PICK OF THE WEEK: Andorra (Pyrenees)

Main places:

Andorra la VellaEscaldes-EngordanySan Julia de LoriaLa MassanaOrdinoEncampCanilloPas de la Casa

PICK OF THE WEEK: Monday, 10th September – Sunday, 16th September, 2018

BEWARE: The Vuelta d’Espanya cycle race hits Andorra next Friday 14th and Saturday, 15th. Try to keep off the roads and away from the Spanish frontier.

Friday, 14th September – Saturday, 15th September. La Vuelta d’España 2018 (2018 Tour of Spain cycle race.) The Vuelta d’España is known of old in Andorra, where it has created days full of excitement. In this year’s edition, we will again enjoy the greats of cycling. On Friday, 14th September, Naturlandia (level 2,000m) will host the finish of the 19th stage (Lleida-Andorra, 157 km). And, on Saturday, 15th September, the Principality of Andorra will be the venue for the 20th Stage, which will be played out in full on our roads.

This is the penultimate stage of the 73rd edition of La Vuelta, with the start at Escaldes-Engordany, and a route of 105.8 km and almost 4,000 meters of positive difference. Bicyclists will have to overcome the ports of Coll de la Comella (on two occasions), the Beixalis pass (also twice), the Coll d’Ordino and the Coll de la Gallina to reach the Sanctuary of Canòlich, and the finishing line. After three weeks of bicycling and 3,000 km travelled, the Andorran stage will be filmed and broadcast worldwide in this edition of the Vuelta. The race, one of the three most important on the international calendar, together with the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, began in Malaga on the 25th August and will end in Madrid on 16th September. The 2018 edition of the Vuelta consists of 21 stages, with about 3,270 km of course including 40.7km of individual time trials and 46 on mountain passes – with two days of rest.

All times are approximate and refer to first riders.
A car with red flags will indicate the start of the pack and a motorbike with green flags will signal that the whole pack has passed.

FRIDAY: Cross Spanish Frontier: 17:06. Naturlandia – level 2,000m, St Julià. Expected time of first crossing of the finishing line approx. 17:40h. (The road will be closed 3km below the finish. There will be a free bus service from the crossroads of C. de La Rabassa and la Peguera to the finish line. Bus service 11h –15h and 18:30h– 20h. Warning: there could be big delays for those hoping to get away after the race. SATURDAY: Escaldes-Engordany. 13h – 15h Opening of the ‘village’, gathering of the teams and controls of the riders. Departure: C. Veedors, Escaldes-Engordany. 14:55h – Start. 14:56h¬ – Andorra la Vella. 15:03h – Coll de la Comella. 15:27h – Coll de Beixalis. 15:49h – Ordino. 16:06h – Coll d’Ordino. 16.44h – Coll de Beixalis. 17:13h – Coll de la Comella. 17:40h – Coll de la Gallina. Finish at the Sanctuary de Canòlich, St Julià. (The route to Coll de la Gallina will be closed from Bixessarri.)


Friday, 14th September at 23h at the cafe teatre La Fada Ignorant, Andorra la Vella. Concert a la Fada: Paco Cifuentes.

Saturday, 15th September at 22:30h at the cafe teatre La Fada Ignorant, Andorra la Vella. (Advanced booking: 10€. On the day: 12€) Concert a la Fada: Bruno Sotos. Bruno Sotos presents his new album, A la sombre de tu luz (In the Shadow of Your Light )’, twelve songs, four of which were released on an EP last year by Sony and Blau. The creation process began more than a year ago with the multinational forming the base for projecting the musician into the American market. The American tour will begin in Mexico, with an agency specialized in Spanish singer-songwriters. Until now Sotos felt more comfortable alone, with guitar or violin, allowing the most melancholic and sincere side of the songwriter to emerge. Now, with the current disc, he explores his wildest side, more electronic, pop and more danceable.

