Well for a start you have some of the oldest people. Andorra boasts the second highest life-expectancy in the world. Now this might be down to the fact that there’s only about 71,000 people living in the country, but if you asked them that then they’d probably say it was because there was a lot more to Andorra other than just a football team.
Andorra is lank-locked tightly between France and Spain deep in the heart of the Pyrenees. It is only 180 square-miles, which makes it the 6th smallest country in Europe. There is suggestion that the name comes from the Arabic al-Dorra, which means forest but little is actually known of its name. The country became an entity unto itself officially in 1288, when the surrounding rulers created the Principality but still all co-inhabited the mountainous area none the less. It actually wasn’t until very recently in 1993 that France loosened its reigns enough for Andorra to become an independent state. There are now seven parishes that all each have their own mini-governments and govern law and order for their inhabitants.
As a tourist in Andorra, you’d be very welcome indeed. After all it does account for over 80% of the country’s annual GDP. Roughly 9 million people flock to Andorra every year and much of the magnetism comes from the fact that it’s a tax haven where you don’t pay duty on anything due to Andorra not yet being part of the European Union.
Skiing in Andorra
The ski resorts are the biggest earners for the tourists industry in Andorra. It’s probably the best place for a skiing holiday if you’ve never been before or are a little bit new to the sport. The ski slopes are all quite manageable and there are some of the largest ski schools in Europe there to help too.
Hiking Tours in Andorra
As well as skiing, there are some cracking hiking tours in Andorra and this is very popular with visitors. These are best explored though in the summer when all the snow has melted.
Shopping in Andorra
Shopping is as famous in Andorra as skiing. There are around 2000 shops in the tiny mountainous state, which works on about 1 shop for every 40 people living there. The best shops are found in the capital Andorra la Vella, which is pretty much the one place you want to be to sample more than just the world of skiing.
Sightseeing in Andorra
Some of the new and luxury buildings will make you think you’re in Monaco but in the mountains. Some of the older buildings though in the historic area designed in a Romanesque style in the 11th Century. The highlight of this area are the churches Santa Coloma and Sant Esteve, which was made even grander in the 1960s and boasted some very impressive wood carvings.
Nightlife in Andorra
If you want to round your trip off with a drink, some food and a dance then head to La Borsa at Avinguda de Tarragona 36 in the Historic Quarter. There’s also a good chance you’ll come back as rich as some of the inhabitants too as there’s a casino inside.
Photo of Andorra by lorentey