It is believed that the Andosin tribe first settled in Andorra during the late Neolithic period. Later, in the 2nd century BC, the Romans conquered the area, which remained under their rule until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. Following this, Andorra came under the control of various Visigoth and Frankish kingdoms. During the 8th century, the region became part of the Marca Hispanica [Spanish March], which was established by Charlemagne, the Roman Emperor, as a military buffer zone to safeguard his empire against the Muslim-ruled territories of the Iberian Peninsula.
In the centuries that followed, Andorra was controlled by various feudal lords. In 1278, it was established as a co-principality with the bishop of Urgell and the count of Foix serving as co-princes. Nevertheless, the area around Andorra la Vella remained largely neglected until the twentieth century. In 1993, Andorra became a sovereign state, and formalized its first constitution. During this time, it also developed as a tax haven, leading to the construction of modern banking offices in Andorra La Vella.
Andorra la Vella, situated at an altitude of 1,023 m above sea level, holds the distinction of being the highest capital in Europe. Its charming cobbled old quarter, known as the Barri Antic, features beautiful Romanesque architecture and stunning mountain views. The city is also a favored destination for day-trippers from neighboring France and Spain, who come to enjoy its duty-free shopping facilities.
Despite its small size, Andorra boasts an incredible natural landscape that is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. In the winter months, the country transforms into a winter wonderland with excellent ski slopes and resort facilities that cater to both beginners and advanced skiers. Once the snow melts, Andorra’s high-altitude trails open up, and visitors can explore the beautiful mountain scenery on foot. From leisurely strolls to demanding hikes, there is a trail for every skill level, and the views are truly breathtaking. Andorra’s hiking trails are well-maintained, and the country has made a concerted effort to preserve its natural environment while providing excellent recreational opportunities for visitors.