Eco-friendly travel guide to Andorra advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Andorra, Europe.
- Air quality: 3.3 / 5
- Bus connections: 3.8/ 5
- Train connections: 3.9 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 4 / 5
- National parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.9 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.4 / 5
- Safety: 3.9 / 5
- Accommodation: US$1000 - $1500
- Budget per day: US$800 - $900
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Located far away in the eastern Pyrenees, Andorra is a land of narrow valleys as well as breathtaking mountains. Popular for skiing and trekking, the country is filled with some outstanding features that attract thousands of tourists from around the world. As the country is close to beautiful mountains and valleys, you will find that Andorra supports eco-friendly traveling. Small villages dotted along the roads traverse the country and the Romanesque churches as well as houses that you will find throughout the country are built in a different style and. These have been preserved through the country’s seclusion. Being a responsible traveler, the first thing that you have to keep in mind is to stick to the rules and regulations that the locals here. Since the country is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations, thousands of tourists from around the works come here to visit. One of the best times to visit the country is during midsummer and pre-winters, especially if you want to enjoy ice-skating or even trekking. Before, visiting Andorra, there are a lot of things that you have to keep in mind as a responsible traveler. Here are a few things that fall under the responsibility of responsible traveling.
- While buying any gifts or souvenirs, go to the local shops to support their business. You will come across many small shops throughout the city.
- Plastic is one of the biggest threats considering the rising level of pollution throughout the world. Go for eco-friendly alternatives like paper bags, cloth bags. These are easily available and are safe.
- Besides, you must not leave footprints. For example, harming any tourist attractions or throwing litter here and there.
- Choose green hotels for staying instead of the normal hotels. Also, make sure to use electric vehicles, as it will help in lowering the pollution levels. If you want, you can use the local transport as well.
- Make sure that you are respecting the culture and follow all the local culture here.
Air Quality and Pollution
According to one of the reports by WHO, Andorra is comparatively safe. The reason behind this is the pollution levels remain low, which is a good thing. Hence, no matter which city you are choosing to travel to, you will be able to explore every corner of the city without any hassle. The weather of the country remains moderate to chilly throughout the year, which is a typical mountainous climate. Hence, if you are traveling to Andorra, you will experience cool winters and mild summers. The climate is quite dry and remains sunny almost throughout the year. As the pollution level stays under control, roaming around the city becomes easy. When it comes to kids as well as older people, it is best to take precautions for safety. However, if you are planning to travel between March, April, and May you might find the place quite expensive. This is the peak season for the tourists. If you are not ready to visit during the peak season, then make sure to visit the country apart from the mentioned months. Even if you have breathing issues, then it is best if you carry a mask for protection.
Respect the Culture
You might think that you know everything about European culture. However, there are many things, which almost no one is aware of. With the fascinating history, marvelous artworks as well as towering features, the country boasts some outstanding facts. You might think that Europe is similar to your home country. But, the only difference will be, people will not speaking the normal language. The ideas are gradually are converging and there are other differences too, that you will find out, especially if you are traveling to Andorra for the first time. From music, architecture, films to literature and philosophy, everything has made Andorra one of the most popular countries. The locals here are Roman Catholics. When it comes to the social conventions, locals here follow normal social courtesies when visiting someone’s house. Handshaking is the accepted form of greeting for the locals. You can wear informal clothes, and smoking is considered a common practice here. Overall, the customs followed in the country are similar to that of Spain. Coming to the language, locals here mostly speak Catalan, Spanish as well as French. Rest assured, if you are someone who supports open culture, then you will love the cities of Andorra.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Comprised of uncountable fun-filled activities and thousands of popular places to visit, Andorra includes many monuments, recreational parks, as well as other activities that attract tourists from around the world. Let us check out some of the best places that are a must-visit.
