Andorra is officially known as the Principality of Andorra. It is also called as the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra. It is situated in the Southwestern part of Europe. It is a microstate, which is landlocked by France and Spain. The country is located in the eastern Pyrenees Mountains and the highest capital in Europe is 1,023 meters high above the sea level. The official language is Catalan but people speak Spanish, Portuguese and French very commonly as well. It is the sixth smallest country in the Europe with the population consisting of just 85,000 according to the surveys in 2012. Andorra flourishes mainly due to tourism.
The political system of Andorra is really a system. It is a parliamentary co-principality having the co-princes as President of France and the Bishop of Urgell, Spain. Both the governments enthrone the legislative power. The government exercises the Legislative power. The peculiar government system makes the president of France to be the Prince of Andorra, a strangely elected reigning monarch although not elected by the population of Andorra. The chief executive is the Head of Government and the multiform party system. On the dissatisfaction of the chief executive, he requests the co-princes to dissolve the Council and to order fresh elections.
Andorra is slowly becoming the one of the most popular tourist destinations of Europe. They include major ski resorts like El Tarter and Arsinal. Tourist from Spain, UK and France are very common here. Andorra reveals many hiking trails on the melting of the winter snow in the summer months. The main attractions to the tourists are the shrines and festivals. Places like Ordino, Encamp, Sant Julia de Loria, Les Escaldes, Santa Coloma and other villages contain Romanesque churches and old houses of interest. Our Lady of Meritxell is one of the most famous shrines between Canillo and Encamp who was Andorra’s patroness. Pilgrims from France and Spain come every year on the festival day
Andorra’s patroness on 8th September. Another two popular tourist hot spots include the International Jazz Festival at Escaldes-Engordamy in the month of July and the International Music Festival of Ordino in the month September.
Andorra consists of a network of roads of just 279 kilometres of which 76 kilometres are caliche topped. The bus services owned by private companies are frequent by a period of about half an hour during peak travel time. There are no railways or ports due to mountainous and landlocked region respectively. There are also no airports in Andorra
Due to the mountainous nature of Andorra as stated earlier, only one road enters Andorra from France and likewise only one extensively used road from Spain. As stated earlier, there are no airports in Andorra. Therefore, you can practically enter to Andorra only through road. But if you are travelling from afar, then you can book a ticket to the nearest airports of Andorra. They are Perpignan at France, which is 128 kilometres from the east of the country, and Lleida at Spain, which is 157 kilometres from the south. Although for the people having money to dump off, there is another transportation system by helicopter from Andorra la Vella, La Massana, or Arsinal airports, for a limit of 4 passengers and it takes about 30 minutes and costs about three thousand Euros. There are also no train lines or stations in Andorra whereas, there is a railway station, which is very, near to the Andorran border. That is the L’Hospitalet railway station in France, which is just 3 kilometres away from Andorra. The Andorran roads are normally of good quality. So entering from Spain is comparatively straightforward because it excludes the hair pin bends while driving from France. Car hire companies also operate in Andorra and nowadays, Coach Services also becoming popular.