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Taking a tour of both France and Spain is a one great way to see Europe. However, in between the two countries lies a detour well worth the visit, especially this winter. Skiing in Andorra offers numerous pleasures. For one, there is the opportunity to hit the rugged Pyrenees slopes. Another is to get away from the crowded Alps.
Andorra is nestled in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. The entire country comprises only 180 square miles, but its beauty is anything but small. The rugged territory makes for wonderful hiking and backpacking for most of the year, and is gaining reputation as an alternative ski destination to overcrowded resorts in France, Austria and Switzerland. Snow cannons guarantee snow coverage for more than half of the skiable region throughout the year, according to Ski Andorra, the official association of Andorra's ski resorts.
There are two main ski domains in Andorra, offering a total of 183 runs. Grandvalira is the larger of the two, with over 100 miles of skiable slopes. The other region is Vallnord, which has numerous adventure activities, including the opportunity to ride a helicopter to the top of the mountain for unparalleled skiing on fresh powder. Travelers can also ride snowmobiles, go snowshoeing and even take to the slopes with a combination of skiing and hang gliding.
Of the many resorts, Soldeu is the biggest and the best, according to CNN Travel. Families will probably get the most out of this resort, as it is largely geared toward beginning and intermediate skiers.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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