Guest Author - Sarah Reid
A tiny principality tucked away on the French and Spanish border, Andorra is a beautiful place to visit all year round.
The combination of the temperate climate of France and Spain and the high altitude of the Pyrenees Mountains offer the ideal conditions for a winter sports vacation. The summers, while markedly cooler than those of Andorraís neighbouring countries, are fairly warm and dry, meaning walkers of all abilities and fitness levels can enjoy the strolls, walks and hikes available.
Andorra has much in common with its neighbours, France and Spain. While the official language is Catalan, French and Spanish are commonly spoken, while English and Portuguese speakers are also easy to find. As would be expected, given its location, Christianity and, more specifically, Roman Catholicism, is the main religion in Andorra.
The heads of state of Andorra are also taken from its neighbours: the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell, Spain, although Andorra does have its own Prime Minister and Parliament. While it is not a member of the European Union (EU), Andorra does use the euro as its currency. As a result of its non-members status, visitors to Andorra can pick up a great many duty-free bargains on their travels Ė although tourists should be sure to check their duty-free allowances to avoid any misunderstandings at the airport!
With its snowy winters, it is no surprise to learn that Andorra has many popular ski resorts. Most of these resorts are attractive to the more inexperienced skier and to families looking for winter sports vacations as they have relatively gentle slopes.
Those who prefer not to participate in the more energetic pastimes available in Andorra may instead like to take a look at the stunning architecture around the principality. With churches dating back to the 12th century, such as the Church of St Esteve in the capital city of Andorra la Vella, and the medieval Bridge of la Margineda there are plenty of sights to see.
Hotels range from the luxurious five-star Crowne-Plaza to one star Pirineu Apartments, so there is bound to be something to fit every holidaymakerís budget. For those tourists who canít bear to be parted from their pets, there are also a large number of hotels which cater to manís best friend. When planning a vacation in Andorra, be certain to book your hotel in advance. Many hotels close for several months each year, so it would be best to have a booking secured before arrival rather than turning up to find your hotel of choice closed.
Whether planning a skiing trip or a hiking holiday, Andorra is a great choice for a break from the usual routine.