The main sights of Andorra and where to ski
What to see in Andorra in summer or winter tourist in one or more days? We have selected 12 interesting and beautiful places of the dwarf state of Europe, made a map of the location of the sites. For gastro-travelers we have prepared a review of restaurants where you can eat traditional cuisine and relax in a cozy interior.
The tiny principality of Andorra is located in the eastern part of the Pyrenees Mountains, between Spain and France. Due to the fortunate location a huge number of tourists visit the country every year. The road from neighboring countries to the capital of the Principality takes no more than 15 minutes, which is a significant argument in favor of visiting it. Ski resorts are the main attractions of Andorra, but besides there are many places of interest.
Visitors to Andorra attract not only beautifully equipped ski resorts, but also stunning pristine nature, world-class service, excellent infrastructure. Holidays in the Principality are much cheaper for tourists than in other European ski resorts. Since the state is in a duty-free zone, fans of shopping with pleasure make here numerous purchases.
Andorra la Vella .
The capital of the principality is the most beautiful and most visited by travelers. It is divided into old and new.
The new city pleases with well-groomed streets, an abundance of boutiques, small stores and modern shopping centers. Many of them are located on the street Meritxell, decorated in the Roman style. It is often depicted in photos of attractions in Andorra.
After shopping tourists like to spend time in local cafes or restaurants and enjoy the exquisite taste of a variety of dishes. Spas and entertainment venues also offer their services.
The old monuments are located in the old quarter of Barri Antique, where the spirit of the Middle Ages is everywhere. Much of the neighborhood’s construction is of rough-hewn gray stone. The buildings line the narrow streets and are no more than two or three stories high with small wooden balconies.
When visiting the attractions of Spanish Andorra, be sure to visit Caldea. It is known for its unique thermal waters, and its size is unparalleled in Europe.
There are swimming pools of different depths, cascades, rocks, water park, there is a Jacuzzi, gyms, beauty and massage salons, restaurants and stores. The thermal waters of Caldea have a healing effect and have a relaxing and healing effect on the body.
The spa is always crowded. It is a comfortable place to spend a romantic evening, as well as relax with your family members.
Casa de la Valle palace
Among the attractions of Andorra with photos and descriptions stands out this palace, which is also called the “House of the Valley”. The 16th-century building, located in the central square of the capital, is of great historical and political value to the country.
It was once the seat of the Land Council and is now the seat of the local Parliament where important state decisions are made.
The Casa de la Valle is open for guided tours, so everyone is welcome to visit. The palace also has a kitchen-museum with a collection of edged weapons and kitchen utensils from past centuries. In ancient times, it was used to cook food for the councilors. The museum has its own archive where the documents of the nobles are kept.
What to see in Andorra at any time, but especially in summer? Visit this picturesque area, which is surrounded by mountains, in one day. It is accessed by road, with hotels and cafes on the sides. At Inkles Valley, travelers can relax near a bustling mountain river with picnic areas.
It’s beautiful at any time of year and always has breathtaking scenery to offer.
If you are visiting Andorra in the summer, you will surely want to visit this lake, located at an altitude of 1600 meters near the town of Encamp. There is a hiking route to the lake, but many travelers want to climb its steep slopes and admire the surrounding beauties at the same time.
There is a church not far from the lake. Taking a cable car ride, you can admire it from high above.
Church of St. John
On the outskirts of the town of Canillo, one of the most beautiful places in Andorra, this Romanesque church with a tower is built. It has porticoes, a rectangular nave, and remnants of stucco preserved to this day from the 11th or 12th century.
Since the church is located on the road to other important places in the Principality, its visit is included in the tour itineraries.
Church of Santa Coloma
When visiting the religious sites of Andorra, pay attention to the building of the ancient church of Santa Coloma, which resembles a tower. Its architecture is completely different from the exterior of similar institutions, as it lacks the elements inherent in them.
Despite its appearance, Santa Coloma is a church. It was built in the 10th century and it is still welcoming parishioners.
Ski resorts Soldeu/El Tarter
Andorra in winter especially attracts fans of skiing. The most popular and dynamic resort, offering its guests a range of quality services, is the famous Soldeu. It is only 19 kilometers from the capital and is connected by cable car to another ski resort El Tarter.
The total length of the ski slopes of both villages is more than 90 kilometers. Resorts have excellent infrastructure, suitable for skiers with different levels of training, equipped with different types of elevators. Skiing season here lasts from December to April. The official website https://www.soldeu.com will tell you how to get there, the prices of skipasses, what the weather is like and other nuances of skiing in Andorra.
