Andorra is a destination that brings together nature, art, rest, gastronomy, shopping and culture, making it a must for travellers looking for a complete escape.For those who have booked their trip and need information on the best areas to stay in Andorra, here is some detailed information.
Located at the foot of the Pyrenees, between Spain and France, this small country has become a reference destination for snow lovers, shopping and rural tourism.
And the fact is that our northern neighbour has more than 300 kilometres of snow slopes, distributed mainly in the resorts of Grandvalira and Vallnord, which are a real paradise for lovers of white sports.It has a long catalogue of Romanesque churches, in fact it is the country with the highest concentration of temples of this style per square metre.
In addition to all this, it has a wide range of museums, the most acclaimed being the Romanesque Andorra Interpretation Centre, the Miniature Museum, the Comic Strip Museum and the Tobacco Museum.For those who don’t know, here there are no taxes, which allows you to save a few euros, so places like Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany are a magnet for shopping enthusiasts.
The main avenues are full of shops, which every day welcome many travellers who are eager to fill their shopping trolleys at cheaper prices than in Spain.
Likewise, the catalogue of natural areas does not disappoint, allowing you to enjoy Mother Nature in its broadest sense.Especially outstanding are the Pessons Lake, the largest glacier in this tiny country; the Segudet Forest in Ordino; the Comapedrosa Valley in La Massana; and Madriu-Perafita-Claror, which can boast of being the largest in Andorra.
In the Principality it is also possible to enjoy a gastronomy rich in flavours and textures, the result of French and Catalan influences. Thus, among its traditional dishes we find escudella, Andorran cannelloni or carving.The hunting meat and the Andorran style trout also have an outstanding protagonism.
As if it was not enough, in Andorra there is Caldea, the biggest thermoludic center in Europe, which constitutes an attraction for the devotees of the relax and the thermal treatments.
The best areas to stay in Andorra
Andorra is one of the most frequented destinations on the European map, both for those who seek to enjoy the snow, shopping and active tourism and for those who demand the relaxation that its thermal centres offer.
As a result, the range of accommodation on offer is very wide, adapting to all types of travellers, whose prices decrease as we get closer to the ski slopes, especially in the high season.
The most economical accommodation is to be found in Andorra la Vella, Encamp, Ordino and Arinsal, while the most expensive is to be found in Pas de la Casa, Soldeu, El Tarter and La Massana.
Andorra la Vella
This is the capital of Andorra, which is located in the central valley of the Principality.It is a place of pilgrimage for shopping lovers, since it is full of luxury shops and shopping centres, most of which are concentrated in the Meritxell Avenue.
It also has a rich architectural legacy, the most representative of which are the Church of San Esteve, which houses beautiful Baroque altarpieces, the Casa del Vall, the headquarters of the General Council, and the Church of Sant Andreu.
There are many routes that start from the capital that allow you to enjoy active tourism to the fullest, the most popular being the Camino del Prat Primer, Santa Coloma or the Margineda, where you will find the popular bridge of the same name, the largest medieval bridge in the country.
Andorra la Vella has no direct access to the ski slopes, but it is not too far from the resorts of Vallnord and Grandvalira.Even so, it is not the most recommendable option for staying in Andorra if the purpose is to enjoy only snow sports.
As the capital it is, it has a complete and very varied offer of accommodation, which includes accommodation with prices that fit in very well with the strict budgets. In fact, 5-star hotels can be found for around 80 euros a night.
– Accommodation in Andorra la Vella
2.Pas de la Casa
This town is about 30 km from Andorra la Vella and a few minutes from the popular Grandvalira station.It is, like Andorra la Vella, one of the commercial centres of the Principality, since it has a generous offer of shops and commercial centres where you can buy at cheaper prices than in Spain.
In addition to housing some interesting monuments, such as the Church of Saint Peter, it is surrounded by a truly beautiful alpine environment that invites you to discover it. However, its great attraction lies in its access to the Grandvalira resort, the largest ski area in the Pyrenees and one of the largest in Europe.
