Five excuses to discover Andorra in your holidays
The country of the Pyrenees is full of mountain landscapes and natural attractions that will leave no-one unmoved. Although 92% of the land is covered by forest, the country has a wide range of activities to offer, whatever the time of year. Here are five excuses to discover Andorra in your next summer holiday.
This could be one of the reasons Andorra is best known for. It’s a common sight to see the Principality’s central streets bustling with people going shopping at the weekend. The main attraction is the low indirect tax rate compared to its neighbouring countries, which is only 5% in Andorra. The main shopping hub in Andorra is in the centre of the country, along the Mertixell and Carlemany Avenues. This is the most popular zone for many to go shopping for fashion, cosmetics and electronic devices. Along its streets you’ll even find internationally famous brands. Another busy shopping area is El Pas de la Casa, the favourite for tourists visiting us from France.
Andorra is full of unspoilt mountain landscapes around its villages and the city. You can explore its lakes, forests and pastures by walking the numerous hiking trails, with something suitable for all levels.
The Sorteny Natural Park, part of the Ordino biosphere reserve, is an essential area for discovering local animal and plant life. Nearby, the Tristaina lakes are one of the best options for a family day out. The route starts at the La Coma sector and you can also take the Tristaina cable car from Ordino Arcalís with a short panoramic walk. You can also marvel at the stunning views of Ordino valley, from the Tristaina Solar Viewpoint. This is a structure suspended above the ground at an elevation of 2,710 metres. And if you enjoy a challenge, you’ll love the Ordino “Estripagecs” circuit, where you’ll climb the six most emblematic peaks in the parish.
Although the Andorran forests exude tranquillity, the country also specialises in tourism focussed on health and well-being. Hot spring waters have always been a very important feature for Andorra and its economic development, especially in the parish of Escaldes-Engordany. Walking its streets, you'll come across the Font del Metge, a fountain of hot spring water at a temperature of 70ºC, available to everyone. Today, many hotels offer spa and well-being services, allowing visitors choosing Andorra for their holiday destination to completely switch off and relax.
The country’s mountain character can be found in Andorran cuisine. Here you can try traditional Pyrenean mountain dishes, such as escudella soup and trinxat (Andorran bubble and squeak). Chicory salads are a seasonal dish available only in spring, as the best time to harvest this mountain is after the winter snow has melted. Wild mushrooms are also a common feature in all kinds of dishes. Many restaurants and bordas (mountain huts) offer this type of cuisine. If you’d like to try mountain cuisine, we recommend the Refugio de Sorteny restaurant in Ordino, where you’ll always find fresh seasonal dishes, while enjoying unbeatable views in a protected natural environment. Another nearby option is the La Coma restaurant in Ordino Arcalís, where you can also take a hiking trail.
With regard to culture, if Andorra is notable for anything, it is the amount of Romanesque and pre-Romanesque art that can be found throughout the country. It offers a magnificently preserved sample of this kind of Pyrenean art, which you can visit on the special route of the Romanesque churches. Some of the churches are even by the roadside, so you’ll undoubtedly come across them during your visit. Andorra is also one of the countries with the most museums per km2. Some of the most important ones are in Ordino, such as the Casa d’Areny-Plandolit Museum, where you can learn about how a well-off Andorran family lived in the 19th century. On the Iron Route, once you’ve started at the La Massana the section and reached Llorts, you’ll discover the country’s mining past.
Another way to discover Andorra and its traditions is by road. On the tourist bus you can travel the country along 7 routes full of history and nature