Gives fans of snowboarding and downhill skiing a lot of positive experiences: an extensive infrastructure, beautiful snow cover, sunshine and 63 kilometers of well-groomed slopes of varying difficulty level.
The ski village is the closest to the capital, which is only five kilometers away. The resort is divided into zones, the most famous of them – Pal and Arinsal, associated with a free shuttle bus.
The Pal sector has the largest number of snow cannons per kilometer. The easiest trails are located here. They are suitable for children and beginners.
The Andorran is famous for its most difficult slopes, which skiers are sure to appreciate for experienced skiers. Therefore, the question of what to do in Andorra tourists never arises.
The length of the tracks for the fans of snowboarding is 24 km.
At each station, you can also ride snowmobiles, dog sledding, sledding, airboarding, etc. The resorts are open eateries and restaurants where you can eat good food. Some of these establishments have terraces.
The resort has a ski school, children’s club, information desk, and luggage room. Two schools have Russian-speaking staff. All the latest information on the cost of ski passes, news, webcams, you can see on the official website www.vallnord.com/.
Grandvalira ski resort
What to visit and see in Andorra in winter? Of course Grandvalira is the largest and most prestigious resort in the Pyrenees. It combines several ski villages connected by elevators. The resort opened in 1956 and is still going strong today.
The Grandvalira Resort has excellent conditions for skiers of all professional levels. There is a snow nursery for kids and beginners.
Ski Track Scheme
Click to enlarge
Tobacco production along with tourism business is the basis of the economy of the Principality, so if you are still thinking what to see in Andorra, be sure to visit it.
The institution is located in the building of a former tobacco factory and is owned by the Reig family. The museum has been in existence since 1999. He introduces visitors to all stages of tobacco manufacturing. Its collection includes antique machines and various tools necessary for the production of cigars.
The museum uses new technologies, multimedia systems are installed and visual demonstrations are used. This is done in order to show visitors the process of tobacco product manufacturing in the most vivid way.
On the terrace all comers may taste any sample of the currently manufactured cigars and buy souvenirs as well.
It was opened in Canilla in 2007 thanks to the initiative of local lovers of this type of transport. Since its invention by Gottlieb Daimler in 1885, the motorcycle has undergone many upgrades, but it is still quite a popular means of transportation in many countries.
The museum exhibit includes more than a hundred and fifty models, among which is the oldest motorcycle of French production. There are models resembling scooters and a number of other varieties of motorcycles developed by famous car brands.
What to see in Andorra in one day?
Now let’s lay out a self-guided itinerary for a walk to the best places, where we advise to visit first. If you are going to the Principality for a few hours, we recommend starting to get to know the country from its capital, and first of all walk through its historic center Barri Antic .
The medieval fortress of Casa de la Val is an important monument and a must visit.
The Bridge of the Margineda, spanning the Valira River, is often seen in many photos of Andorra, where tourists often organize Instagram photo shoots. It will be no less interesting to see, as well as Salvador Dali’s sculpture “The Nobility of Time”.
To enhance the effect of a day trip through the Principality, finish it in the Caldea Spa, enjoying the healing power of the thermal waters. Or, in fact, go to one of the restaurants that we have selected, where you can have a delicious national meal.
Bridge of Margineda
The 15 most interesting places to see in Andorra
Let’s list the top 15 sights of Andorra. This tiny principality in the middle of Europe, although it is very small, but literally every corner will prove interesting to the tourist. Neighborhood with Spain and France, a centuries-old rich history and wonderful nature of the Pyrenees give special charm to the country.
To see the dwarf state can be literally in a day, as the territory of the Principality covers 468 km 2 . It takes only 10-15 minutes to drive from the capital to the borders with neighboring countries. Despite its small size, Andorra is able to please the highest European service, a distinctive culture and ancient traditions, unique buildings, magnificent ski resorts and a duty-free zone. We will provide photos and descriptions of the most important historical and natural sights.
Andorra la Vella
The capital of the state, which is a must visit. The city is divided into two parts – the old, where medieval buildings are preserved (Barri Antique quarter), and the new with many entertainment venues, hotels, restaurants, cafes, stores, etc. It is best to go on a guided tour, then you will have a chance not only to see the most beautiful Roman bridges, Arab fortresses, ancient castles, but also to hear a fascinating story about the country itself.
