Andorra is a small mountainous country located in south-western Europe, in the eastern Pyrenees mountains, between the borders of Spain and France.
And, although famous for it’s excellent skiing, duty-free shopping, and tax haven status, it should be known that this special little country has not only these things to offer, but so much more.
And, even with all the development going on in this little place it’s nice to see that some form of authentic Andorran culture has been preserved in every parish of the country.
You’ll find a Romanesque chapel in almost every village of the country. Some with murals from the middle ages, medieval bridges and monuments, plus plenty of museums, festivals, food fairs, concerts and more.
This prosperous Pyrenees country really does have something to offer every kind of visitor at any time of year.
And with its excellent restaurants, amazing amount of accommodations, and famous thermal spring spa, it’s easy to see why this place is a mecca for millions of tourists every year.
The 7 parishes of Andorra are:
- La Massana
- Andorra la Vella
- Sant Julià de Lòria
Andorra is known as the ‘Pyrenees country’, or ‘the Country of Snow.’ And rightfully so, for within it’s borders is some of the most spectacular scenery in all the Pyrenees.
Here you’ll find protected nature areas, dramatic valleys, and beautiful Natural parks. There’s even one that’s been granted World Heritage Status by UNESCO.
This little alpine country is a mountain sports lovers paradise. With high peaks and glacial lakes, low, wooded valleys, flower-filled meadows and lots of free refuges and mountain shelters.
There are tons of treks- short and long, mountaineering, mountain biking, climbing, via ferrata and more. Not to mention the best skiing and snowboarding in all the Pyrenees.
For it’s size, Andorra has a surprisingly large amount of museums, monuments, and Romanesque churches.
There are also plenty of culturally themed treks and tours, concerts, theatre, festivals, food fairs, and markets.
Andorra’s cuisine is largely influenced by it’s neighbours France and Spain, and in particular, the Catalan part of Spain.
Italian food is also popular here, and it’s easy to find all kinds of international restaurants as well.
Typical ingredients, in local recipes, may include an assortment of vegetables like carrots, celery, cabbage, potatoes and tomatoes.
Meats usually consist of lamb, pork and beef. Cured and smoked hams and sausages are also common, for example; butifara, longaniza, chorizo, or jamón.
Pastas and beans are also commonly used in traditional dishes here.
This Pyrenees country is also well known for it’s excellent cheeses. Typical choices are soft and sharp tasting sheep’s cheeses, or harder and aged goats cheese.
To try the most authentic Andorran food, you should go to one of the “Bordas”, “Bordes” in Catalan.
They are usually old stone barns that have been converted into restaurants which serve traditional Andorran gastronomy, in an excellent rural ambiance.
Health and Wellness
Another major tourist draw for Andorra is Caldea– it’s one of the biggest thermal spas in Europe.
It’s set in a tall, crystal, futuristic looking building, and served by nauturally hot waters that come out of the ground.
This magnificent spa has excellent fascilities, is fairly priced, and is a fantastic place to relax after a long day of skiing, site-seeing, trekking or shopping.