Precisely the proximity to Grandvalira makes Pas de la Casa a good option for sleeping in Andorra, mainly for those who want to enjoy the virtues of the snow.Encamp
This village on the border with France, located a few kilometres from Pas de la Casa and crossed by the river Valira, forms, together with four other villages, the Grandvalira station.It is about ten kilometres from Andorra la Vella, where, as we have mentioned, the main infrastructures and services of the Principality are located.
Likewise, it has Romanesque and pre-Romanesque monuments such as the church of San Miguel de la Mosquera, San Jaime de Cortals, Santa Eulalia or San Romà de Vila.It also has such interesting museums as the Automobile Museum, the Electricity Museum and the Sacred Art Museum.
As an added attraction, Encamp forms part of the Trans-Pyrenean Route GR-11, also known as the Pyrenean Trail, from which a good number of hiking routes start, which run through forests, lakes and beautiful alpine landscapes.
It has direct access to the main ski slopes of Grandvalira, which can be climbed through the Funicamp. This makes this enclave one of the options to take into account to stay in Andorra.For about 60 euros you can access a 4 star hotel.
– Accommodation in Encamp
Located in the northwest of Andorra, it can boast of being the largest parish in the country and also the one with the highest altitude.It has direct access to the slopes of Grandvalira, which makes it the favourite place for those who visit the country to enjoy white sports.
However, its attraction does not end with the above.Among its streets there are some interesting monuments, such as the sanctuary of Meritxell or the Romanesque church of Sant Joan de Caselles, and the Ice Palace, a huge complex with courts, saunas, restaurants, sports fields…
It also treasures the rock engravings of les Bruixes, which date from the Bronze Age, constituting a real prehistoric treasure.
For those who intend to enjoy the snow and culture, Canillo is one of the best areas to stay in Andorra. Fortunately, the prices are a little cheaper than in the rest of the areas surrounding the resort of Grandvalira.In fact, it is possible to book a 3-star hotel for about 50 euros per night.
– Accommodation in Canillo
This town belongs to the parish of Canillo and therefore is part of the station of Grandvalira.In addition to distilling a typical mountain village atmosphere and being decorated with traditional architecture, it has direct access to the ski slopes of Grandvalira through the teleférico that starts from the parking.
This has made it a fetish destination for travellers who come to Andorra to enjoy the possibilities offered by the snow.
As added attractions, this small town has several bars, restaurants and some monuments of interest such as the Romanesque church of Sant Pere del Tarter, dedicated to Saint Peter.
Unlike other towns near the popular resort of Grandvalira, El Tarter does not have a very generous offer of accommodation, being limited to several 3 and 4 star hotels, whose average price is around 80 euros – 90 euros per night.
However, this town stands as a good alternative to staying in Andorra for those who only want to enjoy snow sports.
– Accommodation in El Tarter
This town, which also belongs to the parish of Canillo, is located on the right bank of the river Valira d’Orient and at the foot of the high peaks of the Pyrenees, which gives it a wonderful landscape.
In addition, it has direct access to the snow slopes of the Grandvalira resort, making it one of the most popular places to stay in Andorra.
To all this we must add that it has other attractions such as Bike Park, where cycling lovers can pedal on circuits and routes framed in the imposing Pyrenean landscapes; and Golf Soldeu, which can boast of being the golf course with the highest altitude on the European continent.
Its streets have an interesting offer of restaurants, where they offer typical gastronomy, bars and very lively pubs, where you can have fun after your day of skiing.
As you can imagine, the offer of accommodation is quite extensive, even some of them are located at the foot of the slopes.
– Accommodation in Soldeu
This town, located in the north-western part of the Principality and a few kilometres from Andorra la Vella, is the capital of the parish of the same name.It is known for treasuring the highest peak in the Principality: the Alto de Comapedrosa, from whose heights the views are simply spectacular.
Among its attractions, the medieval bridge of Sant Antoni de la Grella stands out, which crosses the river Valira Nord and in whose vicinity the Romanesque chapel of the same name is located.
If you are interested in museums, you can visit the Farga Rossell, a museum dedicated to ironwork and history in the area; the Comic Museum, which, as its name invites us to think, is dedicated to these books that are told in vignettes, and in Sispony the Rull House, which recreates a typical house from the end of the 19th century.
