Holidays in Andorra: The country’s main attractions

12 best sights of Andorra

Despite its tiny size, Andorra has something to boast about. Thousands of tourists visit the principality every year. They are attracted not only by the chic ski resorts, but also numerous museums, churches, fortresses and nature reserves.

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Who goes here and why

Tourism is one of the main sources of income of the state, so here have tried to create conditions for a variety of recreation. The sights of Andorra attract people of all ages and interests.

Nature lovers are offered to go hiking along the scenic eco-routes, where travelers will find mountains, fresh air and almost bottomless lakes of glacial origin.

History and antiquity buffs will find forts that protected Andorrans in the turbulent Middle Ages and numerous churches. Some of the buildings date back to the 10th century.

For those who want to learn new things and add to their cultural baggage, you should visit the local museums. There are a variety of exhibits, from the formation of the state to the history of tobacco and perfumes.

Museums

A trip to an Andorran museum will not be boring – there will not be any trivial exhibits covered with centuries-old dust. But the tourists will learn a lot of interesting and unusual about the usual things.

Museum of Electricity

musei elektrichestva

This museum is located in one of the premises of the electrical company FEDA. Above it is the Engolasters Reservoir, thanks to which the turbines that generate electricity for Andorra rotate.

The exhibition invites visitors to learn about the history of electricity, the stages of its production and to take part in entertaining experiments. Tourists can also take a tour of the dam and some of the hydraulic equipment.

Tobacco Museum

musei tabaka

In the place San Julia de Loria, at an altitude of 900 meters, grows the best tobacco in Europe, which is then turned into flavorful cigars. Several companies successfully operate in the region.

The first one was founded in 1909 by the Reig family. But it could not withstand the competition and closed after half a century. On the initiative of one of the members of the bankrupt family in 1999 a tobacco museum was opened in the building of the former factory.

It tells about the entire cycle of cigar production – from growing and drying tobacco to the actual production. There is a separate room with important documents relating to the history of tobacco. At the end of the visit tourists are invited on the terrace to taste the products of the local tobacco companies.

Museum of Perfumes

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The museum was opened in 2004 in the town of Escaldes. It offers visitors to plunge into the fragrant world of natural perfumes. Numerous samples of essential oils and essences are on display and can be smelled.

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Multimedia screens show movies, telling about the stages of perfumes and eau de toilette creation, interesting facts and other. In a separate room under the responsive guidance of a flavorist everyone can create an exclusive fragrance and take away a bottle with a personal perfume.

Casa de la Val

kosa de la val

The Casa de la Val, located in the capital of Andorra, is one of the oldest parliament buildings. In the Middle Ages it was part of a fortification that protected the inhabitants of the state from enemy invasions.

The parliament is the current legislative body, so only a few rooms are open for tourists to visit. But they deserve the closest attention. These include the ancient kitchen with authentic utensils, the ceremonial hall for receiving guests, and the General Council Hall, where court sessions were once held, important decisions were made, and government papers were kept.

The first floor of the structure is occupied by the Church of San Ermengol; the second floor houses the Postal Museum. And in the Main Hall one can admire the elaborate frescoes.

Postal Museum

musei poshti

The displays in this small museum detail the beginnings of the Principality’s postal system, its important milestones and achievements. A separate room displays Andorran stamps from the 1920s to the present day. The museum’s collection now numbers about 50,000 stamps.

Stamps, letter bags, press bags, and envelopes are also of interest.

In addition to the regular exhibition, the museum hosts philatelists’ meetings, themed exhibitions and other postal-related events.

Comic Book Museum

musei komiksov

The city of La Massana is home to the Museum of Comics, which has a huge collection of drawn editions. They tell about the adventures of superheroes and unusual characters with extraordinary abilities.

There are also rare series in the “horror” genre. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the museum holds themed exhibitions related to the world of comics. And every Thursday, master classes are held in the building, where everyone is taught to create a story in pictures.

Museum of Orthodox icons

musei provosl ikon

Andorra is a Catholic country, so the Museum of Orthodox icons, located in the town of Ordino seems to be a real curiosity. This is the third such museum in Europe that talks about the art of iconography. On display are religious masterpieces painted in the XVII-XIX centuries by artists from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Greece.

Religious sites

Almost all the ancient churches of Andorra are active. Their heavy stone walls, medieval architecture and elaborate frescoes are impressive. You can enjoy the beauty of the majestic structures for hours.

