Andorra - First Impressions

Updated: 17 January, 2022 seen 1,329

Have you ever heard something of a tiny microstate of Andorra? I had, but my knowledge was short - so short, I didn't realize the precise location of it - I mean, I knew it's somewhere sandwiched between Spain, France or maybe France and Italy or even Spain and Portugal. In other words - yes I knew that such a place exists, but knew nothing more about it. Now I'm a little bit smarter in my Geography :)

So, how I got there? It all went spontaneous - after a couple of days in Spain, we decided, hey let's drive to Andorra. And we did.

My overall impression of Andorra right now - it's some tax haven, it's kinda outlet center (buy cheap - no or minimum taxes here).

And yes, it's sandwiched between Spain and France, and it's somehow related to Catalonia.

P.S. I'm somehow imagining Georgia (a country I'm currently living in) one day might become a very similar place to Andorra.

So here are some pictures I did take while in Andorra:

Entering Andorra La Vella

Entering Andorra La Vella

Scooters are popular in Andorra

Scooters are popular in Andorra

Outlets malls in Andorra

Outlets malls in Andorra

Andorra La Vella

Andorra La Vella

City centre of Andorra La Vella

City centre of Andorra La Vella

City centre of Andorra La Vella

City centre of Andorra La Vella

Living house in Andorra

Living house in Andorra

Children playground in Andorra

Children playground in Andorra

Ah, those mountains

Ah, those mountains

Parking lot at Andorra

Parking lot at Andorra

Andorra is getting ready for Holiday Season

Andorra is getting ready for Holiday Season

More shopping malls in Andorra

More shopping malls in Andorra

Those narrow streets of Andorra

Those narrow streets of Andorra

Some Medieval Tower in Andorra

Some Medieval Tower in Andorra

Streets of Andorra La Vella

Streets of Andorra La Vella

Streets of Andorra La Vella

Streets of Andorra La Vella

Church in city center from inside

Church in city center from inside

Evidence of Russians here

Evidence of Russians here

What a lovely morning to take a smoke on a balcony in Andorra La Vella

What a lovely morning to take a smoke on a balcony in Andorra La Vella

Andorra

Andorra

Salvadors Dali elements here

Salvadors Dali elements here

Boulevard near river in Andorra

Boulevard near river in Andorra

About Andorra

Andorra is a sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France.

It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 468 km2 (181 sq mi) and an estimated population of 85,000 in 2012.

Its capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,356 ft) above sea level.

The official language is Catalan, although Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.

Created under a charter in A.D. 988, the present Principality was formed in A.D. 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a monarchy headed by two Co-Princes – the Spanish/Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgell and the President of France.

Andorra is a prosperous country, mainly because of its tourism industry, which services an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually, and because of its status as a tax haven, although it is in the process of reforming its tax regime.

It is not a member of the European Union, but the euro is the de facto currency. It has been a member of the United Nations since 1993.

The people of Andorra have the 3rd highest human life expectancy at birth in the world – 84 years.

Tradition holds that Charles the Great (Charlemagne) granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for fighting against the Moors. Overlordship of the territory was by the Count of Urgell and eventually by the bishop of the Diocese of Urgell.

In 988, Borrell II, Count of Urgell, gave the Andorran valleys to the Diocese of Urgell in exchange for land in Cerdanya.

Since then the Bishop of Urgell, based in Seu d'Urgell, has owned Andorra.

Andorra is a parliamentary co-principality with the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell (Catalonia, Spain), as co-princes. This peculiarity makes the President of France, in his capacity as Prince of Andorra, an elected reigning monarch, although he is not elected by a popular vote of the Andorran people. The politics of Andorra take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, whereby the Head of Government is the chief executive, and of a pluriform multi-party system.