Nestled in the middle of the Pyrenees with more than 300 km of ski slopes it seems impossible not to think of Andorra as the ultimate winter holiday destination. However, when ski season is over, and the tens of peaks of over 2,000 meters high are no longer covered in snow, there are still many other reasons to visit the Principality. Now is the time to go shopping, discover Andorra’s rich cultural history, try its delicious cuisine or find out why most of its territory is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO. Here are some ways for you to discover Andorra in spring.
Enjoy the wonders of nature in the Natural Parks.
Andorra has a large number of protected areas and three Natural Parks where you can appreciate nature in its purest form. The Sorteny Valley Nature Park, near Ordino, covers an area of a little over 1,000 hectares. By taking different routes you’ll be able to identify some of its more than 700 species of plants and flowers or you can spot goat-antelopes in their natural habitat. The valley is very rich in species of amphibians. You may even catch a red frog or Pyrenean brook salamander!
Four times bigger than this valley is the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley. Its landscape offers many options for hiking trips where you discover how people harvested the resources of this area through history and you’ll understand why UNESCO has declared this dramatic landscape a World Heritage Site. Then there’s the Comapedrosa Natural Park, the highest mountain in Andorra. It boasts unique scenic beauty with lakes, waterfalls and forests and meadows covered in alpine violet flowers. You can also spot golden eagles and bearded vultures here.
Discover the Iron Route
This 4 km hike in the Pyrenean landscape starts in Llorts and is perfect for families because it is not too hard and takes just over an hour. It follows the history of the iron industry in Andorra, an important sector in the Principality for almost three centuries.
Try local products
Veal, beef, lamb or goat, sausages, cheeses, jams, berries, strawberries, raspberries or gooseberries are some of the quality products that Andorrans produce by taking advantage of the resources provided by their privileged environment. Taste them in one of the corners of the Pyrenees and don’t leave without trying a traditional Andorran dish such as ‘trinxat de muntanya’, a hearty mash of potatoes and cabbage, or ‘civet de carn de caça’, a venison stew.
* Photograph courtesy of Andorra Turisme