Andorra

I visited Andorra as a day trip from Barcelona. Buses leave every few hours from Barcelona’s bus station and it’s about a three hour drive through a steep, jagged portion of the Pyrenees mountains to reach the capital, Andorra La Vella.

As one of Europe’s smallest countries, Andorra isn’t dramatically different from its neighbors, yet it does have a distinctive mountain town feeling, with plenty of charm. I was impressed at stone houses, churches, bridges and other structures built into the sides of the surrounding mountains. A short walk in any direction will have you leaving the city and winding up mountain roads with great views of the valley.

Andorra La Vella is a good hub for any activities / excursions further afield. It’s a pedestrian-friendly city and easy to get around on foot. As with most micro-states, the city offers plenty of tax-free shopping opportunities with numerous shops, malls, and outlets to explore. Don’t miss the various sites such as the stone-fashioned St. Andreu d’Andorra church, the Pont de la Margineda stone bridge (west of town), Pont de Paris bridge (in the city center), and the melting clock statue in a nod to Salvador Dali.

Neighborhood in Andorra — Photo credit: Pixabay – Carmen_Carbonell
Stone Church: Photo Credit: Pixabay BarbeeAnna
Stone Bridge – Photo Credit: Pixabay Herb1979

As you might expect, there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer in Andorra. I stopped in the tourist information center to get some maps and then went on a few short day-hikes from the city center. One easy and scenic hike passes through the northern edge of the city and winds along the canals. Other hikes go deeper into the mountains, so it’s best to take all necessary precautions before doing any lengthy or strenuous treks. You might also consider skiing or trying the via ferrada (climbing circuit) — I didn’t do these last two activities in Andorra, but with the spectacular mountains all around– you can’t go wrong!

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