Andorra: The Ultimate Health and Wellness Getaway
Hidden between France and Spain, this gorgeous little country is often overlooked by most guidebooks. This might not be a big country, but it sure is well-known in Europe for its outstanding skiing resorts, spectacular mountain views and picturesque hiking trails. Located just three hours from Barcelona, Andorra offers a wide array of attractions that will keep you busy for days.
Explore the magnificent Andorra la Vella
The capital city of Andorra is as busy as it is beautiful. Thousands of tourists are attracted to Andorra la Vella by its picturesque Gran Valira river, the ancient house of Casa de la Vell, and the public square of Plaza del Poble. The spectacular carved woodwork of the Sant Esteve Church is also something to look forward to upon your visit to the capital.
Vallnord, the winter fairytale
If you are into winter sports, then this is the ideal destination for you. Vallnord attracts snowboarders and skiers from all across Europe with its three gorgeous resorts: Pal, Arcalis, and Arinsal. Boarders and skiers of all levels will find a suitable slope for them, but even if you’ve never done any skiing before, there are plenty of schools where you can learn how to ski or snowboard in no time.
Dive into the hot springs of Les Escaldes
The town of Les Escaldes is located not far from the picturesque Andorra la Vella and offers dozens of hot springs to help you relax and improve your health. These hot springs have high levels of nitrogen and sulfur and range from pleasant warm to scalding hot temperatures. They’ve been popular since the Roman times and were frequented by hundreds of people who wanted to benefit from their medicinal qualities. Want to feel like a Roman? Just hop into one of these hot pools!
Discover the magnificent old buildings of Andorra
The quaint and lovely old towns of Andorra contain many hidden wonders that will be interesting for anyone who likes old buildings and beautiful nature. The small town of Ordino near the Casamanya Mountain is all about calm and peacefulness. It has gorgeous little shops, quiet streets, an old church, and the amazing Casa Plairal d’Areny de Plandolit. Built in 1633, this house boasts a spectacular wrought-iron balcony and has an old armory on the upper level. Surrounded by beautiful meadows and picturesque mountains, La Cortinada features one of the most beautiful churches in Andorra, the Sant Marti de la Cortinada church. Its Romanesque frescoes are truly spectacular! The village of El Sarrat has some pretty outstanding scenery all around it. In winter it turns into a small, yet gorgeous skiing resort.
Just enjoy the drive
While hiking and skiing are among the most popular things to do in Andorra, driving will let you enjoy the scenic views like never before. Start near the Les Escaldes and follow the old winding road that will lead you to the 12th-century Sant Miquel Engolasters. Nearby you will find the breathtaking Lake Engolasters, a manmade lake that’s a great place for sightseeing and fishing.
Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esq. is a co-founder of World Footprints. A three-time TEDx presenter and international speaker, Tonya was appointed a Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (63rd Session). An almost “recovering attorney”, Tonya has found her purpose as a cultural connector. She loves spreading positive messages about the power of travel and the strength of the common humanity we share. Tonya holds a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics and memberships in the National Speakers Association, Society of American Travel Journalists, Women in Film and Video, Society of Professional Journalists and the North American Travel Journalist Association where she serves as a Board Member. Tonya enjoys a life full of adventure, dark chocolate and champagne with her husband and business partner, Ian, and their beloved cat, Irwin.