Have you ever heard of Andorra?

If not, well, you’re not alone!

In a previous post, being a responsible traveler, I discussed finding places that were less traveled and that brought me to this series, ‘Have you Been’. Before this, I was also unaware.

Would you just look it?! This place is spectacular!

Andorra is a tiny, independent principality situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains.

Andorra is best known for its ski resorts and a tax-haven status that encourages duty-free shopping. Oh, I do love some shopping!

The Capital, Andorra la Vella, has boutiques and jewelers on the main Meritxell Avenue and several shopping centers throughout the principality and the old quarter, Barri Antic, houses the old Romanesque Santa Coloma Church.

Andorra was originally created as a buffer state by the French leader Charlemagne during the Middle Age and this state was created to keep the Muslim Moors out of France. The Andorrans were there to fight off the Moors and protect France and in return Charlemagne would grant them a charter. There were actually several of these buffer states created and Andorra is the last one of these states that is still an independent country.

Andorra had a series of rulers starting with Charles the Bald, Charlemagne’s grandson, in the 7th century. The state was then handed off to various leaders and at one point there was a dispute as to whether France or Spain owned Andorra and they decided to share it. Currently there are co-princes who rule the country; the Bishop of Urgell from Spain and the French President.

Although Andorra is a small, landlocked country, it still manages to do okay economically, which is mostly through tourism. It is also considered a tax haven for the rich that uses the Euro for its currency although it is not a member of the European Union.

The languages spoken are Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese and the population is around 77,000 (2018). The weather is relatively pleasant but can of course get cold and snowy in the winter and the summers are fairly mild.

Well, it looks like I have a new place to add on my list for Europe next year!

  1. I hadn’t heard of Andorra before, but it sounds like someplace from a Hallmark movie where the prince falls in love with a commoner. It looks adorable though! Very interesting about the tax haven, I do love my shopping as well! I think I may have to add a stop here next time!


  2. Love the idea for this series. I have not yet been to Andorra, but my travel wish lists have been growing rapidly over the past 7 months! Hope you are able to experience it in person soon.


  3. Andorra is absolutely beautiful and definitely on my list for maybe on a trip when I can visit Spain one day! So gorgeous and love that you are featuring less known places 🙂


  4. I haven’t been to Andorra yet, but I’d love to see this picturesque principality. The views are beautiful. Pyrenees mountains are breathtaking; the view by night is so spectacular. I want to do duty-free shopping there for sure.


  5. I like the nice little history that you have shared in this post. Interesting way of putting it! Duty free shopping is enticing indeed, it would be fun to explore Andorra!


  6. Wow! I have never heard of this place before, but it looks (and sounds) lovely. A spot I will definitely look out for when I go to Europe.


  7. While I’ve heard a fair amount about to Andorra, I’ve never been. Been to everywhere surrounding it for the most part so will have to visit soon 🙂 can’t wait to hear more about the country!


  8. I’ve heard of Andorra, but didn’t know much about it. It looks like a lovely place to visit with an interesting history. Duty free shopping sounds amazing, I would love to check out some of the small boutiques and jewelers.


  9. Pingback: Barbados – RBF

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