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© Stepan Ermakov / 123RF
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Things to see in Andorra
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Monuments

In Andorra, lovers of pre-Roman and Roman art will find superb evidence of this style which has been widely used in the construction of churches. Still today, a number of them proudly show off their several hundred-year-old stone steeples. In the villages of Canillo, Ordino, Encamp, Les Bons, Prats or Ransol you will find picturesque and charming scenery revealing magnificent streets and medieval mansions.

Shopping

Andorra, as everybody knows, is a paradise for shopping and VAT-free purchases. You can buy the same products as in the UK, but at considerably lower prices. Food, clothes, jewellery, cigarettes, hardware and electronic appliances are all sold tax-free. For example, gold is sold nearly three times cheaper than in France and watches are approximately 50% cheaper.

Traditions

You will quickly see that Andorra has many more things to offer than just tax-free products. It is enough to travel a quarter of an hour outside Andorra la Vella to realise that Andorra has a magnificent and untouched setting; the landscape alternates between valleys, rivers, lakes, ponds, forests and picturesque villages. It provides the perfect setting for outdoor sports such as hiking, mountain biking, rafting or skiing.

Landscapes

It is too easy to forget that Andorra is not just a haven of tax-free products. The magnificent wild setting of its landscapes offers a series of valleys, rivers, lakes, forests and picturesque villages.

The fauna and flora

Andorra has more than 1150 species of flora and fauna and has chosen the narcissus as its symbol. The flora covering the slopes and meadows, cultivated fields and pastures makes for an attractive setting enhanced by the contrasting sunshine and shade.

Arts and culture

Legend would prefer to maintain that it was Charlemagne who founded Andorra in the year 805, however, recent archaeological digs have revealed that Andorra was inhabited long before, around 9000 BC.

Andorra's culture is strongly linked to that of Catalonia, as the people of Andorra were originally Catalan. However, the principality was able to develop its own significant and easily identifiable cultural elements.

Andorra's cultural life is structured by a continuously growing list of events. which take place in the country's various cultural centres all year round. Andorra also has plenty of museums that retrace the country's history and that offer some original insight into its culture and traditions, like for example: the National Automobile Museum, the Casa Rull Museum, the Christianity Museum and the Postal Museum, not to mention the museum of lapel pins, of tobacco, of rocks, of electricity, of comics, and many others. It is possible to get a taste of Andorra's traditional culture during the town festivals and other celebrations by watching the traditional dances, such as the marratxa, the Santa Anna and the sardana.