|Capital||Andorra La Vella|
|Area||468 sq km|
|Population||71,201 (July 2006 est.)|
|Language||Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (predominant and official)|
|Electricity||220/50Hz (European plug)|
|Time Zone||UTC +1|
Andorra  is a small (pop. 73,100, size 464 km2), mountainous country in the Pyrenees mountains in Europe, and is on the Iberian Peninsula, on the border between France and Spain, in Western Europe.
- Andorra la Vella - Capital of Andorra
- Santa Coloma -South of Andorra La Vella towards the border with Spain
- Sant Julia de Loria -South of Santa Coloma towards the border with Spain
- Escaldes-Engordany -This is really an eastern suburb parish of Andorra La Vella
- Encamp - Parish to the NE of Andorra La Vella between Engordany and Canillo on the road to France
- La Massana -- small town and parish about 5 miles north of Andorra La Vella. You can access Arinsal - Pal ski area from it directly
- Ordino - Northernmost and least populated parish but almost the largest
- Canillo - Northeasternmost parish on the main road and border to France
- Arinsal - Small village in the north west
Other destinations 
For 715 years, from 1278 to 1994, Andorrans lived under a unique co-principality ruled by the French chief of state and the Spanish bishop of Urgel. In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary democracy. Long isolated and impoverished, mountainous Andorra achieved considerable prosperity since World War II through its tourist industry. Many migrant workers (legal and illegal) are attracted to the thriving economy with its lack of income taxes.
Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for roughly 80% of GDP. An estimated 9 million tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and by its summer and winter resorts. Andorra's comparative advantage has recently eroded as the economies of neighboring France and Spain have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and lower tariffs. The banking sector, with its "tax haven" status, also contributes substantially to the economy. Agricultural production is limited -- only 2% of the land is arable -- and most food has to be imported. The principal livestock activity is sheep raising. Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture. Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs) and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.
Electricity is supplied at 220 to 230V 50Hz. Outlets are the European standard CEE-7/7 "Schukostecker" or "Schuko" or the compatible, CEE-7/16 "Europlug" types.
Get in 
Due mainly to the mountainous nature of Andorra, there is only one road entering Andorra from France, and only one widely-used road entering Andorra from Spain. Almost all entry into the country happens at one of these two points.
Visitors from outside the EU should note that Andorra is not a Schengen member, and exiting France or Spain into Andorra will (theoretically) terminate a single-entry visa. In practice, though, immigration does not enforce this.
By plane 
There are no airports in Andorra. The nearest airports are:
Perpignan (France) 128 km to the east, no coach connections but you can take a Yellow train to La tour de Carol and further to l'Hospitalet.
Barcelona (Spain) 202 km to the south.
(From airports to Andorra by car: 3 hours)
- An airport for Andorra Catalan Government developed a Pirineus - la Seu d'Urgell airport (also known as Pirineus-Andorra airport)  at Seu d'Urgell but there are no scheduled flights there.
By helicopter 
From Andorra la Vella, La Massana, or Arinsal airports, the journey, for a maximum of 4 passengers, takes around 30 minutes and costs €3000.
Andorra heliport .
By train 
- L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre (France) is the closest railway station to the border (3 km, 1.8 mi). Six trains per run day to Toulouse-Matabiau (2.5 hr, €23.40). There are regular buses onward to Andorra.
- Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg (Catalan: La Tor de Querol-Enveig) is about 20 km from L'Hospitalet. It is in France but close to the Spanish border. It is the terminus of three rail lines: suburban R3 line from Barcelona-Sants (4 daily, 3 hr, €11.20); the line from Toulouse (6 daily, 3 hr, €26.10) which runs via L'Hospitalet (30 min); and a narrow-gauge line from Perpignan (2 M-F, 3 weekends, 4–5 hr, €27.20) (change at Villefranche Vernet les Bains). Buses also connect Latour-de-Carol with L'Hospitalet.
The sleeper train from Paris calls at both stations. If you can find the cheap tickets, a 2nd class bed can cost €30-50, otherwise it'll be around €70-100.
The French railway company, SNCF, operates one bus per day (TER Midi-Pyrénées line 22 Toulouse/Foix/Latour-de-Carol ) from the train station of L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre (also called Andorre-L'Hospitalet-SNCF or simply L'Hospitalet) to the first town after the Andorran border, the supposed shoppers' paradise of Pas de la Casa, from where it's possible to take frequent buses to Andorra-la-Vella — every 30 min with Cooperativa Interurbana (+376 806 556, line 4 ) or cia Hispano-Andorrana (+376 807 000, ).
