Andorra – A beautiful Mystery

I was down at the pub a few weeks ago, chatting with some friends, and as usual, the conversation got around to travel and holidays. My friend was telling me about this place they had discovered about a year or so ago, and how fantastic it was. What is that place? One I’d not really heard of before, Andorra. OK, I knew about Andorra from school, but I’ve never actually been there in all my travels in Europe. Time to do a little research and find out why Andorra is so interesting.

AndorraThe first question I had to answer was… where is it?  I remember something about it being near Spain. I quick look at Google maps, and I found it, right where it’s been all along, on the northern border of Spain. It’s not far north of Barcelona, and pretty much straight south of Toulouse, France.

OK, location part solved, but how will I get there? There are no airports in the country. Can you imagine? A country these days without an airport? There aren’t even any trains that travel to Andorra. There are a few airports in the region, but most are 100 to 200 kilometres away. Toulouse and Barcelona are the best year-round choices, and there are regular buses that travel to Andorra from Barcelona. Even by car, your choices are severely limited with one road connecting the country to France, and one road connecting it to Spain. This isolation is a big part of what makes Andorra so interesting.

Andorra - Country of Mountains So, now I know where it is, and how to get there… what can I do there? Skiing. This is the go-to destination for me this coming winter for skiing. Grandvalira alone has almost 200 kilometres of ski slopes ranging between 1700 and 2600 metres above sea level. HRS has a bunch of hotels available in Andorra. I read the reviews, and checked the ratings, and I’ve selected the Acta Art Hotel which is right in the middle of the Grandavalira skiing region.

I’m really excited about this trip, and hopefully I’ll see one or two of you there this winter too. We can swap stories around the fireplace in the evening.

©palooja/flickr.com
©Pedro Henrique Ponchio/flickr.com

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