This story now
IN Travel & Adventure ON 07 Jun, 2016
Are you planning to go to Europe this summer? Are you still confused which country should you go? Well, have you heard about this tiny country in Europe called Principality of Andorra? If not, then you should definitely know about it. And I'm sure after knowing about this amazing country, this will be your first destination on your trip to Europe. So, let me tell you how awesome is this country and why should you go there even before going to Paris, London or Prague.
Andorra is 6th smallest country in the Europe, and this tiny country is sandwiched between France and Spain. Located in the Pyrenees Mountains, Andorra occupies only 181 square miles of land which makes it 16th smallest country of the planet.
As most people have no knowledge about this country which makes it a less explored country of Europe. Andorra la Vella is the capital and major city of Andorra and the real crowd-drawing feature about this country is that it offers duty-free shopping opportunities so, it's quite cheap to travel to Andorra.
Well, the question remains that why should you go to Andorra, what different it has to offer you which you can't find in all other European countries?
Regardless of its isolated location, Andorra is curious and inquisitive pocket of European life. Andorra has an identity of its own and not yet influenced by other European cultures. Being located in the Pyrenees: Europe's most famous mountain range after the Alps makes it heaven for skydiving, trekking and hiking adventures.
So, let's find out facts about Andorra which you've never heard about and will make you plan your trip to Andorra right now. If not, these facts will definitely help you in the pub quiz.
Andorra is not a member of the European Union, EFTA or Eurozone and most of the European Association which allows it be a tax haven. There is no income tax in Andorra and that's why tourist are attracted towards Andorra like moths to a flame. Andorra has its exclusive boutique and outlet stores where tourists buy luxury items with paying peanuts.
Currently, Andorra uses Euro as its currency even though technically it is not a part of Eurozone. Before that, it used the Spanish Peseta and sometimes the French Franc.There is no national bank in Andorra, so it has to go to private banks if it wants to incur debts.
Andorra also had their own currency a long ago. They were called "diners" but they didn't last long.
Andorra is 16th smallest nation of the planet by land and 11th smallest by population. Andorra occupies only 468 square km(181 square miles), and a total population of Andorra is around 85,470 in 2014. It is only about 40km to drive from one side of the country to the other.
A principality is a place which is ruled by a prince. And a co-principality is a place where two princes jointly share the position of a prince. Andorra is the only example of co-principality. These two princes must exercise their authority together.
That's why its official name is Principality of Andorra or Principat d'Andorra.
Andorra produces a lot of tobacco and takes up a lot of what little farming space exists here. You can also purchase cigarettes here much cheaper than anywhere in Europe because of its status as a tax haven.
Cigarette smuggling is also a big problem here for authorities because people smuggle the cheap cigarettes to France and Spain by crossing the mountains where they can make a lot of benefits.
Because of its status as a tax haven, Andorra became a base for many sex webcam sites to avoid taxes and prosecutions.
Postal services in Andorra are offered by the Spanish and French Postal administrations. Andorra La Vella has both a French and a Spanish Post Office. The Spanish Post Office opened in Andorra on 1st January 1928, and French Post offices opened on the 16th June 1931. Most large towns have both post offices but not all.
In the above image, you can see both. Correos is the Spanish post office, and La Poste is the French post office.
In World War 1, Andorra declared war on Germany but never send any soldier to fight the war because they didn't have an army. When the war was over, and a peace treaty was signed, this tiny country was forgotten and technically remained at war with Germany, until the two countries declared peace in 1958. Quite interesting, right?
Due to mountainous terrain, there are no airports or train lines in Andorra. The nearest airport is in the north is Toulouse, France, which is at 190 km distance and in the south, is Barcelona, Spain, which is at 202 km away. Though there is a heliport in Andorra la Vella.
The only way to get in is by road either from Spain or France. Roads in Andorra are generally of good quality. Entering on the main road from the Spanish side is a relatively straightforward drive.
Although Catalan is spoken in Spain, France, and Sardinia, Andorra is the only country in the world to recognize it as its official language. Though people associated with tourism industry understand and speaks English quite well.
With the altitude of 1023 meters (3356 ft) Andorra la Vella, the capital city of Andorra is the highest capital of Europe.
Tip: World's highest capital city is La Paz, Bolivia.
Caldea offers you 6000 square meters of inside and outside lagoons, saunas, jacuzzis, a grapefruit pool, an Aztecian pool, Indo-Roman baths, cascades, bubble beds, warm marble slates, and every type of pampering treatment available under the sun. The complex is housed in a modern building just a short walk from the center of Andorra La Vella.
I'm sure you've not read these facts about Andorra anywhere else. If you like it then share it with your friends, only if you like it.