ANDORRA

Andorra has always welcomed all of its visitors. It boasts an exceptional quality of life and natural surroundings which enable its inhabitants to relish a unique environment. Approximately 80,000 people live in Andorra, with nationalities spanning all continents. In fact, only 32,000 inhabitants are Andorran. Everybody living in Andorra enjoys globally unique social peace and public safety. The respect for diversity has created a climate of social harmony, which allows freedom of worship and customs to coexist alongside respect for tradition and culture. The same occurs with regard to languages, where the official language, Catalan, lives beside others such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, English and, more recently, Russian.

The millions of visitors who come to Andorra every year to enjoy the wide variety of shopping, leisure and cultural activities discover a country that is becoming more and more flexible to the needs and demands of visiting travellers. For example, unlike other nearby countries, many business establishments are open from 9 in the morning to 9 at night, Monday to Sunday, 361 days a year.

The country offers unrivalled quality of life and well-being. The average age of inhabitants is 39 years old. The country has one of the youngest population pyramids in the world and one of the highest life expectancies in Europe: 82.3 years.

The healthcare system is made up of the public professional network and is accessed through registration to the social security programme called Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social (CASS). The country has a hospital and 11 health centres distributed throughout the main towns. The Principality has agreements with surrounding countries to share health services, emergency services, and medical records of Andorra, as well as blood and tissue banks. The changing economic model and the wonderful environment of comfort and safety will encourage future development of high quality, private medical and biomedical research centres in the country.

Well-being is also influenced, given the importance placed on hydrotherapy and the worship of health, through the most innovative therapies. Highlights include Caldea, the largest thermal relaxation centre in the south of Europe, or the extensive network of high-end spas and wellness centres stamped with Q for Quality accreditation. This standard of living is complemented by public safety, which is reflected in the crime rate, one of the lowest in the world, and the peacefulness of street life recognised and apparent to visitors and citizens alike.

Another of the country’s jewels is the rich formal education system, which allows parents to choose from three different education systems: Andorran, French or Spanish. All three education systems allow students to learn Catalan, Spanish and French, and to perfect English and Portuguese. Alongside these three systems, there are also various denominational schools (Col·legi Janer and Col·legi Sant Ermengol), as well as a private international school (Col·legi dels Pirineus). Students may also study professional training courses and adults have the Centre for Basic Adult Education available. 

For persons with disabilities, the Principality also has an exemplary center for special education - the Specialized School of Our Lady of Merichel (l’Escola Especialitzada Nostra Senyora de Meritxell), where they are given the necessary attention and support.

There are many opportunities for students to study tertiary education in the country. In the Principality, there is currently the University of Andorra, which offers on-site studies accredited according to the European system, and good distance training programs through the Virtual Studies Centre. Andorra has experimented with blended learning for different degrees and has implemented the use of ICT when training future generations. The country will extend its tertiary education system, given that the Open University La Salle is expected to be opened at La Massana, and the Faculty of Dentistry of Les Valls in the capital.

Culture is one of the distinctive features of the country. Over the course of the year, visitors can enjoy various periods dedicated to music and dance. The theatre also takes its place on the stages of the little country, with set seasons and various artists.

The museums and monuments scattered around the territory allow for journeys into the Principality’s history, while soaking up the country’s beautiful landscape. One of the most emblematic spaces is the Meritxell sanctuary, a contemporary temple designed by Ricard Bofill and opened in 1976. Art has also found its place, given that Andorra accommodates a large number of art galleries, such as the Escaldes-Engordany Art Centre and the Government’s permanent exhibition hall.

Artistic spirit is also passed on to the public. There are many musical groups, amateur theatre and dance companies emerging from a large number of schools, non-professional choirs and a whole range of groups which cover the traditions and culture of the Principality. All of this love for culture and art is represented by the professionals working outside of the country. One of the most well-known ambassadors is the National Chamber Orchestra of Andorra and its youth sections, including the wonderful voices of the National Choir of Young Singers.

The masters of cuisine attend numerous events, such as the Gastronomy Exhibition, and the country has more than 400 restaurants with world-famous chefs.

Sporting endeavours are also a part of our country. The main sport in the Principality is skiing, which can be enjoyed over more than 300 kilometers. Vallnord and Grandvalira are two ski fields that are absolutely designed for alpine skiing. Lovers of cross-country skiing will agree that La Rabassa is the ideal place.

International sporting events are also a part of Andorra, given that the country is a member of the International Olympic Committee. In this regard, Andorra has been the host of the Games of the Small States of Europe three times and is also a member of its committee. Moreover, the Women’s Alpine Ski World Cup tests are organized, and it has become a custom to almost always include Andorra as a compulsory stop along one of the stages of the Vuelta a España or the Tour de France.

Adventurers and lovers of nature will discover a paradise of sensations in the Principality, with tracks, quad tours, rock climbing gyms, high-altitude lake diving, via ferratas and an endless action-packed list of other possibilities, given that this incredible country is located in unmatched surroundings. Andorra’s unrivalled mountain terrain is made up of 65 peaks of over 2,000 meters high, two spectacular valleys which range from 2,942 meters at the Coma Pedrosa peak and 838 meters at the Spanish border. One of the many gems that adventurers can experience is the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

However, alongside this culture and world of adventure, visitors will discover the best professional services and very cosmopolitan business centres. Alongside experienced liberals, lawyers, economists, doctors, engineers, architects, designers, publicists, etc., one can find the best financial services: the country’s five financial institutions, with solvency indexes which are much higher than the European average, guarantee high-quality banking services and wealth management in the country.

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