ANDORRA

Date of establishment: September 8, 1278

Brief history:

  • 8th Century – First settlements in the Andorra region.
  • 1278 – Andorra becomes part of the Bishopric of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain.
  • 1419 – Andorra signs its first cooperation and protection treaty with France.
  • 1607 – Andorran Parliament meets for the first time.
  • 1806 – Andorra becomes independent from the Bishopric of Urgell and gains autonomy.
  • 1866 – Andorra signs a new cooperation treaty with France.
  • 1933 – Andorra becomes a parliamentary republic.
  • 1993 – Andorra becomes a member of the United Nations.
  • 2011 – Andorra ratifies the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
  • 2019 – Andorra adopts a new constitution and becomes fully self-governing.

International abbreviation: AD

 

Currency: Euro (EUR)

The official currency of Andorra is the euro, which was adopted in 2002. Andorra does not have its own currency and uses the euro as its sole legal tender. The euro is used for all transactions in Andorra, including purchases, banking transactions, and tourist services. Banknotes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros, while coins are available in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, as well as 1 and 2 euros.

 

Internet domain: .ad

 

Dialing code: +376

 

Time zone: +1 GMT

 

Geography:

Andorra is located in the Pyrenees on the border between France and Spain. It lies at an elevation between 720 and 2 942 meters (2 362 and 9 652 feet) above sea level. Andorra is a mountainous country with many rivers, and lakes. The main rivers are the Valira and Gran Valira, which flow into the Segre River. Andorra has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters (at lower altitudes), making it ideal for tourists, especially during the winter season when there is skiing and snowboarding.

Highest peak: Coma Pedrosa 2 942 meters (9 652 feet) above sea level

It is located in the western part of the country in the Pyrenees and is part of the Coma Pedrosa Nature Reserve. This area is ideal for hiking, mountaineering and rock climbing outside the winter season. Coma Pedrosa is a popular destination for tourists seeking stunning mountain landscapes and nature.

 

Climate:

A Mediterranean climate with high precipitation and mild temperatures. Summers are hot with average temperatures around 25°C (77°F), while winters are moderate and cool with average temperatures around 4°C (39°F). However, the mountainous areas have a harsher and colder climate with high precipitation and snow in winter.

 

Fauna and flora:

Significant animal species that inhabit Andorra include the Pyrenean chamois, alpine marmot, roe deer, wild boar, badger, fox, squirrel, and various bird species.

Andorra’s flora includes various species of mountain flowers such as lilies, orchids, daffodils, and lilies, as well as forests with firs, pines, beeches, oaks, alders, willows, and linden trees.

 

Agriculture:

Agriculture plays a smaller role in Andorra compared to other economic activities such as tourism and trade. Nevertheless, Andorra produces several agricultural crops for local consumption, including fruits, vegetables, and potatoes. Sheep are also raised for milk and meat production. However, agricultural production in Andorra is limited by natural conditions such as the small areas suitable for agriculture and a cold climate, which hinders the growth of plants and animals.

 

Natural resource extraction:

Andorra does not have significant mineral resources, and mining is not conducted in the country. The country relies on imports of resources such as food, textiles, and industrial goods.

 

Industry:

The most important service sectors are tourism and banking.

Tourism is crucial for Andorra as the country offers attractive mountain landscapes and is a popular destination for both summer and winter tourists. Andorra has numerous ski resorts, and in summer, tourists engage in various outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and rafting.

Banking is also a significant industry in Andorra. The country has many banks and financial institutions that provide services not only to the local population but also to foreign clients.

Services and other sectors of the economy: banking, travel and tourism

 

Natural and historical attractions:

Tourists are attracted to sites such as the Casa de la Vall building, Sant Esteve Church, and the Caldea Thermal Spa.

Andorra has several ski resorts, including Grandvalira, which is the largest ski resort in the Pyrenees. Grandvalira offers over 200 kilometers (125 miles) of ski slopes and is a popular destination for skiers of all levels.

In summer, Andorra attracts tourists who come for hiking, mountain sports, and relaxation. The country has many hiking trails and paths that traverse beautiful mountain landscapes, meadows, and forests. Tourists can also visit historical towns and villages, such as Andorra la Vella, the capital of Andorra, which is home to many landmarks and museums.

The country also offers numerous shopping and gastronomic opportunities.

 

Form of government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional elective diarchy

Andorra is a dual-headed republic, meaning it has two heads of state – the President of France and the Bishop of the Spanish city of La Seu d’Urgell. These two officials represent Andorra abroad and are responsible for maintaining international relations. In internal affairs, Andorra has its own parliament, laws, and government. The country functions as a parliamentary democracy with multiple political parties and elections held every four years.

 

Capital city: Andorra la Vella

The largest city in the country. It is located in a valley at the confluence of the Valira del Nord and Valira del Orient rivers and has approximately 22,000 inhabitants. The city offers visitors many historical landmarks, such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Casa de la Vall (historic seat of the Andorran parliament), as well as modern shopping options and restaurants.

 

Area: 468 km2 (181 sq. miles)

 

Population: 77 400 (2022)

The main ethnic groups are Spaniards and French, who make up most of the population, with smaller minorities of Portuguese and other nationalities. The main religion is Roman Catholicism. The majority of the population speaks Catalan and Spanish, but French and Portuguese are also spoken.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 1

 

  1. Madriu-Claror-Perafita (2004) – A unique area with high mountain landscapes, wild rivers, deep valleys, and mountain meadows.

 

National parks: 2

 

  1. Sorteny National Park
  2. Comapedrosa National Park