Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a sovereign micro-state in southwestern Europe. Its territory is organized into seven parishes, with a total population of 76,177 inhabitants. It has a territorial extension of 468 km² and is located in the Pyrenees, between Spain and France, with an average altitude of 1,996 m
With more than 1,000 years of history, its legacy has shaped over the centuries the cultural heritage that we can find today in its towns and valleys.
Some advantages of living in Andorra
- Saving: Living in a country where the first 24,000 euros (~27.951,24 USD and ~ 37.238,18 CAD) are tax-free.
- Nature: To live surrounded by nature, without noisy traffic jams or oppressive rushes.
- Internet: Living in the first country in the world 100% fiber optics
- Internationalization: The majority of the population is trilingual (Spanish, French, and Catalan) or quadrilingual (Spanish, French, English, and Catalan).
- Less bureaucracy: Live without stress and stop wasting time on issues that only generate headaches
Andorra enjoys a high mountain climate with Mediterranean influences. Winters are cold with heavy snowfall, summers are hot. The average minimum temperature is -2 degrees and the maximum is 24 degrees. Rainfall in the form of snow is frequent and rain is concentrated between the months of May and October
Catalan is the official language, although the diversity of its population means that other languages are also present, such as Spanish, French, Portuguese and English
The Andorran economy is based on trade and tourism, which represent 60% of the global economy. The third economic axis of the country is finance.
Its currency is the Euro
Skiing in Andorra
All winter sports lovers dream at some point in their lives of skiing in Andorra.
It is one of the best places for skiing, whether you are a beginner, a snowboarder, or a walker. It is a good place to initiate children in the white sport and, therefore, its facilities are designed to accommodate those who want to ski with the family.
Andorra has two major ski resorts, Grandvalira and Vallnord. They are two immense stations that together add up to more than three hundred kilometers of skiable slopes.
Grandvalira Ski Resort
Grandvalira is located in the eastern part of the Principality of Andorra. With 128 slopes of different levels of difficulty and 210 km of skiable terrain, it is the largest ski resort in the whole of the Pyrenees and southern Europe.
It is organized in 6 sectors: Canillo, Soldeu, Pas de la Casa, Encamp, El Tarter and Grau Roig. Between the towns of Encamp and Pas de la Casa, there are access points to each of them, most of which are adapted for people with reduced mobility.
Although it is organized in sectors, the Grandvalira pass is unique for the whole season without limits.
All its slopes are between 1710 m and 2640 m, which guarantees that in winter you can find quality snow for almost the entire season. Moreover, if this is not enough, more than half of its slopes have artificial snowmaking.
In addition to the traditional green, blue, red and black slopes with their corresponding lifts, it also has a 12 km cross-country skiing track, 4 competition stadiums, 4 snow parks and 5 themed children’s areas.
Vallnord ski station
Vallnord is located in the western part of Andorra.
This ski station was formed by the union, in 2005, of what were initially two different ski stations: Pal Arinsal and Ordino Arcalís.
The merger into a single ski station, unified the entire ski area that extended through the valleys of the parishes of Ordino and La Massana, although each station has maintained its own initial characteristics.
In total it has 93 km of skiable area distributed in 70 ski slopes.
The station has a total of 3 sectors: Pal and Arisal, which are connected to each other by cable car and; Ordino Arcalís, which is not connected to the previous ones.
Due to the lack of communication between the Ordino Arcalís sector and the Pal and Arisal sectors, there are two types of passes, one for Ordino Arcalís and another for Pal Arisal. As you can imagine, Pal and Arisal have different accesses from those of Ordino Arcalís
The slopes of Pal and Arisal are between 1150 m and 2560 m. It is one of the most beautiful areas for skiing in Andorra, as a large part of its slopes run through a pine forest.
The slopes of Ordino Arcalís are between the heights of 1940 m and 2625 m, with artificial snow in 47 km of its tracks. It must be taken into account that Ordino Arcalís is oriented towards the northeast, which means that the snow stays there for some weeks longer than in other areas.
