Andorra offers the usual outdoor mountain activities such as horseriding, hiking, kayaking, climbing, fishing and mountain biking. In addition, the visitor has a number of fascinating museums to explore in the town of Encamp, such as the National Automobile Museum and the Sacred Art Museum of Santa Eulalia. The capital, Andorra La Vella is characterised by narrow streets and old stone houses and has a number of interesting old buildings including the 11th century Sant Esteve church and the historic parliament building. Then of course there’s all that shopping…