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Holidays in Andorra

Understanding Andorra

For 715 years, from 1278 to 1994, Andorrans lived under a unique co-principality ruled by the French chief of state and the Spanish bishop of Urgel In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary democracy Long isolated and impoverished, mountainous Andorra achieved considerable prosperity since World War II through its tourist industry Many immigrants legal and illegal are attracted to the thriving economy with its lack of income taxes

Economy

Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for roughly 80% of GDP An estimated 9 million tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and by its summer and winter resorts Andorra's comparative advantage has recently eroded as the economies of neighboring France and Spain have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and lower tariffs The banking sector, with its "tax haven" status, also contributes substantially to the economy Agricultural production is limited -- only 2% of the land is arable -- and most food has to be imported The principal livestock activity is sheep raising Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods no tariffs and as a non-EU member for agricultural products

Electricity

Electricity is supplied at 220 to 230V 50Hz Outlets are the European standard CEE-7/7 "Schukostecker" or "Schuko" or the compatible, CEE-7/16 "Europlug" types

Talking in Andorra

Andorra's official language is Catalan, but almost everyone speaks Spanish French and Portuguese are widely spoken too English is also spoken by those involved in the tourism industry

What to do in Andorra

Ski Resorts

Most of these resorts were once small mountain villages which have grown in recent years due to skiing In recent years the resorts have all joined together so that your ski pass covers neighbouring areas As a result there are now just two areas known as Vallnord and Grandvalira

Vallnord covers Arcalis and the Arinsal-Pal ski area Arcalis is quite distant away from Arinsal-Pal but the latter have been joined up in recent years by a cable car connecting the two ski areas The Arisnal-Pal ski area is directly accessible from La Massana right from the middle of the town

Grandvalira covers Soldeu and Pas de la Casa The Soldeu ski area is also accessible from Encamp and Canillo This quite cleverly has opened up these areas to cope with the influence of visitors without putting all the strain on Soldeu

  • Pas de la Casa -- skiing resort located right on the French border
  • Soldeu -- skiing resort
  • Arcalis-- ski area located at the head of the valley from El Serrat
  • Arinsal -- skiing resort part of the Arinsal Pal ski area Also known as Vallnord which means Valley North in English
  • Pal -- skiing resort part of the Arinsal Pal ski area
  • Arinsal-Pal -- Actually two skiing areas connected by cable car See Arinsal and Pal

Hiking and Trekking

If you would like more information on the mountain huts in Andorra, go to Mountain huts in Andorra 5 A good way for hiking and trekking in Andorra is staying at the Himàlaia Hotel in Soldeu 6, that has its own Hiking team of guides who go every day with their guests to walk and discover a lot of interesting hiking routes around the country

Andorra is a great place for hiking The point of departure is the town of Arinsal at the foot of the Coma Pedrosa 2,942 m and the Pic de Médécourbe 2,914 m

  • Treks from Arinsal 1,500 m - Pic de Sanfons 2,888 m, 4h45, climb 1,310 m, medium until the hut, difficult on the ridge View on the Coma Pedrosa, the valley of Tor, the lakes of Baiau in Spain as well as on the Pallars mountains Mountain hut and lake on the way Parking at Torrent Ribal 1,580 m
  • Pic de Médécourbe 2,914 m 4h30, climb 1,335 m, medium until the hut increasing to difficult on the ridge A classic! Mountain hut half-way up, lakes and a breathtaking view over the valley of Arinsal, Boet and Vicdessos France Parking at Torrent Ribal 1,580 m
  • Pic de Coma Pedrosa 2,942 m 4h30, climb 1,370 m, medium until the lake, difficult on the ridge The highest mountain in Andorra Mountain hut half way up, lakes Beautiful view of the surrounding summits, the valley of Arinsal and to the West, the Maladeta and Ecantats massifs Parking at Torrent Ribal 1580m
  • Montmantell lakes and the Pic del Pla de l'Estany 2,859 m 4h20, climb 1'280m, medium Mountain hut half-way up, lakes, magnificient view over the Ariège mountains in France and over Andorra Parking at Torrent Ribal 1580 m
  • Arinsal - Percanela - les Fonts - Pla de l'Estany - Arinsal circuit 2'055m 4h30, climb 670m, medium 2 mountain huts Very pleasant circuit which one can do either way Lovely views of the Coma Pedrosa via the imposing natural amphitheatre of Les Fonts A few bordas farm houses on the way, some renovated, some in ruins Parking at Arinsal 1,466 m
  • Camí del coll de les Cases 1,950 m 1h40, climb 490 m, medium

