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Andorra - Getting There
Vast capital expenditure is being made in the region of Catalonia including the building of the Trans-Pyrenean highway between Barcelona and Toulouse. The possibility of regular air services between these two cities and Seu d'Urgell, the airport for Andorra, is under active consideration and it is likely that Andorra's accessibility will be improved out of all recognition within the next four-five years. At present visitors are faced with three main alternatives:
Road (from the UK)
From the Channel ports to Andorra, depending on the route chosen, is between 590 and 753 miles. Many motorists choose a morning Channel crossing and drive two thirds of the way through France, spending the night en route and arriving in Andorra for lunch next day. The RN20 from Ax-les-Termes to the Andorran border is tortuous and can be difficult in January when the Envalira Pass (2,408m) may require chains or 4WD. The route from Barcelona is 220Km and represents a two and a half to three hour car journey, depending upon whether you choose the route via the Cadi Tunnel or via Pons.
Currently there are four flights a day (British Airways and Iberia) operating out of Heathrow (3) and Gatwick (1) to Barcelona where either a hire car or a seat in a minibus or public share-taxi can be arranged. Ryan Air operate a very cheap and cheerful service between Stansted and Carcassonne or Perpignan. EasyJet operate an efficient 'ticketless' service to Barcelona from Amsterdam, Berlin, Bristol, Geneva, Liverpool, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Newcastle and Paris. Alternatively, there are flights to Toulouse (British Airways and Air France) where either a hire car, bus or rail connection can be made. The distance from the airport is 195 Km, a car journey of two and a half hours.
The train takes twenty-four hours from Victoria Station (London) via Paris and Toulouse to Hospitalet, where the early morning train from Toulouse is met by a bus travelling into Andorra la Vella. This route involves a Channel Tunnel crossing or using Eurotunnel from London Waterloo or Ashford (Kent) for UK visitors.
If visiting try to avoid the peak tourist times, as traffic in and out of the Principality can be congested and hotels booked solid. High season periods are: Christmas, New Year, Epiphany, Easter, August and Diada de Nostra Senyora de Meritxell (the national religious festival on 8th September).
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