4 Reasons Why Andorra has my heart

why Andorra

Why Andorra? Okay so you’re either asking me why or what as you start reading this. If you’re asking what, Andorra is a tiny country sandwiched between Spain and France in the Pyrenees Mountains. Nothing crazy ever happens there that would make national news and it is often left off of world maps. And I’ll admit, I really only learned about the country 4-5 years ago. And ever since, I’ve been fascinated.

So Nina, tell me more!

Oh I’m so glad you asked. Andorra is actually a principality and the only country where Catalan is the official language (Catalan is also spoken in parts of Spain, parts of France and one community in Italy. It is very similar to Spanish but is considered it’s own language. Think like Spanish and Italian … both different languages that share a lot of similarities). However Spanish and French are also widely spoken, as well as some English. I spoke Spanish my entire time there because I figured most people were more likely to be comfortable in Spanish over English (and because I hate being “that” American who asks for English everywhere).

This country is tiny. The total population is around 85,000 and it is only 179.8/kmin size. The principality that currently exists was formed in 1278 and is governed by two co-princes: the President of France and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Spain. So you definitely find a mixture of both French and Spanish culture in the country. Fun fact: Andorra remained neutral during WWII. While they use the Euro, it is not an official member of the European Union. This means that all the shopping is tax-free, making it a shopper’s paradise. There’s amazing skiing as well, although we did not ski. This also means that the people of Andorra will forever be well-off as long as people like to ski and shop.

And so now, let’s get to my reasons for why Andorra has my heart

4. It’s just so chill

I remember searching things about Andorra online before my trip and coming across a blogger who hated his Andorra experience. And I must say that that makes me a little sad. I’m going to start right now by saying that if you’re looking for a trip full of old, historic buildings, Andorra will not deliver. However all I wanted was relaxation. And man, did I get that.

The people are nice and down-to-earth. The views are breath-taking. And I cannot think of a place where you would feel safer than in Andorra.

why Andorra why Andorra why Andorra

3. Caldea Spa

When I first started reading about Andorra, I came across Caldea Spa. It is located right in Andorra La Vella, the capital of the country and where we spent our two nights in the country. So of course we had to go.

why Andorra

These next two are my befores and afters. Unfortunately they recommend you don’t bring your phone with you (you are spending lots of time in water after all). But basically, Caldea spa is broken up into an adult section and an everyone section. If you pay a little extra, you get access to both plus your own towel, robe and flip flops. So we opted for that and were glad we did.

The spa is basically a series of pools, hot tubs, arab baths, saunas and other such relaxing things. You can get a wellness massage and there are several restaurants.

why Andorra why Andorra

2. Shopping!

We all know that I like to shop a bit. Andorra, especially when we went (right after Christmas but before the 3 Kings Day that they also celebrate just like Spain), was full of rebaixes (sales in Catalan. It’s rebajas in Spanish … see how similar). I was good though and only bought one new dress. You can see it right here:

why Andorra

why Andorra

why Andorra

I would recommend leaving some room in your suitcase because you will find some great deals. I wish I had more room in mine but alas … lessons for next time.

1. The beauty

At one point during our wanderings, we ended up taking this uphill path. We walked about halfway up and took some photos. You are surrounded by the mountains everywhere you look.

why Andorra why Andorra why Andorra why Andorra

The practicalities

How to get there

We took a bus from Barcelona, Spain. You can also take a bus from Toulouse, France. Here are several bus companies that will get you there: Andorra By Bus, Alsa (runs Barcelona-Andorra but didn’t see Andorra-Frace) and Andorra Direct Bus. We thought it would be fun to take a bus into Andorra from Barcelona and then another Andorra-Toulouse so we could check off another city. Toulouse is also amazing.

Where to stay

The majority of accommodation seemed to be hotels. You have a wide range from 5-star to lower end, more budget places. We, however, used Airbnb. Our host was fantastic!

Internet

So if you live in Europe and have service for Vodafone like I do, you might have the plan that includes roaming in EU countries. It came in handy in both Scotland and France. However since Andorra is not a part of the EU, it is not included in that. So I just turned my data off as roaming would have been crazy expensive. Our Airbnb host told us the apparently there’s one cell phone company in the whole country and they are not that great. I suppose in a country that tiny, you can have a monopoly. However many places had wifi, which was nice.

Have you been to Andorra?

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80 Comments

    1. Hahaha yeah not wifi everywhere, but lots of places. Honestly, I kinda liked disconnecting a bit while walking around the streets.

  1. I have certainly never been there but it doesn’t look nice. The mountains behind or surrounding it must be gorgeous in person. You did a lot in town and seemed to enjoy yourself. I would have liked to climb a mountain for a unique view.

    1. Thanks Rose! Yeah when it’s warmer one day I’d like to return and do some more hiking!

  2. Looks like you really enjoyed yourself! Love all of the scenery and the classic roads and buildings

  3. It definitely looks like a great place to chill! Having just flew in for Marrakech yesterday, it seems the polar opposite!

