Situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees is the small independent country of Andorra. With its scenic landscapes and many ski resorts, Andorra is a great place for a winter holiday. However, there is much more to do than just skiing in this tiny country. Andorra boasts plenty of outdoor activities, like mountain roller coasters and hiking, along with quaint museums and picturesque small towns. We here at Road Affair don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun, so we have compiled a list of the best things to do in Andorra. So what are you waiting for? Start scrolling and planning your next adventure!
Go Skiing at Grandvalira
Grandvalira is one of the most popular ski resorts in Andorra. It offers plenty of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, as well as freeride areas, children’s circuits, and terrain parks, offering visitors a sprawling 210 kilometers of riding.
If skiing isn’t your forte, there are plenty of other scenic winter and summer activities offered at the resort. Visitors can try dog sledding, go cross-country skiing, go for a snowshoe walk through the woods, or go for a ride down the snow tube hill. Snowmobile rentals and helicopter tours are also offered.
If you’re planning on visiting Andorra in the summer, then check out Grandvalira’s summer activities. Take a ride on their mountain roller coaster or practice your swing at the highest nine-hole golf course in Europe. Other activities include guided mountain hikes, zip-lining, mountain biking, and gondola rides.
Enjoy the Scenery at Mirador Roc del Quer
Andorra has plenty of mountains and scenic lookouts, but the Mirador Roc del Quer is one of the most popular.
The lookout is located just outside of Canillo and offers visitors breathtaking views of alpine valleys and mountaintops. There are two lookout points, with the lowest point having a 20-meter walkway with some windows to look through. This is definitely the spot to get your family holiday photo taken!
Spend a Day in Andorra la Vella
Andorra la Velle is the capital city of Andorra, and it offers plenty of activities. The city is known as a duty-free hub and boasts plenty of shopping for tourists to buy boutique clothes or souvenirs. Visitors can go for an afternoon stroll in Parc Central, designed by architect Daniel Gelabert Fontova, and then make their way over to Església de Sant Esteve, a beautiful 12th-century church on Plaça del Príncep Benlloch.
A great way to learn more about the history of the area is with a tour from Andorra Freetours or by visiting one of the museums in town, like the Museo Casa Rull or the Centro de Arte de Escaldes-Engordany. Other points of interest in the town include the Església de Sant Pere Màrtir, the Escaldes-Engordany parish, and the 12th-century Romanesque church of Iglesia de Sant Andreu.
Visit La Casa de la Vall
Located in Andorra la Vella is La Casa de la Vall, a 16th-century historic building originally built by the Busquets family as a manor and defense tower. Today, the building is home to the General Council of Andorra headquarters. Visitors can tour the grounds and gardens with an audio guide or on their own and learn more about the history of Andorra. One of the more interesting rooms is the Closet of Seven keys, where important historical documents are kept, including the Manual Digest and Politar Andorrà. Each lock on the cabinet represents a different parish in Andorra.
Go Mountain Biking at Vallnord Pal Arinsal Resort
This massive ski and mountain bike resort on the western side of the country offers some of the best activities in Andorra. In the winter, visitors can go riding on over 63 kilometers of ski runs and 30 lifts. This is a great resort for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Many world-class competitions are also held here, like the ISMF Mountain Ski World Cup. After a day of skiing, visitors can dine at one of the 21 restaurants at the resort.
While the slopes are fantastic, the most notable thing to do here is to visit the mountain bike park. Vallnord Bike Park la Massana was named the fourth best bike park in the world by Redbull Magazine, and there are plenty of trails for bikers of all levels to practice on. They even have a kids’ bike park to start getting the little ones into mountain biking early. Other summer activities include hiking, a ropes park, zip-lining, go-karting, frisbee golf, orienteering classes, and buggy rentals.
Tour the Museum of Miniature
If you are wondering what to do in Andorra that is a bit different than your average museum, then consider visiting the Museum of Miniature located in Ordino.
This fascinating museum boasts a permanent collection by Ukrainian artist Nicolai Siadristy, who is one of the best miniature artists in the world. The detail and care that goes into every one of his pieces are mind-blowing and sure to amuse. Many of the artworks need to be viewed through a microscope, such as the piece “Tavern on a Grain of Salt.” Although the museum is small, there is an audiovisual area that shows visitors how Siadristy creates his mesmerizing works. Tourists can opt to roam the museum with an audio guide or without.
