Sara and John say...
Think ‘Pyrenees’ and there’s a pretty good chance that the mountainous image you have in your mind sits in Andorra. The jagged boundary between Spain and France makes this a year-round magnet for adventure seekers and sightseers. But, as with all mountainous regions, the weather can vary quickly in space and time. So be prepared!
Skiers flock to the winter resorts, such as Soldeu and Arinsal - safe in the knowledge that snow-cover is often more reliable than at some Alpine locations further east across Europe. Served by moisture-laden Atlantic weather systems, the slopes receive regular top-ups of the ‘white stuff’ in winter. Many days remain sunny, however; and, lower down the mountain, the capital, Andorra la Vella, enjoys milder temperatures. Most days are comfortably above freezing - even in the depths of winter.
Spring brings an erratic thaw to all but the highest peaks and passes. And by May, beneath blue skies, the lush mountains valleys boast an abundance of wild flowers next to gushing mountain streams.
Summer is often warm and sunny for weeks on end. In fact, despite the altitude, ‘hot’ is probably a better description of the conditions. At the capital, temperatures can nudge 30 Celsius at times. But the combination of heat, humidity and instability generated across the Pyreneean range, can culminate in quite dramatic summer thunderstorms. Such deluges are usually very brief; but they serve as a reminder that, when packing, waterproofs are an essential accessory for the summer visitor, as well as sunscreen!
The warmth mellows through the early autumn months and a chill begins to descend into the valleys, especially at night. But this is a great time for a quieter visit to Andorra. You my have the mountains all to yourself!
But with the first snows arriving by late October, it won’t be long before the slopes are teeming with winter-sports fans again!