- Le Casa de la Vall- Considered as one of the top attractions in the country. It was built in 1580; it is popular and notable for its ornate coat of arms. You can hire a guide, as they will show highlights of Le Casa. A 30 minutes long guided tour will include a reception room, 16th-century wall paintings, Council Chamber, etc. Apart from that, you will also find the historic Cupboard of the Seven Keys and various other things.
- Vallnord’s Winter Wonderland- It is one of the renowned winter sports destinations located in the Pyrenees. Vallnord attracts thousands of skiers as well as snowboarders. Situated at the north of Andorra, it boasts about 2625 meters peak. Both beginners, as well as experts, can come here to experience skiing, especially towards the north-facing alpine slopes of Arcalis.
- Sant Joan de Caselles Church- Located far away to the north of the picturesque Canillo village, the Sant Joan de Caselles is situated. Locals consider it as one of the finest Romanesque churches. The beautiful old building belongs from the 11th century and here you will find many interesting features. Some of the highlights of the well-preserved highlights of the country include the Catholic Church, Romanesque stucco figure of Christ on the cross.
- Caldea- This is yet another one of the most popular tourist attraction places that you must visit if you are traveling to Andorra. It was founded at the heart of Andorra la Vella. Caldea is the biggest spa complex, which dominates the country using its magnificent glass pyramid tower. If you visit here, you will find more than six thousand square meters of watery fun as well as a treatment area. Guests here get the opportunity to use uncountable lagoons, saunas, as well as Jacuzzis, present here.
- Ordino and Casa d’Areny-Plandolit- When visiting Andorra, one of the chief destinations that you must not miss out on is the small town of Ordino. It is located at the base of the 2740-meter tall Casamanya mountains. Along with the quiet streets, elegant hotels, and old churches, Ordino is the home to Casa d’Areny-Plandolit. Considered one of the historic buildings, it was built in 1633. Later on, it was rebuilt during the 19th century.
- Postal Museum- It is one of the worth visiting museums in Ordino. Postal Museum highlights audio-visual displays that led to the growth as well as the development of Andorra’s postal service. Along with that, it also highlights the mail delivery of the country’s first pair of skis. Some other exhibits that you will see here include making of the stamps. You will find here a rare collection of more than 50,000 Andorran stamps.
- The Town of Les Escaldes- A few minutes away from the Andorra la Vella, Les Escaldes is situated. The name of the town has been named after uncountable hot springs found throughout the community. Some of the other highlights that you will find here include Viladomat Museum. It displays some marvelous work of the Catalan sculptor Josep Viladomat.
- Valira of d’Orient Valley- One of the highlights of Andorra, Valira of d’Orient Valley is one of the most popular tourist attractions. All you have to do is take a car and ride through the roads of the Valira. The sceneries that you will find surrounding are praiseworthy. Starting from Les Escaldes, you have to head towards the narrow winding road that leads to the 12th century. The Pyrenean churches that you will find are built in the Lombard Romanesque style.
- The town of Encamp- Encamp town is the home to almost twelve thousand people. You can come here, anytime to explore the place. The down is one of the breathtaking places due to the Valira d’Orient River. Old buildings as well as the surrounding beauty is something that will blow your mind. The ancient buildings that you will find here now have turned into cafeterias, shops, and restaurants.
- Church of Santa Coloma- On your way towards Andorra to Spain, you will find a small village Santa Coloma, which is popular as the country’s best Romanesque place for worshipping. The church is one of the oldest throughout the country and is popular for its rounded three-stage tower. It stages back to the 9th century and has a huge statue of the Virgin of Coloma.
You will come across uncountable things throughout the city that will grab your attention besides the above-listed attractions of the city. There are various city parks, national parks, beaches, and other unique places, which are a must-visit place. Let us check out some of the popular city parks, national parks, etc.
- Park Guell- Recognized as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site, Park Guell is one of the most popular recreational never-ending you will find some incredible as well as fascinating work of art. Besides, the surrounding beauty of the place is surreal.