Visit the Church of Santa Coloma d’Andorra
If you’re out and about sightseeing in Andorra, then you should definitely head to Andorra’s oldest church, the church of Santa Coloma d’Andorra, located just outside of Andorra la Vella.
The church’s tower dates back to the 12th century, while the nave is from the 9th century. Inside the church, visitors will see remnants of frescoed murals that date back to the 12th century and that have been linked to the Master of Santa Coloma. Unfortunately, these murals were removed and put on exhibit in Berlin until 2007, and now they sit in the Andorran Government Exhibition Hall. Although the original frescoes are no longer in the church, projectors have been set up to evoke the original works and give visitors a feel of what they used to look like. To view the original frescoes and other religious artifacts, head down the street to Espai Columba.
Stroll Around Sculptures at Jardins de Juberri
The Jardins de Juberri, which peacefully and seamlessly combine art and nature, are a must-see in Andorra.
The gardens are set on a hillside overlooking a valley, allowing visitors to enjoy all the beauty of Pyrenean nature. The sculptures are mostly by Ángel Calvente and have an animal theme. Some of the sculptures are more realistic than others, creating an almost frozen animal park surrounded by nature – picture walking into Medusa’s garden. Visiting the gardens is one of the best free things to do in Andorra.
With its abundance of nature and beauty, Andorra offers hundreds of spectacular hiking trails. Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a challenging climb, there is no shortage of trails.
If you are in the north of the country, check out the scenic hikes around the beautiful mountain lake of Estanys de Tristaina. You can also take chairlifts and gondolas to the Tristaina Sundial Balcony, from which there are incredible panoramic views. At the top of the Creussans chairlift, there are several hiking trailheads.
In the south of the country, check out Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley. This area is Andorra’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known as the “spiritual heart” of Andorra. This 42-square kilometer area accounts for about 9% of Andorra’s landmass. The area is also a haven for endangered wildlife and offers visitors unspoiled natural views. Another great spot for a relaxing walk in the south of the country is Lake Engolasters near Andorra la Vella.
Visit the Sant Joan de Caselles Church
Another fantastic tourist attraction in Andorra is the Sant Joan de Caselles Church, located in Canillo. This 12th-century Romanesque church boasts beautiful artworks inside, including German and Italian Renaissance–influenced pieces and a grand altarpiece by Miquel Ramells and Gui de Borgonyó. Visitors can explore all the church has to offer, including two balconies that date back to the 16th century. Entrance to the church is free.
Take a Ride on the Mountain Coaster at Naturland
What better way to explore a mountain than with a mountain roller coaster ride. Mountain roller coasters have become all the rage recently and are definitely one of the most fun things to do in Andorra.
The Tobotronc coaster at Naturland is the longest alpine roller coaster in the world and offers visitors the thrill of a lifetime. The two-seater sleds allow riders to control their own speed, so you can go fast for the adrenaline or slow to enjoy the scenery. You can buy a souvenir photo of your ride from the gift shop.
Visit the Museo Carmen Thyssen Andorra
The Museo Carmen Thyssen Andorra, located in Andorra la Vella, is one of the best cultural and art museums in the country. The collections showcase European, North American, and Spanish paintings, mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum also hosts annual temporary exhibits. Although the museum is small, it is packed with incredible works that will tickle the fancy of any art lover. It is quite easy to spend two hours roaming through the collection, and you can opt to wander through the museum with an audio guide or with a guided tour.
Go on an Outdoor Adventure
Andorra has plenty of outdoor activities for the young and young at heart, and the best way to experience these thrilling adventures is with a tour from Mushing Pirineos.
The company is based out of El Pas de la Casa on the east side of the country and offers tons of outdoor fun. If you’re looking for a summer adventure, sign up for their whitewater rafting excursion or the four-wheeler tour. Other summer excursions include buggy tours, 4×4 excursions, night hikes, and canyoning. In the winter, the company offers day/night dog sledding rides, snowmobile tours, and mushing schools.
Sample High-Altitude Wines
One might not think of Andorra as being very famous for wine. However, wine-making in the region dates back to the 10th century, and the country produces wines that are quite different from normal wines. Known as high-altitude wines, they are trickier to grow in the mountain climate. To be considered a high-altitude wine, the grapes must be grown at 900 meters above sea level or higher. Production at such a height brings out more acidity in the wine, giving it a fresher taste.
