Andorra - The New Destination

by : Gordon Warre

Andorra (Catalan: Andorra), officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), is a small landlocked country in western Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. Andorra's climate is similar to that of its neighbours' temperate climates, but its higher altitude means there is, on average, more snow in winter and it is slightly cooler in summer.

Andorrans have access to broadcasts from both countries, and for many years Andorra was home to Sud Radio, a powerful radio station broadcasting to southwest France. Andorra is located in the eastern Pyrenees Mountains bordering France and Spain with a population of around 67,800. Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs) and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.

Andorra's climate is similar to its neighbours' temperate climate, but its higher altitude means there is on average more snow in winter and it is slightly cooler in summer. Andorra enjoys a high percentage of sunny days and the climate is dry. The people of Andorra are currently listed as having the highest human life expectancies on Earth, at an average of 83. From 1936 to 1940, a French detachment was garrisoned in Andorra to prevent influences of the Spanish Civil War and Franco's Spain.

Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for roughly 80% of GDP. For years the Andorran tourist industry was focused exclusively on winter sports. For a ski holiday resort that is more traditional and Andorran then Ordino is a great option and it accesses the impressive ski area of Arcalis which has a real wilderness feel to it. There's an immediate temptation to compare Andorra to Eastern Europe. The area offers excellent slopes for beginners, as skiing in Andorra is well-known for its gentle well-groomed terrain and impressive ski schools, with all the resorts a haven for early intermediate skiers also.

Recent investment and expansion in the area has helped to elevate the regions' status, with modern high-speed lifts, new snowparks and snowmaking facilities, and better accommodation all adding to Andorras' new higher-end image. The Andorra airport transfer from France is relatively quick and it is a reasonable journey for Andorra airport shuttle transfers from Spain. Ordino in central Andorra is a village that has grown greatly in recent years but remains peaceful and traditional.

Long isolated and impoverished, mountainous Andorra achieved considerable prosperity since World War II through its tourist industry.