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Overview and General Information

Andorra - Overview and General Information

Population: 70,549 (July 2005 est.)
Capital: Andorra la Vella
Language: Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese
Currency: euro (EUR)
Timezone: GMT+1

The Principality of Andorra is a Sovereign State with its own Constitution as of March 1993, and a democratically elected Government as of December 1993. Andorra's main attraction to the foreigner investor is its status as the most complete tax haven in Europe.

Of the total of 72,000 forming the resident population of Andorra, 26,000 are true Andorrans or hold Andorran passports, 27,000 are Spanish, 4,000 French, 9,000 Portuguese and the remainder other nationalities of which around 1,000 are British.

The visitor enters Andorra from the south at St. Julia at 908m and from the north at Pas de la Casa 2,095m. Other towns of note are: Andorra la Vella 1,005m, Canillo 1,528m, Encamp 1,279m, La Massana 1,232m, Ordino 1,298m and Soldeu 1,844m. Andorra includes one of Europe's most beautiful areas of mountain scenery where the peaks tower to just under 3,000m. The Envalira Pass at 2,408m is the highest pass in Europe which is open all year.

In a country where a high proportion of the land area is little disturbed by man and the extensive marginal farming is spared from herbicides and pesticides, the flora is highly varied and rich in species. Botanists, ornithologists, photographers and artists from all over Europe are drawn to the Principality every year. From 950 to 1,150 different Andorran plants have been catalogued. From the tourist point of view the acres of wild daffodils, narcissi and gentians in spring and the hillsides rose-pink with rhododendron ferrugineum in early summer are memorable sights. Capercailzie, golden eagles, bee eaters, kites and hawks delight those who walk the mountains. They may also catch a glimpse of wild boar and the shy chamois, or isard as it is known in Andorra.

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