15 Magical Things to Do in Andorra in Winter, a Pyrenees Winter Wonderland

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Andorra in winter is a sportsman’s paradise. There’s fabulous skiing, snowshoeing, and other fun adrenaline-packed activities. If you end up spending time in the capital, you’ll find Andorra la Vella in winter to be cozy and relaxing, without the bustle of other European cities. 

 

Here are the best things to do in Andorra in winter, from action-packed winter sports to restful urban retreats. 

 

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best things to do in andorra in winter

 

 

Where to Stay in Andorra

 

Andorra - Andorra La Vella - Hostel Sign

 

If you plan on staying in Andorra for more than a day, make sure to book your accommodations ahead of time! In winter, the resorts, hotels, and hostels book up early since Andorra is a popular winter destination. Here are my suggestions for where to stay on different budgets for both the capital, Andorra la Vella and the ski resorts. 

 

Here are the budget categories I will be using:

 

  • Budget: A room in a hostel, usually USD 45-65 per night for a dorm bed or under $80 for a double.
  • Mid-range: Around USD 100-125 per night
  • Luxury: Around $150 per night or more

 

 

Andorra La Vella

If you want to spend a night or two in the country’s capital, here is where to stay:

 

Budget: For a cozy night on a budget (comparatively speaking, since Andorra is expensive), choose the Hostal Cisco da Sans. Set in a historic building right in the heart of the city, you can enjoy the hearty fireplace, authentic stone walls, and charming views. Popular with solo travelers.

 

>>Check availability here.<<

 

Mid-Range: If you’re looking for something slightly comfier but still close to downtown, check into the Acra Arthotel. Praised for their large rooms (by European standards), this is a good hotel for couples or friends traveling together who want to spread out a bit. This is also a great place to relax since there is a spa, sauna, and Turkish bath on site! Perfect for someone looking for a more boutique hotel experience.

 

>>Check availability here.<<

 

Luxury: For a true Andorra luxury experience close to the city center, the only sensible choice is the Andorra Park Hotel. This five-star luxury property boasts superior reviews for its beautiful views and modern rooms that include spa bathrooms. There are an onsite sauna and fitness center. 

 

>>Check availability here.<<

 

 

Ski Resort Hotels in Andorra

Whether you are heading straight to a ski resort or you are combining time at the resorts with time in Andorra la Vella, you need to arrange your accommodations ahead of time so they won’t be sold out. There are two main ski resorts in Andorra, Grandvalira and Vallnord. 

 

Budget Ski Resort Hotel: If you are trying to do your ski trip on a strict budget, the Hotel Mila will help you keep your pennies pinched. Located in the village of Encamp in Grandvalira. These kinds of hotels sell out very early, so jump on it if you see availability. 

 

>>Check availability here.<<

 

Mid-Range Ski Resort Hotel: If you want an Andorran ski chalet that also has great amenities, book a room at the Hotel Bonavida in Canillo in Grandvalira. Just fifty meters from the ski lift in Canillo and a short walk to the ice skating rink, this is perfect for travelers who take both their skiing and their apres-ski seriously. Rooms are cozy and there are a sauna and a hot tub on site.

 

>>Check availability here.<<

 

Luxury Ski Resort Hotel: The four-star Hotel Spa Princesa Parc in Orsino in Vallnord is just 150 meters from the nearest ski lift. With an onsite wellness center, Turkish bath, Scottish shower, and sauna, you certainly can relax once you’re back from the slopes. There’s also a game room with bowling and billiards!

 

>>Check availability here.<<

 

 

The Best Things to Do in Andorra in Winter

In no particular order…

 

Explore Andorra la Vella’s Old Quarter (Barri Antic) on Foot

 

Andorra - Andorra La Vella - A Fountain in Andorra La Vella's Historic District Barri Antic

 

If you love seeing the historic districts of cities, then make sure to spend some time wandering around the charming Old Quarter (Barri Antic), Andora la Vella’s historic old town. Here you’ll find the Casa la Vella, the country’s house of Parliament for hundreds of years, ending only in 2011. This part of the city also boasts the famous Church of Sant Esteve, perhaps the city’s most famous landmark.

 

 

See the City’s Famous Dali Sculpture

 

Andorra - Andorra la Vella - Andorra, Andorra la Vella -26.01.2018, Sculpture of Salvador Dali, Bronze Monument - The Nobility of Time.

 

It might seem strange to find a Salvador Dali statue in the middle of Andorra la Vella, but the statue was a gift to the country from one of Dali’s agents. Called, La Noblesse du temps (The Nobility of Time), the melting clock symbolizes the passing of time. No trip to the city is complete without at least stopping to contemplate the masterpiece. 

