Andorra attracts thousands of visitors from France every year (especially from the entire southern half). A principality which enjoys a less prestigious reputation than others like Monaco for example, but which nevertheless has a lot to offer. Because Andorra may be very close to home (well, especially from my home), the change of scenery is guaranteed. Suddenly, walking there can hold some surprises. Especially when you are going there for the first time.
1. It’s beautiful
It may be obvious to those who go there every month to fill up on alcohol, but Andorra is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. This is particularly evident when you make the effort to go beyond Pas-de-la-Case, which is a bit crowded with shops and crowds. The capital in particular, Andorra la Vella, rests in a setting in the middle of the mountains. It’s beautiful in winter, when the mountains are snow-capped, and it’s just as beautiful in summer, when the vegetation is lush.
2. It’s luxurious
At the end of 2020, a Ferrari was embedded in the window of a shopping center in Andorra la Vella. Usually, when this kind of thing happens in another city, say Mulhouse, the car in question is a Laguna or a Clio. Because in Andorra, luxury is finally everywhere. You only have to drive for half an hour to find yourself following a super expensive concept car or sports car, and many luxury brands have shops there. Not to mention the hotels …
3. But it’s accessible
Of course, in high season, a hotel like the Hermitage in Soldeu, just after the Pas-de-la-Case tunnel, does not offer its suites for less than € 600 a night. But out of season, before the end of year holidays for example, these prices can be divided by two or by three. Suddenly, it is easier to indulge yourself by offering yourself a short weekend in the mountains, in a luxury establishment, with spa, indoor swimming pool and hammam. And it is even cheaper when you do not eat in one of the 4-star restaurants available, but fall back on a snack or a grocery store, where it is possible to guzzle for less than 10 €.
4. It’s very cosmopolitan
Only two thirds of the population are truly Andorrans. The remaining third is mainly made up of French, Portuguese and Spaniards. Without forgetting the English who are also present. Thus, it is not uncommon to enter shops or restaurants run by French or Spanish.
5. Gasoline is much cheaper
In December 2021, the price of a liter of diesel was approximately € 1.18 compared to approximately € 1.5 in France. Ok, it’s not great for the planet but until there is no more a drop of oil available and we have scorching summers 6 months of the year, let’s take advantage of YAY.
6. You cannot get there by plane
The reason ? There is simply no airport. The best way to get to Andorra is therefore still by road.
7. There are a lot of old people
And for good reason: the Andorrans have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. 80 years for men and 84 years for women. Practice being rich anyway.
8. Nature is everywhere there
Once again, when we think of Andorra, we often think of Pas-de-la-Casa and its streets full of tourists. However, it is not very complicated to take off when you visit the country. It is also surprising to see how easy it is to find yourself in the heart of nature, as if cut off from the world, after having traveled only a few kilometers from the very center of the capital. Andorra is also home to three natural parks: the Sorteny Valley, Madriu-Perafita-Claror and the Coma Pedrosa Valleys. Places where it is possible to see animals such as foxes, wolves and bears.
9. It’s festive
Nightlife is very lively in Andorra. The clubs are plentiful, as are the night bars, and since the prices are not very high in most places, it is easy to feast for nothing. This explains why the people of Toulouse will spend an evening there and return the next day.
10. Supermarkets sell everything
And here we are also talking about French brands present on site such as U or Leclerc, which offer a variety of items that are sometimes mind-blowing, at prices often lower than in France. Suddenly, it is much easier to group your shopping in one and the same place to then better enjoy nature, hiking trails, spa centers and ski slopes.