However, the great attraction of this coquettish town is that it is located at the foot of the Vallnord ski resort, the second most important in the Principality, where you can practice snowshoeing, snowboarding, Snow bike tours…
The privileged mountain environment surrounding this enclave makes it ideal also for the summer season, while you can do walking or 4×4 routes, cycling and even canyoning.
With these characteristics, La Massana is one of the most chosen destinations for accommodation in Andorra.The average price of a 3-star hotel is between 55 and 60 per night.
– Accommodation in La Massana
Just in the extreme northwest of the Principality, at more than a thousand meters of altitude, is located this small village, which belongs to the homonymous parish.It stands out for its monumental heritage, whose maximum exponent is the baroque chapel of Casa Rossel, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.In the town of La Cortinada, also belonging to the same parish, you will find the Nature Centre of the same name.Here you will also find a botanical garden, which holds countless plant species.
Ordino is less than ten kilometres from the Ordino-Arcalís ski slope. It is part of the Vallnord resort and is considered one of the best in the Principality due to the quality of its snow.
The range of hotels is not very extensive, but, fortunately, it has quite low prices compared to other areas. For those who are looking for a place close to the ski slopes, Ordino is one of the most practical places to sleep in Andorra. The average price of accommodation is around 60 euros per night.
– Accommodation in Ordino
This town is right in the centre of the country, at the confluence of the Valira rivers and the Madriu valley. Like Andorra la Vella, it has a generous commercial offer, which is concentrated in the Carlemany avenue, which acts as a powerful magnet for shopping enthusiasts.
It also has a good offer of restaurants, bars and discotheques, some of them well-known as it is the case of Festa Andorra, also well known for its offer of hotels-spa and for having the biggest thermal centre of Europe.
Like the rest of Andorra’s towns, it has a wide Romanesque legacy, whose most visited monuments are the church of Sant Miquel d’Engolasters and Sant Pere Màrtir.
It also has several interesting museums, such as the Matrioshka museum, devoted to Russian dolls; the Josep Viladomat museum, which has an interesting collection of Romanesque art, as well as works by the Catalan sculptor from whom the museum takes its name; and the Perfume museum.
This town offers one of the most extensive offers of accommodation in Andorra, although it is true that the hotels with spa predominate.Staying here is an excellent option to sleep in Andorra for travellers who seek to combine the practice of snow sports, shopping, nightlife and thermal treatments.
As far as prices are concerned, they are a little high. For about 50 euros or 60 euros a night you can book a 3-star hotel.
– Accommodation in Escaldes-Engordany
This small mountain town, which belongs to the parish of La Massana, is surrounded by the highest peaks of the Principality: Pla de l’Estany, Comapedrosa and Medacorba, and is about five kilometres from Andorra la Vella and is linked to Pal by the cable car that goes to the ski slope of Vallnord.
These characteristics have made this Pyrenean village one of the favourite places to sleep in Andorra, especially for travellers who want to enjoy white sports.
However, Arinsal also has some places of interest such as the Romanesque church of San Andrés. The surrounding area also holds jewels for nature lovers such as the Estanys route, which leads to the wonderful glacial lakes of Tristaina.
Which is the best area to stay in Andorra?
Knowing where to stay in Andorra is important to be able to fully enjoy one of the best tourist destinations of skiing and shopping in southern Europe.If we want to stay in Andorra to enjoy its wide offer of ski the best thing is to stay at the foot of the slopes The main resorts of ski of Andorra are Grandvalia and Vallnord .If we want to stay near the Granvalira station we have to stay in Pas de la Casa or Soldeu . If we want to stay near Vallnord we have to stay in La Massana or Ordino .
But Andorra is not only a destination for skiing, it is also an appreciated destination for shopping. If our objective is the shopping , in winter or in summer , it is convenient to stay in Andorra La Vella or in Escaldes Engordany .The Avenue Carlemany in Escaldes Engordany and its continuation in Andorra La Vella , the Avenue of Meritxell is the main commercial axis of Andorra.
