ANDORRAN Facts & Figures

Size: 180.55 square miles

Population: 84,082

Capital: AndorraLa Vella

Currency: Euro

Weather / Climate:

Andorra Weather is not only almost identical to that of its neighbouring countries –Spain and France – but also typical of high mountain areas, with a dash of Mediterranean influences. In contrast to Spain and France though, and because of its higher altitude, the weather in Andorra is characterised by lower humidity and the coolness of summer, but also by longer periods of snow, making it a popular hot spot for ski enthusiasts across Europe and beyond. To give an example, Andorra’s mountain tops are swathed in picture-perfect snowy white all the way through to July! 

Andorra enjoys a mostly dry weather, with an average of 3oo days of sunshine per year with autumn experiencing the highest percentage of rainfall, although rain can fall through out the year. Winter is obviously the snow fall season and a time when the country’s many ski resorts are packed to the brim with visitors, with the ski season commencing in mid-December and going through all the way to April. Trekkers on the other hand, are advised to plan their visit during the delightful months of summer, during which temperatures tend to rise between 23-30 C during the day and 5-19C at night. There is unfortunately a downside: because of the abundantly pleasant summer period, Andorra tends to get a bit over crowded. 

Another contributing factor to Andorra Weather is elevation. As mentioned earlier, weather in Andorra’s valleys is similar to that of France and Spain, while in the regions above the Alpine tree line conditions are understandably more akin to those of alpine climate and alpine tundra, with snow completely covering the northern valleys for months.

In January, temperatures average between 1ºC to 10ºC and in July and August between 14ºC and 26ºC

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ANDORRAN languages

The historic and official language is Catalan, a Romance language. The Andorran government is keen to encourage the use of Catalan. It funds a commission for Catalan toponymy in Andorra (Catalan: la Comissió de Toponímia d'Andorra), and provides free Catalan classes to assist immigrants. Andorran television and radio stations use Catalan.

Because of immigration, historical links, and close geographic proximity, Spanish, French and Portuguese are also commonly spoken. Most Andorran residents can speak one or more of these, in addition to Catalan. English is less commonly spoken among the general population, though it is understood to varying degrees in the major tourist resorts. Andorra is one of only four European countries (together with France, Monaco, and Turkey)[20] that have never signed the Council of Europe Framework Convention on National Minorities.[21]

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ANDORRAN culture

A prominent feature in Andorra's culture is the Romanesque art found in the principality's valleys.

There are more than 50 Romanesque churches in Andorra.

There are also a number of museums, The National Museums of Andorra.

Literature also stands out in in Andorra's culture. Some of its writers are Albert Salvadó, Antoni Morell and Joan Peruga.

In music the International Jazz Festival is celebrated during the month of June and during September the Ordino Clasical Music Festival.

The most valued and recognized asset of the culture of Andorra is the legacy of Romanic art. Romanic art is the national art of Andorra. In this country, there are more than fifty churches classed as Romanic. However, all the museums of Andorra are not Romanic. A collection of museums, some of them National Museums and some private, safeguard the history of Andorra.

Literature occupies an important position in Andorra culture. Some of the famous writers of this country are Albert Salvado, Antoni Morell and Joan Peruga. Andorran culture is Catalan in essence. In other words, the culture of Andorra has made a significant and easily identifiable contribution to the conglomerate of Catalan culture. Two writers famous in Catalonia and the region, Michele Gazier and Ramon Villero are from Andorra.

Music has also influenced the culture of Andorra. The International Jazz Festival is celebrated during the month of June in Andorra. The Ordino Classical Music Festival is celebrated during September. These are two of the most popular festivals in Andorra.

The official and historic language of Andorra is Catalan. Some other languages that are spoken in this country are Spanish and French. These languages that have entered Andorra as a result of immigration, historical links and close geographic proximity, have influenced the culture of Andorra greatly.

