Andorra Country Watch

Andorra Country Watch

Photos provided by the Naꢀonal Library of Andorra and the Andorran town councils. 06 08 11
Identity card Brief history Geography, climate
and nature
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and health
Leisure, sports Culture Tourist bus
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and celebrations
Traditions, festivities Shopping Gastronomy
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Accommodation Transport Business tourism
49 57
Tourism in Practical parishes information

3,592 km
2,385 km
1,709 km
2,028 km
The Hague
1,257 km
1,328 km
1,866 km
1,180 km
861 km
1,053 km
185 km
La Massana
El Pas de la Casa
613 km
1,362 km
1,239 km
208 km
Andorra la Vella
Sant Julià de Lòria
4A visit to the Principality of Andorra is a unique experience. We invite you to discover our country, in the heart of the Pyrenees. This area of outstanding natural beauty offers numerous outdoor leisure possibiliꢀes and is one of the most aꢁracꢀve of the 468 km2 that make up our state. Get ready for a unique experience during your stay in Andorra!
Although nature and spectacular landscapes are an important part of this country, Andorra is much more than just that. A thousand-year-old history has leꢀ us a rich cultural and arꢀsꢀc heritage in the form of monuments and Romanesque art, as well as various fesꢀvals and celebraꢀons. There are several cultural iꢀneraries and museums to help you get a real feel for Andorra.
Andorra is of course also a very modern country.
Andorra is the perfect place to enjoy excellent food, high quality hotels and more than 2,000 shops with top brand products. Get ready to discover all that
Andorra has to offer!

Identity card
Official language
While the official language of Andorra is
Catalan, there is a diverse range ofnaꢀonaliꢀes living in the country. As a result, Spanish,
French and Portuguese are all widely spoken.
Eastern Pyrenees, between France
(Ariège) and Spain (Catalonia).
Area: 468 km2
· 8% urbanised and farmed
· 92% forests, lakes, rivers, mountains
Administraꢀve structure
The country is divided into 7 parishes - and these are Andorra’s local authoriꢀes: Canillo,
Encamp, Ordino, La Massana, Andorra la Vella,
Sant Julià de Lòria and Escaldes-Engordany.
These are managed by the town councils.
Capital: Andorra la Vella
Populaꢀon: 80,209 inhabitants*
Average age: 40 years*
*2017 census
Casa de la Vall, former Parliament of Andorra,
Andorra la Vella

Poliꢀcal system
The Andorran Consꢀtuꢀon establishes religious freedom, but Catholicism is the most widely pracꢀsed religion in the country.
Andorra has a one-of-a-kind poliꢀcal system, as it is a parliamentary coprincipality. This means that it has two Heads of State, the Bishop of Urgell and the President of the French Republic, who represent the people jointly and equally. This form of government has its origin in the Middle Ages, as documents from this era known as pareatges prove.
Andorra's economy is mainly based on trade and tourism, which account for 60% of the total. Finance is Andorra' s third economic axis.
In addiꢀon, the first wriꢁen consꢀtuꢀon of this country was signed in 1993, making the Principality a consꢀtuꢀonal, democraꢀc and social state. The members of its General
Council are elected by popular vote every four years.
Official currency
At present, the euro is the official currency of Andorra. Before the euro, both the Spanish peseta and the French franc were used in the country.

Idenꢀty card
7Brief history
A review of the main events that have marked the history of Andorra is a good way to help explain the historical importance of this country.
A century later, these rights would lead to
fierce boundary disputes between the Counts of Foix and the Church. The soluꢀon to the situaꢀon was found when the pareatges feudal charters establishing the shared sovereignty of the bishop of Urgell and the Count of Foix over the territory were signed in 1278 and 1288. The Principality of Andorra was born.
From prehistoric ꢀmes to the pre-Roman period, the first inhabitants of Andorra seꢁled in some local areas such as La Balma de La
Margineda, El Cedre in Santa Coloma or El
Antuix in Escaldes-Engordany.
Andorra' s first form of parliament,the Consejo de la Tierra (Earth Council), was created in
1419 and brought together representaꢀves of all the parishes.
Legend has it that in the year 805 Charlemagne founded Andorra to thank the inhabitants of these lands for their help in the struggle against the Saracens.
In 1589, Henry, King of Navarre, Count of Foix, Viscount of Bearn and Lord of Andorra, became King of France and added his rights over the Principality to the French crown. This union was to survive the French
Revoluꢀon when Napoleon re-established the feudal tradiꢀon and the rights of the French government over the Principality of Andorra.
The first wriꢁen menꢀon of the existence of the parishes of Andorra as a fief of the Counts of Urgell was made in the act of consecraꢀon of the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Urgell in the middle of the 9th century.
In 1133, the bishop of Urgell was endowed with the rights to the valleys of Andorra that had hitherto been held by the Count of Urgell.
Another important date for Andorra is 1866, when the New Reform that brought about

