In our journey to visit all countries we once again combined our biking passion to check off Andorra which is getting more and more famous as a biking destination. Plenty of professional cyclists can be spotted on the roads. Some even live in Andorra like Julian Alaphilippe and Simon Clarke. Also a lot of female riders like Annemiek van Vleuten are training in Andorra. The road quality is very good and the panorama’s are magnificient.
Andorra has really invested in biking tourism. The roads are awesome! Futher, all climbs have nice signs on the top and every kilometer you have a sign with percentage for next km and how far you still have to climb to reach the top. And when you pay attention, you spot very frequently professional cyclists training.
During our trip we decided to conquer the 21 official climbs which led us to 520 kilometers with 16.000 altitude meters. Strava tracks:
- Port de Cabus (11) – Estacio D’Arinsal (12) – 52 km – 1596 altitude meters
- Port d’Envalira (18) – Port d’Envalira (5) – Col d’Ordino (2) – Arcalis (8) – 121 km – 3365 altitude meters
- La Comella (19) – La Comella (21) – Engolasters (20) – Els Cortals (4) – 62 km – 2135 altitude meters
- Coll de la Gallina (17) – La Peguera (14) – 80 km – 2559 altitude meters
- Col d’Ordino (7) – El Forn (1) – Coma de Ransol (3) – Collada de Beixalis (6) – 75 km – 2272 altitude meters
- Coll de Gallina (15) – La Rabassa (16) – Certers (13) – 73 km – 2635 altitude meters
- Collada de Beixalis (9) – Estacio de Pal (10) – 42 km – 1322 altitude meters
Biking several days in a row can get you sore muscles. That’s why I decided to take a sports massage on day 3. Luckily there are plenty of possibilities in Andorra. I selected Amma Massages in La Massana. A 60 minutes treatment of mainly the legs had a cost of 70 euro. It was with cold and hot stones, suction cups and plenty of other stuff. It was as expected quite painfull, but the next day my legs really felt well. I can advise you such reward and I can also highly recommend Amma Massages.
As we stayed in La Massana, our focus was obviously on restaurants in the immediate area. We also decided two evenings to eat spaghetti in our appartment. Mainly after our queen stage, we felt too tired to spend some time out eating. Prices in the restaurants are comparable with Belgium standards.
Very small pizzeria with very friendly service and excellent pizza’s. Nothing much more to say. We went back a second time as we liked the place and deserved some nice pizza after a long ride.
Located near the tennis and padel fields you find this special restaurant. The interior is retro and it has a huge collection of old objects. All tables and chairs are different and the combination of both makes this a very cozy and pleasant restaurant. Next to that, the food was delicious. This is a must visit when you are in La Massana. A reservation might be needed during busy periods. Outside of peak period we were able to easily obtain a table.
La Cantina dels Racons
We spotted this place, which is a kind of chalet during one of our bike rides. The parking was fully loaded which is often a good sign. Luckily we arrived quite late after our welness experience and there was a table free. The food was delicious and we really recommend this place.
Located on the second floor you find this large pizzeria. We went there on our first evening and didn’t want to spend too much time to find something as we were starved. Only later we discovered this is in fact a chain of restaurants. The service was fast and friendly and the food was ok, but it’s not something special.
A small and cosy place which is ideal to eat something small after a bicycle ride. We had some great toast and cheesecake. Friendly service and they have a small terrace. It overlooks the main street of La Massana and we spotted 3 to 4 professional cyclists while sitting outside.
After a couple of days of biking, a rest day is always welcome. Caldea is a spa resort which was built in 1994 and with it’s 6000m² it is one of Europe’s largest spas. We paid 37.5 euro per person for a 3 – hour entrance ticket. The lady offered us an upgrade to the adult-only area for 16.5 euro. As we didn’t had the impression there was a lot of people, we friendly declined the offer and went with regular tickets. You can also rent bathrobe and towels. Parking can be found directly under the building, but please take into account that the height is limited to 1.90m. Parking during our stay was around 6 euros.
Once entered a friendly lady helped us to convert our on-line reservation into bracelets that we could use to enter the area and to store our clothes into a locker. With Corona still active, you receive a mask in terry cloth. You have to ware it in the entire area. Only in hammam and sauna it was a little annoying, but for the rest we survived. There is a big indoor swimming pool where you have some jacuzi’s in height. From their you can also have access to the outdoor area.
A guided tour can be followed which exists out of 6 steps. You start with a foot bath with warm and cold water. After you can go to hammam which was not that good. I would not really call it a hammam as the experience was nothing like that. After a cold bath you can continue to some kind of massage shower which was not too special. Some were even broken and not functioning as they should. Finishing off you can go in 2 different sauna’s with different temperature. These were nice. It was not that crowded during our visit and most parents with kids stay in the swimming pool anyway.
Although we didn’t went for the adults-only area there is still an area on the 2nd floor which has limited access to adults. There you can find plenty of other wellness experiences like small sauna’s, outside jacuzi’s and the Aztec bath where you walk few rounds countercurrent with some stones on the floor. One special experience was the bath with floating grapefruit. The smell was nice, but I doubt on the real benefits. There is also a hammam which is really nice. Make sure you don’t miss out that one.
Before we knew our 3 hours passed by and we really had a nice afternoon. So when you are in Andorra, make sure you don’t miss out Caldea.
The oldtimer museum of Andorra gets really nice comments so we decided to visit the museum on our rest day. The entrance fee was 5 euro, which is a fair price. The building has 5 floors full of cars and there are also some bicycles and motorcycles. There is some audio guide, but we didn’t really use that one. We only admired the beautiful cars. Our visit lasted for around 45 – 60 minutes. Off course you can spend way more time in there, but although we like cars, we are not car freaks 🙂