Very, very much! We went there for a week-end, at the beginning of April, when in Barcelona the weather was getting ready for the beach season. The trip took us through Lleida county, which seems like the Italian Tuscany (but this is another story). Therefore, we arrived prepared to enjoy over selves. And we did.
Andorra looks like Switzerland, but a bit rockier. We were expecting greener scenery – more appropriate for a ski destination. We stayed in Les Escaldes, which is at walking distance from Andorra la Vella. Where, surprise, surprise, is the shopping heaven. Arriving on a Saturday evening allowed to fully ‘enjoying’ the crowds. There are many, many stores with big brands, from shoes to perfumes. Pharmacies are well represented and also the electronic stores. In case you are wondering, Andorra does not have VAT (more about this on wiki).
The narrow streets were flooded with people entering and exiting the stored and we have no option but to follow them until we got tired and hungry. Then, we chose a big (and out of the main street) restaurant and enjoyed a delicious and cheap meal (menu del dia) consisting of red wine (Rioja), caracoles a la catalana (with chorizo and bacon, yummy!), canelones and amazingly tasty beef as second dish. The king size bed in our four stars hotel next to the water (Metropolis is its name) was more than welcomed after that copious dinner.
Next day, we headed to slopes (we had one day forfeit included in the hotel price), choosing – randomly – to go to Arinsal (Vallnord area). We loved it! I’m a skier (well, a very rusty one), while my guy is a snowboarder.
We have repeated the same process for the next day, with dinner in another wonderful place, then went to the Pal slopes (we didn’t like them that much) and added the shopping part at the end of the trip, just before leaving the country. We will go back to Andorra, for sure, during the next winter season (we haven’t tried Caldea, the famous spa establishment).
Things we’ve learned about Andorra:
- You can buy alcohol and tobacco in decent amounts
- All cosmetics are way cheaper (including the super-brand ones and the pharmaceutical ones)
- Gasoline is cheaper than in Spain
- Parking the car is not expensive (it costed us 10 euro/day at the hotel, it would have been less at the public – huge – parking lots)
- All products are cheaper than in Spain with around 20%
- The ski renting materials are in very good shape (near the slopes)
- Parking at Arinsal base (where the cabin starts) is free of charge
- You can use Spanish, English or… Portuguese to talk to people
Put on some sun screen!
Pretty cheap to sleep, eat and ski:
- 70 euro/double room
- 10 – 15 euro/ lunch and dinner menu
- 40 euro/ski pass/day
- Andorra uses euro as currency