The old Andorra
The literal translation of Andorra La Vella is simply "The Old Andorra", and it’s the capital of the Principality of Andorra, a tiny state cradled to Spain and France. It lies in a valley between the mountains, and is the highest capital city in Europe. W find it on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees, at the mouth of the river Valila del Norte. Its location (at an altitude of 1409 m above sea level) caused, that it’s enormously popular among skiers.
The village’s most notable building comes from the sixteenth century. It’s Casa de la Vall, now the seat of the Consell General (Andorran Parliament). In the so-called “Closet of the Seven Keys”, located in the meeting room, the archives of the principality and symbolic keys to the seven parishes of Andorra are stored. What else is worth of our attention? The beautiful market square which, as for the city centre, is surprisingly peaceful. Apart from that, it has one of the greatest views of the whole Valley of Andorra.
Although the town is located approximately 3 hours from the nearest airport, it doesn’t discourage tourists, who visit the city every year more and more willingly. The reason why it’s so popular is its mountainous and picturesque terrain, thanks to which skiing in winter is so much fun, and hiking in summer indescribably pleasant. But it’s not just that. Andorra boasts of many historic buildings, including the beautiful Sant Esteve church and the second, equally astonishing, Sant Andreu church. Both come from the twelfth century.
Two halves of an apple
The Parish of Andorra clearly divides into two parts. North is more modern, with new buildings and plenty of shops. On the other hand, the south-west part, down across the river constitutes a historic part of the city, although it doesn’t miss a great selection of shops.
When in the city, it’s necessary to see the bridge la Margineda. Its origins date back to the Middle-Ages, but it’s still in a great condition. When you’re around the bridge, it is worth to take the opportunity and go a bit farther to see the sculpture in Santa Coloma. This is the work of Andreu Alfaro, the artist from Valencia. Another place worth devoting some attention is Rec del Sol and Rec de l'Obac. Those are paved path with rails, illuminated at night, allowing you to safely enjoy the views from the high. Both roads are 2.5 km long.
Caldea – the City’s Gem
Andorra is a very climatic place, in which you can really loosen up. Literally - everyone who was in Caldea knows that. In modern building made of glass, with a tower on the model of the needle (steeple and pointed), Europe's largest mountain recreation and leisure complex is located. Guests can enjoy Turkish and Roman baths, jacuzzi, swimming pools with lagoons, saunas and water jets. They can also check a series of different massages. It should be remembered, that the popularity of the complex is primarily due to the thermal waters.
Caldea originated from the initiative of the city Mayor, Escaldes-Engordany, and was created by a French designer Jean-Michelle Ruols. Enoromus building - 600 square meters - was suppose to distinguish itself, both in concept and in appearance, from the other centers with thermal waters in the region of Andorra. And so it happened. Today, many tourists come to Andorra specifically to visit this one-of-a-kind complex.
What about coming with a camper?
We have already mentioned that the access to the city doesn’t belong to the easiest one, nonetheless, that doesn’t deprive it its attractiveness. Many people who are willing to spend holidays right here, decide to get here by their own car or a camper. And where it’s best to stay in this situation? There’s Camping Valira (Av. Salou, s / n, Andorra La Vella, AD500) located about 15 minutes walk from the city center. Here guests are welcome to use a bar and restaurant, they also have also the supermarket at their disposal. Adults pay 5,85 € - 6,10 € per night, the price for the vehicle is 11,70 € -12,50 € per day, and the children accommodation costs 4,95 € per night in high season and 4.85 € per day offseason.
Xixerella Camping Parc (Ctra. de Pal, And 400 Erts-La Massana) is located a little bit farther, about 10 km from Andorra la Vella. It is situated 2.5 km from the center of La Massana, a short distance from the slopes of Vallnord Pal. It is a year-round campsite, located at an altitude of 1350 meters above sea level. The guests have 20 parking spaces at theirs disposal, 2 washing machines and a dryer. There is also a common room and a children's playground within the camp, guests can as well party at the discos, or check various animations. Bathrooms are adapted for disabled people. There are no problems with the acceptance of credit cards.
Prices are as follows: 12,60 € per day for a parking place for vehicle, an adult will pay 6.30 € for the nigh, the cost of the child’s stay is 4.90 € per day, the access to electricity costs 5.90 € per day, while for the dog you will pay 4.20 € per day.
Necessary shopping before leaving
In Andorra we can purchase electronic equipment and jewelry in a very good price. Mainly because of the low taxes and a great selection of products and models, that’s surely an advantage. There is a shopping mall at the south end of the Metrixell alley, with many restaurants that are great for families with children. Another encouraging feature is a wide selection of Andorran and Spanish specialties, as well as red wines.
After doing such a shopping, you can finish your holidays and leave the town, bearing in mind the romantically-lit streets, beautiful churches, majestic mountain peaks and the time spent in Caldea.