Andorra - is it worth a detour?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Minxy Girl, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    We're currently in the French Pyrenees (crossed over today whilst doing a mountain road) and not far from the Spanish border and will be going back into Spain tomorrow, as we tootle along we'll pass within a few km of Andorra in a couple of days so ... is it worth a detour, is there anything there worth going for, or should we avoid it at all costs?

    Advice please!
     
  2. mustaphapint

    mustaphapint Funster

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    I think it's definitely worth a detour, especially if you avoid the tunnel and go via El Pas de la Casa. It's quite high with some sharp bends but a good wide road. The views are fantastic. Once you get near the centre of Andorra La Vella you might struggle to park a motorhome so you may want to carry on and drive through rather than partake in the shopping experience. You may have to queue a bit to get in or out, depends on how active the customs are feeling that day.
     
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  3. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Not done it for a year or two ,cheap booze n cigs etc wild camped by the ski lifts at pas del la casa and had spectacular thunder and lightning show with no rain ,Andora la ville very busy ,and hard to find parking .
    But as I said a year or two back .
     
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  4. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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  5. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    definately worth the drive as said scenery perfect . bit early to see the sking . but be warned dont take loads of french wine in or out . dont fill loads of fuel cans as customs both sides spain or france dont like it . buy a bit . have a good look around . its very pretty . i would do it every time i,m going that way . even the drive up is fantastic . might think your van is losing power the roads at times look flat but are steep. its still one of those drives you have to do.
    when you leave andorra on the n45 after awhile turn left on then250 there is a good park up as you reach martinet.https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@42.3...4!1sxntVNAik9U4ri1UNk6PNdg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
     
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  6. Fellraven

    Fellraven Funster

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    Arrive at afternoon, often queues to get out in the afternoon. Leave in morning when everyone queuing to get in.
     
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  7. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I was going to add miss it, we last went over 30 years ago, high expectations, but what a dive and we got food poisoning to add to the experience

    But I am strangely drawn back to check it out again, we don't smoke but do have the odd glass of falling own stuff :)

    will maybe give it another go (y)
     
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  8. Our Bumble

    Our Bumble Funster

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    We really enjoyed Andorra once we passed through Andorra La Vella and left the main trade route. Personally, didn't like the capital - difficult to park and felt very seedy and dirty.

    The moutains views and villages are really nice. We spent time in Ordino on a small aire attached to a spa complex. Ordino GPS Position: 42.555916, 1.532630. Beautiful walks, nice village and great spa. I cant remember the exact price of the day spa but think it was only about £10 and you could come and go as you pleased.

    El Serrat is nice this time of year. The drive to the top passed tobacco plantations was lovely and very scenic. Out of ski season, so we parked and slept at the bottom of the ski slope El Serrat GPS Position: 42.631840, 1.501141

    We drove over the peaks, Pas de la Casa and once again, stunning views.Pas de la Casa GPS Position: 42.540494, 1.718001. However, once over the top we didnt much care for the villages just full of duty free shops. Good for stocking up on cheap booze but not for staying over.

    Hope that helps and have a great trip whatever you decide x

    On route to Ordino

    IMG_3191.JPG


     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
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  9. Autowbars

    Autowbars Funster

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    Not worth the hassle, it is just a shopping centre.
    Views good on the road, I had to stop a few times to take them in.
    But no better than found elsewhere to me.
     
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  10. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I would say on balance you should go. The views are stunning, and you feel a bit adventurous visiting a place that sells you stuff without tax. So your a smuggler for the day lol

    The authorities can be a pain on the way out, checking every vehicle so there is no point buying more than your allowance

    If you go you will see what all the fuss is about and then, probably, like me you' ll say

    Been there, done it, wouldn't bother to go again
     
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  11. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    Went there last month on my way to Barcelona, didn't intend to but I was running low on diesel and fuel stations are few and far between and I knew there would be one there. The climb up was 'challenging' for my old van and she was getting a bit warm (I don't think the rad fans were working) so I drove through the tunnel, U -turned at the other end before the toll booths and drove back - lovely, cooled me and the van down.

    As for the town I was shocked - just a multi-coloured concrete shopping centre.

    The fuel station is past the 'town' set into the mountain side, diesel 86 cents a litre, staff very friendly.

    There was space to park with the other MHs but I'm not a shopper.

    No queues at the customs, not stopped going in or out (French side)... as for the views...the same as any mountain views and if your driving your mind should be on the road and getting your gear changes right on the way up!

    Oh and I carry a spare can of diesel now...
     
  12. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    Agree. And impossible to park a motorhome.
     
  13. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Been there once a month when I was a smoker and for years (Toulouse is about 165 kms from there), and I find the city itself ugly and dirty , which isn't helped by the roofs' colour, which is mainly grey.
    Of course the scenery on the way is stunning, like everywhere in the mountains.
    And it's worth a visit if you're a smoker or enjoy alcohol! But the number of bottles is limited just as the number of ciggies is.

    A few pin bents but coaches go there so if you have a reliable engine, it's fine. On your way down, don't forget you should use 1) same gear you went up in, and 2) use your engine brake.


    http://www.hola-andorra.com/arinsal/francais/douanes.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  14. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    There is quite a large aire near the town centre but takes a bit of finding, must be in some app or something because we found it, but that is a year or two ago.
     
  15. burtonbird

    burtonbird Funster

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    It's a campsite behind the sports stadium. Its got all facilities including restaurant, shop and indoor pool. Think it's in the ACSI book.
     
  16. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Thanks all for the replies, will discuss with hubby in the morning and decide whether to bother or not - neither of us smoke, I don't drink and hubby doesn't drink a lot so not sure if its worth the 'hassle' or not for a bit of cheap diesel (saving swallowed up the the detour anyway) and a bit of cheap booze especially as the allowances are on the low side anyway ...

    http://www.andorramania.uk/duty-free-allowance-andorra/
     
  17. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    Snap must be done but once is enough
     
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  18. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    do it
     
  19. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    the drive up is worth it .
    just drive slow look around . shame its not closer to being snowy . but forget the not so nice parts . the scenery alone is worth it .
    there is cheap fuel just inside the border on the right .
    but its not about cheap anything its about looking at the scenery.
    been doing it since first going there with my parents in the early 60,s . the switch backs give you loads of views of the way from every angle . its like being in the italian job .
    go slow enjoy the drive .
    i only buy fuel on the way through but still love the views .
    you will love it . i,m sure.
     
  20. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    We're at La Seu d'Urgell in Spain, just south of Andorra, so the road we'd be going in on is the N145 - is this a good one?
     
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