When people contemplate a visit to Europe, they most often think about touring the well-known nations of France, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy. Far fewer prospective tourists give much thought to the smaller nations. Indeed, they may never have heard of countries such as Andorra, a small landlocked nation surrounded by Spain and France. This is a shame because Andorra and other tiny nations have as much to offer as do the more famous tourist destinations.
Andorra is the sixth smallest country in Europe with a land area slightly over 180 square miles; its population is less than 100,000. Many tourists find they can easily converse with residents there because although the official language of Catalan is not well known outside Spain and Andorra, most people in Andorra also speak Spanish, French, or Portuguese.
Andorra is not currently a member of the European Union, but the euro is used throughout the nation a de facto currency, meaning that visitors staying in Andorra vacation homes will not need to switch currencies if they cross the border into France or Spain. More than ten million people visit Andorra every year, with the tourist trade representing 80% of the nation's GDP. One of the biggest draws to Andorra is the rugged, mountainous terrain. Because of its location in the Pyrenees mount range, Andorra is a country of peaks and valleys punctuated by occasional natural hot springs. Facilities such as the Caldea spa in the Escaldes-Engordany parish provide guests with pools filled with the mineralized water.