Andorra

Been there? Done that? Where to go in the Pyrénées-Orientales

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Sus
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Andorra

Post by Sus » Thu 14 Jul 2016 09:17

My husband and I recently visited Andorra to see the Tour, I was all prepared for shopping malls and the usual queues but was totally surprised at how much more there is to do in Andorra.
We took our bikes and stayed in Encamp, once you make it past the shopping malls, the country side is simply stunning. I had no idea how beautiful the mountains are. We stayed in Encamp which has a stunning old centre, you need some serious driving skills to negotiate some of the parking spots ..., the people are lovely and there is a great range of bars/restaurants. The cycling is fantastic, not much flat but if you like cycling up and down mountains, there is enough choice, views are outstanding, plenty of other cyclists around and the car drivers make way for you as they know that you will be faster downhill, all rather nice! One of the guys working in the hotel gave us great tips where to cycle and to watch the Tour come through is always special. The website, visitandorra.com is also a great resource. We will definitely go again!

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Thu 14 Jul 2016 14:59

A lot of people I know dont go further than Pas de la Case which is the kind of gateway to Andorra from this end - the complete opposite of your descriptions, directed towards tax free booze, cigarette, petrol....bit of a nightmare if you don't like that kind of thing but fun for a short shopping trip - a bigger and cheaper version of Le Perthus really!

Sus
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Post by Sus » Fri 15 Jul 2016 08:45

Kate wrote:A lot of people I know dont go further than Pas de la Case which is the kind of gateway to Andorra from this end - the complete opposite of your descriptions, directed towards tax free booze, cigarette, petrol....bit of a nightmare if you don't like that kind of thing but fun for a short shopping trip - a bigger and cheaper version of Le Perthus really!
we drove into Andorra from the Spanish side which also has the "shopping mall welcome" and drove back via the French side. We quickly learned to just follow the cars with Andorran license plates, they know the quick ways around the queues and into the country. It really is a bit of a hidden gem, not sure how busy it gets in winter but there were people there but it never felt crowded.

I forgot to mention that there are also beautiful hikes, you can drive up in the car to some of the mountains/ski stations and hike from there or have a picnic. The Madrid-Perafita-Claror Valley has been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site and it looks the part!

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Nigel and Karen
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Post by Nigel and Karen » Fri 15 Jul 2016 14:11

What is the road like (From the French side) I am always a bit unsure as to how "hairy" it is.

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Post by Sus » Fri 15 Jul 2016 14:40

Nigel and Karen wrote:What is the road like (From the French side) I am always a bit unsure as to how "hairy" it is.
From Encamp to the border is all uphill, the road is very wide and well maintained. We then drove through the tunnel by the border rather than going up to the pass. The first bit on the N320/N20/N116 is a high mountain road with spectacular views, but quite curvy and took us a bit by surprise as we thought it would be a faster drive. You basically come down from high mountains (or go up if you are going to Andorra). The road is wide enough but it is definitely not a fast drive. Comparing with the Spanish side, it is an easier drive as the Spanish roads are not just high in the mountains but they are also very narrow. So, I guess it depends on your definition of "hairy". As long you drive in daytime and leave plenty of time, there are plenty of nice places to stop and take a break :-)

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Nigel and Karen
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Post by Nigel and Karen » Fri 15 Jul 2016 18:15

thasnks.

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Fri 15 Jul 2016 18:30

From this end, just head up to Prades, then onwards past Villefranche, Mont Louis, take direction Bourg Madame/Porté Puymorens and up through Porté straight into Pas de la Case. We've been that way loads of times, mainly in Winter, as we have cousins living in Porté and never found the road to be a problem. Having said that, wouldn't enjoy the drive if I had to sit in the back!! There's more than a bend or two!! :oops:

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Post by interiors66 » Sat 16 Jul 2016 12:31

This is worth a visit if you are near la Vella
http://tobotronc.andorramania.com/

Great fun and a beautiful area

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Post by opas » Sat 16 Jul 2016 16:45

Our daughter has a friend who is Andoriene( female from Andorra - is that the correct spelling) she talks of the toboggan interiors mentions.

We have never yet visited Andorra or its duty free malls, must do it just for the experience and the toboggan.

This young lady who only passed her test last year and got her first car this year drives ` home` from pepignan weekly. Before that it was a 4 hour bus journey.... starting in Andorra at 04.30 !
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property management, changeovers, garden maintenance, no job too small. Highchair, travelcot, pram hire.
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Post by Leok » Mon 20 Nov 2017 19:38

If one were to drive to Andorra in late march or early April what road conditions would be expected. Wondering mostly if snow and ice would be a problem that time of year (in an average year!).

Thanks in advance,
Leo K.

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Post by Pighunter » Tue 21 Nov 2017 09:46

I went in February this year to visit my cousin and her family who were there skiing.

As with most places where snow is commonplace the roads were very clear and there were no problems whatsoever.

I would imagine it will be fine when you mention.

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Post by kenny » Tue 21 Nov 2017 21:08

Leok wrote:If one were to drive to Andorra in late march or early April what road conditions would be expected. Wondering mostly if snow and ice would be a problem that time of year (in an average year!).

Thanks in advance,
Leo K.
Generally would be fine at that time of year Snow on the peaks normal , on the roads any precipitation would be rain. I would double check Webcams . weather nearer to the time

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Re: Andorra

Post by Leok » Mon 18 Mar 2019 13:12

Can anyone advise what are the best roads to take to Andorra from Perpignan area.
We are planning on a short trip in a week or so and thought it might be intersting do a circular journey.
Up to Andorra from the Spanish side and return on the French side.

Is the Spanish N260 a good idea? Travel time is nor extreemly important as it is just for fun.

Thanks in advance,

LeoK

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Re: Andorra

Post by Sus » Sun 07 Apr 2019 20:47

Hi Leok,
we did the circular route into Andorra from the Spanish side N260 and back on the French side down the Prades valley. It is a very beautiful route but narrow and curvy. We went in July - watched the Tour in Andorra and there was not too much traffic and we allowed plenty of time, stopped at a couple of tavernas en route. Can definitely recommend it when time is not an issue. Enjoy! Sus

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