Andorra La Vella

Andorra La Vella

The city of Andorra la Vella is the capital of Andorra (itself a co-principality ruled by Spain and France), and is located high in the east Pyrenees between France and Spain.

The main industry of Andorra is tourism (with the ski slopes being a major draw). The country also brings in substantial foreign income from being a popular tax-haven.

Geographically, Andorra la Vella is located in the south west of Andorra, at 42°30′N 1°30′E / 42.5°N 1.5°E / 42.5; 1.5.

Andorra sits at the meeting of two mountain streams, the Valira del Orient and the Valira del Nord, which come together to form the Gran Valira River. Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe, sitting at an altitude of 1,409 metres (4,620 ft).

Out of town, Grandvalira is Andorra’s biggest ski region and incorporates the resorts of Pas de la Casa/Grau Roig, Encamp, Soldeu el Tarter and Canillo. The area offers 173 pistes in total with skiing between 1710 and 2640 metres altitude and a maximum vertical of 930 metres.

 

Transportation

Andorra is three hours' drive from the nearest airports, at Girona, Perpignan, Toulouse and Barcelona (which is the most popular option). The city does not have its own airport because of highly mountainous terrain and relatively small population. There is no train station in Andorra, with a bus service linking the city to the French station at L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre, where travellers can take mainline services to Paris and Barcelona.

Demographics & Language

“Native” Andorrans account for only a third of the population, with the most common heritage being Spanish (43%). Andorra also boasts notable minorities Portuguese and French minorities. While Spanish, Portuguese and French are widely spoken, Catalan is the official language. Andorra has a very high life expectancy of over 80 years.

 

Culture

Andorra La Velle's old town is typically characterised by old-fashioned stone streets and houses. The central Church of Saint Steven (Església de Sant Esteve) is a beautiful and striking structure built in the eleventh century in a Romanesque style. If you are a fan of churches, be sure to check out the church of Santa Coloma dating from the ninth century.

 

 
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Climate

The city has a temperate climate with cold winters and warm, drier summers.

Temperatures range from an average of approximately −1 °C (30.2 °F) in January and 20 °C (68 °F) in July.

Typical rainfall is 808 millimetres (just under 32 inches) per year.

Useful Links

Official Andorra Website

Wunderground Weather