Pyrenees Mountains & Andorra

Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France.

Pyrenees mountains
Pyrenees mountains

It is a very tiny country; about 1/5 the size of Rhode Island. We stayed in the capital city of Andorra la Vella where the main economic driver is tourism, specifically snow skiing. Since we visited in the summer, we got a huge room at AHotels Prisma for really cheap. It could’ve slept 10 people, and even had two sets of bunk beds. We quickly learned that people visit in the summer for two things: duty-free shopping and the amazing Caldea Andorra spa.

Our little Skoda
Our little Skoda rental car
AHotels Prisma
AHotels Prisma
Andorra la Vella street view
Andorra la Vella street view
Andorra la Vella street view
Andorra la Vella street view

We spent the afternoon at the Caldea spa, which charges per hour. There is a giant pool you can swim in that connects to several hot tubs. There are also cold dunking pools, steam saunas, dry saunas and an area for rubbing your arms and legs with ice chips before taking a dunk in a heated bath. The idea is that you will relax and tense up your muscles with temperature, therefore releasing tension and stress. It was awesome.

The main language used in Andorra is Catalon, like in Barcelona. So, we might have accidentally made our way upstairs into a special VIP area of the spa. What? It was an accident!

Anyway…the VIP area was so cool. It had maze-type hot tubs that you walked through. One had an Aztec theme with river rocks on the floor that massaged your feet as you made your way through the maze. Then there was a giant grapefruit hot tub that, you guessed it, had dozens of grapefruits floating around in it. There was a heated room with individual water beds that you could relax on while listening to soft music and gazing at a faux star-lit night sky. We had a great time at the spa and would recommend it to anyone visiting Andorra le Vella.

Caldea Andorra spa
Caldea Andorra spa
Shopping mall
Shopping mall
Gotta love duty-free shopping
Gotta love duty-free shopping
All the cheeses
All the cheeses

We got some shopping done while we were in the duty-free zone, and then packed our backs to continue the journey. Next up, we headed down the mountains toward Pamplona for the famous San Fermin Festival, better known as Running of the Bulls.