Every year, the small Principality of Andorra, located in the Pyrenees, is visited by more than 10 million tourists. This is a phenomenal figure for a country with a population of around 85,000. Andorra is famous for its ski resorts Pas de la Casa, Soldeu El Tarter, Encamp, Escaldes, Canillo and Arinsal. However, Andorra is not only high-class ski slopes, but also beautiful nature, Roman buildings and medieval churches.
Geography of Andorra
The Principality of Andorra, whose history began about 1,200 years ago, is located in the eastern part of the Pyrenees. In the north and east, Andorra borders on France, and in the south and west – on Spain .. The total area of this unique country is 468 sq. km. Most of the territory of Andorra is mountains, but there are also cozy narrow valleys. The highest mountain in Andorra is Coma Pedrosa (2946 m).
According to itypejob.com, the capital of Andorra is the small city of Andorra la Vella, whose population is now about 25 thousand people. Scientists have proven that Andorra la Vella was founded in the first half of the 9th century.
The official language of Andorra is Catalan (sometimes called Valencian). The Catalan language belongs to the Romance languages with ancient roots, its formation dates back to the beginning of the Middle Ages. In addition, most Andorrans also speak Spanish and French.
More than 97% of the inhabitants of Andorra are Catholics. The head of the Church of Andorra is the Bishop of Urgell.
According to computerminus.com, the Principality of Andorra is a parliamentary democracy. The co-rulers of this country are the President of France, as well as the Spanish Bishop of Urgell. However, their power is nominal, because they do not even have the right to veto in the local parliament.
The Parliament of Andorra is the General Council of the Valleys (it has one chamber), which consists of 28 deputies. This General Council was formed as early as 1419. The country’s constitution was adopted on March 14, 1993. Andorra is a member of the United Nations, and since 1991 it has a trade agreement with the European Union.
Climate and weather
The climate in Andorra is temperate Mediterranean with warm summers and cold snowy winters. Precipitation falls throughout the year. The average air temperature in Andorra is +9C. During the summer season (May-September) daytime air temperature ranges from + 23 to +30 C, and at night from +5 to +19 C). During the ski season (November-April), daytime air temperature averages from -10 to +2C.
Rivers and lakes of Andorra
Andorra has four rivers and a large number of mountain lakes (the largest of them is Lake Juclar).
Historians claim that Andorra granted independence back in the 9th century AD. “Emperor of the West”, King of the Franks Charlemagne. Since 1278, Andorra has been under the joint protectorate of France and Spain. Throughout the Middle Ages and Modern times, Andorra remained outside the great European history. At this time, Andorra has only economic ties with France and Spain. Note that smuggling flourished in Andorra in the Middle Ages.
In 1607, the Head of the French State and the Spanish Bishop of Urgell became co-rulers of Andorra.
Tourism flourished in Andorra in the 1950s. In 1970, women in Andorra received the right to vote. In 1993, the inhabitants of Andorra adopt their first Constitution, and after that the country enters the UN.
Culture of Andorra
The ancient Romans had a great influence on the culture of Andorra. At the moment, about 50 Roman temples have been preserved in this country. In the Middle Ages, Spain (France to a lesser extent) had a great influence on the culture of Andorra.
If we talk about Andorran writers, the most famous of them are Albert Salvado, Anthony Morell and Juan Pruga.
Andorra annually hosts several music festivals. The most popular of them are the International Jazz Festival (June) and the Ordino Classical Music Festival (September).
The main food products of Andorrans are meat, vegetables, pasta, and in some regions also fish. In winter, in the cities and villages of Andorra, escudella soup (escudella), prepared from meat (veal, chicken), potatoes and vegetables, is very often eaten. In general, Andorran cuisine is very similar to Catalan cuisine, although it has some elements of French and Italian cuisine.
Among the traditional Andorran dishes are various sausages, “la parillada” (fried meat), Andorran veal carpaccio, Andorran trout, Pan con Tomate (toasts on rustic bread with ripe tomatoes, garlic and olive oil), and onion salad with honey (sounds funny, but actually very tasty).
Cheese is common in the north of Andorra (French influence is felt). In Andorra, many Catholic families still do not eat meat on Fridays.
Sights of Andorra
Despite the fact that tourists come to Andorra to ski, we advise them to definitely see the sights of this country. The top five attractions in Andorra, in our opinion, include:
- Chateau d’Enclar. This castle, built in the 9th century AD, is located near the village of Santa Coloma at an altitude of 1126 meters above sea level. In the Middle Ages, the Chateau d’Enclar was the residence of the Counts of Urgell.
