Sunday, January 4, 2015

Andorra




Andorra is a lovely small country between Spain and France in the Pyrenees, covers an area of 468 km squares. The average altitude is around 2000 meters.
Although you see Spanish and French effects on the culture, the dominant one is Catalan culture. The same can be seen in terms of language too. The official language is Catalan, though it is possible to hear French and Spanish, as well.
The capital city is Andora la Vella. The other 6 “big cities” are; Sant Julia de Loria, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana, Ordino, Encamp, Canillo.
This peaceful country haven’t been in a war for last 700 years. Also they have a very high life expectancy (on average 84).
The country known as ski-land and it is also famous with its nature, ski resorts, SPAs and tax-free shops.




Andorra has charming landscape with it is fresh air, green high mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys, large meadows, trekking areas and ski resorts. Depending on snow conditions, ski season starts after the second half of November and lasts till mid-April.
Beside being a natural heaven, due to being a tax free country, it is also heaven for shoppers, specially for buying duty free products;  watches, electronics, perfumes, cigarettes, liquors, etc. There are 2 long streets with so many shops and malls between Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany. One can walk between two cities without even realizing that. The number of available shops are more than 2000 in Andorra. As you can imagine the famous brands are all around the city.


















In terms of architecture the country has its own style. In addition to stone houses, there are several churches and bridges in different cities. 

No matter how tired you are, the nature with the fresh air and SPAs bring you back to life. 














Tricks and Tips:
-  Andorra doesn’t have an airport. So other Catalan regions are entrance gateways; either from France (Toulouse or Perpignan) or from Barcelona you can reach to Andorra.
Tourist visas are not required to enter Andorra, however since there is no airport you need to enter either to France or Spain. Thus, tourists still need a Schengen visa, unless they are  EU citizens.
      - The shops are open between 10:00-13:00 and 15:00-20:00. Some are open till 21:00/22:00.  On Sundays some of the shops are still open and the hours changes depending the shop.
     The cities/towns in the country are very close to each other, even without having/renting a car or motorbike, one can still go to the other cities easily by the well scheduled buses.
      - Unlike other stores, small electronic stores are open to bargain. 
    -  Almost all 3-4 star hotels have their SPA facilities, however check their schedules in advance. 
   - Don’t forget that even if it is not the ski season the country is in the mountains, so it is cold after sunset, even you may wear short sleeves during the day time.
      - Tourism information offices are helpful and friendly in Andorra.


   The distances from Andorra la Vella to:

   Barcelona                                135.7 Km (84 miles)
   Tolouse -France                      122.3 Km (76 miles)
   Sant Julia de Loria - Andorra        3.22Km (2 miles)
   Escaldes-Engordany- Andorra      1.61 Km (1mile)
   La Massana- Andorra                   4.83 Km (3 miles)
   Ordino - Andorra                      172 Km (107 miles)
   Encamp- Andorra                         1.62 Km (1 mile)
   Canillo – Andorra                         9.65 Km (6 miles)