Andorra's long history has provided it with a rich folklore and an abundance of folk tales. The roots of these stories originated from as far as Andalusia in the south and the Netherlands in the north. This has aided the religion in Andorra in the long run. There is mainly one religion in this country.

The culture of Andorra is therefore rich and varied. Notice the several manifestations of this culture during your tours to this nation.

Taken from wikipedia


The population of Andorra is estimated to be 83,888 (July 2009).[18] The population has grown from 5,000 in 1900.

Andorran nationals are a plurality in the country (31,363);[19] other nationalities include Spaniards (27,300),[19] Portuguese (13,794),[19] French (5,213),[19] Britons (1,085)[19] and Italians.

The population of Andorra is predominantly (90%) Roman Catholic.[22] Their patron saint is Our Lady of Meritxell. Though it is not an official state religion, the constitution acknowledges a special relationship with the Catholic Church, offering some special privileges to that group. The Muslim community is primarily made up of North African immigrants. Other Christian denominations include the Anglican Church, the Reunification Church, the New Apostolic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. There is a small community of Hindus and Bahá'ís.[23][24] Andorra also hosts a population of roughly 100 Jews (see: Andorran Jews).

The official and historic language is Catalan. Thus the culture is Catalan, with its own specificity.

Andorrais home to folk dances like the contrapàs and marratxa, which survive in Sant Julià de Lòria especially. Andorran folk music has similarities to the music of its neighbours, but is especially Catalan in character, especially in the presence of dances such as the sardana. Other Andorran folk dances include contrapàs in Andorra la Vella and Saint Anne's dance in Escaldes-Engordany. Andorra's national holiday is Our Lady of Meritxell Day, September 8.[17] American Folk Artist Pete Seeger, intrigued by its defense budget of $4.90, wrote a song "Andorra" and sang it on his 1962 album "The Bitter and the Sweet.".

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The Principality of Andorra is located in South-Western Europe situated in the eastern Pyrenees Mountains. Andorra borders with France to the north and Spain to the south. Andorra was both under French and Spanish occupation until the World War II when it became independent. Andorran cuisine is mostly Catalan with French influences due to the fact that it is just between these two countries. Andorran cuisine combines the Spanish and the French cuisine with the local dishes. Because it is a mountainous country sheep are the most common animal raised in Andorra while the Lamb meat and sheep products are very popular in Andorran cuisine as well as Pork meat. Local dishes are heavy on pasta, meat and vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, and celery. Beside Lamb and Pork meat, people from Andorra also consume poultry, rabbit and Pork products like Ham, sausages. Lots of food is cooked in Andorra.

Cuisines of Andorra

Due to the fact that Andorra is situated between France and Spain, Andorran cuisine is mainly Catalan and it also combines with French and Italian cuisine but in a small proportion. Pasta, meat, fish and vegetables are the main ingredients for every meal. In the northern region of Andorra the French and Italian cuisine is prevailing and its main characteristics are the daily use of pasta, cheese, bread and fish; while in the southern region Catalan cuisine influences were adapted. Local dishes include the following dishes: trinxat made of Bacon, cabbage and potatoes; cunillo which is rabbit stewed in tomato sauce; xai which is actually roasted Lamb; coques are flavored flat cakes and truites de carreroles which is actually an omelet made with mushrooms. Andorran local dishes also include sausages, cheese, and a large variety of Pork and Ham dishes and a vast variety of vegetables.

Preparation Methods for Andorran Cooking

Andorran cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Andorran cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Andorran cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Andorra is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Andorra’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Andorran dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Andorran Food Traditions and Festivals

Andorran people have a big number of festivals, national holidays which involve culinary traditions. The national day of Andorra is celebrated on the 8th of September. Other national holidays are: New Year’s Day (January, 1st), Epiphany (January, 6th), Constitution Day (March 14), Labor Day (May 1), All Saint’s Day (November 1) and Christmas Day (December 25). For the national holidays people from Andorra prepare traditional food such as escudella which is a stew of Chicken, Sausage and meatballs and xai which is actually roasted Lamb. On these special days Andorran families serve traditional food along with traditional drinks on family dinners and feasts.