From L'Hopitalet to Pas de la Casa, the journey with the SNCF bus costs €2.90 full fare, and all the regular SNCF discounts apply. For the scenic journey between Pas de la Casa and Andorra-la-Vella, the price is €5.60.
Alternatively, Hispano-Andorrana bus company runs services twice a day  from the L'Hospitalet train station directly to Andorra-la-Vella, also calling at some other stops, for ±8€.
From France, getting to Andorra by train and onward bus costs around the same as the direct bus. It is very cost-effective for holders of SNCF discount cards such as Carte 12-25 or those coming with the sleeper train from Paris. Anyone under 26 years-old traveling at off-peak hours with SNCF is entitled a 25% discount (called "Découvert 12-25").
From Barcelona, the train-bus combination is much cheaper than the direct bus; however, it requires two changes: one in Latour de Carol and one in L'Hospitalet.
Caution: L'Hospitalet train station is in a deserted area, is often unmanned, and its rooms have restricted open hours, so in winter it's important to match connections well. If you need assistance, you may want to call the Toulouse train station at +33 8 91 67 76 77.
By car 
Roads in Andorra are generally of a good quality. Entering from the Spanish side is a relatively straightforward drive; however entering from France is a more stressful affair involving many hairpin bends. Border control officers at both sides are generally fine. Entering Andorra, you generally do not need to even stop, but you must slow down and be prepared to stop if requested. When leaving Andorra, you must stop and be prepared for delays during busy times.
Also beware of black ice and snow drifts as the temperature in Andorra can be much colder than at sea level. Be sure your car is in good condition.
The approach from the French side passes through the 2.9 km-long Tunel d'Envalira which requires a credit or debit card for payment of the fee. The amounts are: winter (remainder of year)
- Cars €5.60 (€4.80)
- Others €16.70 (€10.70)
Winter is from 1 Dec-31 Mar.
Occasionally the road through to France can be closed in winter due to heavy snowfall and avalanche rish.
Car rental The usual car hire companies operate from locations such as 'down town'; the desks are sometimes quiet and unmanned so it may be a good idea to book in advance online, your rates should still be good value.
- From November to April, it is necessary to have winter tyres and/or snow chains to hand in the car. In snowy road conditions, cars without winter tyres or snow chains fitted are not allowed to drive. This is often enforced by police checkpoints on access roads to the ski resorts and on mountain passes such as the CS-311 and the road above Pas de la Casa.
Drivers considered to be at fault in fatal accidents are always prosecuted and usually imprisoned.
Taxi Taxi Josep provides a Mercedes Benz car and speaks many languages Tel: 376 323111; Taxi Domènec Segura provides a van but does not speak English or French tel: 34 636 490 685. Taxi Josep can arrange the ride with Taxi Domènec Segura if you absolutely need a van. Payment must be in cash.
Taxi Barras 376 323743 provides local service.
By bus 
From France 
Toulouse is the main hub for accessing Andorra.
Other coach services operate via the French border towns L'Hospitalet (3 km from Andorra) and La Tour de Carol (Spanish: La Tor de Querol, near the Spanish border, 20 km from Andorra).
From Spain 
The trip from Barcelona takes 3h30–4h.
Eurolines runs from Barcelona airport (outside the door of Terminal B), via Barcelona Sants train station to Andorra. Arrive early as the driver doesn't hang around and may leave early. You pay for the ticket at Sants, not the airport. You will need to show your passport.
Autocars Nadal  also travels between Andorra and Barcelona and its airport.
Alsina Graells has eight trips a day from Barcelona (€23 one-way and €40 round trip).
Alsa  has daily trips between Barcelona and Andorra.
Get around 
If you have a few days in Andorra, then you can easily visit most of the main villages by the local bus service called the Cooperativa Interurbana Andorrana, S.A. 
There are 8 main bus lines or 'linies', and all of these pass through Andorra La Vella. The fare is between €1.20 to €3 depending on how far you are going. Drivers provide change. For the towns nearest to Andorra La Vella, the service is very regular, and as frequent as every 10 minutes during the day. If you are travelling to outlying rural places like Canolic, there are only 2 or 3 buses per day.
