Andorra is a tourist attraction to travelers, with its gorgeous tall mountains, and towns that are built in valleys, and situated on the slopes of mountains. Skiers who enjoy winter sports will enjoy the beauty in the Pyrenees, with its abundant snowfalls and undulating portion.
The country’s main road runs through its charming villages and hamlets. These hamlets are home to Romanesque churches, houses, and other buildings that were built in a unique local style. They have been preserved by the country’s isolation.
Furthermore, tax-free shopping offers visitors an extra incentive. You can hiking, camping, take a horse ride, go skiing and revel in the beauty of the mountains. Use this guide for a trip to the center of Andorra.
- Where is Andorra
- Principality of Andorra
- Map of Andorra
- History of Andorra
- Andorra Population
- Official Language
- Capital of Andorra
- The Benefits of Living in Andorra
- States/Provinces of Andorra
- How to Move in Andorra
- Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Andorra
- Best Things to Do in Andorran
Where is Andorra?
Andorra was an independent European principality of Andorra located in the southern mountains within the Pyrenees Mountains and bordered by France to the east and north, and to the south and west towards Spain. It is among the smallest states in Europe.
The capital city is Andorra la Vella and the largest city of Andorra. It is located at 1,023 meters, it is the highest city in Europe. Andorra la Vella acts as the tourist, cultural and commercial hub of the country.
There are ten urban communities in Andorra, specifically:
- Andorra la Vella
- La Massana
- El Serrat
- Pas de la Casa
- Sant Julia de Loria
Principality of Andorra (principat d’andorra)
Andorra officially known as the Principality of Andorra is a sovereign microstate that is landlocked and located on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees which is with France to the north and south of Spain.
The current principality of Andorra was created by the French in 1278 by a charter issued in 988. Andorra is referred to as a principality because it’s a monarchy that is governed by two Co-Princes: The Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgell and The President of France.
Andorra is situated in the high mountain range of the Pyrenees, on the French-Spanish border. Tourism represents about 80% of GDP in this highly productive economy. A new survey estimates 10 million visitors annually, which are drawn by winter sports, hot summer temperatures, and duty-free items.
Over the centuries Andorra was ruled by the French president and the Spanish bishop of Urgell. The first Andorran constitutional act was enacted by parliament in 1993. During its stay, the country merged with the European Union.
Map of Andorra
Borders and location: Andorra is located in the southwest region of the Eurasian continent, which is located between France and Spain in the eastern region of the Pyrenees. The country does not have access to the sea, it is mostly situated in mountainous terrains at an altitude of 900 to 2000 meters above sea level.
Andorra is a tiny country that can be put in this grouping of European small states, which includes Liechtenstein, Monaco, and San-Marino. In addition, Andorra on the map is the biggest among this group. The region of Andorra encompasses 468 sq km.
- North (crags of Font Blanca) – 42o 39′ 15”
- South (Conangle – River Runer) – 42o 25′ 38”
- West (Aquell Pass) – 1o24 34″
- East (River Palomera – River Ariege) – 1o 47′ 19”
- Highest point Peak of Comapedrosa – 2,942 m
- Lowerest point – Confluence with the River Runner 840 m
- Woodland – 38%
- High mountain fields – 26 percent
- Screens and rocky areas – 20 percent
- Urban areas and infrastructures – 5 %
- Spain – 63,7 km
- France – 56,6 km
Andorra is a small, landlocked nation that covers 467.63 kilometres of the square. (180.55 sq miles) located in southwest Europe.
Based on the map of Andorra, it is shrouded by the rugged mountains of the Pyrenees. The highest elevation of Andorra is Coma Pedrosa, which is 2,942 meters (9,652 feet). Also from the top of the chart are three valleys of rivers that create the Gran Valira River that leaves Andorra and flows into Spain.
The lowest point in Andorra is 840 meters or 2,756 feet on the Gran Valira River. The most and least points are marked on the map with straight as well as inverted triangles, respectively.
History of Andorra
The independence of Andorra has usually been attributed to Charlemagne who reclaimed the region from Muslims in the year 803 and also to the son of Charlemagne, Louis I (the Pious), who issued the residents an act of liberty. The grandson of Charlemagne, Charles II was the one who granted Andorra to the Count of Urgell, and from them, it was transferred over to the bishop of Urgell.