such important changes as allowing all heads of family the right to vote and increasing the power of the General Council was approved. However, it was not unꢀl 1933 that universal male suffrage was established universal female suffrage did not emerg unꢀl
1970. up a wriꢁen consꢂtuꢂon for the country. In any case, it was not unꢀl 14 March 1993 that
Andorra's first consꢀtuꢀon was signed, making it an independent, consꢂtuꢂonal, democraꢂc and social State, and redefining the powers of the insꢀtuꢀons, while conꢀnuing to maintain the tradiꢀonal co-principality form.
Also worth menꢀoning is the fact that in 1978,
Escaldes-Engordany became the seventh parish in the country.
In 1993, Andorra became a member of the UN, thus gaining internaꢀonal recogniꢀon, and the following year it became a member of the Council of Europe.
The Execuꢀve Council, the Government of Andorra, was also established in 1981, and its reforms culminated in the decision to draw

Brief history
910 Geography, climate and nature
Andorra is a mountainous country. Its mountain relief is made up of no less than 72 peaks, some of which are over 2000 metres high. The highest mountain is Comapedrosa, which is 2942 meters high, and the lowest is on the Runer River, which marks the border with Spain, and is 838 meters high. In fact, the average height of the Andorran mountain range is 1996 metres, making it one of the highest in Europe.
The rivers and lakes of Andorra are also worth visiꢂng. The layout of the main river axes of the country - the Valira del Nord, the Valira d'Orient and the Gran Valira - shows its origins in the Quaternary period and also allows us to get to know the secondary rivers, on whose banks the main towns are located.
Another indispensable element of Andorran geography is its lakes. Of the more than 70 that you can find in these lands, Juclà, Tristaina and Pessons are some of the must-sees.
Lake Juclà is the largest lake in Andorra and covers an area of 21.3 hectares. Likewise, Circ de
Pessons and the lakes of Pessons form an impressive landscape that is worth visiꢀng. The cirque is of a granite glacial type and is surrounded by peaks nearly 2,800 metres above sea level, which makes the seꢂng very majesꢀc. There are also several lakes in the area with crystalline waters.
Andorra has a mountainous Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and cold winters with frequent heavy snowfalls. The average minimum temperature is -2 ºC and the maximum temperature is 24 ºC. Most of the rainfall is between October and May.
11 The rich biodiversity that you can enjoy in this country is the result of the combinaꢀon of this climate and its unique geographical features. Its 1500 species of flora and fauna are distributed among the four types of vegetaꢀon that exist: Mediterranean, mountain, subalpine and alpine. and a large number of trees and shrubs, such as hazelnut and boxwood.
In terms of the abundant wildlife in Andorra, in the highland areas, you can see chamois and river trout, in addiꢀon to the marmot, the Pallar lizard, the squirrel, the wild boar, the chamois and birds of prey such as the bearded vulture.
If you are interested in the plant world, in
Andorra you will have the opportunity to get to know Andorra's most emblemaꢀc flower, the poet's daffodil known locally as grandalla or Narcissus Poeꢀcus.
All this rich biological heritage of Andorra has been protected in various hunꢀng and fishing reserves, as well as in its natural parks
The Comapedrosa Valley Nature Reserve and the Sorteny Valley Nature Reserve are two protected areas created with a dual intenꢀon:
firstly, to conserve ecosystems and, secondly, to make raꢀonal social use of them.
The grandalla is considered the naꢂonal
flower of Andorra. It is dainty and grows in the mountain meadow grass in spring. It belongs to the family of daffodils and has a perennial buried bulb, from which long, flat leaves emerge, culminaꢀng in a solitary flower that opens verꢀcally orwith a slight inclinaꢀon.
Its central crown, light yellow and orange in colour, stands out between the pure white petals, forming a bright, perfectly symmetrical
Comapedrosa Park offers numerous possibiliꢀes for hiking and high mountain routes. This means visitors can experience
first-hand its impressive high mountain landscape of forests, lakes and waterfalls, as well as its naꢀve fauna and flora.
Several ecotourism routes are offered here in summer. You can also visit the interpretaꢀve circuit that is perfect for the whole family
Andorra' flora is completed by medicinal plants (strawberry and holly), wild mushrooms
(boletus, truffle and the fairy ring mushroom)
Geography, climate and nature
12 and stay in its 3 mountain huts. One of them,
Comapedrosa, is monitored and has a catering and accommodaꢀon service during the summer months.
These are by no means the only protected areas in the country. In the glacial Incles valley; the Enclar valley, part of the Green
Belt project; the Pessons cirque; the Tristaina valley; the Angonella valley; and the Old
Trade Roads (Caminos de los Anꢂguos
Oficios) you can do various ecotourism tours with professional guides to discover the rich natural heritage of Andorra.
This park also organises horse riding treks and, you can also try geocaching, a fun acꢀvity that involves looking for hidden treasures with the help of a GPS.
was declared a World Heritage Site by
Department of Tourism and Environment

