We didn’t know much about Andorra before visiting on a road trip through Europe. But after stopping in on our way back to Paris from Spain, we were surprised with just how popular it is. So we thought we’d share a few interesting facts about Andorra to arm you with information before you visit one of the world’s smallest principalities.
Located within th Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain is a beautiful place to visit and should be added to any European itinerary.
Fast Andorra Facts
Andorra is a country but officially it is a Principality – A principality means a country governed by a Prince or Princess. (but the roles are honorary). Andorra is in fact ruled by two princes.
How is Andorra is ruled by two princes? The Bishop of Urgell and the President of France are co-rulers together. This makes Andorra one the few examples of a democratically elected leader serving in a royal capacity in another country.
Joan Enric Vives Sicília the current Bishop of Urgell and Emmanuel Macron, the current president of France is serving as Andorra’s co-princes. Andorra is one of the few examples of a democratically elected leader serving in a royal capacity in another country.
Emanual Macron Rules Andorra – Okay, not exactly, but since The president of France is always one of the two princes of Andorra, so right now Emmanuel Macron is currently the head of the state.
Fast Facts about Andorra the Country
Andorra is a small country – With a population of only 76,000, it is also one of the least known countries in the world. Andorra is fascinating and it is worth knowing a few interesting facts about Andorra before visiting. I wish we had a few of these under our belt before crossing the boarder.
Andorra is located in the Pyrenees between Spain and France.
The Capital City of Andorra is Andorra La Vella. And a very cool fact is that Andorra Vella is the highest capital city in Europe.
What is Andorra known for? Andorra is known for tourism, particularly skiing as it has many ski resorts. And for its Duty-Free shopping.
The only country on earth where the official language of is Catalan. Yes, the official language of Catalunya and Barcelona in Spain is Catalan but they are not countries. So one of the more interesting facts about Andorra is that it is the only country in the world where Catalan is the official language.
Andorra is one of the safest countries in the world to visit.
Facts About Andorra
Andorra Population: Andorra has a population of only 76,965 people, it has fallen since we visited. When we were in Andorra, it had 81,000 people.
Language of Andorra: The main language of Andorra is Catalan. It makes sense that the Andorra language is similar to northern Spain with its location in the Pyrenees. But even though Catalan is the official language, most people speak French.
Andorra is old: It is surprising that not many people know of Andorra since it has been around for centuries. In fact, Andorra is the 14th oldest country in the world dating back to 803 AD. Making Andorra 1216 years old!
Andorra is tiny: at only 468 Square km in total (180 square miles), it is one of the smallest countries on earth. It is hard to believe that there are smaller countries there are. In fact, it is only the 6th smallest country in Europe, and 16th smallest country on earth.
Andorra is Popular – 8 – 10 million people visit Andorra each year taking advantage of winter sports. With 303 km of ski slopes reaching 2640 meters (8661 feet) high in the Pyrenees mountains, it is an ideal spot for skiing.
Andorra and the Mountains
But another cool fact is that Andorra a very prosperous nation. It is prosperous becuase it is a duty free destination and it has as strong tourism infrastructure.
Andorra is located in the mountains and its tourism revolves around mountain adventures. it is a large winter adventure destination for skiing and spa getaways.
Plus it is a huge shopping destination.
Interesting Andorra Facts
Andorra Houses Southern Europe’s Largest Spa Complex – The Caldea Spa is fed by thermal springs rich in minerals. The massive complex has a futuristic design offering massage treatments for as low as €20.
Thermal springs can be found all around Andorra making it one of the largest spa getaways in Europe. Even our Ibis Hotel has a Turkish spa, hot tub, swimming pool, and sauna. Not bad at all! Check out TripAdvisor for more Andorra Hotels
The City of Andorra La Vella is busy and hectic, it’s no wonder the community is so active getting out to nature for skiing, downhill mountain biking and hiking followed by many zen experiences. One in particular at Southern Europe’s largest spa complex.
Still wanting to know more facts about Andorra?
Interesting Facts About Andorra
The flag of Andorra became standardized when Andorra joined the UN in 1993. But it was granted by Napolean in 1803. It consists of three colours, red, gold and blue. The flag of Andorra is a blend of the French and Spanish flags. And the coat of arms pays homage to its neighboring countries as well.
The four symbols on the coat of arms relate to Bishop of Urgell, Count of Foix, Catalonia, and the Viscounty of Béarn.
The Life Expectancy of Andorra is 8th in the world – It must be all that fresh mountain air and hiking the hills that make people live to a ripe old age. The average life expectancy for men is 80. And the life expectancy for women is 84.
Andorra is not part of the European Union even though it uses the Euro and the French President is one of the Princes of the country.
You don’t need a Visa or any special paperwork, it’s easy to cross the border and visit Andorra. The people here were friendlier and more helpful than both France and Spain and the scenery is terrific.
Fun Facts about Andorra
Andorra has never had its own currency – Today it has adopted using the Euro like most European union countries, but unlike other, it never had its own currency. It used to use the French Franc and The Spanish peseta.
Andorra doesn’t had its own army – Instead it is protected by both France and Spain. It does have an small army for ceremonial purposes.
Andorra hasn’t didn’t take part in World War II – Like Switzerland, Andorra was neutral during World War II. But in truth, Andorra was already at war with Germany because it had been forgotten in the Treaty of Versailles so was really still at war since World War I.
Andorra has never won an olympic medal – Sadly, Andorra has been taking part in the Olympics since 1976, but they have never won a medal in either winter or summer Olympics.
Andorra’s Tobacco History Facts
Andorra has a long history in tobacco. Andorra once dominated the tobacco industry and it still grows a lot of tobacco. In fact, the people of Andorra are the number 1 smokers on earth!
Now that it’s a funny fact considering they have one of the longest life spans on earth. It is a duty-free haven though, so the number of cigarettes sold, is probably to people not only living in Andorra but from all around Europe who cross the border for cheap goods.
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15 thoughts on “Interesting and Fun Facts About Andorra”
Thank you for the informative and interesting information about Andorra. Now we are planning a vacation, I would like to visit!
This is the first time I am getting to know about Andorra. Looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing.
My grandfather became a bit of a local hero in Andorra in the 1920s: he wrote the first ever travel book about it, which encouraged tourism and put it on the map. I’d be interested to know if things have changed that much. Round About Andorra, Bernard Newman. Enjoy
I’m heading here mountain biking in June for a month. Great post now I can’t wait to go. Its such a small country its hard to find information about it.
Thanks for sharing your adventures in our little country. We’re glad you like it. If you ever come back keep in touch with us, we will be very happy to share the best hikes with you and give you directions to the unlocked mountain huts were you can stay for free, even off season.
All the best!
Hi guys, this is my first time on your blog — very inspirational. We’re thinking about going to Andorra from France and then back again as a way to exit the Schengen area for the required three months. Do they stamp your passport when you cross the border by road? If not, I’m not sure how they could possibly know if we were really in Andorra or not!
Hi Katherine, Andorra didn’t stamp our passport, however it did have a border check point for the duty free items. Maybe you could ask them if they stamp passports. They might do it, since it is a place where you are stopped at the border. Good luck and have a great time!
These photos are excellent. That path seems like quite a hike, but congrats on making it up top.
Definitely looks worth it to me! I thought Iceland had a small population but Andorra really beats it. That’s quite a deal on the hotel too 🙂
.-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..Panama: Gateway to the World, Part 3 =-.
Thanks Jennifer. I thought it was cool to find another country that we didn’t know existed:-)
hey thanks for sharing your experiences! Now you really make me wanna go there! would you like to check out the list of best beaches in Australia ?
.-= Nicky´s last blog ..Best Australian Beaches updated Tue Jun 1 2010 4:14 am CDT =-.
The free hut looks like a half decent place from the outside and sleeping there would sure beat carrying a tent.
Haven’t been to Andorra but it sounds very worthwhile. What’s the food like? more French than Spanish or a mix of the two.
.-= Leigh´s last blog ..10 Activities in the Pacific Northwest in June =-.
How cool, a place to stay for free mid-hike!
.-= Candice´s last blog ..Sometimes Growing Up in a Bilingual Country Sucks =-.
Yeah, that looks like a nice place to visit. I avoid the Rick Steve’s opinion also. I don’t even read his stuff anymore, too touristy.
.-= Shawn´s last blog ..Ohrid—Macedonia, The Last Stop. =-.
I often find myself disagreeing with Rick Steeves too. Andorra is fabulous!
.-= Alison´s last blog ..Win Your Favourite Travel Photo as Art! =-.