by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | December 2, 2021
Tucked into the Pyrenees mountains, between France and Spain, lies the small yet mighty Andorra. Known for its world-class skiing, epic hiking, and duty-free shopping, this tiny country frequently gets missed by European travelers. It may lack the grandeur and notability of its neighboring countries, but it surely makes up for it in natural beauty. I was amazed at the spectacular scenery along every twist and turn while driving into this wondrous place.
If you're planning a trip to nearby France or Spain, and if you enjoy nature at its finest, I highly recommend stopping by Andorra for at least a few days. The combination of outdoor activities, beautiful, mountainous sights, and peace and serenity are unmatched.
How to Get There
There are no airports, trains stations, or seaports in Andorra, so the only way to arrive is by car or bus. The capital city - Andorra la Vella - is one of the best places to visit, and is the perfect place to begin your Andorran journey. Drive times are as follows....
Barcelona to Andorra la Vella - 2.5 hours
Toulouse to Andorra la Vella - 2.5 hours
Zaragoza to Andorra la Vella - 3.5 hours
Montpellier to Andorra la Vella - 4 hours
What to Do
It's all about getting outdoors in beautiful Andorra. Depending on the season, locals and tourists partake in top-notch skiing, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling, and much more. This country's gorgeous, untouched land beckons to be experienced.
If you don't enjoy fitness activities, Andorra la Vella's quaint Old Town is the perfect place to wander about while popping into local shops and tasting the local cuisine. I highly recommend trying the national dish - escudella. It's a big, hearty stew with all sorts of delicious ingredients.
There are some great museums to check out, too, such as Casa de la Vall, La Cortinada Nature Center, and Casa Cristo.
Andorra is also known for its amazing spas and wellness retreats, with Caldea Spa serving as the largest spa center in Southern Europe. Its facilities include mineral pools, jacuzzis, bubble beds, steam rooms, and more.
There are plenty of things to see and do in Andorra to keep you quite busy for at least a few days.
When to Go
Andorra is a year-round destination, it just depends on what you are looking for. If you enjoy hiking, horseback riding, diving, and exploring on foot, I recommend visiting between May and September. If you want to ski and enjoy all the greatness of the winter season, then plan a visit between the end of December and the end of March.
Summer daily high temperatures usually sit around 80°F / 26°C.
Winter daily highs usually sit around 47°F / 8°C
Where to Stay
The capital city Andorra la Vella is the best place to stay in Andorra. It is here where you will find the best sights, museums, restaurants, hotels, and access to hiking and skiing trails.
Some recommended hotels are the Hotel Plaza Andorra, Andorra Park Hotel, and the Holiday Inn Andorra. These 5 star hotels are located in the prime area of Andorra la Vella and have some of the best amenities.
Andorra is the 6th smallest country in Europe, and the 17th smallest country in the world.
The main language of Andorra is Catalan, however, most locals also speak Spanish, French, and/or English.
The euro is the main currency of Andorra.
In 2021, the population of Andorra was 77,000 people.