The lines are:
- L1 Sant Julia de Loria - Escaldes-Engordany
- L2 Andorra la Vella - Encamp
- L3 Andorra la Vella - Encamp - Canillo
- L4 Andorra la Vella - Encamp - Canillo - Soldeu
- L5 Andorra la Vella - Encamp - Encamp - Canillo - El Pas de la Casa
- L6 Andorra la Vella - La Massana - Arinsal
- L7 Andorra la Vella - La Massana - Ordino
- L8 Andorra la Vella - La Massana - Ordino - El Serrat
Andorra uses the euro (€, EUR) as its money. Andorra is one of 23 European countries that use this common European currency: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain (which are all eurozone countries of the European Union or EU) together with the six non-EU members Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican that also solely use euros but have no say in eurozone affairs. These 23 countries together have a population of more than 330 million.
One euro is divided into 100 cents. Except for Kosovo and Montenegro, all issue their own coins with a distinctive, national face. However, all the coins' obverse looks the same, as do all bills or banknotes and all are legal tender in all 23 countries.
Andorra La Vella is a good destination to buy all kinds of cheap goods, due to the country's status as a "tax haven."
Andorra's huge ski resorts with their family-friendly slopes are probably the main reason for Andorra's popularity among tourists, but the tiny country does have other things to offer. In terms of landmarks and culture, the many churches and shrines are a main sight. The famous statue of Our Lady of Meritxell was destroyed in a 1972 fire, but a nice replica is still on display. In the country's capital, Andorra la Vella, you'll find the Romanesque Església de Sant Esteve, located in the old part of town and therefore a perfect stop during a city walk. Just 2 kilometres out of town, the church of Santa Coloma d'Andorra is even older, as it dates back to the 9th century.
Ski Resorts 
Most of these resorts were once small mountain villages which have grown in recent years due to skiing. In recent years the resorts have all joined together so that your ski pass covers neighbouring areas. As a result there are now two large alpine skiing areas known as Vallnord and Grandvalira.
Vallnord covers Arcalis and the Arinsal-Pal ski area. Arcalis is quite distant away from Arinsal-Pal but the latter have been joined up in recent years by a cable car connecting the two ski areas. The Arisnal-Pal ski area is directly accessible from La Massana right from the middle of the town. 93 km (58 mi) of pisses.
Grandvalira covers Soldeu and Pas de la Casa. The Soldeu ski area is also accessible from Encamp and Canillo. This quite cleverly has opened up these areas to cope with the influence of visitors without putting all the strain on Soldeu. It has 193 km of ski slopes between 1710-2640 m. The surface of grandvalira is about 1.926 H, and it's dividid in 6 different areas:
- Pas de la Casa -- skiing resort located right on the French border.
- Soldeu -- skiing resort
- Arcalis-- ski area located at the head of the valley from El Serrat
- Arinsal -- skiing resort part of the Arinsal Pal ski area. Also known as Vallnord which means Valley North in English
- Pal -- skiing resort part of the Arinsal Pal ski area.
- Arinsal-Pal -- Actually two skiing areas connected by cable car. See Arinsal and Pal.
La Rabassa is a cross-country (Nordic) skiing area in southern Andorra above the town of Sant Julia de Loria.
Hiking and Trekking 
If you would like more information on the mountain huts in Andorra, go to Mountain huts in Andorra . If you are afraid of sleeping in a tent because of the wild animals and night sounds (demons), a good place to stay while hiking and trekking in Andorra is staying at the Himàlaia Hotel in Soldeu , which has its own team of hiking guides who go every day with their guests to walk and discover a lot of interesting hiking routes around the country. Be sure to bring something other than sandals for your feet and a purse for your cellphone.
Andorra is a great place for hiking. The point of departure is the town of Arinsal at the foot of the Coma Pedrosa (2,942 m/9,652 ft) and the Pic de Médécourbe (2,914 m/9,560 ft).
- Treks from Arinsal (1,500 m) - Pic de Sanfons (2,888 m/9,475 ft, 4h45, climb 1,310 m/4,298 ft, medium until the hut, difficult on the ridge). View on the Coma Pedrosa, the valley of Tor, the lakes of Baiau in Spain as well as on the Pallars mountains. Mountain hut and lake on the way. Parking at Torrent Ribal 1,580 m (5,184 ft).
- Pic de Médécourbe 2,914 m (4h30, climb 1,335 m/4,380 ft, medium until the hut increasing to difficult on the ridge). A classic! Mountain hut half-way up, lakes and a breathtaking view over the valley of Arinsal, Boet and Vicdessos (France). Parking at Torrent Ribal 1,580 m (5,184 ft). The peak is the western tripoint international boundary of Andorra, France, and Spain.
