Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Andorra, along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.
Andorra is one of the smallest countries in Europe, located north of Spain. It is renowned for its beautiful scenery, skiing, and tax-free shopping, although there is a lot more to discover.
In this article, I’m sharing some of the best places to visit in Andorra as well as activities and attractions that shouldn’t be missed while visiting.
Ordino is one of Andorra’s most beautiful villages. Located in the north part of the country, it is a bucolic, gorgeous little town. Ordino is also the name of the parish, or region, whose population in total is only about 5,000 people.
Ordino has several historical landmarks for travelers to visit as well as a few museums. It’s a very picturesque village that is lovely to stroll around during the summer months.
This valley is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, and with one visit it’s easy to see why. It occupies 10% of the entire country, and its beautiful geography ranges from valleys to high mountains.
Hike around one of the many trails, and you’re sure to run into some bordes, which are dry stone huts that are the vestiges of the agrarian past of the valley. The Muntanya path is part of the European E4 route, which stretches from Greece to the Strait of Gibraltar.
There are still working refuges, so you can spend several nights out and see the entire valley if you have the time!
Andorra has the highest ratio of visitors to inhabitants, a fact that is due, in large part, to the tax-free shopping in the country. Andorra’s tiny land is home to over 2,000 stores, and all of them follow the national law of no excise tax and a very low 4.5% VAT.
Visit at the end of April or the beginning of November for a special shopping festival and special discounts. Remember, however, that only one liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes can be taken out of the country.
Go skiing or snowboarding
Snow, along with shopping, is part of Andorra’s international reputation. Thanks to the high peaks, where most of them are above 2,000 meters, Andorra always has snow during wintertime (and the resorts have snow machines as back up, just in case).
The country has two main resorts for skiing—Grandvalira and Vallnord. When you combine the area of each, it’s one of Europe’s largest ski areas! Skiing or snowboarding in Andorra is a must, as the slopes are adapted for crowds and run very smoothly.
Andorra la Vella
The capital city of Andorra, Andorra la Vella is still relatively small. With only 22,000 inhabitants, one would think of a more sleepy village than capital. But thanks to its proximity to Spain (just 6 miles from the border) and tourist attractions, Andorra la Vella feels bustling.
Andorra la Vella, which means Andorra City, was founded in 1278! The most important building in the city is the Casa de la Vall—the parliamentary house, which was built in the early 1500s. The official language is Catalán.
Sant Joan de Caselles Church
This church began construction in the 12th century, and it is one of Andorra’s tallest churches. The three-story bell tower looms over the village of Canillo, with beautiful views of the mountains.
The church is a fantastic example of Andorran Romanesque architecture, with its raw stone façade and wooden roof. Murals inside include a depiction of the crucifixion from the 1100s. The altarpiece of the church is dedicated to Saint John.
Caldea Spa Complex
Caldea Spa is the largest spa in southern Europe and has been ever since it opened in 1994. The facilities are truly impressive: 30,000 square meters with innovative facilities and natural waters that come straight from the earth.
The sulfur and sodium-rich waters are purported to heal, decongest, and help with allergies. The spa features waterfalls, jets, Jacuzzis, and pools so you can choose how to experience the healing spring water.
Church of Santa Coloma
Santa Coloma is the oldest church in the country. The nave of the church dates back to the 8th or 9th century, and the tower goes all the way back to the 12th.
The architecture is a Romanesque style, built, according to legend, as a tribute to Saint Columba in hopes for protection from the wild bears that roamed the area. The most curious part of the church is the carved masks on the façade, so look up as you enter to get a glimpse.
For such a small country, Andorra has more than its fair share of museums. Check out some of these esoteric, quirky museums during your trip to Andorra. There seems to a museum for almost every topic, from tobacco to water.
The quirkiest, most interesting museum is probably the miniature museum, which is filled with tiny, microscopic versions of, well, everything. Then there is the perfume museum, an avant-garde space dedicated to smell.
Comic museums, postal museums, timber works, and mill museums—there’s something for everyone. Visitors can buy a pass that will include entry to all of Andorra’s 19 museums.
Escudella is the national dish of Andorra, a must eat when you visit. A stew made up of several different types of meat and vegetables, it is most often served in the winter or on feast days, such as Christmas.
Every family has a different recipe, but the stew usually contains chicken, veal, meatballs, pig snout and trotters, and butifarra sausage, as well as humble garden vegetables like potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and beans. The name comes from the dish that the stew was traditionally served in.
Saint Esteve Church
Saint Esteve Church, located in Ordino, is a beautifully preserved Romanesque church that is definitely worth a visit. Originally built in the 1100s, the semi-circular apse whose original artwork now features in the Catalonia National Art Museum.
The baroque altarpieces on the interior are gorgeous and one of the most famous pieces include the Painting of the Souls, a painting from the 18th century. A restoration done in 1940 remodeled the bell tower and the side entrance, but the church remains enchanting.
Casa de la Vall
Andorra has an interesting history, and no building epitomizes it quite like the Casa de la Vall. This historical house was built in 1580 as a home for the Busquets family.
However, by the 18th century, it was already part of the state, and it now serves as the headquarters of the Andorra General Council. A curious cabinet called “the closet of the seven keys” sits in the chapel, and it is the home of historical documents, bound by seven locks as a tribute to the parishes of Andorra.
Sola Irrigation Canal Trail
This hiking trail is a popular, peaceful walk on the outskirts of Andorra la Vella. It offers nice views of the city, and it is a popular place for locals to stroll as well as being an attractive place for tourists. It runs along the irrigation canal, hence the name.
Valle de Sorteny
This cultural site outside of Ordino is a park with great natural beauty and several sights worth visiting. One of those is the refuge Sorteny, which has a large terrace bar and restaurant right on the top of a 1,965-meter peak—a spectacular place to have a coffee or lunch.
The Valle de Sorteny is a natural park that houses a wide variety of flora and fauna as well. The walk around the valley is well signed, and there is a path option that makes it a great walk for families, even families with young children.
Les Escaldes is an urban area located in the Escaldes-Engordany parish of Andorra. It is the second-largest urban area, after Andorra la Vella, with a population of over 13,000. The name comes from the hot springs that are numerous in the area.
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