- Parc de Montjuic- Located near Barcelona, Montjuic Park is considered one of the most popular city parks that you will come across. Here, you will find the National Museum of Catalonia, the 1992 Olympic Stadium, and many other things.
- Comapedrosa Valley National Park- Popular for beautiful trails, Comapedrosa Valley National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks that you will find in the country. Situated in the La Massana, here you will find some great hiking trails, view trails as well as hiking trails.
Andorra does not feature any big or small beach anywhere near the country. Therefore, tourists will not find any beaches. However, if you are interested, then you have to travel far away crossing the country borders to enjoy the beaches.
Apart from beautiful national as well as city parks, you will come across many popular landmarks in the city. These are useful since tourist attractions use them for reaching their desired destination. From beautiful skiing and snowboarding resorts to sky-touching mountains, you will find various popular landmarks.
- The Perfume Museum- The sensory experience that you will get in this museum is undoubtedly different from other museums. Located in Escaldes-Engordany, here you will be able to experiment and make your own perfume. You will find many rooms displaying hundreds of perfume bottles.
- The National Automobile Museum- It is situated in the village of Encamp and it is dedicated to different modes of transport. Along with automobiles. Here you will find almost sixty motorbikes as well as hundred bicycles. Mostly here you will find vintage cars.
Ever fantasized about trying out European cuisine? Well, you are not alone who always thought about trying out some of the delicious foods of Europe. From rich stews to dumplings and seafood, you will get everything here. Apart from the traditional foods and delectables, you will get everything here. The country has influenced other cities and towns along with its cuisine as well. Pizza, croissants to crème brulee, you will get everything here. The best part is here you will be able to taste some delicious foods for seven days. Let us check some popular foods that you must eat in Andorra. Arancini is one of the popular little fried rice balls that you must not miss out on if you are in Andorra. Although it is not popular like pasta and pizza, these are equally delicious. Arancini are stuffed with meat, tomatoes, mushrooms, pistachios, and mozzarellas, people consider these as a local delicacy. Pierogi is yet another one of the most popular dishes that you will love. Although the dish is popular in Eastern Europe, people in Andorra love it as well. Pierogi are dumplings that are made with potatoes, ground meat, cheese, or fruits. Over this, you will get butter, sour cream, or fried onion. Cheese Fondue is one of the delish dishes that you will find in the country. Traditional Swiss fondue is prepared with Gruyere as well as Emmenthal cheese along with a glug of white wine as well as kirsch. These are served with crusty bread like the traditional Weizenbrot. It is one of the gooey heavens that both tourists as well as locals. Served with beef sausages and are served with flatbread, onions as well as creamy kajmak. Make sure that you are trying out this dish. Even though it is famous for Herzegovina, but Cevapi is famous in Andorra. You might have heard about Goulash, a common traditional dish that locals love enjoying here. When prepared in a Hungarian way, the dish tastes even better. Bread with tomato is yet another one of the popular dishes that you can try in Andorra. Popularly known as the Pa Amb Tomaquet. The best part is you will find it throughout the country. A special type of bread is served rubbed with tomato. The dish is extremely delicious/ Andorra is a famous place that produces a special cheese variant, which you can use in different dishes for extra taste. The best part is the milk, which is used for making cheese is derived from goats, sheep, or cows. Formtage is prepared from goat’s milk and comes in a tangy taste. Besides, you will only get this in Andorra.