- Pic de Coma Pedrosa 2,942 m (4h30, climb 1,370 m, medium until the lake, difficult on the ridge). The highest mountain in Andorra. Mountain hut half way up, lakes. Beautiful view of the surrounding summits, the valley of Arinsal and to the West, the Maladeta and Ecantats massifs. Parking at Torrent Ribal 1580m.
- Montmantell lakes and the Pic del Pla de l'Estany 2,859 m (4h20, climb 1'280m, medium). Mountain hut half-way up, lakes, magnificent view over the Ariège mountains in France and over Andorra. Parking at Torrent Ribal 1580 m.
- Arinsal - Percanela - les Fonts - Pla de l'Estany - Arinsal circuit 2'055m (4h30, climb 670m, medium) 2 mountain huts. Very pleasant circuit which one can do either way. Lovely views of Coma Pedrosa via the imposing natural amphitheatre of Les Fonts. A few bordas (farm houses) on the way, some renovated, some in ruins. Parking at Arinsal 1,466 m.
- Camí del coll de les Cases 1,950 m (1h40, climb 490 m, medium) Panoramic view over the Ordino mountains and la Massana. Ideal picnic and meditation site. One can continue along the GR11 to Arans (parking at Mas de Ribafeta 1466m) but transport back to Arinsal must be provided.
Escudella De Pages (Catalan peasant soup) is often considered as the national dish.
- Hotel Himàlaia Soldeu, Ctra. General s/n., ☎ (376) 878515.
- Hotel Montane, Carreterra General D'Arinsal, ☎ (+376) 737535. 3* Half Board Hotel Directly Opposite the Gondola in Arinsal
- Hotel Oriol, Plaça Co-Princeps, 4, ☎ +376 821 105. €39.
- Pension la Rosa, Antic Carrer Major 18, just south of Avenue Princep Benloch, Andorra la Vella, ☎ +376 821 810.
- Hotel Santa Bàrbara de la Vall d'Ordino, ☎ +376 738 100, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. €54.
Out of town
- Hotel El Tarter , ☎ +376 80 20 80. EL TARTER (1844m), half way from Andorra la Vella (17km) and El Pas de la Casa, SOLDEU -EL TARTER ski station is 50 m. away. 3 km from sport complex of Canillo (Ice-skating, swimming pool, gymnasium, squash, tennis). Beautiful, skiers dream location and very fair rates.
- Paul Mikheson, C/Arinsal (Arinsal), ☎ 00376869181. Self catering chalets and apartments, all located in Arinsal, Andorra, within walking distance to the ski lifts. Ideal for winter but also summer holidays: may hikes start right from your property meaning no need for a car!
To work in Andorra you are supposed to have a work permit issued by the government. If you are on business for only a few days then this would not apply.
Stay safe 
There is not much threat from other people in Andorra, but keep safe on mountains. Don't go too high without knowing what you are doing. See Altitude sickness for more.
Drivers are warned to avoid crossing back into France if the Spanish side of the Pyrenees has enjoyed beautiful warm sunshine all day and the road temperatures drop considerably towards the evening - there is danger of black ice from ice melt. The weather in the French Pyrenees is frequently vastly different than that of Andorra and the Spanish Pyrenees. Stay overnight if necessary, as cold morning temperatures are more apparent and less treacherous than sudden evening icing.
Stay healthy 
In Andorra La Vella there is the famous Caldea  to visit which is a spa / swimming pool complex. This is very popular. It is located up the top end of Andorra-la-Vella and you cannot miss it because it is the large glass spire structure which is quite an attraction on the skyline itself.
The main hospital in Andorra is the Meritxell (pronounced merichai) Hospital (+376 871 000).
Internet Andorra is a well-connected country, and has accepted the Internet with open arms. Almost as many people subscribe to the Internet as own landline phones.
Postal Service Andorra relies on the Spanish and French postal systems. The main office for both are located in Andorra La Vella.
The French post office (CORREUS FRANCESOS) located at Carrer de Bonaventura Armengol AD500 Andorra la Vella, Andorra  is usually open from 8:30AM - 2:30PM Monday - Friday and Saturdays from 9AM - 11:59AM Tel: +376 820 408
The Spanish post office (CORREUS ESPANYOLS) is open from 8:30AM - 2:30PM Monday - Friday and Saturdays from 9AM - 1PM Tel: +376 820 257.
Go next 
- Latour-de-Carol - first stop on the scenic descent for Perpignan with the open-top Yellow Train  (fr: Petit Train Jaune) is reachable with the same TER train line 22 that serves L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre.