The Principality of Andorra
The Principality of Andorra is located in the South of Europe, between Spain and France.
Covering an area of 468 km2 and with more than 1,000 years of history, Andorra is one of the smallest states in the world. It has a population of 75,000 inhabitants and is governed by the parliamentary co-principality system. The co-princes are the Bishop of Urgell and the President of the French Republic. The head of Government is elected by the General Council (Parliament), which is renewed every 4 years through the electoral system.
The official language is Catalan, and the legal tender is the euro.
In 1993 the Constitution was approved and Andorra joined the UN; a year later it became a member of the Council of Europe.
Andorra is a modern and prosperous country. Its economy is based mainly on tourism, services and trade. The quality of its infrastructures and the diversity of Andorra’s offer attract about 8 million visitors every year.
(continue reading about Andorra at visitandorra.com)
Presentation of the organising parish
Sant Julià de Lòria welcomes visitors the instant they cross over the border from Spain. Andorra is divided into seven political areas called parishes. This parish, also known as Laurèdia for the kindness of its residents, the “Lauredians”, lies in the south of the country. With a population of 9,000, Sant Julià de Lòria is an urban area with numerous small villages scattered across the surrounding mountains. It extends partly into the Valley of Madriu-Perafita-Claror, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site ten years ago.
We recommend the themed discovery trails offered by the Tourist Office and also a visit to villages such as Nagol, Bixessarri, Aixirivall, Fontaneda, Auvinyà, where you can discover hidden landscapes, both under the summer sun or blanketed in winter snow.
The town is already working on the preparations for the 9th World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism. The facilities at the Lauredian Cultural and Congress Centre will host this event in 2016 which, for us, is an extraordinary opportunity to share and discover new formulae for developing this kind of tourism.
One of the challenges for the World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism is to escape the seasonal bias in tourism.
Sant Julià de Lòria offers snow tourism, which was designed with a mission from the very start: cross-country skiing and an adventure park for all the family all year round, within the development of the Naturlandia project.
Since the mountain animal park opened, with brown bears, fallow deer, wolves and lynxes, it has become an unmissable destination for famílies or any visitor with a spirit of discovery. The opportunity to see these species in their natural environment, among the woods or swimming in the lake (in the case of the bears), captivates our visitors and is a special delight for small children.
But Naturlandia is much more. These are attractions that merge with nature to offer unique experiences and emotions, adapted to each user and based on their age or physical condition, whether you want to enjoy the landscape or have an intense adventure. As adventure circuits, Airtrekk and Tobotronc are unique. Organised into two areas by altitude: 1600m and 2000m, Naturlandia Park has plenty of complementary activities: horse-riding trails, ponies, quad circuits and many other proposals that you can find on the web.
Sant Julià de Lòria also has an outstanding collection of Romanesque art. Apart from their artistic and historical interest, the main sites, such as Sant Serni de Nagol (9th century), are nestled in surroundings of true natural beauty. This chapel can be reached on foot and offers guided tours to make the most of your visit. The Tourist Office, in the centre of Sant Julià de Lòria town, provides all information (www.santjulia.ad). There you will find many other suggestions for walking or cycling routes.
Although the extreme mountain temperatures and the altitude do not encourage agricultural diversity, some specialised farms have done a remarkable job in adapting to wine cultivation. They currently offer high-quality organic wines. You visit some of these vineyards: Casa Sabaté, Casa Beal and Casa Auvinyà. At the annual meeting of wine micro-producers in November, some forty European wine cellars producing artisan wines exhibit their products.
Fine cuisine and diverse leisure and sociocultural activities are available all year round in this town. The Tapa Route is on all week at Carnival time, with participating establishments – almost all of them – competing in ingenuity and cooking technique to win the public’s favour and the prizes that are awarded on the consumers’ votes.
There are many events organised by Sant Julià de Lòria to inspire the public: fairs, the Medieval Town, themed days centred on art exhibitions at the Tobacco Museum.
Added to all this is the regular theatre season – now in its 47th season in 2016 - art exhibitions, dance exhibitions and a troupe (esbart) that has been dancing for more than 50 years.
For this and many other reasons, Sant Julià de Lòria is the ideal place to spend a few days to disconnect from routines and enjoy a good time with family or friends.
Be sure to check out www.santjulia.ad where you will find up-to-date information on the leisure, sports, cuisine and cultural activities that fill the Lauredian calendar all year round.
Looking forward to seeing you!