    1. Thanks! I am looking into Marrakech and Morocco for a week in April. I hope you’re enjoying it!

    1. Thanks Ola! Palma de Mallorca is on my list for this year. I’m thinking a long weekend when it’s a little bit warmer.

  4. Nice! I remember watching this when Rick Steves did his “5 Micro Countries.” I always forget about Andorra. Looks very mountainous.

    1. I would love to see that and then eventually go to the other four! It is very mountainous and therefore has excellent skiing/snowboarding. People from Andorra will never be without a solid economy thanks to shopping and skiing.

  5. What a great place to visit .. it looks beautiful and peaceful. I was hooked by your first photo .. the super cool color of the walkway in the shadows. Thanks so much for your post

  6. It’s extremely picturesque and breathtaking and I love that there are spas and shopping centers! It’s definitely a vacationer’s dream place! I would love to go there someday!

    1. Thanks! And you are definitely right. I kept saying it was the perfect treat yourself weekend!

  7. oh my goodness Andorra is very relaxing and beautiful. Perfect summer vacation hideaway. I love it 🙂

  8. I may sound dumb but actually, I didn’t know that there is any country named Andorra! It looks beautiful in your pictures.

    1. Don’t feel bad … I randomly came across it a few years ago. Now you know … and can plan a trip for the future!

  9. I would love to go to Andorra! I have wanted to go there since I did a trip the Italy, Spain and France forever ago. Maybe one day I will make it there! I really enjoyed your pictures.

    1. Yeah it’s not too bad to tack onto a trip to Barcelona. You should definitely go one day!

  10. Wow! Breathtakingly beautiful! I’ve never heard of this country but now I am pleasantly intreged.

    1. Hahaha no worries … I had to initially do that four-five years ago, and then I was like “I must go!”

  11. I’ve heard of Andora before, but I didn’t know they speak Catalan. I must agree on the Andora’s beauty, I haven’t seen anything similar for a some time.
    BS, xx

    1. Yeah it’s super cool that they are the only country with Catalan as their official language!

  12. I have always known about the existence of Andorra, because of their flag, pretty much the same with the one of my country. I know it’s one of the smallest countries of Europe and I would like to visit. The scenery looks really beautiful and I’ve heard before about the cheap prices.

  13. It looks beautiful – I’ve always wanted to go but when you’re booking holiday it’s just not the first country that springs into your mind so I’ve never actually been! Need to remember! x

    1. Yeah I totally see where you’re coming from. And if you’re from the US like me and want to make a European holiday, you tend to prioritise other places. However since I live in Spain, I figured I needed to get over that way!

  14. Andorra has been on my bucket list for so long! I don’t know why I still haven’t been able to see the place! Looks and sounds so great place to visit. Wonderful screenery and shopping possibilities 🙂

  15. I like tiny countries and islands as well, so Andorra is somewhere I’d really like to visit. The mountains are beautiful! And that spa doesn’t look half bad. I’ve heard different views of the place – some people like it, others think it’s boring, but I guess it’s just what you make of it.

    1. Yeah I think some people think it’s too commercialised and they want more European history. Since I live in Europe, I can see historical things all the time. I’ve been working hard this year and I wanted a nice few days to treat myself. Andorra was just that for me!

  16. Andorra looks and sounds so peaceful and almost like a fairytale! I love learning about new destinations and this one sure has piqued my interest 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  17. I kinda forgot Andorra is it’s own country. It looks like the perfect town to unwind and relax in. Spain is incredible as well – the next time I’m there I’ll have to swing by Andorra

    1. Yeah it’s so small it’s almost strange that it is a country. You should definitely stop by Andorra next time you’re in the area!

  18. Great post, especially as I’m thinking of visiting Andorra in spring. I’ve heard the skiing is amazing as well. Stoked to hear they have nice spas (not sure that’s in my budget) but I might have to try to squeeze it in!

  19. You say you did not hear about Andorra until 4-5 years ago, well I am just now hearing about it! It looks like a cute, quaint country and an easy one to access from Spain and France. I would definitely go to the spa and relax like you, (by the way I like your spa photos). Lovely post.

    1. Well I’m glad to inform you about this wonderful country! It’s super cute and relaxing!

  20. Wow my brother visited this place a year years ago and criticised me for not visiting, I can see why though, its a beautiful place.

  21. Andorra looks attractive. Haven’t been there yet. I understand shopping deals are great. I have heard something about skiing also. Is it correct? Thanks for sharing?

  22. I hate to put this in writing, but I’d never heard of Andorra until I read this post! Such a tiny population! It looks lovely, so I can see why you are so taken with it!

    1. Don’t feel bad … I think there are many people who haven’t heard much about it. But now you know and can go visit it one day!

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