Andorra offers a wide variety of active tourism activities, including hiking. Thanks to this sport you will be impregnated with nature, discovering incredible places and going into the secrets of the mountains. The itineraries extend throughout the entire territory and the number of options is very extensive since there are three natural parks in the country, one in the Sorteny Valley, another in the Comapedrosa Valleys and, finally, one in the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valleys, a park that was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004.
A bicycle-friendly country
The attraction of our cycling routes is not only in their routes, but also in their surroundings. Open your eyes wide while doing stages like these because the beauty of the landscapes will compensate for the suffering of your legs.
One of the disciplines that can be best practiced in Andorra is road cycling.
Despite being a small country in terms of surface area, Andorra is very big in terms of cycling: it offers kilometers of real quality, both for road biking and mountain biking lovers. It also has a network of establishments offering all kinds of services for cyclists, as well as products that are always useful. Repair stores, bike rental stores, hotels especially catalogued for cyclists… No wonder we are the favourite place for elite professionals to train and for many families to practice this sport with their children!
Our country’s paved roads are not only in perfect condition, but they are also steep enough to put your legs to the test: with ramps of over 8%!
Passive residence in Andorra
Over the past few years, relocation to Andorra has become a growing trend. Among other attractive reasons, the principality’s favorable fiscal policy has also helped to attract more and more retired executives. Not only does the country offer wonderful mountain views, many activities in nature, security, and a high life expectancy, but it also offers its retirees an attractive fiscal framework and an interesting location, in the center of Europe.
The passive residence is another of the most popular ways to move to Andorra, the term “passive” refers to that it does not authorize to work, unlike the “active” residence that does authorize to work.
This way is thought for retired people, renters or people who have a great patrimony and want to move to Andorra without having to set up their company here.
This type of residence requires a strong investment in “Andorran assets” and also requires living in the country.
How much capital do I need to have to carry out this investment?
First of all, it is necessary to invest 350,000 euros (~407.557,50 USD and ~ 543.027,57 CAD) in “Andorran assets”, this can be: public debt, real estate, shares in Andorran Investment Funds or Andorran SICAVs, mainly.
In addition to this investment, you must constitute a deposit of 50,000 euros ( ~58.221,75 USD and ~ 77.565,05 CAD) which you cannot dispose of with the Andorran Financial Authority. If you come accompanied this deposit is increased by 10,000 euros ( ~ 11.644,35 USD and ~ 15.515,00 CAD) extra for each person in your charge.
In addition to this capital, is it necessary to prove anything else?
That’s right, to move to Andorra by this route you must prove that your annual income is over 300% of the minimum wage in Andorra (currently 1083.33 euros per month) (~1.261,52 USD and ~1.680,81 CAD) and you must add an “extra 100%” for each dependent.
In other words, if you move to Andorra together with your spouse, you must prove that you have an annual income of more than 400% of the Andorran minimum wage, that is, more than 52,000 euros (~60.567,52 USD and ~80.692,04 CAD) per year.
As you will see, this way of moving to Andorra, without having to set up your company, is reserved for large estates that can “live off the income” without any difficulty.
Is it necessary to reside 90 days a year in Andorra?
If you are thinking of establishing yourself in Andorra through this route and you only want to spend 90 days and pay your taxes here, I am sorry to inform you that this does not work that way.
Let me explain: one thing is a fiscal residence and another is administrative residence. It is true that residing 90 days in Andorra will renew your passive residence but not that you can pay your taxes in Andorra.
Let’s say that one thing is the “administrative residence”, that is, the permit that allows you to live in Andorra and another very different one is the “fiscal residence” which is the criterion that determines where you pay your taxes.
Is anything else necessary?
If you comply with the most relevant requirements that the Government of Andorra requires to establish yourself in Andorra as a passive resident, the rest is irrelevant.
For example, you will need to take out health insurance to cover you in case of illness, present your certificate of a criminal record, and, if you have children who move to Andorra, certain documentation from them.