PICK OF THE WEEK: Andorra (Pyrenees)

Main places:

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

PICK OF THE WEEK: Monday, 20th – Sunday, 26th August, 2018


Monday, 20th August at 19:30h in the Plaça Coprínceps, Escaldes-Engordany. (Free) Musicians of the World: 34th Festival of the Colours of Music with Ngomez Nokass, All the power of Senegal, with Sabar drums, djembe goblet drums and tamas talking drums. A hurricane of sound, a frenetic rhythm and the energy of African dance.

Monday, 20th August at 21:30h in the Church of Sant Pere Màrtir, Escaldes-Engordany. (Free, with a collection.) Organ Festival 2018. José Luis Echechipía & Jesús Gonzalo López with Views to the south: Iberian baroque music from the 17th and 18th century on organ and spinet. José Luis Echechipíaand Jesús Gonzalo López are two great communicators from the current organ world. They will offer a unique programme in which organ and spinet converse, either with music conceived originally for two keyboard instruments (pieces by Father Antoni Soler), or with organ music arranged by the instrumentalists for this duo performance, thus following the Baroque period’s typical coexistence of keyboard instruments. In the second section, the musicians will interpret three batalles, a characteristic genre typical of Iberian keyboard music, known for its diversity of musical expression, including improvisational passages. In addition to presenting the instrumental repertoire, the performers, in an attempt to make the show more comprehensible, will invite the audience to participate percussively in some pieces.

Tuesday, 21st August at 19:30h in the Plaça Coprínceps, Escaldes-Engordany. (Free) Musicians of the World: 34th Festival of the Colours of Music with Les Smiths: A French Tribute. An eclectic work that allows you to discover the discography of the legendary English group, The Smiths, which marked the international pop-rock scene of the 80s.

Tuesday, 21st August at 19:30h in the Plaça de la Rotonda. (Free) Rhythms, Capital Music with Fair Play in a tribute to Stevie Wonder. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening during August there will be performers of different styles of music and dance, livening up the Av. Meritxell shopping area.

Tuesday, 21st August at 22h in the Casa Cristo ethnographic museum, Encamp. (Free) Casa Cristo with Dolce Corda: Alexandre Arajol and Jordi Albelda. Arajol is an Andorran musician, a violinist and member of ONCA, always busy with classical music programmes and a broad orchestral experience. He also plays in various chamber formations offering a varied repertoire of concerts. Jordi Albelda, violinist and music institute teacher, has been a member of the ONCA and several chamber music groups. He currently combines teaching with concerts. The duo hope to entertain the audience with a classical repertoire set in a relaxing atmosphere.

Wednesday, 22nd August at 19:30h in the Plaça Coprínceps, Escaldes-Engordany. (Free) Musicians of the World: 34th Festival of the Colours of Music with Patxi Who is he? Patxi Leiva is an artist. You sense this from the first moment he comes on stage. His personality is his style.

Wednesday, 22nd August at 21:30h in the Plaça Major, Ordino. (Free) 22nd Nits Oberts (Open Nights) with the band,Els Pali. Els Pali started performing in January 2016, when, shortly after arriving in our country, Miguel Palacios, artistically known as ‘el Pali’,uploaded some of his home-made recordings to the Facebook Musicians group of Andorra. David Amat, music teacher at the Andorran School, contacted him, and the band took its first steps as a duo with Pali as voice and guitar and David on percussion and saxophone. Their debut concert was in the Youth Festival contest organized by the Comú of Andorra la Vella. They have performed in the last two editions of Jambo Street Music,  and also participated in the solidarity event: Noses for Refugees, a charity concert held to raise money for Syrian refugees, by selling red noses with the object of buying essential hygiene materials. Musicians: Miguel Palacios, Toni Fernàndez, David Amat.

Wednesday, 22nd August at 21:30h in the Church of Sant Pere, Pas de la Casa. Encamp in the Key of Light: White Heaven Vocal Group. Six micros and six voices.The White Heaven Vocal Group are six a cappella voices that sing gospel, pop, swing, bossa nova, samba, jazz … The show lasts between 60 and 85 minutes and is full of laughter, surprises, vocal effects, body percussion, choreographies … They interpret their own songs plus more or less well known cover versions with tailor-made arrangements by Bobby McFerrin, such as Aint no Sunshine and Don’t Worry Be Happy. With space for interaction with the public, the sound of vocal sextet White Heaven leaves no one indifferent.

