We love Andorra: This mini-country of 90,000 people (that’s the whole country!) high up in the Pyrenees between France and Spain offers the best resort facilities and hiking in the region. It has a thriving tourist industry and is still an insider tip. So here are our top five things to do in Andorra:
- The capital, Andorra la Vella, is worth a visit. Andorra la Vella offers much more than just tax-free shopping. Most visitors head for the Piazza del Poble with its amazing views. Afterwards head to the old town, and especially the Piazza Rotonda, with its 5-metre-high bronze sculpture, Nobility of Time, gifted to Andorra by Salvador Dali. On some days you’ll also find a market here selling local produce like fruit jams, dried mushrooms and homemade remedies for colds. The Paris Bridge over the Gran Valira River is stunning.
- 10 minutes’ walk from the Piazza Rotonda in Escaldes you find the Caldea. It is Europe’s largest spa complex offering a unique combination of fun and wellness. It looks like some sort of futuristic cathedral with a stunning entrance and panoramic views over the Pyrenees. Fed by Andorra’s hot springs with its amazing therapeutic properties, its heart is a 6000-sq-metre lagoon kept at a constant 32°C. Imagine countless wonderfully warm indoor, outdoor and hydro massage pools, a lazy river, ice pool, water jets and Jacuzzis. For those who enjoy a bit of relaxation, try the Aztec bath surrounded by a tropical garden, the grapefruit bath in a Japanese garden, the Hamman, the water beds or visit the aquatic bar and its Gaudi-inspired terrace.
- Check out the Palau de Gel in Andorra: This vast ice rink is open every day of the year except Christmas, and offers ice carting, ice skating, hockey, curling, ice football and ice laser combat, a fight with infrared rays and much more besides. It’s not just about ice, though; it also has a heated pool, outdoor solarium, sauna, gymnasium, indoor rock wall, squash and tennis courts, and much more.
- Also worth making time for is Naturlandia, an amazing leisure and animal park in Andorra. Very large, very green, and with exceptional views of the surrounding mountains, even by Andorran standards. The park’s star attraction, the Tobotronc, offers a four kilometre ride up and then more importantly straight back down the mountain at high speed. Like a roller coaster ride through the mountains! The leisure park also has mini golf, a climbing area, high rope garden with zip line and snow tubing which is great fun. Further trampolines, electric go-karts for all ages, and an archery range. The wild animal park is home to many animals native to Andorra, such as the Pyrenean Brown Bear, wolves and deer. If you like adventure, have kids and want to spend the day in nature, a total must.
- Finally, there’s a high-speed go-karting track at El Tarter, Andorra. Great place to have fun with your children while getting the adrenaline flowing. They also have two-seater go-karts, which are even more terrifying. The track is open until the snow comes in September and the skiers take over, but worth checking out if you’re there in the summer months.
And that’s our Andorra – the biggest and best mini-country we know of!