UNESCO in 2004 for its natural and cultural wealth. Efforts to maintain it in the best possible condiꢀon have resulted in it being the only area without road access.
Sorteny Valley Nature Reserve
Comapedrosa Valley Nature Reserve

If you like hiking and mountaineering, this valley offers you several hiking routes and high mountain huts, which will allow you to really explore the area and enjoy its amazing
flora and fauna. You will also get to see the tradiꢀonal restored shepherd's huts. One of its best known features is its cobbled path, which corresponds to certain secꢀons of the GR7 and GR11.
Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley

Pessons Cirque

Green Belt Iꢂnerary

Old Trade Roads

Geography, climate and nature
13 Leisure, sports and health
Andorra is the perfect desꢂnaꢂon for snow lovers. If you like this sport, you can do various winter sports and outdoor acꢀviꢀes here with your partner, friends or family.
Arcalís. On the other hand, in the valleys of Canillo and Encamp you will find Grandvalira, a true paradise if you are happy to spend hours skiing on the slopes of Encamp, Canillo,
El Tarter, Soldeu, Grau Roig and El Pas de la
Casa. No less than 200 kilometres of tracks at your disposal!
In the Principality of Andorra you can choose from 2 ski slopes and 1 cross-country ski slope.
Vallnord is a ski resort located in the valleys of La Massana and Ordino. It has more than 90 km of slopes in three sectors: Pal, Arinsal and Do you prefer Nordic skiing? Naturlandia has
15 km of slopes in the Rabassa forest in Sant
Julià de Lòria. It is the perfect place to do
15 sports and, at the same ꢀme, enjoy nature as a family. Here you will find an animal park, a snow slide, snowshoeing routes, snowmobiles and quads. Do you like thrills? Don't miss the Tobotronc, the world's longest alpine slide, 5.3 km long. Your best bet for unique experiences! adventure circuits, zip lines, mountain biking and electric cycling. If you are a fan of these trails, in Vallnord Bike Park you have numerous routes to chose from at different levels specially designed for mountain biking.
In Arcalis, Naturlandia and Canillo you can also try your hand at orienteering and adventure acꢀviꢀes.
Also, these resorts offer two faciliꢀes that will be a must for you if you are a fan of snowboarding: Freeride Area and Snow Park.
Best of all, you can also enjoy these Andorran ski resorts in the summer, which provide the perfect seꢂng for outdoor acꢀviꢀes such as