Just like uncountable dishes, you will get a wide variety of drinks as well. If you are not aware of it, then the Andorran cuisine has some common similarities with the Spanish neighbor Catalonia. The traditional drinks that the locals enjoy here are quite similar to that of the Catalonians. Granizado, for example, is one of the most popular forms of traditional drink that you must try. The drink is prepared using various fruit juices like orange, lemon. Apart from that, coffee is used as well for giving a unique taste to the drink. Every corner of the country enjoys drinking this throughout the day. Similarly, you must also try out the range of beer available here. You will get them in bottles and they either are international brands or are craft beer. You will come across multiple options to choose from. If you love enjoying malt beer, then you must visit some of the renowned homegrown breweries. Since the 19th century, many breweries are here that have been serving the best and delicious range of beer. Apart from that, you will get Spanish beer as well. Another one of the most popular local drinks that you must try is Orxata. A plant-based milk drink that tastes similar to grain-based milk. It is quite popular throughout the different parts of the world. Many Spanish regions, as well as West African countries like Nigeria and Mali, serve this delicious drink too. For almost 1000 years, Orxata has been around in Andorra. However, today, if you taste Orxata, you will find it in a delicious and yummy taste. The reason behind this is the unique ingredients that are used. Locals in Hypocras is yet another one of the renowned drinks that people love enjoying here. Hypocras has been named after ancient Greek physician Hippocrates due to rumored health benefits. Hypocras is believed to be made with various medicinal plants, ginger, spices, and rose petals. You will mostly find that the locals are drinking it during the evening or on any occasion. It is one of the popular drinks to try in Andorra. Wine is also one of the best drinks which is a worth trying drink that you must not miss out on. However, people here love to drink wine during any occasion, festivals, or any other special occasion. If you explore Andorra, you will find out many vineyards in the country.
It is important to understand that tap water in the country is quite safe to drink in the country. Although there are no such reports regarding the tap water quality. As per some of the researches, the locals, as well as many travel enthusiasts, have marked tap water to be safe. Being a new traveler in the country, it is necessary to understand that you have to keep yourself safe at any cost. Most hotels and restaurants in the cities of Andorra here provide safe water to drink. However, if you are going out, then it is best if you carry a small water bottle when going out. Alternatively, if you do not like carrying a water bottle, then you can buy packaged water bottles. You will come across many small stores selling soft drinks or packaged drinking water.
Although Andorra is one of the small countries in Europe; however, that does not mean that you will not find any exciting activities to try. Hence, from skiing to exploring some of the beautiful museums as well as spas, you can experience various things in the country. Let us check out some of the popular activities that you must try in the countries.
- Skiing or snowboarding- One of the biggest reasons behind visiting Andorra is going on skiing or snowboarding. Here, you will be able to enjoy some excellent sports activities. As Andorra is situated in the middle of the Pyrenees. Here you will be able to find some of the best ski areas in the country such as Soldeu, Vallnord, and Grandvalira.
- Spend a day at the relaxing spas- After enjoying a thrilling day on the slopes for skiing, it is obvious that you will feel like relaxing. Due to this reason, it is best if you visit the spa regions in Andorra. Europe is filled with exclusive spa regions along with the biggest spa mountain. Besides, you will also find many popular skiing resorts as well as hotels that have spas. However, the best one that you will find is in Caldea. A mirrored building is filled with exclusive Jacuzzis, hydro massage jets, saunas, relaxation pools, etc.
- Enjoy shopping in Andorra- Shopping in Andorra can be a lifetime experience for you, only if you find out the top picks and popular items of Europe. People visiting Andorra consider shopping as their favorite pastime. The reason behind this is marketing here enjoys tax-free status. You will come across many shops here that sell tobacco, perfumes as well as other items. Some of the popular places where you can shop are Centro Comercial Pyrenees.
- Go on hiking through the Natural Parks- As already mentioned, Andorra is the home to some of the most popular natural parks. These parks cover almost the biggest part of the country. Three popular parks that you will find in the country are Valle de Sorteny, Valls del Comapedrosa, and Madriu-Perafita-Claror. While hiking to the natural parks, you will spot much wildlife like wild boar, roe deer, golden eagles, etc.
- Explore some unusual museums- Although Andorra is a small country, it is the home to some of the most popular museums. Most of them are unique and pretty. The list of the museum is never-ending like the Perfume Museum, the Tobacco Museum, and Postal Museum. Apart from that, you will also find Electricity Museum and Comic Museum.