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It is important to mention that Andorra’s population grew 12-fold in the second half of the 20th century. This was mainly due to immigration which has been a major factor in both demographic growth and economic development.
Only 36,138 of the 78,264 inhabitants were Andorran citizens in 2016. Over 100 nationalities are present in Andorra. Spanish (20,652) and Portuguese (10,300) are the largest foreign communities. French (3,946) is next.
Catalan is the language spoken by over 10, 700 000 people.
Catalan is a state language in Andorra and one of the Romanic languages. It’s easy to learn Catalan from street signs. However, almost everyone can speak Spanish. French and Portuguese are also widely spoken.
It is spoken in four countries: Andorra, France, Spain, and Italy. It is located in the Spanish territory of Catalonia, which includes a larger part of Valencia and the Balearic Islands.
The research is done every five years and shows that 49% of respondents can read, write, and speak Catalan 46% and 49% respectively.
Capital of Andorra: Andorra la Vella
Andorra la Vella, the capital of the Principality Of Andorra, is one of seven parishes in which the country is divided. Since 1278, Andorra has been the capital of Andorra and it was established by the French and Episcopal co-princes through an agreement for joint suzerainty.
Andorra la Vella long remained in a state of isolation from the rest of the world. The town’s modernization started in the 1930s, with the development of carriage roads and the population grew after World War II due to the rise of the tourism business. In the 1960s and 1970s, Andorra la Vella was transformed from a small town to a bustling commercial hub catering to tourists and shoppers.
The winter sports area is close by. Due to the fact that Andorra is a duty-free zone, it is predominantly a centre that imports goods from other parts of Europe and also from Asia. Andorra la Vella is where the General Council (Andorra’s parliament) is held at Andorra La Vella. It is linked via road to the Spanish and French frontiers and has a connection to both traditions.
Andorra la Vella has a 12-kilometer area and approximately 23,000 people. The capital is situated at the confluence between the Valira del Norte & Valira d’Orient river, where Valira forms.
The Benefits of Living in Andorra
Andorra is a superb country to live in. From the mountain sees through pretty much every window to the positive assessment framework, it has numerous particular qualities.
All States/Provinces of Andorra and their Cities
7-parishes of the Principality in Andorra
Andorra has great opportunities for tourists, foreigners, and residents, despite the fact that it is a small area. Let’s find out the different Parishes of the Principality in Andorra.
1. Andorra la Vella:
It is situated within the southern region of Andorra with a population of 22,250 and is known as the capital. This is why it is the principal city of the country that is situated inside the Principality and is distinguished by its elevation (1,013m).
The population of this parish is known as “Canillencs”, its altitude is 1,303 meters, and there are many villages. They include Soldeu, Incles, El Tarter, Ransol, Meritxell, L’Aldosa, Prats, Els Plans, and El Forn. In addition, there are amazing sights like The Ice Palace and the Vall of Incles.
The most notable feature of this area is the mountain scenery, where there are numerous towns. They are called Le Tremat, La Mosquera, Les Bons, Vila as well as Grau Roig. The town has 14,000 inhabitants whom they call “Encampadans “.
After reaching the area, visitors can go to some of the cities such as Vilars d’ Engordany Engolasters as well as El Fener. Similarly to that tourists will have the opportunity to explore historical sites like those churches in Sant Roma dels Vilars and Sant Miquel de Engolasters.
5. La Massana:
Within the La Massana parish, there are about 10,000 people “Massanencs”, and various towns are situated. These are Pal, Arinsal, Erts, Sispony, Anyos, L’Aldosa, Escas, Xixerella, El Pui, and Puiol del Piu or Mas de Ribafeta. This parish is renowned as one of the principal cities that are located within the Principality.
It is considered to be one of the largest and is situated in the northwest, where there are 4,000 “Ordinencs” living. The towns that are part of it include Segudet, Sornas, Asalonga, La Cortinada, Arans, Llorts, Les Salines, and El Serrat. The most popular attractions in this area are the Miniature Museum as well as the Sorteny Natural Park.
