Andorra Tourism is sometimes overlooked by travelers, but is being discovered constantly. This landlocked country, the Principality of Andorra, located in the high Pyrenees between Spain and France, is a small country with beautiful scenery, amazing hiking trails and great ski hills. It is about 3 hours drive from Barcelona.
Its capital Andorra La Vella is a small city that can be visited by foot with a bustling main street featuring many shops, cafes and restaurants. The architecture is pure medieval and is being well kept.
Andorra la Vella is the Capital of the Principality of Andorra
Andorra la Vella
This small country capital is the nation’s top attraction. It lies at an altitude of 1,029 meters, making it one of the world’s highest capitals. Its population is less than 25,000.
Overlooking the Gran Valira river and the Pic d'Enclar mountain, it is a city with many shops located on Main Street, along with galleries, restaurants and cafes. The main attraction here is Casa de la Vell, the seat of government, built in 1580. It can be visited and admired for its reception room and 16th century wall paintings.
Vallnord is one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe
This is one of the most popular winter sports destinations in the Pyrenees with fine slopes, that attract skiers from all over the world.
It is located on the northern part of Andorra, close to the border with Spain, and is actually three ski resorts in one, Arcalis, Pal and Arinsal.
Most slopes are connected to one another by cable car, while gondolas from the village of La Massana serve Pal. It features good ski schools for beginners and the more experience can do activities such as speed riding, heli-skiing, and ski-biking which are available.
Another popular ski area is Grandvalira between Andorra la Vella and Les Escaldes.
Sant Joan de Caselles
This chapel located north of the village of Canillo, is considered the country’s best example of Romanesque architecture. This old stone building dates from the 11th century. Its interior is decorated with amazing frescoes one of the them the St John and the Apocalypse from 1525. Another attraction is Romanesque stucco figure of Christ on the Cross, a polychrome painting.
Caldea Thermal Spa
Known as the Centre Termolúdic Caldea, is Europe’s largest Spa complex. It is a grandiose glass pyramid that dominates the whole city.
It offers more than 6,000 square meters of water and treatment areas among various lagoons and many saunas and Jacuzzis as well as cascades Roman Baths.
In other words, due to the unique thermal waters, this is a must visit, that the visitor will never forget.
This is the main destination in the Valira del Nord Valley, located at the foot of the 2,740 meter-tall Casamanya Mountain. This village with quiet streets, old church and shops is home to Casa Plairal d'Areny de Plandolit, built in the 17th century and refurbished in the 19th century.
Do not miss the dining room with its Limoges and Sèvres dinner services, a gift from the Austrian Emperor; the music room with an original copy of Andorra’s anthem.
Sant Martí de la Cortinada church in La Cortinada, Andorra
It is home to the nice 12th century Sant Martí de la Cortinada church, with its Romanesque frescoes, its charnel house, and an old dovecot.
Another village worth visiting is tiny El Serrat. At the end of the road running through the Valira del Nord Valley, this village is a great place to enjoy the scenery of the valleys and mountains.
It is a popular spot for birdwatchers and hikers, as well as those with an interest in alpine flora.
During winters it is ideal for downhill skiing and snowboarding, as well as Nordic skiing and snowshoeing.
This town, just a few minutes’ drive from the capital, takes its name from the numerous hot springs around the place.
They are known for the high Sulphur and nitrogen content at a temperature that ranges from 22 °C to 66 °C, with known medical qualities since Roman times a
While here don’t miss the Viladomat Museum with displays of works by Catalan sculptor Josep Viladomat and the historic Pont dels Escalls bridge with its beautiful views of the old town.
Valira d'Orient Valley
You may explore the beauty of this tiny country by car through one of the best routes, the Valira d'Orient Valley. You may start in Les Escaldes north of the capital Andorra la Vella, and then head through the narrow road to the 12th century village of Sant Miguel Engolasters, to see one of the country's many Pyrenean churches in Lombard Romanesque style.
Walk to Lake Engolasters, an artificial lake created by a dam that's popular for fishing and sightseeing.
This town of 12,000 people is located in the geographical center of Andorra and makes the perfect starting point for your activities, regardless of the time of year.
Its downtown is one of the prettiest with the Valira d'Orient river running through it, and its fine old buildings now serving as shops, cafés, and restaurants.
It is also known for its hiking trails on the Pic dels Pessons mountain, at 2,865 meters is the parish's tallest peak.
Church of Santa Colomba in Andorra
The Santa Coloma Church
This Romanesque Church, built in the early 10th century, is one the country’s finest, located on the road leading to Spain. It is renowned for its three-stage tower.
This old stone structure dates from the 9th century and contains a 12th century statue of the Virgin of Coloma, many Mozarabic frescoes.
You may take a hike to the 12th century castle of Sant Vicenç d'Enclar on the Roc d'Enclar just above the village.
Map of Andorra showing its location between France and Spain
images for andorra tourism
la vella by tiia monto
vallnord by michael karavanov
sant joan by reinhradhauke
calde by eduardo di caprio
ordino by mac9
la cortinada by luis bugallo sanchez
les escaldes by jordi domenench
valvira d'orient by anita verdi
escamp by luis bugallo sanchez
santa coloma by diego delso
all courtesy of wikimedia commons