We didn’t! Besides that Andorra is a tax haven, but it’s heaven in so many other ways too…
Andorra is a so-called Micro-state situated in the Pyrenees and bordering France and Spain. Not many people know more about the country than that. It’s like a silent European country. It’s never on the news because of some political scandal, you never hear about natural disasters in Andorra, and even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Andorra managed to lay low. So what IS this country all about?
Andorra is known for very low taxes and has often been considered a tax haven for a lot of companies and private persons. To be honest that was why we initially went there too: To buy cheap cigarettes on our way to Denmark.
But we fell in love with this amazingly beautiful country and if it wasn’t because it being so horribly cold in the winter, we could absolutely see ourselves getting old in this small country.
It has mountains (which we love), lots of work opportunities for Malthe (who is a carpenter) and everybody living there are really friendly and accommodating. What’s not to like? Besides the lack of beaches and sunshine of course.
A special country in many ways
Not only are the taxes in Andorra special, but there are a few other things too, like the fact that their currency is the Euro, even though Andorra is not a part of the EU. Actually, Andorra has never really had its own currency. Before 2011 when they adopted the Euro both Spanish Peseta and French Franc were used.
Another very special thing is, that since 1607 it’s been custom that whoever rules France is also co-prince in Andorra. This means that Emmanuel Macron is not only the President of France, but he is also the Prince of Andorra. You don’t hear him talk a lot about that, do you?
Police at the cafe
We haven’t really figured out, how Andorra is able to keep the whole country so clean and decorated with flowers, when the citizens obviously don’t pay so much tax. For us, those two things go hand in hand because we’re used to seeing hired workers cleaning up trash in the streets wherever we go, but not in Andorra. There is no trash in the streets. No burger wrappers, no empty bottles, no cigarette butts. Why is that?
We believe that the cause is happy citizens. When you’re respected by your leaders and feel that they give you something (in this case more of your hard-earned money), then you’re also more likely to give something back. Like not littering in the streets.
We also believe that it’s the reason why everybody look so happy all the time (They do!). They have nothing to be angry about and they feel respected and seen. We saw the police strolling in the streets of La Massana where we stayed, stopping for a cup of coffee at a cafe and actually having conversations with the people there. As if they didn’t wear a uniform at all. It’s like there’s no “them” and “us”.
We believe that this is the reason for all the smiles in Andorra, but if we’re wrong, please let us know.
Winter in Andorra
As we said it’s horribly cold in Andorra in winter, but for ski-lovers, snow-boarders, and others interested in winter sports, Andorra is heaven! It’s known for its ski slopes (more than 300 km of slopes!) and we have to admit, that Andorra looks absolutely amazing in the winter. This is not a painting or a postcard. This is how it actually looks in the winter. Stunning, right?
Other things to see in Andorra
Even though Andorra is small it has a lot to offer. Let’s mention a few things:
We’ve actually tried to get into the comic book museum in La Massana on several occasions, but somehow we always arrived outside opening hours or right before closing. It’s still on the bucket list though.
We’ve made this YouTube video, where you can see for yourself just how clean and beautiful Andorra is. It also includes a lot more Andorra facts and a restaurant recommendation (Yummy!)
Please go see Andorra
We’ve fallen in love with this Micro-state because it’s so much more than a tax haven. This tiny country is one of the most beautiful ones we’ve visited and even though it’s small, there’s enough entertainment to last for weeks. So if you ever get the chance to go to Andorra do it!