Isolated for centuries, Andorra had become a popular tourist destination by the 1950s. Although tiny, Andorra offerssome of the best skiing and snowboarding in the Pyrenees. Great hiking, mountain biking, and stunning alpine sceneryattract visitors in summer. But most of the visitors to Andorra are day travelers from France or Spain, who takeadvantage of Andorra’s duty-free shopping. Merchants selling electronic goods, alcohol, tobacco, and luxury itemscrowd the streets of Andorra la Vella and other nearby towns. Tourism is Andorra’s main source of revenue, but some Andorrans still raise sheep and cattle as they have sinceancient times. In the summer months, villagers herd livestock up the mountains to graze in alpine pastures. Most of the small patches of land suitable for cultivation are used to grow tobacco.For more than 700 years Andorra was ruled jointly by the leader of France and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgel innorthwestern Spain. These leaders, known as the “princes of Andorra,” served as overlords of Andorra. The countryformally remains a co-principality (jointly ruled by princes) to the present day. In 1993 Andorrans adopted their firstconstitution, which established the country as an independent democratic co-principality. Today, the president of France and the Bishop of Urgel remain Andorra’s heads of state, but their roles are largely ceremonial.
LAND AND RESOURCES
Geography of Andorra
Area468 sq km181 sq miCoastline0 km0 miHighestpointPic de Coma Pedrosa2,946 m/9,665 ft
Andorra occupies a region of gorges and valleys in the eastern Pyrenees. The country is almost completely encircledby high mountains. The Coma Pedrosa, which rises to 2,946 m (9,965 ft), is Andorra’s highest peak.
Andorra is a region of deep gorges, narrow valleys, and towering mountain peaks. Andorra is located in the eastern Pyrenees, nestledon the border between France to the north and Spain to the south.