You’ve probably been on wine tours before, but since wine production is different in Andorra, why not treat yourself to a wine tour and tasting? At Borda Sabaté, a winery tour takes visitors on a drive through the grounds in a 4×4 vehicle. Afterward, visitors can sample some award-winning wines. If you are interested in doing a cellar tour, you must be in a group of at least six people.
Walk the Sola Irrigation Canal Trail
If you are staying in the capital city and are looking for fun things to do in Andorra, then consider walking the scenic Sola Irrigation Canal Trail around the town. This trail gives you the best of city and mountain views on a well-marked path.
There are three different sections of the roughly 2.7 kilometer trail, the first with an agriculture theme, the second with a growth and urbanization theme, and the third with a focus on humans and nature. The one-way route is considered fairly easy and flat; however, the ascent to the starting point can be a bit strenuous.
Pamper Yourself at Caldea Spa
Spend a day pampering yourself at one of Andorra’s top spa resorts, Caldea. This stunning mountain resort offers one-of-a-kind experiences, like the family thermoludic spa area. Here, anyone over the age of five is welcome, and the area is the spa’s largest spot. The family area includes indoor and outdoor baths and lagoons, saunas, aqua-massage spaces, Jacuzzis, and much more.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed area, then head over to the Inúu spa, the adult-only spa area. Here, you will find indoor and outdoor lagoons and Jacuzzis, along with a gym and treatment spaces. The spa offers a variety of massage and beauty treatments, as well as nightly entertainment shows and an on-site Japanese restaurant.
Learn About Cars at the National Automobile Museum
If you are a car lover, then this is a can’t-miss place to visit in Andorra.
The National Automobile Museum is located in Encamp and boasts steam engine cars from 1885 to sports cars of the 1980s. There are about 80 cars on display that take visitors on a journey through engine advancements and the evolution of automobile aesthetics. The museum also houses about 100 bikes that show the evolution of awkward engine bikes to the motorcycles we know today. The National Automobile Museum is open every day except for Mondays.
Try an Andorran Delicacy
There are plenty of delicious delicacies to try when you visit Andorra. The first must-try dish is calçots. This dish is made from a traditional Catalan vegetable, similar to leeks, and is grilled and served with a delicious sauce. The next must-try dish is known as Andorra’s national dish, escudella de pages. This is a hearty stew made of many types of meat like chicken, meatballs, and pork, as well as veggies and pasta.
If you are looking for a traditional Catalan dessert to try, then definitely order a Crema Andorrana. This is essentially a classic French crème brûlée, but instead of a hard sugar top, the Andorrans use fresh whip cream.
Play at 360 Extrem
If the weather isn’t on your side or you are looking for an indoor activity, then you should check out 360 Extrem.
This indoor fun park boasts loads of activities sure to leave you craving your bed at the end of the day. The park is broken down into four different areas. The first is a freestyle area with foam pits, floor mats, wooden ramps for bikes and skates, and a snowflex ramp for snowboarders and skiers. The second area is the jump section, which is covered in trampolines so that you can jump to your heart’s content. The third area is called the bowl, and it is a dome bowl for bikers, skaters, and scooter riders to work on their tricks. Finally, the fourth area is a kids’ corner that is specifically designed for those up to three years old. Parents and kids can work on giant jigsaw puzzles here or walk along the ramps.
Experience Andorra’s Falles and Fallaires Festival
If you are lucky enough to be visiting Andorra in June, then you have to experience the Falles and Fallaires Festival. This festival was forgotten about in the middle of the 1800s but was brought back in 1987. The tradition goes that young people (the fallaires) from each region would set fire to a long boxwood log covered in strips of birch bark (falla or falles) on a mountainside and wave it around in an enchanting way. Sometimes, the falla would be brought down to the village to light a bonfire in the middle of the town. This tradition now takes place on two different nights, in Ordino on June 28th and in Andorra la Vella, Encamp, Sant Julià de Lòria, Escaldes-Engordany, Canillo, and la Massana on June 23rd.
There you have them, the best of Andorra’s attractions! Now all you have to do is figure out how many of these fantastic adventures you can pack into one holiday. Oh, and don’t forget to try and learn a bit of Catalan before visiting.