Andorra vacations

Andorra travel guide


2 minute summary

A Pyrenean principality, Andorra is dwarfed by its two huge neighbours but has never lost its strong sense of identity. This is shaped, in the main, by its geography; tucked into the Eastern Pyrenees, Andorra’s highest point is the 2,942m Coma Pedrosa, and its landscape is a crumpled blanket of peaks, valleys and rivers. The snow here has long attracted skiers, but when it melts, there is no shortage of mountain biking trails, hiking routes, rope swings and rivers to explore. And even in the depths of winter, head off-piste and into the Christmas card-worthy landscapes on snowshoes or cross-country skis – or mush your own pack of dogs as you sled through the snow. What’s more, with summer and winter highlights, Andorra works brilliantly during school vacations – so bring the family.
As our Andorra travel guide reveals, sometimes the best vacations really do come in very, very small packages.
Andorra is…

the sixth smallest country in Europe,
at 468km².
Andorra isn’t…

French, or Spanish.
The official language is Catalan.

Andorra map & highlights


make the most of your time

Most people arrive in Andorra via Barcelona or Toulouse airports, from where a regular shuttle bus operates directly to Andorra, or private transfers can be arranged.
Vacations can be based from the capital of Andorra La Vella, located in the heart of the Principality and with excellent links to all other towns and villages. Alternatively, there are bases higher in the mountains with easy access to peaks, lakes and valleys, such as Soldeu, a small, central town at 1,800m altitude with a gondola up to Soldeu BikePark, or Ordino, considered the cultural centre of Andorra with its Romanesque buildings and museums. Most attractions are within just 10 to 45 minutes’ drive away, meaning that you maximise your time in the countryside, and not on the road. Many trips visit a different region each day, although winter vacations here are likely to stay closer to base. Some activity vacations also cross into Spain to take advantage of the white water rafting available just over the border.
Incles Valley The Iron Route Siscaro Lake Vallnord Pal – Arinsal Soldeu White water rafting

Incles Valley

Walk right out of Soldeu and into the pine forests of the Incles Valley, an idyllic region for hiking. Rhododendrons paint the landscape in June, with forest fruits ripening late into the summer. Keep an eye out for mountain horses – with bells around their necks – as you ascend to the picturesque Cabana Sorda Lake at 2,300m, set beneath a natural rock amphitheatre, or brave the trek to a nearby summit at 2,600m.

The Iron Route

Linking up the old iron mines, mills and forges that lie at the foot of the Pyrenees, the Ruta del Ferro – the Iron Route – is now a car-free dirt track which is perfect for easy mountain biking. The countryside here is lush, green and bucolic – with a more dramatic backdrop of snow capped peaks. Rides finish in the very pretty medieval town of Ordino at the foot of the Casamanya Mountain.

Siscaró Lake

Around the stunning, high altitude Siscaró Lake is one of the best regions for walking in Andorra. There are in fact 13 lakes within the vicinity, many of which you can swim in. Drive high into the mountains and summit its peak, Pic Maia, before spending the rest of the day on an often steep descent, admiring the Pyrenean views and looking out for resident marmots and griffon vultures.

Vallnord Pal – Arinsal

Vallnord Mountain Park, at the top of the cable car from La Massana, is a one stop shop for thrilling activities in Andorra. Its hiking and mountain bike routes are of varying difficulty and take in high mountain lakes, flowing rivers and alpine meadows. For a greater adrenaline rush, try the rope swings, mountain cart descents or husky mushing for something a bit different in this stunning setting.

Soldeu

This ski resort is a convenient base for activity vacations throughout the year – and is so much more than a place to pose on the pistes. The glorious winter sunshine here provides the perfect opportunity to snow shoe or cross country ski through the surrounding Christmas card landscapes – or even learn how to drive your own pack of dogs for an exhilarating sled ride along a forest trail.

White water rafting

Cross a breathtakingly high mountain pass into Spain and spend a day whitewater rafting on Noguera Pallaresa – a world-renowned Catalonian river. You can arrive here by biking downhill – or relax and enjoy the scenic drive. You don’t need previous rafting experience to participate in the exhilarating 14km route with rapids up to Class III, and all clothing and safety equipment is provided.

Responsible Travel would like to thank Visit Andorra for their sponsorship of this guide
Photo credits: [Top Box: Robert J Heath] [Map & highlights: Albert] [Incles Valley: Jaime Roset] [The Iron Route: Sílvia Martín] [Siscaró Lake : Robert J Heath] [Vallnord Pal – Arinsal: Kevin Rodriguez Ortiz] [Soldeu: Jorge Correa] [White water rafting: El monty ] [Help desk: Albert]

Written by Vicki Brown
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