Barcelona-Andorra day trip

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The small country of Andorra lies in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. Because of its location, methods of getting there are limited.

If driving, you can enter from either France or Spain. However, an easy and economical way to enter is to take the public bus; frequent trips are offered between Barcelona and Andorra la Vella, the capital.

The bus company to use is Alsina Graells (phone 93 2656866), which leaves Barcelona several times a day from Estacio del Nord (North Station), near the Arc de Triomf. Departures begin at 6:30 a.m.; however, this may vary depending upon the season, so you should check ahead.

In October ’03 when we took our day trip, the round-trip cost was €33.30 (near $39). For tickets with assigned seats, we went to the windows for Alsina Graells, which opened 30 minutes before departure. On arrival in Andorra, have your return seats confirmed.

The trip, including a brief stop at the border, took a little over three hours nonstop. Border formalities are casual, but luggage may be checked. You should have ID, preferably a passport.

Since Andorra offers duty-free items, many visitors go there for the shopping. The trip itself is well worth the effort, however.

After leaving Barcelona, one of the first of many impressive sights was the huge jagged peaks of Montserrat. The valleys then began to get narrower until massive rock fingers reaching toward the sky loomed ahead. It seemed impossible that the road could cross them and, indeed, it does not. Instead, the lengthy Tunel del Cadi, the longest of eight tunnels on this route, opens to the Cadi Valley and provides access to Andorra.

La Vella lies in a very narrow valley surrounded by peaks. Catalan is the official language, with French and Spanish also spoken. There is a wide variety of lodging and dining facilities. Since the altitude is over 1,000 meters, expect the temperature to be cooler than in Barcelona, which is at sea level.

JEAN MINNICK
Elkins, WV

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

The small country of Andorra lies in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. Because of its location, methods of getting there are limited.

If driving, you can enter from either France or Spain. However, an easy and economical way to enter is to take the public bus; frequent trips are offered between Barcelona and Andorra la Vella, the capital.

The bus company to use is Alsina Graells (phone 93 2656866), which leaves Barcelona several times a day from Estacio del Nord (North Station), near the Arc de Triomf. Departures begin at 6:30 a.m.; however, this may vary depending upon the season, so you should check ahead.

In October ’03 when we took our day trip, the round-trip cost was €33.30 (near $39). For tickets with assigned seats, we went to the windows for Alsina Graells, which opened 30 minutes before departure. On arrival in Andorra, have your return seats confirmed.

The trip, including a brief stop at the border, took a little over three hours nonstop. Border formalities are casual, but luggage may be checked. You should have ID, preferably a passport.

Since Andorra offers duty-free items, many visitors go there for the shopping. The trip itself is well worth the effort, however.

After leaving Barcelona, one of the first of many impressive sights was the huge jagged peaks of Montserrat. The valleys then began to get narrower until massive rock fingers reaching toward the sky loomed ahead. It seemed impossible that the road could cross them and, indeed, it does not. Instead, the lengthy Tunel del Cadi, the longest of eight tunnels on this route, opens to the Cadi Valley and provides access to Andorra.

La Vella lies in a very narrow valley surrounded by peaks. Catalan is the official language, with French and Spanish also spoken. There is a wide variety of lodging and dining facilities. Since the altitude is over 1,000 meters, expect the temperature to be cooler than in Barcelona, which is at sea level.

JEAN MINNICK
Elkins, WV