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Andorra: A Secret Skiing Paradise

Sep 10, 2008
The Pyrenees are known for being a skier's nirvana. Located on the borders of Spain and France, they offer skiers some of the best slopes in the world. Though many visitors choose to stay in either Spain or France, there is one more option. For the best in skiing, services and hospitality, the tiny country of Andorra should be your holiday destination. It's got everything that you need at half the price.

Andorra is located in the Pyrenees surrounded by Spain and France. Once an isolated and unknown land, it is now a highly prosperous country because of its tourism industry. At an average of 83.5 years, the people of Andorra claim the highest life expectancy in the world. Because of its position within the mountains, the country doesn't have much in common with the rest of Europe, except for Spain and France. It's gone through many changes over the years, like being occupied by France and declaring war on imperial Germany during World War I.

Today, Andorra enjoys its status as the skiing tourist's hotspot. Nine million visitors come to the country every year to enjoy its slopes and world-class resorts. Its duty-free status is another reason that it has so many visitors, as goods can be purchased much cheaper than in the rest of Europe.

Grandvalira, the largest ski resort in Andorra, is getting more visitors every year. The resort reports an increase of twelve percent this past season over the 2006-7 skiing season. Thanks to an abundance of snowfall and artificial snow creation, the resort opened earlier than usual. This fact combined with great conditions toward the end of the skiing season gave Grandvalira one of its most successful seasons in recent memory.

Skiers at the close of the season enjoyed a meter of snowpack and powdered snow. With the snowfall and artificial snow creation the resort was able to maintain 100% percent ski lift use and 95 percent slope use, some of the highest numbers in the Pyrenees region. These conditions kept skiers coming from all around the globe, and a reported 1,512,000 skiers enjoyed the slopes over the course of the season.

Another reason that Grandvalira experienced such an increase in tourist traffic was the celebration of Pas de la Casa's fiftieth anniversary. Pas de la Casa was the original name of the ski resort that was integrated into Grandvalira. To celebrate this, Grandvalira presented a full schedule of events for visitors. They included various sporting events, a skier's statue inauguration, and a week dedicated to the history of the resort's cuisine. Even Mickey Mouse got in on the action by making an appearance at the ski and snowboard school for photos.

In recent years, France and Spain have had their share of tourists, but Andorra has also been a very popular winter destination. From skiing the many kilometers of slopes to shopping for luxury items in duty free shops, the tiny country of Andorra has something for every winter vacationer. Its tiny size makes it ideal for focusing on skiing. Hopefully, next year's season will be even better than the last, and the snow will keep coming down.
About the Author
Ski information for the 2008/9 Andorra ski holiday season can be found at Andorra travel site yourandorra.com

As well as ski holiday in Andorra reviews, they have an Andorra weather forecast and a list of the banks in Andorra
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