Let´s discover with Travelling Europe another European destination. It is a small mountainous country located in the Pyrenees between Spain and France. Yes, Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is located in the southwest of Europe, and is a small sovereign country with full power and capacity to self-govern, whose territory is divided into seven small parishes with a population of a little more than 76,000.
Language, Capital, and Official Currency of Andorra
The official language of Andorra is Catalan, but also do not be surprised to hear Spanish, French or Portuguese. Andorra la Vella is the capital of Andorra; it is a city where many people do their shopping and where you can visit spas like the thermal spa Caldea.
Along with the church of San Esteban, or Romanesque bridges like the Pont de la Margineda, which crosses the River Valira, we can understand what it means to experience a good trip to Andorra. We also shouldn’t miss the House of the Valley, a sixteenth-century fortified house that currently serves the Andorran Parliament and has done so since 1702.
In fact, this country is a sovereign state and not part of the European Union and the Schengen agreement. However, the official currency of Andorra is the euro, which has applied from 30 June 2011 when Andorra signed a monetary agreement with the European Union. Up until then the Spanish peseta and the French franc were used in the country.
Andorra is a country that lives by much trade, especially shopping, with cheaper prices in the streets than, for example, those of the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, Andorra and the EU have had a customs union and industry through the agreement on Customs Union Industrial Products since 1991. It is thus that the Principality is linked commercially to the European Union.
Climate of Andorra
The weather in Andorra is totally Mediterranean, with cold temperatures in winter but in summer very balmy. There is abundant rainfall during the autumn, when in winter it has regular snowfalls. The average annual minimum temperature is -2° C with a maximum of 24° C.
The rains are often concentrated in the evenings between October and May, but in winter the snow comes.
Caldea Andorra is the biggest water centre in Europe, with thermal baths, situated in the middle of the mountains. Lagoons, saunas, Indo-Roman baths and Aztec too; waterfalls, 6,000 square meters in total, also hot marbles or bubbling beds and much more.
Caldea is divided into two entrances or parts. One is the thermo-recreational area, which gives the right to access (except to Wellness) for those who just want to take a bath and relax in the warm water, using the facilities provided by this thermal area and forget tiredness, muscle pain and stress.
This can be done for three or four consecutive hours if we add massages; we are talking here in terms of daily visits.
However, the Wellness section, which also includes access to the thermal recreational area, is intended for those who want to follow a programme of up to 12 days, with massage treatments, seaweed baths, beauty treatments, and milk baths and oils and all with access to facilities for up to five hours a day.
You can also choose a Wellness 100% access with card choosing the treatments that you want every day.
But let's get closer to other things, to properly define Andorra
The main religion in Andorra is Catholicism. Almost 90% of the population of this small country is Catholic. Islam is the second-most practised religion.
As for skiing in Andorra, you're lucky to go there because skiing is the national sport. It offers very good conditions for this sport.
The typical food of Andorra always has reference to its status as a Pyrenean country. Its specialties are similar to that of Catalonia, since due to its livestock vocation, these have developed alongside for centuries.
The most typical dishes you can eat in Andorra are, for example, mushrooms, sausage or river trout. We can also eat trinxat de montaña, like those who've tried it or heard of it if they have been in the Pyrenees before.
• The Principality of Andorra does not demand you have a visa to enter. But it has no airport, so you must enter necessarily via France or Spain. Those whose country has no treaty with Andorra must check in their home countries as to what they need to visit the Principality..
• Another thing to note is that there is a health insurance agreement, in case you have an accident and you are from Spain, France or Portugal. In case of an accident, medical bills are submitted to the Andorran Social Security Fund expenses, with a refund request by filling out a form. Those not from these countries must pay their own medical expenses. Therefore, it is wise to take out proper insurance in advance.
• As for tipping in the Principality of Andorra, it is said to be voluntary, but it is very common to leave between 5% to 10% in bars and restaurants if you are satisfied with how you have been served.
• Department stores´ hours in Andorra are usually Monday to Friday, 09:30 to 20:00; Saturday, 09:30 to 21:00; and Sundays, 09:30 to 19:00. Andorra will certainly not leave you indifferent and will leave a very good taste. What are you waiting for?