Panoramic view over the Ordino mountains and la Massana Ideal picnic and meditation site One can continue along the GR11 to Arans parking at Mas de Ribafeta 1466m but transport back to Arinsal must be provided

Buying stuff in Andorra

Euros are used throughout Andorra Andorra La Vella is a good destination to buy all kinds of cheap goods, due to the country's status as a "tax haven"

Food and eating in Andorra

Drinking in Andorra

Accommodation in Andorra

  • Hotel Himàlaia Soldeu Ski and Hiking Hotel carretera general s/n, Soldeu Tel 376 878515 7 8
  • Flats In Andorra, Av Sant Antoni 26, tel + 376 738800, info@flatsinandorracom, 9
  • Hotel Santa Bàrbara de la Vall d'Ordino +376 738 100 santabarbara@andorraad 54 Euros
  • Pension la Rosa Antic Carrer Major 18, just south of Avenue Princep Benloch, Andorra la Vella +376 821 810
  • Hotel Oriol Plaça Co-Princeps, 4 +376 821 105 39 Euros
  • CyberAndorra Els Refugis Ed Claror b31 +376 323 391 http://wwwcyberandorracom/en Book online to reserve your Andorra hotel and activities


Out of town

  • Hotel El Tarter +376 80 20 80 http://wwwhotel-eltartercom/ EL TARTER 1844m, half way from Andorra la Vella 17km and El Pas de la Casa, SOLDEU -EL TARTER ski station is 50 m away 3 km from sport complex of Canillo Ice-skating, swimming pool, gymnasium, squash, tennis Beautiful, skiers dream location and very fair rates


Seasonal

  • Housead http://wwwhousead Find a House in Andorra for the ski-ing season

Working in Andorra

To work in Andorra you are supposed to have a work permit issued by the government If you are on business for only a few days then this would not apply

Cities in Andorra

andorra la vella  canillo  encamp  la massana  les escaldes  ordino  sant julia de loria  

What do you think about Andorra?

How expensive is Andorra?
(1 EUR = 1.12 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant13.3 EUR
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)32.9 EUR
McDonalds meal7.1 EUR
Local beer (0.5 draft)2.22 EUR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 3.33 EUR
Cappuccino1.6 EUR
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)1.79 EUR
Water (0.33 bottle)1.23 EUR
Milk (1l)0.94 EUR
Fresh bread (500g)2.1 EUR
White Rice (1kg)1.66 EUR
Eggs (12) 1.9 EUR
Local Cheese (1kg) 16.88 EUR
Chicken Breast (1kg) 7.67 EUR
Apples (1kg) 2.21 EUR
Oranges (1kg) 1.65 EUR
Tomato (1kg) 1.24 EUR
Potato (1kg) 1.18 EUR
Lettuce (1 head) 1.39 EUR
Water (1.5l)0.66 EUR
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 4.6 EUR
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)0.39 EUR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 0.81 EUR
Cigarettes2.71 EUR
One way local bus ticket1.88 EUR
Monthly pass for bus27.63 EUR
Taxi start3.27 EUR
Taxi 1km1.55 EUR
Taxi 1hour waiting11.76 EUR
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.17 EUR
Utilities for a "normal" apartment108.14 EUR
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 9.93 EUR
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 437.1 EUR
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 371.25 EUR
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 888 EUR
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 661.2 EUR
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