7. Sant Julia de Loria:
Ten thousand “Lauredians” that inhabit this parish are split into six charming villages. They include: Auvigny, Bissisarri, Certes, Fontaneda, Juberri and Nagol. Then, in Sant Julia de Loria, visitors can go to amazing places like The Canolich Sanctuary.
How to Move in Andorra
In order to move to Andorra, you need to first gain entry into the country. Whatever country you’re moving from, it’s not possible to travel directly to Andorra.
It is necessary to fly into La Seu Ugell in just 20 minutes from Andorra and you could fly from Madrid. After that, you’ll need to use a bus to reach the Andorra border to enter the country.
Andorra does not have an airport or train station which is why buses are the only option to get in or out.
Knowing the best way to get there Andorra will help you prepare for your relocation. So you’ll have enough time to arrive at your new residence and begin to settle before you start school or work.
Best Things to Do in Andorran
Thermal Springs and Spas
Andorra is an excellent natural escape, particularly recommended for people recovering from heart disease or other ailments. It’s also a fantastic location for thermal baths as well as natural springs that are infused with nitrogen and sulfur, which have therapeutic properties. Visit the Spa town Caldea and then visit the largest thermal spa in La Vella.
Snowboarding and Skiing
Andorra is one of the most well-known South European countries for its winter sports, including snowboarding, skiing, sledging, and more. The ski resorts of Soldeu, Vallnord, and Grandvalira are among the top in the region. Here, you can also take gondola rides and cable cars to ski on the slopes.
Visit Andorra to see its bizarre collection of museums. The Postal Museum as well as the Electricity Museum, the Perfume Museum as well as the Comic Museum. There is also a Tobacco Museum!
Discover your way through the Romanesque cathedrals
Andorra is not just naturally blessed, with beautiful architecture, but it is also stunningly beautiful. Are you familiar with the beautiful cathedrals, and Romanesque churches that are adorned with breathtaking altarpieces, frescoes, and art? Explore the Church of Sant Esteve, Church of Sant Joan de Caselles, and Church of Santa Coloma.
Hiking is a full-time summer experience in Andorra with sunny and bright days and warm temperatures that are neither too humid nor too humid for long walks or climbing. Go for the natural parks here, like the Valls del Comapedrosa, Valle de Sorteny, or Madriu-Perafita-Claror. These hikes are accompanied by nighttime camping in tents, bonfires in mountain huts, and other outdoor activities that are fun.
Andorra is among the safest and most peaceful countries around the globe. It is known for its low rates of crime and for enhancing the security of its residents. There is a belief that even if a person erroneously loses their purse or wallet, the good Samaritan will return it. There are few to no violence and assault scenarios in Andorra, especially in capitals and the major cities. It is a landlocked country with only a few highly secured entry points. Thus, illicit operations are extremely rare.
Andorra has an impressive tourist industry, especially skiing, due to its large number of ski resorts. Duty-free shops. There are only several countries on Earth that use Catalan as an official language.
Andorra’s official language is Catalan with English and Spanish speakers. The institution has Catalan legal principles. A huge part of Spanish immigrants in Andorra is Catalans. Most Andorrans are Catholic. Andorra belongs to the Urgel Catholic Diocese.
The Andorran government doesn’t impose visa requirements on visitors and requires only a passport or European Union national identity card for entry.
Andorra’s main languages are Spanish, Catalonian, French, and English.
Andorra isn’t home to any international airport. The closest airport that is close to Andorra The closest airport to Andorra is Seo De Urgel (LEU) Airport located 26.2 kilometres away. Other airports nearby are Girona (GRO) (121.5 kilometres), Toulouse (TLS) (122.1 km), Barcelona (BCN) (143.6 km) as well as Reus (REU) (158.9 kilometres).
Like any other country, there are certain particulars and nuances. But the basic tax rates are 10% on earnings for companies and residents, no sales tax, but there’s a 4.5 VAT of 4%, the country does not have an inheritance tax, estate, or transfer tax, and there is no tax is imposed on investment income earned in Andorra.
The Andorran economy is a developed and free market economy that focuses on finance, retail, and tourism industries. The gross domestic product in 2007 was $366 billion. Andorra is attractive in terms of sales to its customers in Spain as it is an independent port and has developed summer and winter resort facilities.