In Encamp, there is gondola to the Pas, and we try by car to going up, but the road end in the middle of the mountain, so we around here and enjoy the view and houses around here, it's nice to see those houses with the view of the peak of the mountain.
Nowhere near as extravagent or as popular as the Black Madonna is the Madonna of Andorra. She lies in the monastery at Merixtell, and is open to the public.
The proper way to pray before a madonna, for those of you who don't know, is to go to one knee and touch the outstretched hand of the baby Jesus with your right hand. Lower your eyes and (some say) turn your head to the left, extend your left hand out, elbow crooked, palm up and open to receive the Holy Spirit
I drove my car from France to Andorra through the highest paved pass in the Pyrenees called Port D'envalira. I crossed Pyrenees a few times driving four different passes and this one offered the best views. The steep serpentine drive up to 2407 m (7900 ft) above see level is fantastic and the views are simple breathtaking.
The border crossing point still exists before the top as Andorra is not European Community member. So, I had to stop and show my passport. On the top of the pass there are a few gas/petrol stations built in rocks on both sides of the road as gas/petrol is less expensive in Andorra than in France. The first community in Andorra called Pas de la Casa (ski resort) is well seen down. There is a cement building and tower on the top of a summit by the pass.
Similar to the Llac de Repos, this Mirador (panoramic viewpoint) is worth a stop.
This view point has a wonderful overlood of La Massana, and the valleys to the west. The spot has permanent benches and seats, as well as BBQ grills. Bring your own lunches and/or make yours on the grill. With nice weather, it is a wonderful place.
Since this road is not paved all the way on the back side of the mountain, there are not many people who venture this far.
At the summit (~500m farther up the road) there are a few hiking paths to choose from for an alternative excursion.
Just below the Collada de Beixalls (Beixalls Summit), ~6km up CSN-310 from Anyos in direction of Encamp.
(or you can take CSN-270 from Encamp/Villa, but it is dirt road)
There are some few oportunities when you can do the same in a different way. In this case, we have a couple nightly races, that allow us to feel the snow, and the mountains, a bit different. There's also some days that it is open to ski at night (was it on Thursday?) for everybody.
I have to say, skiing at the moon light is not very smart (so we use artificial lights to see where we slip the skis), but makes the sight of the valley amazingly beautiful. Yes, that brilliant white light in the middle of the picture, upon the horizon, is the moon!
If you want to be away from the other tourist you should take a walk through the mountains.
If the weather is good you will have a nice view over the valleys.
If the weather is bad take look what is on your path: Animals and flowers.
We found this little cafe one block away from out hotel and one block off the main street. Run by a friendly (presumably) husband and wife team, they served us mornign coffee and pastries with a smile and little fuss over a thing like not speaking a common language. The coffee was good, and Miyuki swore by the chocolate croissants.
Behind the monastery lies the old monastery. If you poke your nose around a little you can find it. The inside has been redone into a kind of exhibit, I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a museum, and is only one room. it's a cute little place and you can take look. It is free.
When you go to Andorra , you should leave the center, and go to the interior (Ordino, La Massana). You will see wild horses, at the roads (you have to stop the car, in order them to pass in front of you.)
And dont forget, to look at houses: they are full of flours. They even make flower vase from a trunk of tree.
Not far from the French border is the most amazing (of the many) hikes that I've taken. It is literally what I always pictured paradise to be. You hop along stepping stones to cross a stream; You walk amidst flora and fauna until; You pass a glacier that you can have snowball fights in, until you reach your destination: an incredible lake.
On the road past Escaldes and the ski lift is another mountain road that cuts in and that links the valley of Ordino to the valley of Escaldes. This road is closed in the winter and early spring, but is not well travelled all year long. It is worth taking a ride on this road as it offers some of the most breathtaking vistas in the whole country. Plus, with so little traffic, it is possible to stop often to take pictures.
Andorra is not only the town of Andorra La Vella. The nature is so beautiful and I wish I had been there in summer. Then I would have gone to some of the villages and valleys above Andorra La Vella. There are beautiful mountains, small lakes etc. In march most of them was still coverd in snow. Although I am a norwegian I hate snow (fed up !!)so I didnt go up there....
THE HIGHEST POINT OF ANDORRA IS COMA PEDROSA; ELEVATION: 9665 FEET(2942 METERS). HERE IS SNIPPET FROM THE WEB: Pic de Coma Pedrosa is Andorra's highest peak.The access to the peak is not technically difficult, but it is a long and streneous walk. The start of the route has recently been changed and now begins from behind the Crest Hotel at the end of the Arinsal road. It is clearly signposted and should not be difficult to find. The trail follows the Coma Pedrosa river until you reach the valley of Coma Pedrosa, where you will also find the Refugi de Coma Pedrosa and Estany de les Truites (behind the shelter). This is a perfect place for a lunch break before you start the final ascent to the peak. At the end of the valley the trail turns sharp right and climbs to the Estany Negre. This part of the route seems to be never ending. From Estany Negre, continue around the lake and make the final climb to the peak.
Although I've not been there myself I've heard that the hamlet of Llorts is really interesting. It's surrounded by tobacco fields as well as mountains. Apparently it's one of the most untouched places in the whole country and is great for hiking.
I think there are buses there from Andorra La Vella.
The Castle of FOIX. What´s different in this one,
that do it especial?.
If you have a look to both pics, you can see three
towers, all very different from each other.
This castle was made on the 10 century, and there is
a beatiful museum inside. From there you´ll have the
best point of view of the city.
Salvia hotel is very good located. Even the hotel is a 3 star the looby seems a 4 or 5 star....more
Carretera General d'Arinsal, Arinsal, AD400, Andorra
Good for: Solo
My friends, passionate skiers, following my suggestion went to Andorra for skiing in February 2006....more