 

 

Shop til You Drop

 

Andorra - Andorra La Vella - Shopping in Andorra at a Cute Store

 

Andorra is a shopping haven, and many come to the country just to experience Andorra la Vella’s Shopping Mile. From high-end brands to low-tax bargains, there’s something here for everyone. 

 

 

Relax at Caldea

 

Andorra - Andorra La Vella - Caldea Spa

 

If you are desperate for a spa day, Andorra has you covered. If you’re in the city, head to Caldea, where you can enjoy the sauna, steam room, and thermal pools. You can also book treatments like massages and facials ahead of time. 

 

 

Eat Escudella, a Catalan Specialty

 

Andorra - carn dolla, typical catalan meat and vegetables of a soup escudella for christmas

 

The perfect hearty winter dish, Escudella is a Catalan specialty. It’s been made in the region for over seven hundred years! This vegetable and meat stew comes in regular versions and a special Ecudella de Nadal, which is served on Christmas. 

 

 

Sample an Andorran Pinot Noir

 

Andorra - Red wine being poured into shiny wine glasses standing on wooden table.Slightly toned down colors. Restaurant in Andorra -Image

 

While Andorra’s neighbors, France and Spain, have illustrious wine traditions dating back to the Roman Empire, Andorra’s wineries are relatively new. However, in just a few decades the five current Andorran wineries have earned a reputation for producing excellent Pinot Noir. Ask your server for their pairing suggestions.

 

 

Go Dog Sledding in Port d’ Envalira

 

Andorra - Snow, sun and dog sleeding at the mountains in Andorra

 

Dog Sledding commonly referred to in Andorra as mushing, might be the cutest winter activity in Andorra. Who can resist the thrill of being lead by dogs through the beautiful Pyrenese mountains? This is a great activity for couples and families with kids, the sleds can accommodate two adults and up to two children at once! 

 

>>Check here for schedules, reviews, and pricing.<<

 

 

Up the Adrenaline by Going Dog Sledding at Night

 

Andorra - Mushing at Night

 

If regular daytime mushing doesn’t seem exciting enough, you can choose instead to go at night and see the countryside’s ethereal beauty after days. 

 

>>Check here for schedules, reviews, and pricing.<<

 

 

Go Skiing in the Pyrenees

 

Andorra Ski Lift

 

Perhaps the single biggest reason to come to Andorra is skiing. With two world-class ski resorts, you really can’t go wrong. There are also some of the best-rated ski schools in Europe here, so it’s a good place for first-time skiers to come and learn the ropes. 

 

 

Fly Over the Ice in a Snowmobiling

 

Andorra - Snowmobiling

 

Leaving from Ordino, snowmobiling is the perfect way to add an extra bit of adventure to your time in Andorra. Excursions last up to two hours and cover different terrain depending on your skill level (and fear factor). You can even snowmobile through a cave!

 

>>Check here for schedules, reviews, and pricing.<<

 

 

Enjoy the Scenery while Snowshoeing

 

Andorra - Young woman practicing snowshoes on winter trail in incredible sunny day in winter in the Pyrenees in Andorra.

 

Whether you are a beginner or an old hand, an organized snowshoeing tour is the perfect way to take in the beauty of the Andorran landscape. Heading out with a professional guide, this is the perfect opportunity for a beginner to try their hand at a new sport, but experienced snowshoers will enjoy learning about the history of the sport and the area. 

 

>>Staying near Ordino: Check here for schedules, reviews, and pricing. Staying near Canillo: Check here for schedules, reviews, and pricing. <<

 

 

Get Adventurous on a Personalized Cross Country Skiing Day

 

Andorra - Cross-country skiers running a groomed ski trail. Road in mountains at winter in sunny day. Trees covered with hoarfrost illuminated by the sun.

 

If you’ve always wanted to try cross country skiing (or even if you are a pro), you’ll love being able to go out and explore some of Andorra’s more advanced cross-country skiing tracks. Work with a local guide to get a personalized itinerary for a day that matches your goals and skill level.

 

>>Check here for schedules, reviews, and pricing.<<

 

 

Take the Whole Family Snowtubing 

 

Andorra - Young woman and child sliding down in inflatable snow tube

 

An activity that lets you enjoy the thrills of speeding downhill in a controlled environment, snow tubing a fabulous family-friendly snow activity that will bring everyone together. 

 

 

Tobogganing

 

Andorra - Sledging on Tobotronc in Naturlandia park, Sant Julia de Loria, Andorra.

 

If you’re curious about tobogganing, then Andorra is the perfect place to start your exploration since the Naturlandia Tobotronc here is the world’s longest toboggan run. Its 5.3 kilometers (and ten minutes) of speed and thrills! 