Accommodation is the biggest factor when you are traveling to any place. You will find many diverse options and as a tourist, you will get uncountable options for exploring. From affordable hostels and guesthouses to five-star hotels, you will get everything. However, the five-star hotels are located in some of the prominent regions of the country. Overall the choice is huge and according to your budget, you will definitely find a good place to stay in any of the cities you like. Before, making your choice, it is best if you decide your budget. This will make things easy. Apart from the hostels or guesthouses, you will even get the opportunity to stay in the apartments. These are also one of the best options. Rest assured, no matter where you go, you will get the benefit of free WiFi, a free parking area, and breakfast. You can either book hotels online or book them once you reach there.
Green hotels are one of the best place for staying, especially if you have a budget crunch. Moreover, as a responsible traveler, it is best if you opt for these options since green hotels are different from the usual ones. Being eco-friendly hotels, they do not support carbon emission and even recycle the waste generated. Apart from that, they even encourage using solar energy for generating electricity. Greywater treatment is used inside these hotels for water supply. Also, temperature control is maintained in the hotel rooms to discourage the use of air conditioners. These hotels are located a bit far away from the city center to stay away from hustle and bustle. Here are some of the popular green hotels that you will find in the country.
- Igloo Village
- El Tarter
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you want to save money while traveling, then nothing can be better than saving money on accommodation. Hostels and guesthouses are considered a safe option when it comes to traveling. Compared to the five-star hotels or resorts, these are quite affordable. Moreover, here you will get free WiFi, breakfast, and various other options. Also, you will get the opportunity to meet many fellow travelers as well as local travelers. They can be your one of the best and knowledgeable guide. Besides, as hostels come with dormitory-type rooms, you can travel in groups, which is once again one of the best ideas. Even if you are new to the country or you are a student, you will get additional; you will get extra advantage on your stay in the hostels. Here are some of the best hotels and guesthouses where you must stay in Andorra.
- Xalet La Pastorella
- Alberg La Comella
- El Tarter
- Vojo Ventures
Apartments can be the best places for you, especially if you are in an unknown country. If you want to know the European culture, then you can stay with the locals. Moreover, if you want to stay with your friends for a long time, then renting apartments in any of the cities is no doubt a good idea. However, it is important to understand that finding a suitable apartment that comes with all the basic utilities can be tough. Although the locals here are, open to let the foreigners stay with them. Alternatively, if you are planning to stay with your friends without any terms, then you can book apartments online. One of the best places for booking apartments is Airbnb. Yes, here you will find many apartments according to your budget. Also, the basic amenities will be available for the tourists. Above all, you can get additional discounts if you book the room in advance.
The concept of Couchsurfing has taken off in foreign countries and Andorra is definitely one of them. Here locals enlist their homes and serve as a helpful host who wants to accept hosts. Couchsurfing is yet another one of the best and budget-friendly ways of exploring any city or country. The host will provide you food and bedding option, if you are not into spending money on hotels or guesthouses, then Couchsurfing is the best solution for you. Besides, staying with the locals makes it easy for you to explore every nooks and corner of the country. However, you have to be careful that the host with whom you will be staying is genuine.
Andorra is a small country surrounded by thousands of mountains, valleys, and eccentric beauty worth cherishing. On top of that, you will come across many natural parks where you will find exotic flora and fauna. Hence, you can understand that the country is the best place for camping. The country is the best choice for adventure seekers, especially the ones who love to enjoy the thrill. If you traveling to Andorra for the first time, make sure to book some for camping. Yes, without one or two days camping, your trip will remain incomplete. You can carry either your own tent or book for it while booking hotels. Some of the popular camping grounds that you will find are listed below.
- Camping Valira
- Bungalows Janramon
- Xixerella Park Andorra
Getting There and Moving Around
Reaching Andorra is one of the easiest things that you can do. Opting for the flight route is one of the best options since it is not only less time taking but also affordable. Moreover, if you are traveling from any other country, then go for the flight route. Alternatively, the road route is also a good option. As Andorra does not have an airport, you have to reach any nearest airport near France, Barcelona, Spain, or Girona. From there, you have to travel by road.