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Places to go in ANDORRA

  • Caldea, in Escaldes-Engordany. This is one of the biggest thermal spas in Europe set in a futuristic building. A fantastic place to go to relax.
  • Castillo de Sant Vicenç, 2 kms from Andorra la Vella. You get some wonderful views here.
  • Santa ColomaChurch, in Santa Coloma. This is an ancient church with a Roman style circular tower
  • La Geltrú neighbourhood. This is a medieval area from where the town developed and grew.
  • Funicular, 6 kms from Canillo, for those daring enough to go for a balloon ride.
  • San ClementeChurch, in Pal. Roman style it has an interesting bell tower.
  • Palacio de hielo de Andorra (ice rink)
  • Museo de la Miniatura. A curious museum featuring the best microminiatures in the world. Exhibits can only be seen through a microscope.


Fiestas in Andorra:

  • Sant Jaume, 26th July (in Escaldes)
  • Diada de Meritxell, 8th September
  • Constitucion day in Andorra, 14th March
  • Fiesta del Canillo, 13th June (in el Canillo)
  • Fiesta Mayor de El Tarter, 29th June
  • San Corneli, 16th and 17th September.

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Doing business in ANDORRA

The Corporations Act 1983 governs corporations formed in Andorra. There are three types of company, the Societat de Responsabilitat Limitada and the Societat per Accions both having shareholders with limited liability, and the Societat Colectiva, whose partners have unlimited liability.

Companies with commercial or profit-seeking goals must be owned at least two-thirds by Andorran citizens; this means, people born in Andorra, or Privileged Residents – those with more than 20 years' residence (in the case of Spanish and French nationals, the period of continuous residence is reduced to a minimum of 10 years). In practice, the Andorran majority owner of a business (called a 'titular' in Catalan) can be an Andorran individual or professional adviser who is willing to cede operational control of the business to the foreign 'owner', and sign a share transfer in blank, in return for a fee (called 'prestanom' in Catalan). In practical terms the titular is a nominee; but not in legal terms. Although this system is in everyday use in thousands of companies, and even though formal contracts are entered into between the parties, the inescapable legal fact remains that the titular can wield considerable power if he wants to. Presumably one is on fairly firm ground with a established, professional titular.

However, discussions have taken place on proposed changes to the law under which the limit on foreign participation would be raised to 40%, and non-Andorrans would be able to own 100% of certain types of company, including: audio-visual production and marketing, technological and scientific research, production of medicines, E-commerce, and broadcasting. Further sectors may also be opened up.

It has also been proposed that companies with turnover in excess of €5m annually will be subject to compulsory audit.

In early 2008, it emerged that the government was progressing proposals for legislation that will allow foreigners to control companies in certain business sectors. Government spokesman, Juli Minove announced that the legislation would be introduced shortly, and would allow foreign capital to control new local enterprises in sectors that are not currently served by existing Andorran businesses.

This process crystalised into the Foreign Investment Law, which came into effect on November 7, 2008, and allows the opening up of 200 economic sectors to entrepreneurs and businesses from other countries. As a result of the new legislation, foreigners can now hold 100% – until now the limit was 33% – of the capital of a business in one of the designated sectors.

The Foreign Investment Law completes the legislative package which also contains two laws that have already been adopted: The Law of Companies and The Law of Business Accounting. This package is intended to increase the international competitiveness of Andorra, attract foreign investors into high value added sectors and strengthen the legal framework for business.

The new Company Law regulates the behaviour of the companies in the Principality, regardless of whether they are Limited Companies or Plcs. A new Accounting Law establishes accounting requirements for Andorran companies and the associated responsibilities.

The government anticipates the adoption of two additional laws. One is intended to establish a tax rate on the profits of companies of between 5 and 10%. The other will create a value-added tax of around 4% that will replace all of the existing indirect taxes.

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ANDORRA: useful links

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