Travel guide to Andorra, Principality of

» Andorra, Principality of
The tiny republic of Andorra, located right in the heart of the Pyrenees, is rich in both charm and potential experience for the traveler. Environmental exploration such as mountain hikes and skiing vie with metropolitan shopping opportunities: the range of options attracts countless tourists every year.

Facts

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Local name
Principat d'Andorra
Capital
Andorra la Vella (21.600)
Size
468 square kilometers
Principal Languages
Catalan
Principal Religion
Roman-Catholic
Inhabitants
65.800 (1998)
Government
Republic
Geography
Andorra sits at an elevation of 900-2900 metres and, besides the surrounding mountains, the country is comprised of beautiful plains and valleys. Moreover it is crossed by the river Gran Valira.

Travel preparation

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Best time to visit

You can visit Andorra during both summer and winter. In the summer the temperature seldom rises above 20 degrees celsius - which makes the climate perfect for long hikes in the surrounding mountain areas. Winter temperatures are around freezing-point - giving the opportunity for all kinds of winter sports. The hotels in Andorra are normally fully booked during July and August, and again from December to March.

Literature

Europe on a shoestring

Local conditions

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Currency

Euro (EUR)

Net cafes

Andorras internet cafés are situated in the capital Andorra la Vella.

In case of emergency

For emergency calls in Andorra call the following number: Fire (118) Ambulance (118) Police (110) Mountain Rescue (112)

Tipping

Waiters and porters generally expect a ten per cent tip.

Timezone

When it is 12 noon in London, it is 12 noon in Andorra.

Weight and Measures

In Andorra they use the following weights and measures: Weight: kilo Distance: the metric system

Photography

Show common courtesy and always ask before photographing.

Drinking water

The tap water in Andorra is drinkable, but it is advisable to buy your drinking water.

Electricity

In Andorra they use the following power source: 125V/220V AC, 50HZ

Behaviour

As in most Roman-Catholic countries you should show respect in churches, monasteries and other religious places by avoiding the wearing of shorts and miniskirts and by covering bare shoulders.

Business Hours

The big stores are open from 9 am to 8 pm (Monday-Friday), from 9 am to 9 pm (Saturdays) and from 9 am to 7 pm (Sundays). Other stores are open from 9 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm (Monday-Saturday), from 9 am to 1pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm (Sundays).

Food and drink

Besides cheese, milk, goat's meat and pork the Andorran kitchen consists of game and trout. The country's traditional meals are very much characterized by its isolated position and limited access to primary produce. The local menu includes several stews and ragouts, but pork chops and trout have also made their way onto Andorran dining tables. Moreover, as in Spain, tapas are recommended - a range of small local dishes served either as a snack in itself or as a filler between meals.

Holidays

New Years Day, 1 January Epiphany, 6 January Constitution Day, 14 March Labour Day, 1 May St Johns Day, 24 June Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, 15 August National Day - Mare de Deu de Meritxell, 8 September All Saints Day, 1 November St Charles Day, 4 November Immaculate Conception, 8 December Christmas Eve, 24 December Christmas Day, 25 December 2nd Day of Christmas, 26 December New Years Eve, 31 December

Accommodation / Hotel

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Camping

Andorra has 25 well-marked camping sites - of which the main ones are situated near towns (useful also for caravans).

Hotels

Despite its size Andorra boasts a total of 350 hotels. Most of them are open only during summer and the skiing season, but a few hotels are open all year.

Bed og breakfast or guesthouse

Andorra's charming little mountain inns offer cheap accommodation for the night, but usually with no more than the most basic comforts.

Local transport

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Planes

There is no airport in Andorra, but a series of helicopter operators make it possible to travel by air.

Bus

Andorra has a comprehensive bus transport system which connects most towns in the country. And in winter there are shuttle buses to the many ski resorts from the nearest villages.

Taxi

There are taxi companies in Andorra's cities.

Car rental

It is possible to rent a car in Andorra la Vella.

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