Nestled neatly between France and Spain, Andorra is a country with 468 square kilometers of sweeping valleys, enchanting ski slopes, and Romanesque architecture worthy of a few snaps from your camera. It’s also close to Barcelona, which makes it an ideal place to discover that's not far from the Catalan capital.
In fact, Andorra day tours from Barcelona are some of the most popular trips for visitors to Spain. From demanding - but rewarding - hikes in the country’s remote areas to charming towns with quaint cafes, Andorra acts as the perfect compliment to the sprawling city of Barcelona.
Where are the best places to visit in Andorra?
Andorra la Vella
Start your Andorra trip with a visit to Andorra la Vella, the capital of the country. Sitting snugly in the Pyrenees, the city’s population is only 20,000, and yet it’s a popular spot for tourists. The bar and cafe scene is lively, with locals and tourists flocking to eateries to grab a bit or enjoy a quick drink. There’s also plenty of art and handicraft shops to admire. A guided tour of Casa de la Vell, a building that dates back to the 16th century, is a must, as is the Sant Esteve Church, which was constructed in the 12th century.
The second most populated place in Andorra, Escaldes-Engordany is formed of two urban centres, Escaldes and Engordany. The latter is the eldest of the two and dates back as far as the first century. A trip here is very much one of history, as you will be visiting one of the oldest places in Europe.
Set on a steep hillside facing the ski area across the valley, Soldeu is a popular destination for ski trips. It offers some of the best skiing in Europe and features a charming village with modern hotels and bars - plus the odd shop.
Think sprawling green hilltops and countryside views as far as the eye can see, and you’ve got the Incles Valley. One of the many natural sites of beauty in Andorra, Incles was formed by a glacier and features a U shape as a result. Ideal for hikes, expect to see plenty of beauty on the subalpine landscape, which turns alpine as you get further in.
Winter sports enthusiasts will delight at El Tarter, one of the most dynamic places for skiing in the Pyrenees. However, there is something for all at El Tarter, with slopes designed for all skill levels. As far as Andorra day tours from Barcelona go, this skiing experience offers a dramatic alternative to the Catalan life.
Located in the parish of Canillo, Ransol is known for its diversity in flora and fauna and top-notch skiing. A 15-minute drive from El Tarter, Ransol offers plenty of skiing activities and makes for a great tour if you want to hit the slopes.
The most important temple in Andorra is the Sanctuary of Meritxell Basilica in Meritxell. Situated in the parish of Canillo, there is also an abundance of local art and natural sights to take in. Head there in September and enjoy the festival of Nostra Senyora de Meritxell in this highly symbolic place for the inhabitants of the Principality.
Embrace the charm during one of your Andorra day tours from Barcelona with a visit to L’Aldosa. This quaint village in Andorra and offers a slice of local life in the country. Wander around and stop at local bars for a drink before taking in the local sights. There’s even a horse riding club if you fancy hopping on a horse and riding around the village and surrounding areas.
Prats is a small village in Andorra known for its church, Saint Miquel de Prats. Built with a rectangular shape and a semi-circular apse, it represents traditional Andorran structures. The church makes for a great Instagram snap and stop-off on your day trip from Barcelona.
Located on the Valira d'Orient river, Encamp is a mountainous territory with an average altitude of 1,250 meters. There are traditional Andorran villages dotted around and Encamp is part of the skiing area of Grandvalira, which is the largest in the Pyrenees.
How to get to Andorra from Barcelona?
Andorra is located about 200km from Barcelona and can be reached in several ways. Many trips incorporate pick-up and drop-off options for Andorra day tours from Barcelona. There is also a bus service, which takes a little over three hours. Alternative travel methods include renting a vehicle. Expect the drive to take around 2 hours and 45 minutes.
How much do Andorra day tours from Barcelona cost?
Most of Andorra day trips feature visits to parts of France and Spain, such as Baga and Ax Les Thermes - this is by far the most popular tour type. These tours take around 12 hours, include minivan pick up and drop off, and have a capacity of 20 people. They cost around €130.
Private tours are also available and cost in the region of €430. There are also private transfers, where you explore without a tour guide and only pay for the transfer. These cost around €400. Transport methods are typically minivans (larger tour groups) or a car (private tours).
When is the best time to visit Andorra?
The best time to enjoy tours of Andorra is between March and October. This is when the weather is at its best, and you can make the most of all that the country has to offer, including sightseeing and skiing. The climate is mostly dry between March and October, apart from the rainfall season between April and June.
November to March represents winter and can be quite cold in Andorra. However, the benefits of this season include snow-clad peaks, which look majestic and picturesque. It’s also a popular time of year for skiing, though snow can be so heavy that it becomes unmanageable.
For many, Andorra is a popular location for skiing. If you’re interested in hitting the slopes, you should explore the skiing options available, as it makes for a great alternative to the French and Swiss Alps.
As one of the oldest countries in Europe, Andorra offers plenty of history to discover. Often referred to as one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, Andorra has historic buildings and museums aplenty. Hikers will also delight in the natural beauty on offer, from quaint villages to peaceful lakes and dominating mountains. The Andorran mountains make the country stand out and have an average elevation of around 1,996m.