Destination Guide: Andorra

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Mountain flowers

 

The Principality of the Valleys of Andorra (simply known as Andorra) is the sixth smallest country in Europe lying between Spain and France. The country’s capital city is Andorra la Vella which stands at an altitude of over 3,300 feet making it Europe’s highest capital. Andorrans use Catalan as their official language, however, Spanish, Portuguese and French are also widely used. In spite of the fact that the country is quite tiny, it has had its fair share of conflicts especially during the Middle Ages. Most of these dissensions revolved around Andorra’s sovereignty and pitted the Church of Urgell against the counts of Urgell. However, the dispute ended upon the creation of the Principality that allowed both the President of the French Republic and the Bishop of Urgell to be the country’s heads of state.

Over the years Andorra has become a much loved holiday destination. Visitors are drawn to the mountainous terrain that provides hundreds of kilometres of skiing slopes in winter. What’s more, the fun doesn’t stop in spring as the slopes soon convert into biking and hiking trails. Furthermore, it’s not just the terrain that brings visitors; the country has for a long time been a tax haven and many people have taken advantage of their financial services. Matters of landscape and money aside, there is another reason why one can’t help but tour Andorra: its rich culture. Truth be told, the Andorrans love their festivals and they use them to showcase their cuisine, music, dance and folklore.

Since there is so much to see and do in Andorra, one definitely needs to ensure that they get to experience the best of this country. One way to do that is to sit down and have a good meal; and the nice people of Andorra will ensure that you are well fed. Their cuisine is rich in, charcuterie, aioli, trout, flat breads and meat in addition to both fine wines and traditional beers that are a must-try. And before you leave the table, make sure to try the nectum Andorrans create using the pinecones of fir trees. Moreover, while visiting this country, you should try to attend either the festivity of Nostra Senyora de Meritxell (on 8th September) or the Constitution Day (on 14th March). Both of these are major festivities that warrant a public holiday. But in case you miss out on these two, don’t worry; there are other smaller festivals, fair and markets that are held in various parts of the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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