42 Interesting Facts About Andorra

Last updated on September 1st, 2016 at 06:03 am

Andorra is a small principality located in the high mountains of the Pyrenees in southwestern Europe. The nation is a tourist hot spot. Let’s learn more about Andorra with some fascinating facts!

Interesting Facts about Andorra’s history, people, tourism and economy

1. Andorra is a landlocked country in southwestern Europe. It is officially the Principality of Andorra.

2. Andorra is among the safest countries in the world with almost zero pickpocketing, car theft and disorderly conduct incidents.

3. Andorra, according to some estimates, is the world’s 14th oldest country.

4. The offices of the government, court and prison are housed in the “House of the Valleys,” which was built in 1580 in Andorra la Vella, the capital city of Andorra.

5. Andorra also witnesses the world’s most prestigious cycle race – the Tour De France.

6. The country’s military budget depends on voluntary donations.

7. The arrangement in the country is such that all able-bodied men must serve if called upon. Such men are called upon by means of an alarm in case of natural disasters or emergencies.

8. It is a principality (a territory ruled by a prince).

9. The capital city of Andorra, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe with an elevation of 1,023 meters.

10. It is also the only country in the world where Catalan is an official language.

11. Andorra is not an official member of the European Union.

12. According to the CIA, Andorra ranks eighth in overall life expectancy in the world, with Monaco at the top and Chad at the bottom of the list.

13. According to World Bank data, more than 10 million tourists arrived in Andorra last year. This fact signifies the importance of tourism in the country’s economy.

14. One theory suggests that Andorra may be derived from Arabic al-durra, meaning, “The pearl.”

15. In 1933, Andorra was occupied by France.

16. The country served as an important smuggling route between Vichy, France and Spain during World War II.

17. Andorra became a member of the UN and Council of Europe in 1993. The political system of the country was also modernized the same year.

Andorra Map
Andorra Map

18. Andorra has two princes. The president of France and the Bishop of Urgell serve as co princes for the country. Note that it is the world’s only co principality.

19. Skiing is a popular sport in the country, attracting millions of tourists every year. Vallnord and Grand Valira are two popular ski areas in the country.

20. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), does not provide health coverage in Andorra.

21. The common otter is among the country’s threatened species, while the Apollo butterfly and the lesser horseshoe bat are vulnerable species in Andorra.

22. Because of its high elevation, the northern valleys in the country are completely snowed in for several months of the year.

23. Andorrans are a minority in their own country. An estimated two thirds of the Andorran population is without Andorran nationality. They are not allowed to vote or to be elected as the president.

24. Spanish nationals account for almost 43% of Andorra’s population.

25. Arinsal is the smallest city in the country, with a population of 1,555.

26. It is also the sixth-smallest nation in Europe and the sixteenth-smallest nation in the world.

27. Only 5% of the land in Andorra is arable.

Fun facts about Andorra

28. Andorra was once referred to as “the poor man’s Switzerland.”  

Related: Interesting facts about Switzerland

29. There’s no income or inheritance tax.

30. Andorra’s constitution came into effect on April 28th, 1993.

31. The Coma Pedrosa, at 2,942 meters (9,652 ft), is the highest mountain (highest point) in the country.

32. There are no airports in the country. Accessibility to international passengers is provided by nearby airports located in Spain and France.

33. In Andorra, women live longer than men.

34. Andorran law requires the eldest able-bodied man of a house to keep a rifle to be used when needed for national protection.

35. The country has an army of just 12 people. It is interesting to note that this army has never fought for more than 700 years.

36. The country has a rough and mountainous terrain.

37. Education law requires school attendance for children up to age 16.

38. Andorran authorities build schools and maintain them; however, Spain or France pays for the teachers.

39. In Andorra, pork-based dishes and seafood are very popular. People of the region also eat snails with much delight.

40. The legal drinking age is 18 in the country.

41. The first highway was built in the country in 1911. It connected the Spanish city of La Seu-de-Urgell with the country.

42. As per the CIA Factbook, the country has a total roadway length of 320 km.

Quick/fast facts about Andorra

Capital CityAndorra la Vella
42°30′N 1°31′E
Largest CityAndorra la Vella
42°30′N 1°31′E
Total area468 sq km
Population85,580 (July 2015 est.)
Official LanguageCatalan
BordersSpain & France
ReligionRoman Catholic
Life expectancy82.72 years (2012)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
GDP - per capita (PPP)$37,200 (2011 est.)
Terrainrugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys
Natural resourceshydropower, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead
Agricultural land43.4%
Birth rate8.13 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate6.96 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio1.06 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
National colorsblue, yellow, red
National anthem"El Gran Carlemany" (The Great Charlemagne)
Industriestourism (particularly skiing), banking, timber, furniture
Exports$70 million (2012 est.)
tobacco products, furniture
Imports$1.43 billion (2012 est.)
consumer goods, food, fuel, electricity
Internet country code.ad
Internet users83,000
percent of population: 96.9% (July 2015 est.)
Time ZoneCET (UTC+1)
Summer (DST) - CEST (UTC+2)
Calling Code+376
Drives on theRight