INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ANDORRA THAT WILL SURPRISE YOU
This list of interesting facts about Andorra shows the special, unique nature of our country. Come, find out and fall in love with the Principality!
Andorra is undoubtedly synonymous with nature: more than 90% of the country is made up of mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and meadows. Only about 4% of the territory has been built on, at the bottom of the valleys and at the feet of the more than 65 peaks that are over 6,560 feet high.
One of the interesting facts about Andorra that hikers will love the most is this: thanks to its over 60 mountain trails, you can travel throughout Andorra without setting foot on tarmac, by following the Gran Recorrido País trail. There are also 29 mountain refuges where you can spend the night during your journey, surrounded by nature.
Except for the Vatican. Andorra has over 20 museums in an area of just 180 square miles. Undoubtedly, a detail that speaks volumes about the people of Andorra and their cultural interests. They are the perfect places to learn about our culture, legends, traditions, customs and much more. Because a thousand years of history takes some telling.
Andorra is one of the few countries in the world where 10% of the country has been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley is outstanding for its beauty, and has pastures, meadows and extensive forest areas. There are also perfectly preserved “bordes” (traditional mountain cabins), paths and remains of ancient forges, testimony to the way the Andorrans have used natural resources for over 700 years.
When you need to forget about your daily routine, you can come to relax in Southern Europe’s largest thermal spa complex: Caldea. Here you will have over 322,917 square feet to take it easy with your family, or you could relax with your partner in Inúu and give your younger children the chance to enjoy the unique Likids experience. Which will you choose?
The only country in the world to have Catalan as an official language, the proximity to France and Spain has also meant that the people of Andorra speak Spanish and French fluently as well. So if you want to learn and practise 3 languages easily, you have to come and visit us.
One of the most surprising curious facts about Andorra refers to our anti-war nature: our country has never had an army or a ministry for defence. Instead, and only in exceptional situations, a centuries-old tradition has seen the summoning of the “Sometent”, a popular militia formed by the heads of all the Andorran households between the ages of 21 and 60. In the old days, they went armed with shotguns, led by Captains whose mission was to defend the rest of the population.
Our stunning natural setting is also the source of a wide range of home-grown products. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some of the cured meats made using traditional recipes. From organic jams to vegetables and pulses, cheeses, beer and meat, a variety of fine natural products is available for you to sample; ingredients that form the foundation of the country’s cuisine.
Well, it's true! Another one of the curious facts about Andorra is related to gastronomy: we have wine and travelling through our valleys, forests and mountains you can view our vineyards. Thanks to the efforts to revive vine growing – which had been forgotten in Andorra – local wineries have been able to produce excellent high-altitude wines that have been recognised with international awards and distinctions. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Albariño are some of the varieties you can taste at our high-altitude wineries.
Over 40 churches, chapels and monuments are the historical legacy of rural Romanesque art in Andorra. In the past they were the centre of religious and social gatherings and today, they are some of the jewels of our cultural heritage. Make sure that you visit them: you’ll find out about an important part of the lives of our ancestors and numerous curious facts about Andorra and its religion from the twelfth century.
The people of Andorra are so crazy about shopping that we have over 1,000 shops and our commercial thoroughfares only close 4 days a year! You have 361 days to discover what’s new, with all the latest trends in fashion, accessories, cosmetics, sports goods etc. If you are also affected by this madness, make a note in your diary for the Andorra Shopping Autumn Festival.
Come enjoy our country at any time of year. To ensure your experience is a total success, remember there are four dates every year that are national holidays, when Andorra’s entire business sector remains closed. These dates are: 1 January (New Year’s Day), 14 March (Andorran Constitution Day), 8 September (feast of Our Lady of Meritxell, the patron saint of Andorra) and 25 December (Christmas Day).
In Andorra, we’ve revived the ancient fascination with fire through summer solstice fire festivals. This is a tradition you can experience on St John’s Eve in various locations and that will amaze you as you watch the fireballs the participants flip into the air. This event that takes place year after year on the night of the summer solstice is included in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
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