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Andorra – between Spain and France

Posted by on July 7, 2018

If you’re interested in going to another small country while traveling to a big European city, then might as well go to Barcelona because you can go up north to Andorra. A small mountainous country nestled in between Spain and France, the people identify themselves as Catalan. Due to all the wars and treaties that happened over the years, the country managed to be its on own despite the Catalan people being split in 3 different countries: Andorra, Spain, and France. What’s interesting is that the Catalans will speak at least 2 or even 3 languages depending on where they live in.

fort fuerza fuerte por el rio arroyo stream fort brick spanish spain army medieval

While still in Spain, I saw this interesting small fort by the river.

Tip: Take a tour up to Andorra from Barcelona. Parking is very limited in some parts of Barcelona that it’s better to have the tour guide and the bus driver take care of the transportation logistics. And usually, the tour will take you to places within Spain and France that many people won’t go to.

snow schnee mountain road rue herbage pretty white road el camino de francia andorra

If you don’t know how to drive a stick/manual, better let the bus driver drive the short bus for ya. I mean, the big bus.

andorra spain france border

If you want a passport stamp from Andorra, you can get it at the Andorra border. Our tour guide said that he would take all of our passports and give them to the Andorran border official who stamped them all. What’s funny is that sometimes the border guards are moody so they stamp wherever they want. One guy got the inside of his back cover stamped. At first, he didn’t know where he got stamped until he looked closely and figured out the border official didn’t care at all.

ski town pueblo de skier skiar village snow mountain roads

The first town we went into, looked like a ski resort town… like Aspen. But it was the beginning…

border town pueblo por la frontera andorra espana spain spanish andorran french francais

… and now the town looks small compared to what it looked like before. The roads get windy out here before it sloped more evenly in the valley.

Tip: Learn French. I know, I know, that the tip above says learn Spanish but if you take a tour, the guide will take you to the French side of Catalonia before going into Andorra. I remember going there to a French town to look around, eat something, and what I figured out was that some of the people in that town only understood French. No English. No Spanish.

andorran capital valley river small country pais pequeno catalan norte del espana

Here’s a picture of Andorra’s capital. Why do the people not want to be part of Spain or France? Freedom. Tax-free haven. Bulging bank accounts from foreigners. They do whatever they want basically by being their own country.

Tip: Learn Spanish as the locals have a hard time speaking in English. I was trying to buy something in Andorra since it’s a duty-free country so I had an easy time explaining it all in Spanish what exactly I wanted.

Was it worth going to Andorra? I guess so – just to say that I went to another country. I can see that during the winter times, it would be worth going north for the snowboarding and skiing the place would offer. I was told that the Spanish would go north to Andorra in the summer in order to avoid the heat plagues that sweat the people in frying their brains. Makes sense to seek cold refuge in the mountains.