Wednesday, 22nd August at 21:30h in the Church of Sant Iscle & Santa Victòria, La Massana. (free, with a collection) Festival Orgue&nd 2018 with Ester Ciudad. Organ & pianoforte: Views from the organ to the pianoforte. With this programme, the keyboard specialist, Ester Ciudad, invites us to look at the differentiated repertoire of the organ and the pianoforte. From the very origins of music, composers have been interested in the study and development of sound. This interest has led to evolutionary processes in all the instrument families. Among the four qualities of sound, the different degrees of intensity was, in the 18th century, the last to reach the keyboard instruments. It was during this period that the pianoforte was born, an innovative instrument that allowed the pianist to change, voluntarily, the sound’s intensity. The possibility of interpreting, in a keyboard instrument, different intensities generated by both mechanical and the direct action of the interpreter and not by the changes of registration characteristic of the organ and harpsichord, opened up an endless number of compositional and interpretive possibilities. The programme includes compositions by Johann Christian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer and Felix Mendelssohn.

Wednesday, 22nd August at 22h in the Museum of Moto, Canillo. (Free Places limited. Advanced booking essential at 853 444) Summer Nights at the Museums with the Pic Negra Quartet. The group is made up of four musicians who interpret to perfection the most emblematic standards of swing-jazz.

Thursday, 23rd August at 19:30h in the Plaça Coprínceps, Escaldes-Engordany. (Free) Musicians of the World: 34th Festival of the Colours of Music with Red Rombo. Rock-and-roll classics with influences from country and rhythm-and-blues so you won’t be able to stop dancing.

Thursday, 23rd August at 19:30h in the Plaça de la Rotonda. (Free) Rhythms, Capital Music with Mariachi Mestizo. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening during August there will be performers of different styles of music and dance, livening up the Av. Meritxell shopping area.

Thursday, 23rd August at 20h in the Plaça del Quart de la Massana. (In case of bad weather, the concert will take place at the Teatre de les Fontetes.) Summer evenings: ‘Oh welcome authors!’, a concert with Jordi Botey. The concert consists of popular themes that reflect the story of the author’s song in Catalan, musically adapted for the occasion and featuring Quico Pi de la Serra, Pau Riba, Joan Manel Serrat or Maria del Mar Bonet amongst others. On this occasion, Jordi Botey will be accompanied by the musicians Lluis Parisé on piano and Oscar Gutiérrez on guitar.

Thursday, 23rd August at 20:30h at Andorra Park Hotel, Andorra la Vella. (55€ for dinner and concert. Reservations: +376 877 779 or [email protected]).

Concert series of La Pergola Piano Jazz: Luca Sestak & Johannes Niklas (piano and percussion) Toni Caus (Poet) and Xavier Cornella (DJ).  When Luca Sestak uploaded his first piano videos to Youtube aged 11, he probably didn’t expect the thing to go any further. 12 years and 16 million views later, things have moved on. Forming a duo with drummer Johannes Niklas, they set alight the platforms where they play. How do they do it? They fill the scene with classical, blues, jazz, funk and pop music – and  they sound good. What comes out is their own style. When the rhythm seizes the audience, Chopin has learned to play the blues and The Animals’ House of the rising sun becomes a lively theme. This is not what one expects at a piano concert, these guys rock! Luca Sestak received classical piano training from a very young age and in 2008 he won First Prize in the Youth Plays Music piano soloist competition in Germany. Two years later, he recorded his first album, Lost in Boogie, followed, after awhile, by the second, New way. Today, the Luca and Johannes programme contains mainly compositions in which they express their own unmistakable style.

Thursday, 23rd August at 21:30h at ARTALROC, Escaldes-Engordany. Summer nights at the museums + FeMAP (Festival of medieval music of the Pyrenees). Concert of the group Hirundo Maris: La Rosa dels Vents (The Rose of the Winds) with Arianna Savall and Peter U. Johansen. Arianna Savall and Petter U. Johansen came together in 2009 to form the Hirundo Maris group, specializing in early music from the Middle Ages to the Baroque period. Their creative core is Mediterranean and Nordic music, alternating traditional music with their own compositions, creating for each piece an atmosphere of a thousand reflections perfectly defined, with the constant Mediterranean and Nordic warmth that is part of the musical heritage of Hirundo Maris. On this occasion, La Rosa dels Vents symbolizes the four musical cardinal points explored by the group: ancient music, traditional music, own compositions and free improvisation. Programme: Works by Masefield, R. Alberti, T. O’Carolan, C. Monteverdi, L. Ruiz de Ribayaz, H. du Bailly, S. de Murcia. Played by Arianna Savall (soprano, medieval harp, triple baroque harp); Petter Udland Johansen (tenor, Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, cister – a medieval stringed instrument resembling a lute but with a flat back.) Miquel Angel Cordero (colascione – a plucked string instrument with a lute-like resonant body and a very long neck, double bass.) David Mayoral (percussion).

