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Discover Europe's hidden Gem - Andorra

Why Andorra is a perfect destination for families

Andorra is a playground for activity holidays; with peaks of up to 2900m and valleys dropping to 700m, it’s the perfect place for exciting walks, white-water rafting, skiing, snowshoeing and mountain biking. In winter, snow usually arrives at the end of November and stays put until April. As Andorra has some of the highest peaks in the Pyrenees, there’s always a decent depth of snow under many blue skies to give Soldeu its name – ‘Sun God’. As Soldeu, part of Grandvalira, is the largest ski area in the Pyrenees and one of the largest in Europe, there’s a whole host of extra activities available from snowmobiling and dog sledding to relaxing in the famous Caldea spa centre.

When summer arrives, the temperatures rarely climb above the 20s meaning pleasant climates for all activities. Andorra comes alive under the sun, with exciting activities including canyoning, via ferratas routes, long valley walks and plenty of picnic spots.

Famous for its fantastic ski routes and exciting winter adventures, we’ve pulled together our top 10 activities Andorra offers for the winter and summer seasons. You’ll probably find it’s the perfect destination, all year round!

Read on to uncover Europe’s hidden gem…

Top 5 things you didn't know about Andorra

1. It is just 12km by 39 km with just one road in through France and one through Spain.
2. It’s mythical beast, like the Haggis, is the Tamarro.
3. It has a national football team that has played both England and Wales recently in qualifiers.
4. It doesn’t have its own currency so before the Euro was introduced, all shops accepted both French Francs and Spanish Pesetas.
5. Catalan is the official language of Andorra though Spanish, French, and English is taught in all schools.

Top 5 winter activities 

1. Downhill skiing

Downhill skiing

Try your skills on the slopes in the Gran Valira ski area, one of the best skiing areas in Andorra. This is the highest and most extensive ski area in the Pyrenees encompassing the Soldeu-El Tarter and Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig ski resorts, so naturally there’s an excellent choice of slopes - from nursery to off-piste steep runs. Your ski instructor or Group Leader can advise which ones are most suitable for your level of ability. Beginners may well start off on the quieter slopes at Canarro allowing you more space in which to get to grips with your technique. If you are an experienced skier, you can ski on the intermediate slopes. 

2. Dog sledging

Dog Sledding

Learn how to harness a team of dogs at the kennel and discover how a dog sled is handled. The dogs always get really excited as soon as they see the sleds coming out, and it’s often a struggle to hold them back, so the sleds have a snow anchor just for that purpose. Each sled can carry two people plus a driver (or musher) - pulled by a team of 4-6 huskies or 8 Alaskans. It takes a while to get everything ready but eventually you set off on a forest trail.  You will feel the dogs tugging hard at their harnesses before they break into a smooth rhythm. All you can hear are the runners of the sled fizzing over the frozen snow and the odd bark or yelp from the dogs. Just hold on tight and enjoy the passing scenery for around an hour! It is normally possible for children from about 8 years old to drive their own sled.

3. Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

Get used to this new way of walking. It really isn’t difficult at all and, although you might feel a little ungainly at first, you’ll soon discover that you can climb even a fairly steep slope with ease. With snowshoes you can go almost anywhere - which means you can get to places that skiers cannot. You set off along a trail through the forest, marvelling at the peace and beauty of the snowy landscape. 

You’ll also have an opportunity to learn the technique used to locate and rescue avalanche victims (ARVA). Using a receiver you locate the signal from a transponder that anyone venturing into avalanche territory would normally wear. Having located the source of the signal, you then search the snow using poles to locate the victim. It’s a bit like a sophisticated game of hide-and-seek, but it’s a fun way of learning a skill that could one day be a life-saver!

