Visit Andorra and experience the Catalan culture! This small state between Spain and France impresses as a tourist country and also as a shopping paradise, because there are no taxes. The focal point is the capital Andorra la Vella. You can also visit the medieval church of Sant Marti de la Cortinada in Ordino. It is worth going on a study trip in the small state with a lot of flair.
La Valle de sortsy
According to youremailverifier, the “Parc Natural deorteny” was founded in June 1999. The rather small national park in the north of Andorra has an area of 1080 hectares. It includes the picturesque valley oforteny, which is crossed by the river of the same name, and the surrounding mountain ranges.
This national park is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers, visitors to the Pyrenees rarely find this intact and unique flora and fauna in such abundance. More than 700 species of pyrenaica mountain flora grow in the valley, around 50 species are endemic.
Guided tours to the most beautiful places
The entrance to the valley is at Ordino. Visitors can explore the Valle de Arteny National Park on their own or book guided tours.
As part of study trips, special tours to the park’s hotspots are offered for naturalists, botanists and ornithologists. They lead, among other things, to resting and nesting areas for eagles and falcons. An interesting and varied hiking trail runs through the forests of the valley to the former glaciers and the peat bog with the adjacent heather area.
Botanists will particularly like the flora tour. It leads through pine groves and blooming alpine meadows along theorteny to Lake Estanyo and then on to the botanical garden. Subalpine and alpine flowering and medicinal plants have been grown there for decades.
For anglers, too, the Valle deorteny is worth a visit. The Quelleny River has its source high up in the mountains and feeds the crystal-clear Lake Estanyo. Fishing is allowed in both waters.
three crystal clear mountain lakes in the heart of the Pyrenees
The Principality of Andorra is located in the eastern Pyrenees, between Spain and France, and is surrounded by an impressive mountain landscape with idyllic valleys and picturesque villages. In the north of the dwarf state, the Tristaina Lakes (Estanys de Tristaina) are in close proximity to the French border. They belong to the municipality of Ordino, a well-known ski area in Andorra. In summer it is visited by hikers, mountain bikers and climbers.
Three mountain lakes in ascending order
Image: Estany de Amunt
The Tristaina Lakes consist of three crystal clear deep blue mountain lakes: Estany Primer, which lies at an altitude of 2,249 m and is about two hectares in size, Estany del Mig with a size of three and a half hectares at 2,288 m altitude and the highest lake, the Estany de Amunt. It is located at an altitude of 2,306 m and, with twelve hectares, is one of the largest lakes in Andorra. The water in the lakes comes from various sources and the meltwater from the higher-lying glaciers. All three lakes are connected to one another by small streams.
The Estanys de Tristaina route
A small, moderate mountain path that is suitable for hikers of all levels leads to the three mountain lakes. It is about 4.4 km long and leads through a valley basin at the foot of the 2,878 m high Pic de Tristaina. After crossing some small streams that meander through lush green alpine meadows with blue bluebells, yellow monkshood and bright red alpine roses, the first lake appears with the Estany Primer. Then it goes over a small wooden bridge to the Estany del Mig and a little further uphill to the larger Estany Amunt. There is the Port de L’Arbella viewpoint, which offers an overwhelming view of the unique panorama with the three picturesque mountain lakes. Depending on the season, there are glittering patches of snow in some places,
Meritxell – The Lourdes of Andorra
The Church of Meritxell is certainly the most important sanctuary in the Principality of Andorra. In this fascinating and mystical place, which is also known as Lourdes of Andorra, according to tradition almost 1000 years ago, believers are said to have found a carved image of the Blessed Virgin of Meritxell on their way between the towns of Encamp and Canillo. The carving is said to have been in the middle of the snowy winter between blooming flowers. The group of believers took it to Canillo, but shortly afterwards it inexplicably disappeared and was later found again in the same place among the flowers. It was then brought to Encamp, where it disappeared again and was rediscovered at the known location.
A deeply symbolic place
A church was built here in honor of Nuestra Señora de Meritxell, the patron saint of the Andorran valleys. The simple, Romanesque portrait of the tradition stood in a niche in the altar. Much of the sanctuary was destroyed by a serious fire the night after the celebrations on September 8, 1972 (Andorran’s national holiday). Only the remains of the chapel are left. You can now visit an exhibition about the history of this place. Four years after the fire, on September 8, 1976, a new modern church made of copper, glass and stone was built next to the ruins of the church of Meritxell. Since 2014 Meritxell has been part of the so-called Marian Route, which connects four other important shrines in Spain and France: El Pilar, Montserrat,
Despite the devastating fire, the Meritxell sanctuary, with its tradition, style and magnificent location, is definitely one of the most important sights in Andorra.
Casa de la Vall
A place of dignified serenity
The famous Casa de la Vall is located in Andorra’s capital. The stately building dates back to the 16th century and is the seat of the Andorran parliament. The structure in the middle of the city is a popular tourist destination to learn more about the peculiar history and institutions of the Principality of Andorra. It is one of the few places in Andorra where you can still glimpse something of the fascinating past.
History and stories of a mansion
Built by the Vicar Busquets family in 1580, the two-story building was acquired and moved into in 1702 by the predecessor of the General Council, the Consell de la Terra. The building, which is built on a rock, served as a meeting place for the representatives of the parishes, who dealt with the subjects related to the area of the Andorran valleys. All tasks of the judiciary, government and administration of Andorra were carried out here. However, the considerable space requirement meant that additional rooms had to be used until a new building was finally built for the Andorran parliament in 2011.
Today the Casa de la Vall houses the judicial administration, the Sant Ermengol chapel, the meeting room of the General Council and the “cabinet of the seven keys”, which serves as an archive for historical documents of Andorra and can only be opened and closed with the keys of the seven parishes can. The mansion is open to the public and free and informative tours are offered in several languages.
La Noblesse du Temps
In Andorra La Vella, the capital of the mini-state of Andorra in the Pyrenees, visitors can ponder the dignity and grandeur of time at the sculpture La Noblesse du Temps. When walking through the city center, student travelers almost always come across the sculpture La Noblesse du Temps. It is around two meters high and is clearly visible in the avenue Meritxell on the banks of the Valira, opposite the Roques al Carrer museum.
In 1984 La Noblesse du Temps was created based on a design by Salvador Dalí
The master of surreal art, known throughout his life for his eccentricity, took up the theme of his famous painting La Persistance du Temps, the persistence of time, with the cast metal sculpture. In both works of art, melting clocks evidently symbolize transience. The dial and hands seem to be melting in the sculpture La Noblesse du Temps by the Catalan Dalí, who died in 1989. The drops on the upper edge of the watch face are striking. They support the impression of melting, but also give the work of art a heavenly, perhaps positively intended face – because they do not “drip” downwards.
The clock seems to be leaning against a mysterious tree
Its branches also point upwards. But they have only a few leaves and are cut off, which is supposed to indicate the finiteness of life. A female and an angel-like figure can be seen on the root system of the tree, which is entwined around the indicated stones. The sculpture La Noblesse du Temps not only offers Dalí fans interesting opportunities for interpretation and reflection. The figure is in public space so that visitors on a study trip to the Pyrenees can inspect it free of charge. 60 centimeter high bronze replicas of the work of art are highly valued by collectors.