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Adorra: A Photographic Journey - The Country You Don't Know

World  (tags: Andorra, country, photos )

- 1813 days ago -
Andorra is one of the smallest countries in the world. It is landlocked with no coastal area.

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Kit B (276)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 9:37 am
Above map shows the position of Andorra between France and Spain.


Andorra is one of the smallest countries in the world. It is landlocked with no coastal area. There are also no significant rivers flowing through the country. Many citizens of the world do not even know that Andorra exists. At the same time, there are many people who travel that love Andorra and its people. Those who know return to Andorra often. Some of the many interesting things about Andorra are as follows.
5 Facts You Might Not Know

1. Despite the fact that Andorra has some of the best family skiing in Europe, there is no airport. You have to get to Andorra by car from either Spain or France. Only the Vatican is a sovereign country smaller than Andorra.

2. Andorra has the most unusual form of government in the world. It is the only country with two heads of state at the same time. Even stranger is the fact that neither head of state is a resident or citizen of Andorra. One of the co-heads of state is the person elected as the President of France. The other co-head of state is a Bishop of the Catholic Church appointed by the Pope.

3. Andorra has never been at war with another country so they have enjoyed over 1,000 years of peace. The country has no national bank and until recently there were no taxes of any kind. Because there is no national bank, there is no national debt.

4. Food and goods for citizens of Andorra come from other countries, except for one cash crop. Most of the land for agriculture grows quality tobacco. That crop and the fact no taxes are levied has meant tax-free cigarettes. This has been the reason for a large volume of tourists coming for duty free shopping since the end of World War II.

5. Andorra is in the foothills of the Alps. Due to the elevations and clean air, many tourists who originally came for duty free shopping found great enjoyment in the natural environment of Andorra. This generated the development of excellent family ski facilities during winter. Hiking and camping are the big draw in the spring and summer months. The year around tourism has allowed Andorrans to enjoy almost constant 100% employment.

Some other facts about Andorra:

Fact 1: In Europe Andorra ranks in as the sixth smallest nation. It consists of 181 square miles.

Fact 2: The capital city of Andorra is Andorra la Vella. In Europe this capital is the highest based on elevation. It is 3,356 feet above sea level.

Fact 3: The main language of Andorra is Catalan.

Fact 4: Tourism is the main industry in Andorra.

Fact 5: Andorra is ranked fourth in the world when it comes to human life expectancy. The expected life span of a person in Andorra is 82 years of age.

Fact 6: There is no official army in Andorra. They are protected by France and Spain. However, when emergencies arise within Andorra all men between the ages of 21 and 60 are required by law to serve and defend.

Fact 7: By law the male head of each family in Andorra is required to own a gun in case of attack or emergency.

Fact 8: Out of each year Andorra commonly receives 300 days of sunshine.

Fact 9: Only 2 percent of Andorra is used for agriculture. The majority of food and resources has to be shipped in to the country.

Fact 10: Free healthcare is provided by the government for all individuals that are employed.


Ben O (170)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 9:38 am
Adorrable! And, You know what? -I have NOT been there!

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 9:47 am

You are nearby, Ben. I would bet you could pop in any time. This place looks so good, I want to pack today.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 11:39 am
Thank you for the breathtaking photos. I have never even heard of this country, but it sounds like a country I could call home. One-thousand years of peace sounds idyllic. (n, p, t)

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 11:41 am

A thousand years of peace and no standing army.

JL A (281)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 12:47 pm
Hmmm...100 years and speak Catalan--suggests historical roots in common with the Basques of northern Spain in the Pyranees along the France-Spain border, who have a separatist movement for independence...Andorra sounds as if it would be less of target due to logistics of location and probably no resources of special interest for conquerors.

Nancy M (197)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 1:09 pm
Great infoKit, Thanks.


Pat B (356)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 2:17 pm
Gosh, learned a new country today. Thanks, Kit for the pictures, and facts of this great little country. 1000 years of peace sounds great.!! I'd love to visit a place like this, and hike some of those hills. ;-)

Angelika R (143)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 2:59 pm
I have not been there either, have always skipped spain and anything near it because of their bull fights. but this tiny country is known to be sort of a paradise, yes indeed. I am most surprised Ben has NOT ever made it there.
Kit, with this sequence of posts I am beginning to think you are trying to get people to relocate from the soon to be place of horror, the USofA ;-)

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 4:25 pm
You won't find the country of "ADORRA" in any Atlas, Map or Encyclopedia....!

Too bad there's a TYPO in the TITLE of this article!
It might put some people off..... ;-D

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 4:39 pm
I think they made Andorra a country, so they could regulate all the SMUGGLING that used to go on there, if I am not mistaken...
Very odd form of government, indeed!

Andorra is not a PART of Spain, which could have I suppose "conquered" and "incorporated" it if they really wanted to - because actually some govts and rich people who control govts, NEED and PROFIT BY "smuggling" and other "illegal" activities that they cannot "officially" condone...
Bet one could find some interesting nuggets of History, if one searched hard...
Cynical way of looking at it...

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 5:13 pm

Good catch, Barbara, I didn't notice the typo.

Or maybe Angelika, I'm just looking for place for my own retirement. Honestly, I think it's fun to discover new places around the world. If I had the money I would travel till I was too old to walk.

Robert Tomlinson (62)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 6:00 pm
Kit, thanks for this post.

Laurie H (817)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 6:21 pm
Kit, this place does sound like a bit of Heaven to me----very tempting!!! The pics were great and all very much appreciated!!!~

Carlie Forsythe (6)
Monday June 10, 2013, 12:36 am
Glad to see Andorra getting some recognition - this country is too often overlooked! I do wish the name had been spelled correctly in the article title, though... sorry to nitpick, but it's bugging me.

Daniel Partlow (179)
Monday June 10, 2013, 4:58 am

Past Member (0)
Monday June 10, 2013, 7:23 am
Very interesting place! Perhaps one day i'll visit...thanks Kit 4 this brief history lesson---really enjoyed it!

lee e (114)
Monday June 10, 2013, 8:20 pm
It looks charming and inviting! Thanks Kit - I've heard of it, but didn't know anything about it

Theodore Shayne (56)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 5:39 pm
Now that's interesting; the last Carolingian country. Yah learn something new every day Chauncey. heh, heh, heh.

J. J. (30)
Thursday July 18, 2013, 4:05 am
I've heard of Andorra before but I definitely wasn't aware of these facts so thanks so much for sharing Kit. Sounds like it would be an interesting place to visit! No war, No national debt almost 100% U/E! This place could be Nirvana on earth :p
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