4. Snow mobiling

Snow mobiling

Undergo a dramatic change of pace as you getting to grips with snowmobiling. A snowmobile (also known as a skidoo) is powered by a petrol engine that drives a single caterpillar track. Like a motorbike you steer using handlebars, these are connected to two parallel skis rather than a wheel. The brakes are on the handlebars, and you don’t have to worry about gears - there’s only forward and reverse. Large models with powerful engines can travel at over 100 kilometres per hour, but you’ll be using smaller models and taking things a lot more gently! Driver and a pillion passenger sit on a motorbike-style seat, but - for safety - smaller children may be towed behind on a sled. Snowmobiles are simple to drive, but it’s important to take care until you are used to the way they handle. You’ll then drive on a circuit through the forest for up to an hour.

5. Cross country skiing

Cross Country Skiing

The forest of La Rabassa near the Spanish border is a chance to see a different area of Andorra, and is ideal for exploring and absorbing the stunning snow-clad landscape on cross-country skis. Longer, thinner and lighter than downhill skis, cross-country skis are designed more for practicality than speed. Only the toe of your boot is attached to a cross-country ski (unlike a downhill ski where the whole boot is rigidly attached), which makes for a very different style of skiing. Having the ability to flex the heel allows you to climb as well as descend, which means you can cross a greater variety of terrain.

Top 5 summer activities

1. White-water rafting

White water rafting

From the top of the Noguera River you have 14km of exhilirating white water rafting (minimum 8 years to particpate and 8-12 year olds will only be able to raft on Grades I & II). Noguera River is renowned as one of the top 5 rafting rivers in Europe, this is becuase of the good stretches of continuous but not too rough white water and a high level of safety with many "get out" points.

After a fun ride over a weir and through the Olympic kayaking course, you arrive back at the rafting centre where there are changing rooms and showers.

2. Zip wiring

Zip Wiring

When was the last time you zip-wired through the tree canopy? With mountain views, sweeping valleys and glistening lakes this is an exciting alternative activity for families who want to take to the skies. Andorra is renowned for its beautiful countryside, pleasant temperature and zip-wiring is a great way to get a bird’s eye view. With full safety briefings, harnesses and helmets you can sit back relax and enjoy the thrill of discovering truly dramatic Pyrenees scenery.

3. Canyoning

Snowshoeing

A super charged, exciting family activity, canyoning certainly gives you an adrenaline rush and lets you explore some of the lesser-known beauty spots in Andorra. You’ll climb, abseil and swim in some of the most stunning Pyrenees gorges. You’ll get tremendously wet but will uncover some beautiful waterfalls, enjoying scrabbling over boulders, squeezing through rocks and learning the art of a perfect jump!

4. Via Ferratas

Snow mobiling

An authentic alternative to trekking and rock climbing in the Pyrenees, Andorra is home to 13 incredible via ferratas routes and even offers climbs by moonlight! You don’t need any rock climbing experience just a strong sense of adventure will do. Originating from the First World War, via ferrata routes were designed to aid troops moving around at high altitude and on steep peaks and today they still hold strong to offer famililes exciting new adventures.

5. Tobotronc

Tobotronc

The longest toboggan run in Europe, this is one for the big kids of the group. Re-connect with your kids as you speed along the 5.3km of alpine slide and drop a total of 400 metres! Situated in La Rabassa Forest, you can control your sledge with a brake lever and weave your way along the steel rails. Hold on tight!

Video highlights

From £635pp exc flights
5
(average rating, based on 19 reviews)
Trip type: 
Active
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 
22
Minimum age: 
5

Summer Pyrenees Family Holiday

Andorra, Europe | 8 days
Trip code: 
AAFP
Families only
Family activity holiday
This family activity holiday is an action-packed, centre-based summer activity week cycling, walking and rafting in the fresh air of the beautiful Pyrenees mountains

Departs in:

  • J
  • F
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Unpublished
5
(average rating, based on 6 reviews)
Trip type: 
Active
Adventure level: 
3. Moderate
Max group size: 
16
Minimum age: 
5

Winter Pyrenees Family Holiday

Andorra, Europe | 8 days
Trip code: 
AAFW
Families only
Snow activities! - Andorra
Participate in an exciting range of snow-based activities surrounded by the beauty of the Pyrenean landscape.

Departs in:

  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
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