Andorra tourist information
Andorra has become an important tourist destination in Europe. Andorra has several major ski resorts, including Soldeu/El Tarter and Pal/Arinsal. These are very popular with tourists from Spain, France and the United Kingdom, particularly because their relatively gentle slopes are ideal for less experienced people as well as families. Andorran ski schools are among the largest in Europe. Because it is not a member of the European Union, Andorra is able to sell a wide range of duty free products, including alcohol, perfume and cigarettes. These are much cheaper than in neighboring countries, and are a lucrative source of revenue for the country. Andorra also has many hiking trails which can be explored during the summer months, when the snow has thawed.
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‚Äôs patroness, between Canillo and Encamp.
Win up to CHF 200
Have you ever been to Andorra? For a living, vacation or on business? Sharing your experience about Andorra will help future visitors of Andorra to plan their stay! Now you can win up to CHF 200.00 every month by becoming a 4 Smart Tourist ™Advisor and writing down your authentic advise about Andorra.
be a advisor how to win
Pilgrims come from France and Spain to pay homage on September 8th, the festival day of Andorra‚Äôs patroness. Each of the larger villages has its own festival during which the sardana, Andorra‚Äôs national dance, is performed.
The Principality was formed in 1278. The role of monarch is exercised jointly by the two co-princes, the President of the French Republic and the Bishop of Urgell, Catalan Countries.
Andorra is a prosperous country mainly because of its tourism industry, which services an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually, and also because of its status as a tax haven. It is not a member of the European Union, but the euro is the de facto currency. The people of Andorra have the 4th highest human life expectancy in the world ‚ÄĒ 82 years at birth.
Due to its location in the eastern Pyrenees mountain range, Andorra consists predominantly of rugged mountains, the highest being the Coma Pedrosa at 2,942 metres (9,652 ft), and the average elevation of Andorra is 1,996 metres (6,549 ft). These are dissected by three narrow valleys in a Y shape that combine into one as the main stream, the Gran Valira river, leaves the country for Spain (at Andorra's lowest point of 840 m/2,756 ft). Andorra's land area is 468 km2 (181 sq mi).
Phytogeographically, Andorra belongs to the Atlantic European province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF, the territory of Andorra belongs to the ecoregion of Pyrenees conifer and mixed forests.
Andorra has an alpine climate and continental climate. Its higher elevation means there is, on average, more snow in winter, lower humidity, and it is slightly cooler in summer. There are, on average, 300 days per year of sunshine.
Until the 20th century, Andorra had very limited transport links to the outside world, and development of the country was affected by its physical isolation. Even now, the nearest major airports at Toulouse and Barcelona are both three hours' drive from Andorra.
Andorra has a road network of 279 km (173 mi), of which 76 km (47 mi) is unpaved. The two main roads out of Andorra la Vella are the CG-1 to the Spanish border, and the CG-2 to the French border via the Envalira Tunnel near Pas de la Casa. Bus services cover all metropolitan areas and many rural communities, with services on most major routes running half-hourly or more frequently during peak travel times. There are frequent long-distance bus services from Andorra to Barcelona and Toulouse. Bus services are mostly run by private companies, but some local ones are operated by the government.
There are no railways, ports, or airports for fixed-wing aircraft in Andorra. There are, however, heliports in La Massana, Arinsal and Escaldes-Engordany with commercial helicopter services. Nearby airports are located in Barcelona, Toulouse, Perpignan, Reus, and Girona. The closest public airport is Perpignan - Rivesaltes Airport, which is 160 km (99 mi) away and has short-haul services to several destinations in the United Kingdom and France. La Seu d'Urgell Airport, a small airfield 12 km (7 mi) south of Andorra currently used only by private aeroplanes, is being studied by the Catalan government as a possible future airport for public aviation services.
The nearest railway station is L'Hospitalet-pr√®s-l'Andorre 10 km (6 mi) east of Andorra which is on the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1‚ĀĄ2 in)-gauge line from Latour-de-Carol, (25 km/16 mi) southeast of Andorra, to Toulouse and on to Paris by the French high-speed trains. This line is operated by the SNCF. Latour-de-Carol has a scenic metre gauge trainline to Villefranche-de-Conflent, as well as the SNCF's 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1‚ĀĄ2 in)-gauge line connecting to Perpignan, and the RENFE's 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2‚ĀĄ3 in) -gauge line to Barcelona.
The official and historic language is Catalan. Thus the culture is Catalan, with its own specificity.
Andorra is home to folk dances like the contrap√†s and marratxa, which survive in Sant Juli√† de L√≤ria especially. Andorran folk music has similarities to the music of its neighbours, but is especially Catalan in character, especially in the presence of dances such as the sardana. Other Andorran folk dances include contrap√†s in Andorra la Vella and Saint Anne's dance in Escaldes-Engordany. Andorra's national holiday is Our Lady of Meritxell Day, September 8. American Folk Artist Pete Seeger, intrigued by its defense budget of $4.90, wrote a song "Andorra" and sang it on his 1962 album "The Bitter and the Sweet.".