Visas for Andorra

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Visas for Andorra

Due mainly to the mountainous nature of Andorra, there is only one road entering Andorra from France, and only one widely-used road entering Andorra from Spain. Almost all entry into the country happens at one of these two points.

Visitors from outside the EU should note that Andorra is not a Schengen member, and exiting France or Spain into Andorra will (theoretically) terminate a single-entry visa. In practice, though, immigration does not enforce this.

Getting to Andorra

By Plane

There are no airports in Andorra, the nearest airports are:

Perpignan (France) 128 km to the east, no coach connections but you can take a Yellow train to La tour de Carol and further to l'Hospitalet.

Lleida (Spain) 157 km to the south, Lleida-Alguaire Flights from the UK only during the ski season, chartered by Thomas Cook Airport is 2.5 hours away from Andorra by bus. This airport was chosen in 2011 by the UK-Based tour operator "Neilson" to cater for tourists visiting the ski resorts. Flights arrive/depart on Sundays. For independent travellers, getting to Andorra from Lleida Airport can be difficult, as Montmantell bus company will leave you in Lleida town, a 20-minute taxi ride from the airport.

Toulouse–Blagnac (France) 196 km to the north. You can pre book a coach or a taxi from Toulouse Airport to all the resorts in Andorra with Andorra Airport Transfers.

Barcelona (Spain) 202 km to the south. Travellers will appreciate the frequent connections to Andorra from Barcelona town and airport.

(From airports to Andorra by car: 3 hours)

By Train

There are no train lines or stations in Andorra, and none close to the Spanish border. The nearest rail stations are:

  • L'Hospitalet (France) 3 km (1.8 mi) from the Andorran border. With SNCF to L’Hospitalet. From L’Hospitalet to Andorra by bus (regular service)
  • Puigcerdà (Spain) 80 km (50 mi) from Andorra.

That said, the French railway company, SNCF, operates a daily bus service TER Midi-Pyrénées line 22 Toulouse / Foix / Latour-de-Carol connecting the train station of L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre (also called Andorre-L'Hospitalet-SNCF or simply L'Hospitalet) to the first town after the Andorran border, the supposedly shoppers paradise Pas de la Casa, from where it's possible to take frequent buses to Andorra-la-Vella - every 30min with Cooperativa Interurbana line 4 (+376 806 556) or cia Hispano-Andorrana (+376 807 000).

From L'Hopitalet to Pas de la Casa, the journey with the SNCF bus costs €2.90 full fare, and all the regular SNCF discounts apply. For the scenic journey between Pas de la Casa and Andorra-la-Vella, the price is €5.60.

Alternatively, Hispano-Andorrana bus company runs services twice a day from the L'Hospitalet train station directly to Andorra-la-Vella, also calling at some other stops, for ±8€.

As of October 2010, reaching Andorra by train is only cost-effective for holders of SNCF discount cards such as Carte 12-25 or those coming with the sleeper train from Paris; other travelers would be better off taking a direct bus service from nearby cities like Toulouse. In any case, everybody under 26 years-old traveling off-peak hours with SNCF is entitled to the "Découvert 12-25" discount.

Caution: one should bear in mind that the L'Hospitalet train station is located in a deserted area, is often unmanned, and its rooms have restricted open hours, so it's important to match connections well. If you need assistance, you may want to call the Toulouse train station at +33 8 91 67 76 77.

By Car

Roads in Andorra are generally of a good quality. Entering from the Spanish side is a relatively straightforward drive; however entering from France is a more stressful affair involving many hairpin bends. Border control officers at both sides are generally fine. Entering Andorra, you generally do not need to even stop, but you must slow down and be prepared to stop if requested. When leaving Andorra, you must stop and be prepared for delays during busy times . Be sure your car is in good condition - Andorra has many steep roads at high altitude.

Also beware of black ice and snow drifts as the temperature in Andorra can be much colder than at sea level.

The approach from the French side passes through the 2.9 km-long Tunel d'Envalira which requires a fee payable by by cash or cred/debit card. The amounts are: winter (remainder of year)

  • Cars €5.60 (€4.80)
  • Others €16.70 (€10.70)

Winter is from 1 Dec-31 Mar.

Car rental - The usual car hire companies operate from Andorra la Vella / Santa Coloma; the desks are sometimes quiet and unmanned so it may be a good idea to book in advance online, your rates should still be good value.

  • From November to April, it is prudent to have winter tyres and/or snow chains available the car. In very snowy road conditions, cars without winter tyres or snow chains fitted may not be allowed to drive. This is often enforced by police checkpoints on access roads to the ski resorts and on mountain passes such as the CS-311 and the road above Pas de la Casa.

Drivers considered to be at fault in fatal accidents are always prosecuted and usually imprisoned.

Taxi - Taxi Josep provides a Mercedes Benz car and speaks many languages Tel: 376 323111; Taxi Domènec Segura provides a van but does not speak English or French tel: 34 636 490 685. Taxi Josep can arrange the ride with Taxi Domènec Segura if you absolutely need a van. Payment must be in cash.

By Bus

There are many coach services operating into Andorra. From France there is a coach service, Novatel from Toulouse at the bus station (Matabiau) as well as from the Toulouse–Blagnac airport. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure as the driver will leave once everyone who was waiting has boarded. The Novatel bus is easily identified by its name in large letters on the side. The bus stop at the Toulouse airport is close to where the fire truck is parked. A second coach service operates via L'Hospitalet and La Tour de Carol. From Spain, coaches to Andorra can be caught from a variety of locations, such as Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Lleida and Valencia.

There are at least 2 bus companies operating daily service from Barcelona airport. Eurolines goes from outside the door of Terminal B, but you must be early and quick because the driver has a habit of arriving early and driving off if no-one is there. Also you don't pay for the ticket at the airport, but travel to the Barcelona Sants and have to get off to buy a ticket. Service is slow. One should also remember that you will need to show your passport here. Trip time is about 3.5 to 4 hours.

Novatel also operates a service from the Barcelona airport, outside terminal 1 and 15 minutes later outside Terminal 2. €31 one-way or €52 for a round-trip (as of May 2012), tickets available on the official website or on the bus.

Autocars Nadal also travels between Andorra and Barcelona and its airport.

The bus company Alsina Graells has eight trips a day from Barcelona. The trip takes 3.5-4 hours and costs €23 one-way and €40 round trip.

Alsa has daily trips between Barcelona and Andorra.

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