Casa de la Val Palace
Located in the main square of the capital and referred to by the locals as the “House of the Valley.” The palace was built back in the 16th century and is one of the most important historical landmarks. It often appears in photos and reviews of tourists. And even today, the building is used by the Parliament of Andorra to conduct political affairs. A few rooms are occupied by a museum and an archive. There is a beautiful park around it.
Built on a hill near the capital in the IX century. There is a museum within its walls. The exhibits show the furnishings and interior of the rooms, which was in fashion at the time, and there are interesting household items of the family of Counts of Urgell. A picturesque panorama opens from the height of the watchtower.
If you don’t know what to see in Andorra, put this site on your list of natural attractions. It’s best to vacation here in the summer, as the gorgeous nature creates incredible scenery all around. The lake is located near the town of Encamp. To him lay special easy trails, but the bravest and endurance can climb to a height of 1.6 thousand meters on their own on more difficult slopes. There are also offered to enjoy the views of the Pyrenees Mountains from the cable car.
It is considered the most picturesque in the country. There is a highway through it, along which stores, cozy hotels, and picnic places are open. The charm of nature is not spoiled by the hand of man. With all the amenities locals have managed to maintain the natural look of the valley. It is pleasant to stay here for a few days and go hiking. It is worth a visit to Lake Zuclar, which is the largest lake in Andorra. To see it in all its beauty, you can take to the sky in a helicopter and take a fascinating tour.
Coma Pedrosa Valley
This is a protected area spread out at the foot of the mountain of the same name. It is unique in that it is located at the highest point of the Pyrenees. The valley is surrounded by snowy peaks, hot springs with healing water, streams and rivers, flowering meadows and dense forests. Ecotourism lovers prefer to stay here for a few days.
Church of Santa Coloma
Andorra has quite a few religious churches and attractions. And this church is one of the most outstanding. Though its appearance seems unremarkable, without excessive luxury and pretentiousness, it impresses with its ancient architecture. Its walls have been preserved in their former form.
Church of St. John
It has an interesting architectural design. The temple was built in the XI-XII centuries. The building was made in the Romanesque style, which is emphasized by porticoes, stucco and a peculiar tower with a bell tower. It is often a tourist attraction because it is on the way of bus routes.
Church of the Blessed Virgin of Meritchel
Built near the town of Encamp, in the middle of the mountain slopes. Appreciated by the faithful for a special relic of the temple, a wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin of Meritchel, after whom the cathedral is named. She is considered the patroness of the country and has appeared several times to people in this place.
You can find it in the seventh district. The building itself is located at a level of 909 meters. Here you can learn and see the whole journey from the plant to the smoker. And if before it was just a factory for growing and processing tobacco, today there is a full-fledged exhibition, which shows all the tools, machines, and attributes associated with the craft. Those who wish can taste the finished cigars on the way out.
La Margineda Bridge
Considered to be the most popular object among tourists, against which numerous photos are taken. An ancient construction in the form of an arch, created from large stones. The surrounding nature also gives a special charm to the place.
A ski resort, to which hundreds of tourists from all over Europe come in the winter. What’s interesting is that its slopes and elevators are connected in the same network with the neighboring villages of Canillo and El Tarter. As a result, tourists have a huge choice of where to ski, what level of complexity of the slopes to choose.
Another ski town in the middle of the Pyrenees, but considered the youngest of the surrounding resorts. The owners decided to create comfortable areas for all categories of tourists – families, young people, beginners, experienced skiers, professionals. There are necessary conditions for almost everyone who wants to ski here.
Despite the great variety of ski villages in Andorra, it is worth mentioning this one. It is considered one of the most prestigious and largest in Europe, as it combines several settlements and as a result occupies a large area in the middle of the mountain ranges. It is often visited by parents with children, as there is a nursery down by the elevators, which gives adults a chance to enjoy a good ride and relaxation.
A modern thermal wellness complex, the largest in Europe. An area of 600 m 2 is dedicated to swimming pools with healing liquids from springs, cozy hotels, water attractions, jacuzzis, restaurants and various entertainment venues. You can spend a romantic evening here, take a break from the bustle of the big city, improve your health.
This is not the whole list of attractions in Andorra. If you have enough time, you can choose where to go and what to see. You just need to be guided by your own preferences. For example, some will be interested in medieval dilapidated churches and temples located in the most incredible places. Others will prefer to visit a number of fascinating exhibitions – museums of matryoshka, comics, motorcycles, miniatures, stones, mail, electricity, etc.
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