Andorra is a tiny microstate in The Pyrenee mountains, bordered by Spain and France. Being the sixth smallest nation in Europe, Andorra still hosts plenty of unique travel experiences, where I have gathered some to-do-musts, places to stay, eat and drink:
1. Go skiiing. With good heights, plenty of sun combined with snow and dry air, Andorra hosts some really good skiing systems, where the largest, Grandvalira, offers 210 kilometers of slopes, up to 2900 metres above sea level.There is plenty of snow, thanks to clouds building up with humidity over the warm Mediterranean sea, dumping it’s content over the Pyrenées in freezed form during night time, from December to April. This weather effect often creates snowfall at night and sunshine during daytime.
2. Trek, hike and walk in the Pyrenees on flowering meadows, lakes and grazing cattle. The Coma Pedrosa Natural Park is the most famous area for summer trekking in Andorra, but you can basically walk from all villages, with immensely beautiful Andorran spots, such as the lakes, valleys, peaks and refuges. Look for Andorra’s main walking route, the Andorra GRP, that crosses the whole Principality, with some sections coinciding with the GR-7, GR-11 and the GR Transfrontiers.
3. The village of Soldeu is a good choice if you fancy small towns with upmarket and homogeniuos architechture – slate, schist stone and pine – where tiny farms host hens, cows and goats side by side with top class hotels with ski-in-ski-out possibilities at 1800 meters above sea levels. In Soldeu, you will also find Andorras best five star ski hotel Sport hotel Hermitage & Spa, with a stunning outdoor jacuzzi providing views over the snowy, white slopes. Don’t miss tiny La Caleta Tapas Bar with lovely and inexpensive tapas, especially fried chorizo.
4. An entire country of Tax free shopping, that’s Andorra, with the best prices and largest selection of tax free alcohols, cigarettes, perfumes, watches, sport goods and functional garments, sunglasses, fashion shoes, branded clothes etc to be found in Andorras capital – Andorra la Vella – by the way the highest situated capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1023 metres above sea level.
5. Grau Roig Hotel is Andorras only boutique hotel with ski-in-ski-out and mountain views from all 28 rooms. The design is meticulously done by owner Dunia Sans Marfany and combines modern elements such as brass lighting and fur instead of wall paper with antique ceramic pots and stuffed animals. Here, you will find a star chef and sommelier, so you can expect some really good dinners here. If you ski, or take a helicopter, don’t miss the Igloo hotel and luxury lunch restaurant on top of the mountain with it’s champagne bar.
6. And of course, there are some nice mountain restaurants in Andorra. The general rule is to step up one floor, leaving the hamburger and pizzas on the ground floor, and you will find excellent gourmet restaurants serving spanish, catalan or french cuisine, depending where you walk or ski. You can most often find disposable slippers to use, so please release and free your feet from ski boots and then enjoy a glass of wine or champagne, if you visit the posh Veuve Cliquot bar enjoying the DJ before climbing up to Steak House on top of the main Soldeu cabin. Or try l’Arroseria on top of El Tarter and their Arros de muntanya. http://www.qtravel.se
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