Let’s be real for a second, every country in the world is going to have great areas and some less desirable places to live. However, what you might consider the best place to live in Andorra may seem awful to someone else. Luckily, Andorra boasts plenty of excellent options; from small charming villages to upscale urban areas with bustling shopping centres.
With that said, it’s difficult to know exactly where in Andorra is right for you until you’ve lived here for a while. That means moving to Andorra generally requires a bit of trust and some home-based research. Without stepping foot in each village or town, how can you ensure you’re finding the best place for you? Well, before you come to live in our idyllic country, let us show you the ins and outs of every region worth calling home.
Our country has a lot to offer, but not every city or town is going to check all of your boxes. What may feel like home-sweet-home to some, might not suit another. Below, we’ve rounded up the most populated regions in the country (those with a higher population and more amenities) and the best villages and towns. At the end of this article, we hope you feel more secure in moving to Andorra.
Most Populated Regions
Andorra La Vella
Despite being the smallest parish in the principality, it is also Andorra’s most populated and busiest city. Many ex-pats and visitors find it an attractive option because it has everything you need in one area. If you’re someone who is coming from a large, crowded city, Andorra la Vella is the closest you will find to a modern hub.
With that said, Andorra la Vella is not going to have the same hustle and bustle of a city like Paris or Barcelona. It is quite peaceful and rather quiet most of the time. Only during certain seasons or on high-tourist days will the city actually become very busy. Still, if you crave the amenities of a city and more options for entertainment, Andorra la Vella might be right for you.
It is worth noting that if you want to buy property in Andorra la Vella, you’re mostly going to find apartments, townhomes, and condos. Of course, some villas and chalets are available, but they tend to go for a higher price. If you’re happy with renting, there are a myriad of options, they even have their own mountain views!
Where To Live In Andorra la Vella
Living in the city itself is a great option if you’re looking for more excitement and access to unique bars or restaurants. However, if you want the amenities of the city with a quieter life, we recommend the northern side of the town. This is a quieter region with great city views and a more relaxed feel.
Why People Love Andorra La Vella
- Despite its small size, this is a thoroughly modern city with shopping, bars, restaurants, and more.
- It’s a very walkable city, meaning you won’t often need to use public transportation or your own car.
- With plenty of festivals and events throughout the year, you’ll never feel bored or lacking in terms of community engagement.
Things To Be Aware Of
- Parking can be a hassle, so make sure to get a space with your rental or home purchase.
- The city can get overrun and busy during tourist seasons.
Given its close proximity to Andorra la Vella, many folks believe that Escalades-Engordany is simply a continuation of the capital. In reality, this is a great comu all on its own. If you’re someone who enjoys being surrounded by nature and great scenic beauty, this is a great place to live.
Escalade-Engordany actually contains a world cultural heritage nature park; it contains some 40,000 hectares of protected land. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a region offering more natural charm or beauty, while still offering access to a larger city. What makes this comu so great is that you feel connected to nature while still sharing a border with Andorra la Vella. That means plenty of options for employment, shopping, medicine, and entertainment.
Best Destinations In Escaldes-Engordany
Given that this comu is so entwined in nature, there really are no bad places to live in Escaldes-Engordany. Els Vilars is an especially popular area while La Plana provides some very affordable opportunities. Each boasts amazing views and close proximity to city amenities. If you want the best of both worlds, try giving these two spots a go.
Why People Love Living In Escaldes-Engordany
- Proximity to nature and city amenities.
- All of the same benefits of living in Andorra la Vella without all of the busyness.
- No shortage of events and festivals to keep you entertained throughout the year.
- A great community feel and respect for the natural world.
Things To Be Aware Of
- You may have to contend with Andorra la Vella levels of traffic during high-tourist seasons.
- Parking can be problematic here too.
Are you an active person who loves to engage in outdoor recreation? If so, the parish of La Massana could make moving to Andorra a dream come true. La Massana is a recreational hub, largely thanks to its proximity to Vallnord, a major ski and bike resort. Not into outdoor recreation? No sweat, there is still plenty of culture and fun to be had in this populated city. Whether you want to spend a day at a museum or sit down to a nice meal at an upscale restaurant, La Massana offers both.
Additionally, La Massana has a large English-speaking community. It is not unusual to hear people speaking English throughout the town, which can make it the best place to live in Andorra for ex-pats from America or another English-speaking country, since it makes for a much easier transition.
Best Locations To Live In La Massana
The ideal location in La Massana will of course vary based on what you’re looking for. If English is your native language, Arinsal in the north has a fantastic English community. However, if that’s not important to you, Sispony or Escas are both close to the city centre and while being far enough away from any tourism traffic. If you’re most into cycling or hiking, Anyos is a great location to rub shoulders with the pro cycling community and have access to great rides and trails.
What People Love About La Massana
- Large English speaking community for ex-pats from the UK and further abroad.
- Plenty of outdoor recreation in the form of skiing, cycling, hiking, and more.
- Modern amenities that rival more commonly known European ski villages.
- It’s safe and clean.
Things To Be Aware Of
- Does not boast a very charming “Main Street” environment if that’s what you crave.
- Traffic can be an issue at times, especially at the end of a busy ski day.
Sant Julià De Lòria
Not very keen on cooler temperatures? If it is a warmer-weather haven you crave, look to the southern comu of Saint Julia de Loria. Unlike its northern counterparts, this comu has warmer weather due to a lower elevation. It is also a mecca for those who love to shop, with some of the largest hypermarkets in the country.
If you’re looking for good education for your children, Sant Julià de Lòria has some of the best schools in the country. The public school is very progressive and the local community is quite welcoming to new residents. Additionally, families enjoy the adventure park of Naturlandiam which has sports and activities for people of all age ranges.