Apart from the ski resorts and the shopping, the main tourist attraction of Andorra is the thermal center of leisure Caldea .If we want to stay near Caldea we have to stay in Escaldes Engordany , parish where it is located, or in the adjacent parish of Andorra La Vella .
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Where to stay for skiing
It is the largest ski area in the Pyrenees and one of the largest in Europe.Grandvalira was created in 2003 as a result of the merger of two of Andorra’s historic ski resorts, Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig and Soldeu-El Tarter . It has 118 slopes for all levels, totalling more than 200 kilometres skiable and a capacity to accommodate some 100,000 skiers/hour .Apart from the ski school, Grand Valira has other activities such as snowmobile tours, dog sledding, snowshoeing or spending a night in an igloo at an altitude of 2,350 metres.
The main accesses to Granvalira and those with the greatest hotel offer are Pas de la Casa and Soldeu.You can also access the slopes from Encamp (via the Funicamp, a 6 km funicular that connects and takes you to the slopes in 15 minutes) ,from Canillo (recommended access point for beginners because of its green and blue slopes), El Tarter (it has the Snowpark El Tarter and is more designed for more advanced skiers) and Grau-Roig (the only access point without a residential area).The hotels recommended to stay in Pas de La Casa are the Hotel Les Truites, the Petit Hotel and hotel Font D’Argent Pas de la Casa.the hotel recommended to stay in Soldeu is the Sport Hotel Hermitage & Spa.
Accommodation near Grandvalira
It is the second great ski area in Andorra.Vallnord was created in 2004 from the union of the historic ski resorts of Pal-Arinsal and Ordino-Arcalis . 66 slopes for all levels with a total of 89 km skiable and a capacity of 48,000 skiers per hour .Vallnord also has a large ski school with a wide variety of activities: buggies, snowmobiles, speed ride, airboard, snow rackets, ski bike, snow snake, trikke skki, sleds, paintball, mushing, jump and gicafer.
For access directly to the slopes we can stay in La Massana or in Arinsal which have cable cars that take us directly to the slopes.from Ordino there is no direct access to the slopes and we have to take the car.the hotel recommended to stay in La Massana is the Hotel Del Pui.the hotel recommended to stay in Ordino is the Hotel Coma.
Accommodation near Vallnord
Where to stay to go shopping
The fact that Andorra is an independent country with lower taxes than its neighbours, Spain and France, has contributed to the fact that the country of the Pyrenees is historically a destination for buy cheaper .The shopping offer covers the whole range possible, but lately it has been displacing the purchases of food and tobacco and electronic devices, for more sophisticated purchases such as branded clothing, perfumes and sports equipment.
The main commercial axis is the Avenida Meritxell in the center of Andorra La Vella and its continuation in Escaldes Engordany , the Avenida Carlemany .In the Meritxell Avenue of Andorra la Vella we can also find the big store of Andorra, Pyrénées Andorra, a kind of El Corte Inglés, where you can find everything you want.
The best hotels to stay in Andorra La Vella are the Andorra Park Hotel and the hotel Hesperia Andorra The best hotels to stay in Escaldes Engordany are the hotel A Casa Canut Hotel Gastronòmic and the Hotel Mola Park
Accommodation in the shopping area of Andorra
Where to stay to go to Caldea
Caldea is the great invention of Andorra as a complement to your skiing or shopping stay. Caldea is a thermal leisure centre situated in Escaldes Engordany.Some people describe it as a spa but nothing is further from the reality.if you are looking for the peace and relaxation of a spa this is not your place.
Caldea is to spend some time with your partner or with your friends bathing in its hot water pools or in a Jacuzzi, but taking into account that there will be a lot of people, even whole coaches, enjoying you.The hotels recommended to stay near Caldea are the hotels of Escaldes Engordany.
Accommodation near Caldea
Where to sleep near Andorra
If we are on our way to Andorra and we are already tired and we do not want to queue at the entrance to the country, we can choose to stay in La Seu d’Urgell. La Seu d’Urgell is the medium sized city that is only 10 km from Andorra and is an obligatory stop.Another option, if we go skiing in Grandvalira, is to stay in Puigcerdà and access Pas de la Casa through France.
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