High in the Pyrenees is the nation of Andorra. Sandwiched between France to the West and Spain to the East, this mountain kingdom is one of Europe’s coveted vacation and skiing destinations. Andorra is less than a third of the size of London but is known for pristine powder-snow slopes and is a popular winter holiday destination.
Skiing and Trekking
Every year, thousands of amateur and professional skiers visit the ski resort areas of Vallnord and Grandvalira. With six distinct ski slopes, there’s a lot to choose from, although the slopes at Pas de la Casa and Arcalis offer the best views of the valley. Andorra la Vella, is a busy, commercial and tourist hub, abuzz with the activity during winter and summer months. During skiing season, it is important to make bus and hotel reservations quite early. Andorra can be reached by bus from cities in Spain and in France but the closest airport is at Toulouse. Arinsal and Pal are two skiing and trekking rendezvous points. Most ski lifts and cable car trips start from Arsinal.
The slopes of the Pyrenees are not for the faint of heart. There are a few beginners’ trails but the mountainous terrain makes hiking of medium to hard difficulty. The les Fonts to Pla de l’Estany rute is the gentlest of the treks, taking about five hours in good weather and has some of the finest views of the valley and the mighty Coma Pedrosa, Andorra’s highest peak. The Coma Pederosa is a medium difficulty climb and experienced mountaineers often spend enough time here to ascend the Pic de Médécourbe as well. Mountain sickness is quite common among inexperienced climbers and helpful locals and visitors are able to help if you need it.
Around the Region
Whether you visit in the tourist season or not, Andorra’s natural beauty is always on display. The mountainous terrain is broken only by sparkling mountain streams and gentle coniferous forest. If you choose a cycling trip, a visit to Andorra’s villages include La Massana, Ordino, and the town of Canillo, famed for the Sant Joan de Caselles, a 11th century chapel, a marvel of Lombard architecture. Andorra is divided into parishes and every parish has a church or chapel to the principal saints of the country. Most villages have well-preserved churches which are open to visitors on free days after mass.
Andorra is indeed the jewel of the Iberian peninsula, a delight to its many visitors.
Hotel in Andorra
Hotel Acta Florida
Hotel Husa Cèntric
Hotel Andorra Park