If you are planning a visit nearby Barcelona this winter, you will love our selection of two of the most beautiful places to spend a weekend: Andorra and Val d’Aran, located 3-4 hours by car from our luxury residences.
On this post we will recommend you what to do and what to see during the snowing season mostly, on these amazing destinations.
Andorra (officially, the Principality of Andorra) is a small state nestled in the Pyrenees mountains. With less than 500 square kilometers, Andorra is one of the smallest countries in the world, but it does not lack tourist attractions. Its charming villas are scattered throughout the Andorran valleys, which during winter are covered with snow and skiers. Its capital, Andorra la Vieja is also a popular shopping destination due to the country’s low tax level, and there are several spas to enjoy and relax.
Below, we propose different places where you can enjoy Andorra.
Andorra is the country with the highest concentration of Romanesque churches per square meter. Fifty of these are in excellent condition and some of them with remnants of original paintings. Sant Joan de Caselles has one of his most precious jewels of the 11th-12th centuries.
Andorra is known for its mountainous landscape and its great ski offer, which lasts from the beginning of December until the month of April. Its excellent location in the middle of the Pyrenees and its excellent weather conditions place the Andorran stations among the most valued by winter sports lovers. Grandvalira and Vallnord are the busiest ski resorts. They also have a wide range of possibilities for all those who do not wish to ski; such as mushing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling routes, etc.
The magnificent glacial circus of Pessons is the largest in Andorra located in the Pyrenees. A mixture of magnificent landscapes and spectacular lakes of crystal clear water in the high mountains. During the summer hiking trails in this area are common.
SPA & RELAX
At 1.100 meters of altitude, is the famous Caldea spa, which is a mandatory stop. It is an authentic oasis of relaxation, with an extensive menu of massages and hydrothermal treatments. It has hot tubs, lagoons and baths that make it the largest thermal center in southern Europe.
It is also common for many 4 and 5 star hotels in Andorra to have their own hot spring space.
Naturlandia Park is located in the Rabassa forest, in Sant Julià de Lòria, and is the first animal park in Andorra. It welcomes native species of the Pyrenees and also an interactive children’s space with farm animals, where the little ones can participate. In addition, there is a large area dedicated to observing animals in their natural habitat.
We cannot forget that Andorra is the shopping paradise and in Andorra la Vella you will find all kinds of small and large shops for all tastes. Andorra is considered a good place where prices are much more affordable than in other countries. What is most recommended to buy is technology.
The shopping centers are grouped in the two main streets of Andorra la Vella, Avenida Meritxell and Avenida Carlemany. Illa Carlemany and the Pyrenees of Andorra are the two best-known and most visited luxury shopping centers in Andorra.
This region of the Central Pyrenees is the last of the Pyrenees of Catalonia before entering the Aragonese Pyrenees. Located in the northwest corner of Catalonia, along the border with Aragon and France. The Val d’Aran belongs to the province of Lleida in Catalonia and its capital is Vielha e Mitjaran, also known as Viella or Vielha. They have a very differentiated language, Aranés, which is a variant of Occitan, the Romance language of Europe, which has been spoken since the 11th century.
Next, our selection of towns and attractions to see.
This town retains all the beauty of its old town and its incredible Romanesque Church of the Assumption of Mary of the 12th century.
Small fairytale town, Magical Pyrenees recommends visiting along with the Carlac Forest.
Last town before entering France. Famous for its hot springs and its Caviar Nacarii fish farm.
Because Salardú was the entrance to the valley through the Port de la Bonaigua, the city was fortified in medieval times to protect itself. The old castle was located in the place where the church is currently, but you can still see some remains of the fortification.
Salardú offers a lot of services, has a library, shops, sports center, outdoor and heated pool, a golf course and is very close to the ski slopes of Baqueira Beret.
PARQUE NACIONAL DE AIGÜESTORTES I ESTANY DE SANT MAURICI
It is one of the 15 National Parks of Spain. It is located in the central area of the Pyrenees of Catalonia, in the province of Lleida, and covers four regions: Alta Ribagorza, Pallars Sobirà, Pallars Jussà and Val d’Aran.
Its landscape is an excellent representation of the Catalan high mountain ecosystem. The best known lake of all is that of Sant Maurici, which gives its name to the park. It is more than 1,000 meters long and one of its main attractions are the two peaks that stand out on its banks called Els Encantats.
It is the capital of Pallars Sobirà (Lleida), the region of Catalonia with the most protected territory, distributed between the National Park d’Aigüestortes, and the Natural Park of l’Alt Pirineu, the largest in Catalonia.
The range of nature and adventure activities is very wide. You can enjoy adventures for all ages, from rafting to excursions, also multi-adventure circuits, mountain biking trails, horseback riding, bungee jumping, quad biking, hydrospeed, canyoning, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, bungee jumping, mountaineering, etc.
The winter season of Baqueira, declared a National Tourist Interest Center, is possibly the best in all of Spain. It has more than 150 km of skiable mountains that exceed 2,500 m at some point. But in Baqueira it is not all skiing, in winter apart from practicing this sport you can go hiking and snowshoeing, since from the Pla de Beret, the second important nucleus of the station, it is possible to make several routes. From the station you can admire mountain peaks that exceed 3,000 meters high, such as Maladeta and Aneto.