Church of Santa Coloma

cerkov santa kolona

This is the main church in Andorra la Vella, which once also served as a fortress. It has more than once saved the inhabitants of the city from the outrages of the enemy behind its thick walls. Built in the early 10th century, Santa Coloma has been perfectly preserved to this day. As a model example of Domansque style, it is devoid of pompous luxury – nothing should distract from communion with God.

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The main point of attraction is the circular bell tower, designed by architect Lombard Bell, and the frescoes adorning the interior halls. The church’s ministers regularly give guided tours and give details about the structure.

Church of Saint John

cerkov st ioana

It is considered one of the most beautiful churches of Andorra and is therefore a must-see. Built between the 11th and 12th centuries, it is remarkable for its quadrangular tower, which is atypical for the Middle Ages.

In this period, mainly round towers were built, according to the canons of the Lombard style. The church bell tower has three floors, the upper two windows are paired and decorated with arches. Inside the walls are painted with frescos and the iconostasis is amazing.

Natural parks

There are 3 natural parks in Andorra. Each contributes to the biodiversity of the region and introduces tourists to the unique ecosystem of the country.

Val del Norte

val del sorten

The park is located in Ordino Paroki and stretches along both banks of the Sorteni River. The area of the reserve exceeds 1,000 hectares. There is a botanical garden with unique plants of the Pyrenees.

There are several hiking trails of varying difficulty levels. They pass through the picturesque forest and rocky plateaus. During the hike, hikers can meet animals in their natural habitat and enjoy more than 700 species of flowers and plants. It is possible to stay in the valley for a few days by renting one of the cottages.

Madrio Perafita Claror

madrio parafita

The reserve passes through the paroceses of Andorra la Vella, Escaldes Engordagne, Encamp and San Julia de Loria. The system of rivers and lakes that stretches through the park is strategically important because it provides fresh water to the entire state.

There are several trails developed for tourists. Some can be traversed in a few hours, others take up to 5 days to complete. Stops are planned in the shepherd’s huts. Guides say they were built several hundred years ago, and these days they are restored.

Horseback riding, hunting, fishing and rock climbing can also be enjoyed in the reserve. In the wintertime, snowboarding and skiing are very popular.

Valles de Comapedrosa .

valdes de

Here is the highest point of the Principality, Coma Pedrosa (2942 m), after which one of the most popular nature reserves in the country is named. In addition to guided hikes and walks along scenic trails, geocaching is practiced here.

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The idea is simple: one team makes symbolic geocaches, and the other team uses their wits and GPS tracking devices to find them. Geocaching is organized by the local tourist center from June 1 to September 30.

It is said that the Valles de Comapedrosa has the most beautiful scenery. One popular place to admire them is the Roca de la Sabina, located at an altitude of 1900 m near the resort of Arinsal. Here you can take breathtaking selfies.

The 15 most interesting places in Andorra for tourists

Attractions

Let’s list the top 15 attractions of Andorra. This tiny principality in the middle of Europe, although it is very small, but literally every corner will prove to be of interest 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

Andorra La Vella

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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

Casa dela Val Palace

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It is located in the main square of the capital and is referred to as the “House of the Valley” by the locals. The palace was built in the 16th century and is one of the most important historical sites. 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.

Chateau d’Enclar

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.

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Lake Engolasters

Lake Engolasters

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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.

Inclays Valley

Inclés Valley

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Considered to be the most picturesque in the country. A highway leads through it, along which stores, cozy hotels, and picnic areas 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

Coma Pedrosa

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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

Santa Coloma

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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 Saint John

Church of St. John

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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

Church of St. Virgin of Meritchel

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Built near the town of Encamp, in the middle of the mountain slopes. Appreciated by the faithful for the church’s special relic, 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.

Tobacco Museum

Andorra Tobacco Museum

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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 all the way from the plant to the smoker. And if previously it was only a factory for growing and processing tobacco, today there is a full-fledged exhibition, which shows all the tools, mechanisms and attributes associated with the craft. Those who wish can taste the finished cigars on the way out.

La Margineda Bridge

La Margineda

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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.

Soldeu

Soldeu

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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.

Vallnord Arinsal

Arinsal

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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.

Grandvalira

Grandvalira

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Despite the great variety of ski villages in Andorra, it is worth mentioning. It is considered one of the most prestigious and largest in Europe, as it combines several localities and as a result occupies a vast 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.

Caldea

Caldea

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A modern thermal wellness complex, the largest in Europe. An area of 600 m 2 is dedicated to swimming pools with healing liquids from the 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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