Leisure, sports and health
Andorra is so much more than just skiing.
If you decide to visit us in summer, you will also be able to enjoy Andorra's spectacular landscapes and do numerous outdoor acꢀviꢀes. Discover all we have to offer foryour stay in this country during the hoꢁest months.
Vía ferrata protected routes, ravines, climbing routes, horseback riding or ecotourism routes are some excellent opꢀons to discover the impressive Andorran countryside.
However, you must have your fishing licence and the corresponding reserve permit to spend your holiday fishing in Andorra. For more informaꢂon on intensive fishing, catch and release fishing and natural populaꢀon reserves, contact the local tourist offices.
If you like hiking....
Hiking and excursions are one of the great aꢁracꢀons of Andorra in summer. In the mountain guide of Andorra, you will find several ecotourism route opꢀons so you can discover the most important natural spaces of the country and its flora and fauna.
Choose which one you want to start with:
The Comapedrosa Valley Nature Reserve,
The best fishing spots
Do you like fishing and want to discover some new fishing spots? The lakes and rivers of Andorra await you and your rod from 14/03 to 18/11.
Leisure, sports and health
17 the Sorteny Valley Nature Reserve, the Incles
Valley, the Enclar Valley, the Madriu-Perafita-
Claror Valley, the Pessons Cirque and the Old
Trade Roads in Sant Julià de Lòria.
If you decide to follow the Camino de
Reencuentro, bear in mind that it is a walking route, and that you can choose two different iꢀneraries: a more physical one and a more relaxed family route.
Of course, you can also organise your own excursions. The Andorran Trails Guide contains 66 iꢂneraries, while the Map of Mountain Huts and Long Distance Walks of Andorra contains details of all the exisꢀng routes and the 30 high mountain huts.
The hiking route to Capcir, Andorra la Vella and Alt Urgell
This route brings you through all the Catalanspeaking areas of the region and reveals the natural, cultural and historical heritage. If you are spending a few days in Andorra, you can do the stretch that connects Capcir with the Catalan region of Alt Urgell. In total, there are
160 kilometres of beauꢀful landscapes and charming villages.
Cross-border trails
El Camino del Reencuentro (The Path of Reunion)
The route starts in the village of Auzat, in
France, and ends in La Seu d'Urgell, in Spain, crossing Andorra. It is a path full of history and culture that follows ancient shepherds' paths crossing borders to share the vast heritage of these three regions.
Enjoy the mountain with the "ferrata" routes, climbing, canyoning....
Do you like to be in the mountains? In the Principality of Andorra you will find plenty of ways to enjoy a unique experience in each of its parishes.
Leisure, sports and health
18 You can pracꢀce all the sports and adventure acꢂviꢂes in a natural environment with its unique beauty and mountainside features.
You won't find 18 via ferrata routes, 5 ravines and more than 200 climbing routes across 9 areas in every country. This is a mini paradise for those who love the mountains and enjoy geꢂng to know every inch of them. Best of all, most of these routes suit everyone.
Are you already an experienced canyonist?
In that case, the ravines of Torrent de l'Aviar,
Ensegur and Canaleta will provide you with the challenges you need.
Enjoy golf and pitch puꢁ in the loveliest valleys...
Andorra also offers golf and pitch puꢀ, one of the most popular sports in the world today.
You can also get to know the valley from a different perspecꢀve. You can do this if you go to one of Andorra's two equestrian centres or the six climbing walls also located here.
In Andorra you can find courses for both sports, allowing both beginners and experts to enjoy them in a privileged seꢂng between
May and September. Vall d'Ordino Golf Club and Pitch Puꢁ El Torrent, in La Massana, are a must for golfers passing through Andorra.
The most spectacular course in Andorra though is, without doubt, Golf Soldeu, located at an alꢀtude of 2,250m and considered the highest golf course in Europe.
Finally, we should also menꢀon that canyoning is very popular in Andorra. This acꢀvity combines river raꢃing and climbing to give you a unique adrenaline rush. If you want to try it, start from the Encodina ravine
- near the Sorteny Nature Reserve - one of the least difficult.
Leisure, sports and health
19 Animal park informaꢀon about the area. Informaꢀon leaflets in four languages are also available at the tourist offices.
If you are spending a few days in Andorra with the family, then a visit to Naturlandia is a must. This is an animal park that is integrated into the surrounding landscape at an alꢀtude of 2,000 metres.
Want to see the whole country in a week?
If you like hiking, in Andorra you will find the GRP, or Gran Recorrido País, a circuit of about
100 kilometres perfectly marked and divided into 7 stages of 14 km.
Naturlandia is located in the parish of Sant
Julià de Lòria, and is the perfect place to get to know Andorra's typical wildlife and enjoy various sports and leisure and nature awareness acꢀviꢀes. You can also sample some tradiꢀonal mountain food.
The GRP is designed to suit all ages and abiliꢀes as it has no complicated secꢀons and can be completed at a relaxed pace. And there are also mountain huts where you can stay on the journey.
Nature on the road....
Andorra is a country that is aware of the importance and aꢁracꢀveness of its natural heritage. This is why it has a network of 14 ecotourism viewpoints, located in places of special natural interest. Each of them has an informaꢀon panel with all the important
If you manage to complete this route, you will receive a diploma from the Ministry of Tourism and a prize. Do you dare to do the 'Tour de
Leisure, sports and health
20 Andorra Acꢀve Tourism App
Tour the country by mountain bike....
Do you want to know more about what
Andorra has to offer in terms of tourism and nature? Download the "Andorra Acꢀve
Tourism” app and access lots of informaꢀon
Would you rather do miles on a mountain bike? If so, then Andorra is also the place for you! In each parish you will find several mountain trails that are perfectly suited to mountain bikes. Andorra also has 2 large, specially prepared and equipped bike parks:
Vallnord Bike Park and BMX - Four Cross in
Arinsal, which are unrestricted and free of charge. about these acꢀviꢀes.
You can find free outdoor trails, maps and GPS tracking, as well as full informaꢀon on all the different acꢀviꢀes that take place. It even has a path finder funcꢁon to help you navigate if you get lost and an SOS geolocaꢀon funcꢀon.
Or how about a road bike?
This app also has all the informaꢀon and advice you need to prepare your acꢀviꢀes in Andorra to suit your needs, even consulꢀng with experts in the area.