- Ethnographic Museum Casa Rull. This museum, built in the 17th century, is located in the village of Sisponi. Museum visitors can see how Andorrans lived several centuries ago. The entrance ticket for adults costs 3 euros, for students – 1.5 euros, and for children – free of charge.
- Monastery Merichel. This monastery was founded in the 17th century. Here is the famous statue of the Virgin Mary and the Chapel of San Joan de Caselles. In 1972, the monastery survived a fire, but was completely restored by 1976.
- Church of Santa Eulalia. The construction of the Church of Santa Eulalia in d’Encamp began at the end of the 6th century. Later, a bell tower was added to the church, whose height is still 23 meters. In the XX century the church was reconstructed.
- Casa de la Val (House of the Valleys). The House of the Valleys was built in 1702 in Andorra la Vella. Since the middle of the 17th century, the Parliament of the Principality of Andorra has been sitting in this building.
Cities and resorts
In addition to Andorra la Vella, the capital of Andorra, this state has several other small cities, among which the following should be mentioned: Pas de la Casa, Soldeu, and Escaldes.
Every city in Andorra is a high-class ski resort. In addition, there are entire resort areas in this country – Soldeu-El Tarter, Encamp, Canillo, Arinsal, La Massana, Ordino, and, of course, Cortinada. Some of the above settlements are small towns, while others are just villages.
At the moment, there are more than 4,000 shops in small Andorra, which are visited by millions of tourists every year.
We advise tourists to pay attention to Andorran handicrafts – “musicature” (a special type of wood or metal carving with folk motifs) and handmade furniture (of course, it is difficult to pack it in a suitcase).
In Andorra, you can always find T-shirts, cups, postcards, fridge magnets, key chains, etc.
In Andorra, on weekdays, shops are open from 9.00 to 20.00, on Saturday – from 9.00 to 21.00, and on Sunday – from 9.00 to 19.00.
Mon-Fri: – 09.00-13.00 and 15:00-17-00
Sat: – 09:00-12:00
Citizens of Ukraine who want to visit Andorra receive a visa at the Spanish consulate.
The main currency in circulation is the euro.
Banknotes in denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros.
- 1 and 2 euro
- 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50
Credit cards (American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and Diners Club) and travelers checks are accepted. Banks and exchange offices exchange currency without duty.
However, in Andorra, you can safely pay with another currency, for example, dollars or pounds sterling.
There are no restrictions on the import and export of local and foreign currency in Andorra. It is forbidden to import drugs, firearms, explosives (including fireworks), pornography, radio transmitters, some foodstuffs, rare species of animals, plants and birds into Andorra.
From Andorra per person it is allowed to export 5 liters of table wine, 3 liters of alcoholic beverages with a strength of up to 22 degrees, as well as another 1.5 liters of strong alcoholic beverages and up to 300 cigarettes.
Art objects cannot be exported from Andorra without special permission.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
The interests of Andorra in Ukraine are represented by the Embassy of Spain in Ukraine:
Address: Kiev, st. Ilinskaya, 22/3-D
Phone: (044) 501-06-00
Fax: (044) 501-06-07
The interests of Ukraine in Andorra are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in Spain:
Address: España, 28043 Madrid, Ronda de la Abubilla, 52
Phone: (8 10 34 91) 748 93 60
Fax: (8 10 34 91) 388 71 78
E-mail: emb_es @mfa.gov.ua, [email protected]
Ambulance – 116
Emergencies – 112
Police – 110
Fire – 118
Andorra is located in the Central European time zone. The time difference in Kyiv in summer is -1 hour, and in winter – 2 hours. Those. if in Andorra la Vella, for example, in the summer it is 9:00 am, then in Kyiv it is 10:00 am.
In Andorran restaurants, a service charge can be added to the bill, but not more than 10% of the order. Taxi drivers usually receive a 10% tip, doormen €1.25-€2.50, wait staff €.50-€1.50.
No mandatory vaccination is required when entering Andorra. Since tourists come to Andorra through Spain or France, they need to comply with the sanitary standards of these countries.
The police in Andorra (and there are only 200 of them) provide a high level of security. However, we advise tourists in Andorra to still be wary of theft. However, such incidents, from time to time, happen to tourists in all countries.
Just in case, the police phone is +376 872 000