Thursday, 23rd August at 22h in the middle of the football field of Prada de Moles, Encamp. Encamp in the key of light: Jordi Barceló. Jordi Barceló is considered one of the musicians par excellence in Andorra. Pianist, composer and pedagogue, he directs the Valls del Nord Music School, where he teaches classic, modern and jazz piano.He combines this work with the musical direction of the band Grossband de la Massana, composed of thirty musicians, as well as personally performing concerts around the world. In this recital he will combine his music with images of the Encamp’s heritage.


Friday, 24th August in the Plaça Major de Soldeu, Canillo. (Free no time given.) Dancing of the Quadrille of Soldeu.


Monday 20th – Thursday, 24th August at 20:10h at the Cinemes Illa Carlemanya, Escaldes-Engordany. (over 18s only) The Equalizer 2 (2018). Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Starring Denzel Washington,  Pedro Pascal,  Ashton Sanders. The Story: Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?


Monday, 20th August at 15h in the Plaça de l’Església, Pas de la Casa. (Free) Summer afternoons at Pas de la Casa. ‘La cuca de mil colors’ (The Cuckoo of many colours).

Tuesday, 21st August at 18h in the Prat Gran, Encamp. Summer afternoons at Encamp: with a foam party and disco. A really fun foam bath party which all the children can enjoy. Pop music will ensure that the party is well received and above all that children and parents can dance together in the foam.


Tuesday, 21st August at 21h starting from the museum Casa Cristo. (free, advance reservation essential. Call 833 551) Visit the heart of la Mosquera and Casa Cristo. Discover the corners and history of a small, traditional Andorran neighbourhood. The visit will end with live music in the streets.

Wednesday, 22nd August at 19:30h throughout the village of Santa Coloma, Andorra la Vella. (Pre-booking and ticket sales at the Tourist Office of Andorra la Vella, tel.(+376) 750 100) ‘La santa, el rus i el comte. (The Saint, the Russian and the Count’ – in Catalan.) A dramatized visit to the village of Santa Coloma. Three representative people of the town will guide us, during an unusual visit, through the singularities of the town, on a route that will review the most fascinating moments in the history of Andorra.

Thursday, 25th August from 21h starting from the Guard House of Engolasters Lake, Encamp. (Free. Booking of places:+376 739 111or [email protected] We recommend that you bring a flashlight and a folding chair.) Night visit to the Engolasters Lake and hydroelectric way and the telling of legends (in Catalan) by Assumpta Mercader. Engolasters Lake is full of mysteries and legends, including the story of the lake that eats stars.

Friday 24th and Saturday, 25th August at 21:30h at the Iron mine in Llorts, Ordino. (Tickets and prior booking obligatory on tel.(+376) 878 173.) A night visit to the Llorts iron mine and the Iron Way. Visit the interior of an ancient, 30-meter-long iron mine, walk along the Iron Way with headlamps and discover an outdoor sculpture exhibition. It is recommended to wear a headlamp. Approximate duration two hours and 30 minutes.

Saturday, 25th August at 20h at the Historic Centre of Andorra la Vella. (Prior booking and sale of tickets at the Tourist Office, Andorra la Vella. Tel 750 100) Don Francisco de Zamora. A dramatized visit to the Historic Centre (in Catalan) with Don Francisco de Zamora who will explain his Andorran adventures and who will transport us for a few moments to Andorra at the end of the 18th century.

Saturday, 25th August at 20h in the museum Casa Rull, Sispony. (4€ for children aged 4 to 12. They must be accompanied by an adult whose entrance is free.) El Conte de l’Ona i la Laia. Un viatge a l’Andorra d’abans. (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, 25th August at 9:30h and at 13h leaving from the entrance to the Madriu-Perafita-Claror valley on the Carretera de la Comella, Escaldes-Engordany. (5€ – children free. Limited places. Advanced booking essential at [email protected] or 823 000. Pay at the start.) A visit to the Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley to observe the fauna. Leaving on the circuit of Les Fonts, we will follow the Matxos path until we reach Ràmio, there to discover the valley’s fauna.

Saturday, 25th August at 10h in the Arinsal parking. (For more information ring 837 111) Making a hotel for insects.

Saturday, 25th August at 11h to Sunday, 26th August at 12h at the Comapedrosa Refugi, La Massana. Come and enjoy a unique experience in the natural park of Comapedrosa accompanied by plastic arts, performances, music, audio-visuals, literature, dance… Prices: Pass for the Refugi: 50€ (includes supper, night lodging, breakfast and a souvenir from the festival.) Places limited. Reservations by phone 327 955 (Margaret) or [email protected] Pass for Camping: 10€ (includes a souvenir from the festival, call in at reception.) Pass up and down: free + the will to climb up and down! (Includes enjoying the Festival).

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 ...