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Tiny Principality of Andorra

Aug 18, 2007
Almost hidden on the border between France and Spain, the tiny Principality of Andorra is a land of narrow valleys and mountainous landscapes situated in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France and Spain.

The country is traversed by a main road which runs roughly north east to south west, along which most of the settlements are to be found. Many of these are villages or hamlets with Romanesque churches and houses built in the local style others, off the main road, are even more unspoilt, and provide spectacular views across the rugged countryside.

Today, the mainstay of Andorras economy is tourism. An estimated 10 million people visit each year, drawn by the winter sports, summer climate and duty free goods. The banking sector also enjoys a tax haven status.

It is known as being a cheap, boozy destination for young party loving skiers and boarders, a reputation that it is trying without much success to shake off.

For beginners and early intermediates Andorra is an excellent choice. The ski schools are good, the lift systems are modern and efficient, the snow is pretty reliable and although the ski areas arent extensive, if youre just learning or have a hangover, who cares.

Andorras five ski resorts all sit quite close together, so if you do get bored in one after a couple of days, you can always try out another. Pas de la Casa and Soldeu, the biggest areas, are now linked by lifts.

Andorra is really well known for its lively nightlife. This isnt surprising because alcohol, along with everything else most attractively cigarettes, designer jeans and videos is tax free.

The accommodation tends to be simple and the resorts are not the most charming youve ever seen, however steps are been made to overcome this.
So if youre in the early stages of learning to ski and want a cheap, buzzing ski holiday in a country that you can pick up some great value duty free goods, look no further than Andorra. Remember to take your mates though, not your Mum and Dad.

Andorra is one of the oldest nations in Europe, originally established by Charlemagne as a buffer state against the Iberian Muslims. As a result of the Paretages of 1278 and 1288, control of the country was split between the Spanish Bishop of Urgell and a nominee appointed by the King of France and subsequently by the French emperors and presidents. The country was therefore a co Principality, with two heads of state jointly sharing power. The readiness of both sides to compromise allowed this unique arrangement to last intact until the late 20th century. Although the inhabitants of Andorra were not consulted, they were prepared to accept a deal that guaranteed their security and national integrity. With the exception of a brief period during the Napoleonic Wars, Andorra has retained its independence ever since. The present Andorran constitution, introduced in 1993, formally enshrined Andorra as a Principality.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Andorras Rental Site
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