Andorra comes as a real surprise for the casual backpacker. I expected not a lot from it, after arriving on the only road border with Catalonia and Spain and I left in awe of the place, loving the spot, so much to see and do and no small fish at all. I based myself in the town of Escaldes Engordany instead of the capital city Andorra La Vella and I found this to be a perfect place to explore the country from. The thing about Andorra is, it’s quite a bit bigger than you would imagine, but yet Escaldes Engordany and Andorra La Vella are beside each other – these two villages you just walk between them.
I stayed in the Hotel Residencia Nuria, which is a great budget hotel in Escaldes Engordany and I set out to see the main sights of the town. There is only really one backpackers style hostel in Andorra La Vella and that is called Barri Antic. What is interesting is that Andorra La Vella and Escaldes Engordany are two separate villages, which sit right beside each other. You also might not even recognise the difference! But on this post, I’ll mention only those top 11 sights that are actually in Escaldes Engordany itself. There is plenty here to keep you occupied. The town has 15,000 inhabitants and sits at an altitude of 1,050 metres above sea level. The national language of the country is Catalan.
This was one of my highlights from my time in Andorra. It is the largest Spa Complex in Southern Europe and is quite sublime! I loved it. Here’s my full report on my relaxing night in Caldea. You need to head here to chill out! It’s an amazing place.
2. Bridge of Engordany/Pont d’Engordany
There are a few well preserved and historic bridges in Escaldes Engordany. You’ll have time to see them all by walking – the Bridge of Engordany was destroyed by a flood in 1772 and has been rebuilt.
3. Roc del Metge Fountain
The Roc del Metge is quite incredible. This is a hot water fountain that springs up at a temperature of between 68 – 71 degrees Fahrenheit. The building over the Pont de la Tosca and Pont d’Edgordany are actually included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list, Andorra only seems to have one.
4. Sant Pere Martir Church
Andorra brims with idyllic churches and it packs a decent set on it. The Sant Pere Martir Church in Escaldes Engordany is probably the pick of them in this town. It was built in 1956 and dedicated to the wool carders in the textile sector of the Parish.
5. Art Centre
The Edifici Valira is currently used as an Art Centre and worth checking out. There is a curious blue cat over the entrance. The blue cat features twice in the village of Escaldes Engordany and sometimes tourists are challenged to find the other one.
The building also housed Andorra’s first ever cinema and flies the Andorra flag on the front.
6. Main Street – Avenguda Carlemany
The main pedestrian street Avenguda Carlemany gets lively on summer nights. Lots of good bars and restaurants are here.
7. Cross of Santa Anna
This cross is made of calcareous stone and is on Placa de Santa Anna, there is a relief of the crucified Christ on it, however the one you see is a replica, as in 1995 the real one was moved to the Art Centre to protect it from erosion.
Next you will ask did I go inside? I’ll be honest – NO. It didn’t interest me, and neither does perfume or aftershave but these days on this blog I try to cater for my readers and I know some of you would like the idea of the Perfume Museum which is on Carlemany Avenue and costs €5.
Art is the name of the game in quirky Escaldes Engordany and wandering the streets you pass lots of sculptures and statues. I won’t include them all on this list as there are so many of them to explore and admire. But the Mola has some significance. It is a millstone/mola which was used to grind wheat for bread making. It even has a park of its own Parc de la Mola.
10.The Nude Juvenile
You might think it odd or even a bit creepy to be snappy photos of a tennage girl in the buff, but sod all that. I hate all this politically correct garbage. We were born naked and some of the best paintings from back in the day were of people with their tits and willies hanging out. No shame in the body and no shame in admiring this sculpture. A beautiful bronze statue of a youthful girl in the park near the Mola.
This square reminds people of the shape of the Titanic. The ship built in Belfast, Northern Ireland has no relevance to Andorra but this is a square with a fountain and yet another naked girl – bronze and beautiful sitting in the pond.
I loved Escaldes Engordany and have included some more random photos from the town below, it’s a great place to explore and these 11 things are just a start.
Here are some videos from my time in Escaldes Engordany: