City Breaks


It might be Europe’s sixth smallest country, but there are so many things to do in Andorra that you’ll never want to leave!

Small but perfectly formed, Andorra is full of surprises

Every year, thousands of holidaymakers go to either France or Spain to enjoy the sights and ambience of the Pyrenees, the stately mountain range that separates the two countries. But what many don't realise is that it's possible to spend an entire holiday in this incredible mountain range - in another country altogether.

Andorra, Europe's sixth smallest country, occupies a unique position geographically, historically and culturally. Its heads of state are the French President and the Spanish bishop of Urgell, its army consists of just twelve men, and for twenty years it was the only country still technically fighting the First World War.

Whether your ideal getaway involves pristine ski slopes, exploring historic castles or simply hitting the shops, Andorra holidays will offer something that fits you perfectly every time.

Andorra attractions: winter

There's no need to fight through the crowds at a busy French or Swiss ski resort; mountainous Andorra boasts more than 300km of slopes, with both Alpine and Nordic skiiers catered for.


The biggest ski resort in the Pyrenees, Grandvalira's 200km of slopes are perfect for Alpine skiiers craving a change of scene. And what could be more novel than sleeping in an igloo? Located 2,350m above sea level, the Igloo Hotel (which sleeps six) is entirely constructed from snow - ideal for a memorable, exotic stay just a few hours' drive from the UK. If you tire of skiing for a day or two, you can channel the spirit of the Arctic and go mushing, driving a dog sledge through Andorra's gorgeouswilderness. The season runs from the beginning of December to mid-April.


At the opposite end of the scale, Andorra's only Nordic ski resort is a year-round hive of activity perfect for families and those seeking a varied, energetic holiday. Naturlandia's attractions include Europe's longest sky trail, paintballing and archery facilities and the famous Tobotronc, at 5.3 km the longest Alpine coaster in natural surroundings in the world. Nordic skiing is of course available in season, and visitors who want to feel more in touch with nature can use cross-country skis or snowshoes to visit Naturlandia's new Animal Park, home to wolves, Pyrenean brown bears and more.

Palau de Gel

The Ice Palace, located just fifteen minutes from the capital of Andorra in the north-eastern town of Canillo, is an ideal destination if you don't fancy a whole holiday of winter sports. Its Olympic ice rink is used for skating, dancing and ice karting, and if you bring enough friends you can play ice hockey or even ice football. There's also a heated pool and sauna for anyone who's feeling the cold or just wants to relax. Andorra may be landlocked, but there's no need to abandon your backstroke when you visit!

Andorra attractions: summer

Iron Route

A surefire way to keep both culturally-minded and outdoorsy members of your group or family happy, the Iron Route tells the story of an important part of Andorra's economic heritage as it weaves through the hills near the Spanish border. Beginning at the Farga Rossell Iron Interpretation Centre, formerly the last working forge in Andorra, the Route (which can be walked with or without a guide) takes in the defunct mine at Llorts, the twelfth-century church of Sant Martí de la Cortinada and the Casa d'Areny-Plandolit Museum, housed in Andorra's only remaining stately home. Guillem d'Areny Plandolit was an aristocratic industrialist whose career was crucial to the emergence of the modern Andorra, and the museum gives a snapshot not only of his life but of the Andorra he knew.


Shopping is technically a year-round activity, but trying on clothes is much less convenient when you're wrapped up against the cold. Andorra's low rates of taxation make it one of the cheapest places in Europe to shop. Although you'll find shops all over Andorra, the towns of Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany have particularly impressive shopping districts, with a wide variety of designer goods, electronics, wine and more. Do bear in mind, however, that since Andorra isn't part of the European Union there are limits on the quantity of goods you can take home with you - it's always best to check with the shopkeeper.

Andorra La Vella Craft Market

Held in Andorra's capital of Andorra La Vella during the first weekend of August, the Craft Festival is a celebration of the traditional handicrafts and foodstuffs that might otherwise fade into history. You can meet some of the animals that have been brought down from their mountain pastures, learn about the history of Andorran agriculture and, of course, make the most of the best opportunity to buy souvenirs, from heritage woodwork to regional specialities like cheese fermented with garlic and brandy.

Getting there and around

Andorra's unique location between France and Spain makes it a perfect destination for those who like to make the journey part of their holiday. From Eurotunnel Le Shuttle in Calais, Andorra is around an 11-12 hour drive - and one which can encompass almost any part of France, since you'll be crossing the whole country on your way south. You'll probably want to break up the trip with a couple of stops or perhaps an overnight stay - for a change of scene before you reach the mountains, consider heading towards Tours before following the coast through the beautiful cities of La Rochelle and Bordeaux.

Alternatively, you could travel through the east of France and enjoy the sunny Mediterranean coast, perhaps stopping in Montpellier to sample the local Languedoc wine. Or, of course, you can take the direct route straight through Paris, Limoges and Toulouse. Whichever way you choose to go, travelling with Eurostar Le Shuttle will add a whole new dimension to your holiday in Andorra.

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