Saturday, 15th September at 19h in the Era de Casa Rossell, Ordino. (Free but reservation essential. Ring 844 141) Summer Nights at the Museums. ONCA Bàsic. European Heritage Days. Mozart and Brahms discovering the clarinet. In this programme: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Quintet in A major and Johannes Brahms’ Quintet in B minor we present two main pieces of the chamber repertoire for the formation of a string quintet with a clarinet. In both cases, the compositions were the result of encounters with clarinettists, whose performances motivated WA Mozart (1756-1791) and J. Brahms (1833-1897) to give a leading role to an instrument they knew but which so far they had not devoted much attention to. Besides these two quintets, and as a result of these same encounters, Mozart wrote his only clarinet concerto for orchestra, and Brahms both his sonatas for clarinet and piano. The clarinet adds naturally to the well-known homogeneity and flexibility of the string quartet, thanks to its rich and versatile sonority creating sounds of great beauty and emotion. Musicians: KINTET. Míriam Farré (clarinet); Joel Bardolet and Gabriel Coll (violins); Josep Bracero (viola); Daniel Claret (cello).

Sunday, 16th September at 12h in the National Auditorium, Ordino. (Free) Concert de Meritxell – Músiques de la Mediterrània with the JONCA (The National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Andorra) Director: Gerard Claret. Invited director: Yannis Papaioannou, who will interpret music using the Greek oud and bouzouki as well as the violin.

Friday, 14th September at 20h in the Museum Casa d’Areny-Plandolit, Ordino. (Tickets on sale at the door. For children aged 4 to 12. 4€ per child. They must be accompanied by an adult whose entrance is free.) Últim estiu a Ordino (The Last Summer in Ordino. The Story of Ona and Laia. A journey into Andorra’s past – in Catalan) Ona and Laia are two sisters who, while their parents nap, quietly draw and sing. Without knowing it, everything Ona draws and Laia sings will become reality. And this will start an unexpected adventure: a trip into Andorra’s past. We meet Peter, a boy who will show us old Andorra, explaining some of the customs, legends, traditions and ways of living from the olden days, and who will make the girls value what they have and learn more about their little country.

Saturday, 15th September at 23h at Prat del Roure, Escaldes-Engordany. (7€ for non-members of Balland. Free for members.) An evening of ballroom dancing accompanied by the Banda Sonora

Friday, 14th September at 18h at the church of Santa Creu, Canillo. Mass followed by refreshments.

Monday 10th to Thursday, 13th September at 19:30 at the Cinemes Illa Carlemany, Escaldes-Engordany. La Promesse de l’Aube. (In French with Spanish subtitles.) Directed by Eric Barbier, Starring; Charlotte Gainsbourg , Pierre Niney , Didier Bourdon. The Story: adapted from **Romain Gary’s autobiographical novel in which he recalls his Jewish childhood in Poland, his exodus with his family to the south of France to escape the consequences of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and as a pilot for the Free French Airforce based in Britain during the Second World War.

Saturday, 15th September from 16h – 18h in the Public Library, Pas de la Casa. Workshops in preparation for the Catalan Junior Scrabble Championships aimed at children and young people aged 7 to 14. The comú is offering training sessions for the junior users of the library, on Saturdays 15th, 22nd and 29th September and 6th, 13th and 20th October so that they can practice with the words and become familiar with the rules of the game before the Championships.

From Thursday, 13th September – Monday, 17th September based in Canillo. The World Mountain Running Championships will be held in Andorra for the first time from September 13 to 17, 2018. Canillo will be the host city/parish where, on September 16th senior citizen’s races will depart from Plaça del Comú (females, 10h & male 10:15h) and from Grandvalira Mon(t) Magic in the case of the juniors (departure girls, 9h – guys, 9:15h), to finish at the Cap del Forn in both cases. The 40 participating countries from around the world will arrive in Andorra from 13th to 14th September and will be in the country until Monday, 17th. More than 350 athletes will compete in Andorra’s mountains, thus making Canillo’s World Championships the race with the most participants in its 34 year history.

This year, the championships will be disputed in “vertical.” mode. (Each year the they alternate between “up & down” and “vertical”.) The Andorran Athletics Federation is organiziing this competition with the support of the WMRA and the IAAF. The opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the press conferences, briefings and meetings, will be held in Canillo, with the Palau de Gel as the centre.

Culturally yours,



Look for about the author of the blog Clare Allcard

See also Andorra travel guide

See also Pyrenees travel guide

See also France travel guide

See also Spain travel guide

Read more: What to do today? Cultural events in Andorra with Clare Allcard ...