 

 

Visit the Christmas Village

 

Andorra - Europe is getting ready for Christmas. Beautiful colorful street of Andorra la Vella city decorated by rows of illuminated deers of Santa Claus. Christmas holiday and festive spirit concepts

 

If you come to Andorra in December, you can enjoy some Christmas spirit along with your holiday shopping. There are several fairs, markets, and holidays held throughout the Advent season. There are events held across the country, though the most famous is the Christmas Village in Andorra la Vella. Check with Andora tourism for up-to-date information on this year’s Christmas market dates and locations.

 

 

How to Get to Andorra

 

Andorra - Andorra La Vella - Andorra Bus Station

 

Andorra does not have an airport. The easiest way to get to Andorra is to fly into Barcelona and drive or take the bus. Driving takes three hours, while the bus ride is about four. If you come from France, you should fly into Toulouse and take the shuttle which takes about three hours, or you can also rent a car. 

 

 

What to Wear for Winter in Andorra

Consider this a mini Andorra winter packing list. These are the items you will want to walk around Andorra la Vella. If you plan on going skiing, also make sure to pack your ski attire and ski gear.

 

Women’s Andorra Winter Attire

Here’s what women should bring. 

 

A Winter Coat: You need that can handle the cold like this North Face parka

 

Thermal Layers: This ultra-lightweight down layer is my new #packinggoals. I don’t own one, but my friend Allison does and she wore hers while we were stuck at a Serbian bus stop in the cold early morning. I was so jealous, and this is on my future packing lists for anywhere I go that’s cold. It’s great because you can wear it on its own when you need a quick layer of warmth, but you can also wear it under your coat when it’s really cold outside.

 

Shoes: Upgrade your regular city boots to a waterproof version.

 

Socks: Upgrade your socks to thick, warm wool socks.

 

Gloves: In Andorra, you’ll be doing a lot of navigating on your smartphone, especially when you need to use public transit. I found it incredibly annoying to have to take my gloves off every few minutes, so I upgraded to tech-friendly gloves like these. They’re also clutch for using your phone to take pictures.

 

Winter Scarf: You want a thick knit scarf that you can pull up and cover your face when necessary.

 

Leggings: You’ll want to be covered from head to toe when you’re outside. Regular leggings are great for late autumn, but for winter swap them for leggings that are lined with fleece for extra warmth. You can wear them under dresses or even slip them under your jeans.

 

Hat: A fleece-lined knit cap will keep you warm, and you’ll fit right in with the locals.

 
 

Men’s Andorra Winter Attire

Here is what I suggest men wear in winter. Just like with women, this is good for walking around the city, but make sure to pack your ski clothes and gear if you’ll be doing activities in the snow.

 

A Winter Coat: You need that can handle the cold like this North Face parka.

 

Wool Baselayer: You’ll want an extra boost of warmth under your shirt as a wool baselayer.

 

Shoes: Upgrade your regular city boots to a waterproof version.

 

Socks: Upgrade your socks to thick, warm wool socks.

 

Gloves:  Upgrade to tech-friendly gloves like these so you can use your smartphone for pics and to help navigate.

 

Winter Scarf: You want a thick knit scarf that you can pull up and cover your face when necessary

 

Hat: A fleece-lined knit cap will keep you warm, and you’ll fit right in with the locals.

 

 

5 Things to Bring With You to Andorra

 

Germany - Berlin - Suitcase and Day Bag packing to leave

 

An Unlocked Cell Phone so that you can use a local sim card while here to help navigate transportation and when you’re on the road.

 

Backup Charging Bank for your cell phone since you’ll be using it as a camera, GPS, and general travel genie.

 

A Camera since Andorra is super photogenic. I use a mix of my Nikon D810 and my  Samsung8 smartphone these days.

 

A Great Day Bag so you can carry what you need with you (like your camera, snacks, water, sunscreen, cash, etc). My current favorite is the Pacsafe Citysafe, which is especially great for cities because it has many anti-theft features designed to deter pickpockets. It also transitions to a night bag more easily and won’t embarrass you if you go to dinner directly after sightseeing all day. 

 

A Swimsuit! Even if you’re just coming to Andorra for a day trip, if there’s even a chance you’ll end up at a spa, bring a swimsuit with you!

 

 

More Andorra Travel Resources

 

Andorra - Andorra La Vella -Casa de la Vall in Andorra la Vella.

 

Coming soon!

 

 

Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

Before you leave for Andorra make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be hanging enjoying time in cities where travelers can attract pickpockets or participating in winter sports.

 

I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for three years, and I happily recommend them.  If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.

 

 

Pin this Guide to Enjoying Winter in Andorra for Your Trip!

 

best things to do in andorra in winter

 

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