Best Destinations In Sant Julia
Where you choose to call home is going to depend on your needs and wants. With that said, we tend to recommend two quieter spots: Aubinyà and Aixirivall. Both are very quiet and idyllic natural locations, that are perfect if you crave a simpler kind of life.
Both locations afford something that can be difficult to find elsewhere in Andorra; space. The land parcels are much larger here. Though you’ll need a car to get around, neither is more than 5 minutes drive from the centre.
Why People Love Sant Julia
- Great school and a welcoming community feel.
- Borders Catalonia meaning closer proximity to Barcelona.
- Nearby the University of Andorra, something to keep in mind for when the kids grow up.
- Very easy to do your bulk food shopping nearby.
Things To Be Aware Of
- You will need a car to get around most parts of town.
- Less English is spoken here.
Best Areas In Andorra For A “Village” Lifestyle
Densely populated areas with large city centres can be a dream come true for some. However, if you’re someone who craves a more charming setting or a quieter life, you’re going to want to check out these areas with a bit more of a “rural” feel. Here, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite locations to call home. Let’s take a look.
Craving a quieter kind of life? If you want natural views, down-to-earth residents, and historical buildings, look to the village of Ordino. This is a charming place to live in, with beautiful lakes and plenty of opportunities to get outside. Ordino boasts a tranquil way of life rich with rural tradition without all of the hustle and bustle of city life.
With that said, living in Ordino does not mean sacrificing great restaurants or entertainment. You’ll find plenty of bars, bakeries, a gym and so much more. There are also multiple great schools offering both French and Andorran education systems. The only true downside is the lack of supermarkets, you will have to drive to La Massana for that.
Best Places To Live in Ordino
Ordino is a beautiful place to call home no matter which region you choose. If you’re looking for cheaper properties without sacrificing views, look to Arans and El Serrat. Just keep in mind that it does get quite cold during the winter months in that valley.
La Cortinada is another interesting pocket of Ordino and boasts a small but beautiful little golf course. Central to Ordino is extremely convenient but current prices are much higher, and rentals can be difficult to find.
Why People Love Life In Ordino
- Natural scenic beauty.
- Excellent cultural heritage and tight-knit community feel.
- Many small villages throughout the parish.
- Great schools, some nice restaurants and bars.
Things to Be Aware Of
- The parish gets very cold during the winter months.
- There aren’t any supermarkets in the parish itself.
Despite a relatively small population, Canillo is still the largest parish in Andorra. Given its size and lack of residents, this is a hub for tranquil living. With so much nature, you might think you have to sacrifice amenities. Not so, there is a great town right at the centre of the comu full of excellent services, making this one of the best Andorran villages.
Canillo is a place that has managed to find a great balance between tourism, farming, and heritage. You get the best of everything Andorra has to offer. There is boundless access to nature, yet there are still so many town activities to keep you engaged. If you’re looking for a town that has a little bit of everything, Canillo could be the perfect spot to live in.
Best Places To Live In Canillo
Canillo is full of great places to call home. Incles Valley is probably one of the most sought after locations, meaning prices can be through the roof. Ransol and Prats are also great places where one can find solitude without losing the convenience of being close enough to the action.
Why People Love Canillo
- Plenty of tourist activity to keep things interesting.
- Gondola access to a larger ski resort for outdoor recreation.
- A great mix of nature and amenities.
- Decent property prices and scenic views.
Things To Be Aware Of
- Traffic can be bothersome during tourist seasons.
- There are some especially cold pockets of Canillo.
Encamp has a higher population than the other two towns and villages mentioned on this list. However, it still has a small-town feel and is commonly seen as a more “working class” commune. Because of this, the town is typically way cheaper than other regions of Andorra. Even better, Encamp is a border parish with France and offers significant access to the Grandvalira ski resort.
Of all the Andorra villages, Encamp can offer you a nice comfortable life without sacrificing natural splendour nor opportunity. If you want a more humble way of life and a great community feel, Encamp could be the right place for you. We do consider it one of the best places to live in Andorra due to price, amenities, and overall access to recreation.
Nicest Places To Live In Encamp
Without question, the best place to live in Encamp is Vila. It receives direct sunlight all day long, which can greatly reduce heating costs. Combined with the peaceful nature that is easily accessible nearby, it’s a nice spot to put down roots. It is easy to get around, even in the winter months and though it is a premium location in Encamp, it’s still more affordable than other areas in the country.
What People Enjoy About Encamp
- Gondola access to Grandvalira Ski resort.
- Borders France.
- Welcoming community and small-town charm.
- Great services including schools, gyms, supermarkets, and banks without high prices.
Things To Be Aware Of
- The town of Encamp and Pas de la Casa can often feel quite busy due to a larger population.
- It does not have the historical charm of many other towns in Andorra.
Moving To Andorra
Choosing to make a move to Andorra can be a big decision, and knowing what you will want long term from a parish can be difficult. Hopefully, you’ll find somewhere to settle down comfortably without making huge compromises. In recommending our favourite places to live in Andorra, we tried to find something for everyone.
Even if you choose to go with one of the smaller Andorra villages or towns, you’re never far from a more urban area. That’s the beauty of Andorra. Since it is such a small country, you can have access to peace and tranquillity without sacrificing the amenities of living near a city. Additionally, there are plenty of work opportunities because Andorra has some of the best internet speeds in Europe, even in rural areas.
This means you can choose to work from home or be self-employed. No matter where you choose to settle in Andorra, we know you’ll find the experience unique. This is a country with so much to offer and plenty to explore. Whether you go with a larger modern city or a quaint historic town, you simply cannot lose.
Wondering where to live in Andorra? Let us help! We’re dedicated to helping you find the best places to live and work in Andorra. Contact us today for more information.