When it comes to the flight route, you have to reach any nearby destination since Andorra does not have its own airport. Hence, you have to fly to Spain, Barcelona, Perpignan and then book for any cabs to reach Andorra. Otherwise, there are no other ways to reach Andorra, especially through the flight route.
Andorra can be best reached by road. The reason behind this is one of the main highways connects France to Andorra and another highway connects the country from Spain. Barcelona to Andorra takes four hours to reach. You can opt for public or traveler buses. Coaches here regularly leave from Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, and Lleida. If you are driving from the French side of Andorra takes almost 2.9 km-long Tunel d’Envalira. You have to be prepared to pay for the toll for using the tunnel.
You will not find any lines in Andorra and none of them are quite close to the border with Spain. From here, you can opt for taking a bus to Andorra. You have to keep in mind that you have to keep your connections careful when traveling to the country.
Hitchhiking is yet another one of the most popular type of traveling, especially for the tourist. You will have to ask for a lift if you want to travel to Andorra. The hitchhiking is completely a free ride. People here are quite hospitable and caring. However, you will have to be careful while traveling to the country; many locals will target to loot you. Also, the crime here is quite low. Most locals here use GPS-enabled smartphones when it comes to traveling to any city in Andorra.
There are other different ways of reaching the country. Even if you are not opting for the flight route or the road route. You can book e-cabs if you are traveling from nearby cities. As a responsible traveler; it is best if you opt for e-vehicles since they will not support environmental pollution.
Traveling experience will remain incomplete if you do not opt for sustainable shopping. As an eco-friendly traveler, make sure that you are shopping from the local stores. From small stores to shopping malls, you will find sustainable items. For example, if you want any eco-friendly clothing items, then you can definitely buy them as a souvenir. Apart from clothing items, you will also find many organic clothing items. Wall hangings, wooden sculptures, the local shops sell different types of sustainable items. Besides, if you want to support local businesses, then it is best to opt for sustainable shopping.
The biggest secret behind the low rate of pollution as well as surrounding greenery is only because of recycling. Yes, the locals here are quite responsible and help in keeping the city pollution-free. Besides, the government has come up with various recycling methods that help in keeping the pollution levels low in Andorra. Various packaging industries and units have even modified their methods and use eco-friendly products for packaging. Hence, as a responsible traveler, make sure that you are participating in the recycling activities. No matter what you are using, make sure to recycle it every time. Besides, use the dustbin whenever you are out in the cities, instead of throwing litter everywhere.
The waste generation in the city is not too high or low. Since tourism is quite rampant in the city; however, the locals are quite responsible and this is something that keeps the waste generation under control. The government that has kept the pollution levels under control has taken various initiatives.
Work and Study Abroad
Want to study abroad in a prestigious institution or work with MNCs; it is best if you come to Andorra. Yes, the cities of Andorra like Encamp, Andorra le Vella features some big and reputed organizations. Apart from that, you will also find some of the best-rated colleges, universities, etc. Many students, as well as eligible students from around the world, come here to enroll themselves here.
As already mentioned, Andorra features some of the best colleges and universities, and every year thousands of tourists from around the globe come here to enroll themselves for further studies. Faculties are quote versatile and focus on excellence. Also, they make sure to give equal attention to every student.
Au Pair service is quite hyped in the city. Women here are independent and love working to earn living. Due to this reason, they look for Au Pair services so that someone can look after their family. Besides, it is one of the best ways to earn money initially, especially if someone is new to the country.
Andorra is the home to some of the rich heritage and culture of the country. From monuments to architectural reserves, you will see many things. Due to this reason, many NGOs, as well as non-profit organizations, have come forward to protect and preserve the heritage and maintain the dignity of the city.