Description of Andorra
From the years 1278 through 1994, the people of Andorra were ruled by the Spanish bishop as well as the French chief of state. In the year 1993, the shared feudal system was changed so that the titular heads of the state would be retained, but the government would be transformed to a parliamentary democracy.
The country of Andorra was isolated and impoverished for many years. However, since the end of World War II, the country has achieved a great amount of prosperity thanks to the tourism industry. There are many migrant workers who are attracted to the area because of its great economy combined with the fact that there are no income taxes collected.
The mainstay for the economy of tiny Andorra is tourism. The tourist industry accounts for about 80% of the GDP for the country. About 9 million tourists visit the country every year. These visitors are attracted to the summer and the winter resorts that the country has to offer as well as the duty free status of the country. The comparative advantage of the country has recently gone down because of the economies of France and Spain opening up, which has provided a wider availability for goods along with lower tariffs. Another area that contributes greatly to the economy is the tax haven status. Agricultural in the country is somewhat limited as there is only 2% of the land that is arable, which means that most of the food is imported. Sheep raising is the main livestock activity of the country and the manufacturing output of Andorra consists of mostly cigars, cigarettes, and furniture.
Andorra is very well known for its ski resorts. The resorts are large and offer many slopes that are family friendly. This is one of the reasons that the country is popular among tourists. However, there are other things in the country as well. There are many great churches and shrines located throughout the cities of Andorra. Our Lady of Meritxell is one of the famous statues of the country, but the original was destroyed in the year 1972. There is still a replica on display. If you visit the capital city of Andorra la Vella, you will find the Esglesia de Sant Esteve. This is located in the older part of the city and is the perfect place to take a stop during a walk through the city. Santa Coloma d’Andorra is a church that is located just a couple of kilometers outside of the town, and it is even older than the statue as it dates clear back to the 9th century.
If you are visiting Andorra, you are likely going to want to go to one of the many great ski resorts that the country has to offer. Many of these resorts started out as a small mountain village that has grown in the past few years because of the skiing. The resorts have recently joined together so that you can get one ski pass and enjoy all of the neighboring areas. This has led to there being two main ski areas, the Vallnord and the Grandvalira.
The Vallnord covers the Arinsal-Pal and the ARcalis ski areas. The two locations are quite far away from each other. However, there is a cable car that now connects the 2 areas of the ski resorts. You can access the Arisnal-Pal area from La Massana, which is centrally located in the town.
The Grandvalira covers the Pas de La Casa and the Soldeu areas. Soldeu is accessible from Canillo and Encamp as well. These accesses are actually quite clever as it has opened up the ski resort to be able to handle a larger influx of visitors without putting much pressure on Soldeu. There is 193 kilometers of slopes from 1710 to 2640 meters. The Grandvalira surface is located at about 1.926 H and there are 6 areas:
For those that are looking to hike through the area, there are many great choices available. You can stay in one of the mountain huts of the country and learn more about the animals and nature of the country. Arinsal, is the place to depart on a hike from. It is located at the bottom of Coma Pedrosa. There are several hikes of varying difficulties and distances from which to choose.
The 1500 meter trek from Arinsal is a medium hike until you reach the hut and then turns a bit more difficult while on the ridge. You will be able to view the valley of tor, Baiau Lakes in Spain, and the Pallars Mountains. There is a hut and a lake found during the hike.
The Pic de Medecourbe is a 2914 meter hike that becomes difficult on the ridge, but is medium difficulty up to that point. It offers breathtaking views of the city and valleys. The peak of the hike is at the tri-point international boundary of Spain, France, and Andorra.
Some of the other hikes are the Pic De Coma Pedrosa, Montmantell lakes, Pic del Pla de l’Estany, Arinsal-Percanela circuit, and the Cami del coll. Each of these hikes offers unique and breathtaking views.
When in Andorra you will find that the main meat of the country is lamb. There are different Spanish and French cuisines found throughout the country as well.
Andorra is not a country that poses much threat when visiting. However, if you are doing one of the mountain hikes or going skiing you will need to be careful. You should not go too high without knowing the area or what you are doing.
Some facts about Andorra
Gallery of Andorra
Andorra video guide
More information about Andorra
Climate of Andorra:
Top cities of Andorra
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