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The country is traversed by a main road which runs roughly north-east to south-west, along which most of the settlements are to be found. Many of these are villages or hamlets with Romanesque churches and houses built in the local style; others, off the main road, are even more unspoilt, and provide spectacular views across the rugged countryside. Andorra is one of the oldest nations in Europe, originally established by Charlemagne as a buffer state against the Iberian muslims. As a result of the Paretages of 1278 and 1288, control of the country was split between the Spanish Bishop of Urgell and a nominee appointed by the King of France (initially the Count de Foix) and subsequently by the French emperors and presidents.

Practical Information

Area: 467.8 km² (180.6 miles²)

Capital: Andorra la Vella. Population: 22 000

Population: 85,168

Currency: Although most currencies are accepted, the main currency in circulation is the Euro

Government: Principality under the suzerainty of the President of France and the Spanish Bishop of Urgel.

Tipping: Service charges are usually included in the bill. Porters and waiters expect a further 10%.

Time zone: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October)

Languages: Catalan

Additional descriptions

Andorra: Social customs

Normal social courtesies should be extended when visiting someone’s home. Handshaking is the accepted form of greeting. Dress is informal and smoking is very common; customs are similar to those of Spain.Read more

Andorra: Food and local specialties

Cuisine is mainly Catalan, and generally expensive. Quality and prices in restaurants are similar to those in small French and Spanish resort towns. Things to know: Alcoholic drinks bought in shops andRead more supermarkets are cheap (Andorra is a duty-free zone), but prices in bars can be high. They do, however, stay open late. The national specialties are: Coques (flavoured flat cakes). Trinxat (a potato and cabbage dish). Truites de carreroles (a type of mushroom omelette). Local sausages and cheese. A variety of pork and ham dishes.

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