So my guess is most of you have no idea what I am talking about unless you are really good at European geography, but have no fear, I had no idea what Andorra was or where it was before I went there. Turns out Andorra is a tiny country sandwiched between Spain and France in the Pyrenees Mountains and it is amazing if you love the snow or hiking. So here are my reasons you should definitely check out one of Europe’s smallest countries.
Definitely one of the reasons for visiting Andorra is for its location, it is located in the Pyrenees, the mountain chain that forms the boundary between Spain and France. Andorra is the sixth smallest country in Europe but its pretty accessible to visit if you are visiting either southern France or Northern Spain, especially Barcelona. It actually only takes just under three hours to drive from Barcelona to Andorra La Vella, the capital. So for any of you thinking about Spring skiing or even hiking in the summer, remember its not that far. Andorra is also great for its location because it is actually a country where Catalan is the official language, so you get the Catalan culture but also because it is so close to Spain and France you get that mix of culture as well.
2. The Skiing (Or Snowboarding if you are like me)
The snow is definitely a reason to visit Andorra, the country is completely mountainous so there are plenty of options if you are looking to go hit the snow. Andorra is great because most of their economy is based on tourism, so they use the Euro and they make it super easy to ski. All of the ski resorts are actually divided into two groups and you can buy a pass to either one of these groups and have access to all the resorts connected to that group. The two groups cover most of the country and since it is such a small country a lot of the ski resorts are located quite close to the French or Spanish borders, so there ya go. Easy.
Now StokeTravel is not really anything based in Andorra but they do however do weekend trips from Barcelona to Andorra. They are actually how I found out about this little amazing country. StokeTravel is a travel company that runs tours all over Europe and during the winter they head to good old Andorra for some weekend skiing. It is a great deal if you go and it includes ski equipment as well, so if you find yourself abroad and NEED to go to the snow check them out at www.stoketravel.com. (by the way i’m just telling you about them because they are awesome, no one is paying me to do it…not yet anyways!)
4. Caldea Spa
The Caldea Spa is a huge naturally spa located in Andorra La Vella, when I was there they claimed that it was largest spa complex in Europe, however i’m not sure thats true…. It is however, a great way to relax after spending the whole day on the mountain. Now if you haven’t spent time at European spas they are not quite like what you are probably envisioning. The Caldea Spa in Andorra is more like a giant swimming pool, which is both indoor and outdoor. There are also different jacuzzis all over and basically it is filled with people relaxing. While I was there, there was a very interesting massage train going on in one of the jacuzzis. It was definitely an experience filled with eighty year old topless women, children and giant pools. Be adventurous and check it out.
5. The Hiking
Now if you are super into hiking Andorra is definitely a place to visit, anywhere which is mainly all ski resorts is going to have awesome hiking in the summer. There are mountain huts located all over the country if you would like to do multiple day hikes as well. Andorra offers amazing scenic hikes all over the country and is definitely worth it.
Overall I absolutely love Andorra and I really believe that everyone should go visit it whether its in winter for the snow or in summer for the hiking. Andorra should definitely make it on your list of places to visit. I am so happy that I was able to discover this tiny country and spend the weekend snowboarding there, it was one of the more memorable trips I took when I studied abroad!