Andorra is a small country tucked between the borders of Spain and France. At 181 square miles it is the 16th smallest country in the world. Since 1278 Andorra has been ruled by a co-principality of the French head of state and the Spanish bishop of Urgell. The French side start with the Counts of Foix, who became the Kings of Navarre, which turned into the French kings in the 16th century, and now is the President. This agreement started as far back as 1095 as a way to protect the people in the valleys.
Population – 77,300
Money – Euro (as of Sept 2018 US$1 = €0.85; current rate available at XE.com)
Language – Catalan officially, but French and Spanish spoken also
Religion – 88% Catholic
When to go – Winter is popular for skiing and summer is good for hiking
World Heritage Sites – 1 – Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley
Country formed – gained independence in 1814 from French Empire
Throughout most of its history Andorra has been a collection of improvised, mountain, farming communities, but since the end of World War 2 tourism has taken off. Now a days, the per capita income is one of the highest in the world, even if the entire country may seem like one big ski town.
In the fall of 2107 I spent four days in Andorra, which is plenty of time if you are not there to ski.
Likes, Dislikes, and Recommendations
While it does seem like the country has unchecked growth in the tourism sector, there is still some of the historical and nature Andorra left. You just have to look for it. Remember it is not just one long ski town, but a dozen little settlements strung along two roads.
I recommend taking part of one of the many mountain hikes available and each settlement has a small, stone church built 500-800 years ago. The settlements in the north part of the country tend to be quieter and the drive over the mountain from Ordino to Canillo is wonderful.
Soon you can get even more helpful hints by watching the travel video I am making for Andorra. Also, you can read what all I did during my time in Andorra in my blog posts below.
All Blogs From Andorra
In the last blog, I told you how my first impression of Andorra was of one big, crowded ski resort. After spending a day exploring the country (it does not…