PICK OF THE WEEK: Andorra (Pyrenees)

Main places:

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

PICK OF THE WEEK: Monday, 23rd July – Sunday, 29th July, 2018

Tuesday, 24th July at 20h in the church of Sant Miguel de la Mosquera, Encamp. (Free but prior booking required by phone (+376) 844 141.) Summer Nights at the Museums. ONCA Basic, Year of European Cultural Heritage: Variations with the Trio Goldberg. Programme: Johann Sebastian Bach: The Goldberg variations. Some say that Count Leipzig Keiserlink had a personal harpsichordist called Johann Gotlieb Goldberg. The Count wanted Goldberg to study with JS Bach to improve his skills. It seems that Keiserlink suffered from insomnia and asked Bach to write a piece that his student could play to him at night. He thought that a subject with variations would be ideal to listen to in small segments during his wakeful hours. So, every night, Goldberg played one of the variations as if it were a story. It seems that this tale is probably apocryphal. Be that as it may, what has come to us is a magnificent piece composed of an initial aria followed by 30 variations that conclude with the same aria from the beginning. Although sources say the work was not much appreciated by Bach himself, since a subject with variations was a form that he was not used to, Glenn Gould, in 1955, made a recording that popularized it until it became recognised as one of the masterpieces of the great Baroque composer. The musicians of TRIO GOLDBERG: Francesc Planella (violin);  Laia Capdevila (viola); Mireia Planas (cello).

Wednesday, 25th July at 21h in the church of Sant Martí de la Cortinada, Ordino. (Free – no booking required.) 22a Open Nights: Cycle of ONCA Basic: TRIO GOLDBERG (See above.)

Thursday, 26th July at 20h in the Plaça del Quart de La Massana. Summer evening with Lizard. The Andorran band, Lizard, was born between the parishes of La Massana and Ordino at the end of 2017. The group plays cover versions of songs from different musical styles, though mostly pop and rock. Depending on the occasion and tastes of the members of the group, their versions come from styles as diverse as Juanito Makandé, Amy Winehouse, Radiohead, Vetusta Morla, David Bowie and Coque Malla. The Musicians: Albert Reyes (classical guitar); Dani Ortolà (Electric guitar); Albert Ferrer (double bass); Joan Carles Sampietro (drums); Marta Verdes (vocals).

Thursday, 26th July at 20:30h at the Andorra Park Hotel, Andorra la Vella. (55€ for dinner and concert. Reservations:
Tel. +376 877 779 or [email protected]) Concert series La Pergola Piano Jazz: Stefano Bollani. It’s once again time for the traditional Summer Thursdays that fill the Pergola de l’Andorra Park Hotel with jazz – or jazz piano to be exact. This year, La Pergola Piano Jazz links poetry and jazz, and showcases Andorran poets who are inspired by jazz. They are the ones in charge of selecting the music that will be heard during dinner before the concert which will start around 22h. Stefano Bollani (piano); Toni Caus (poet); Xavier Cornella (DJ). Stefano Bollani is a composer, pianist and singer. Much of his career he has been accompanied by musicians of the calibre of Gato Barbieri, Chick Corea, Bill Frisell, Bobby McFerrin and Pat Metheny. He has also recorded 16 albums with trumpeter Enrico Rava, has performed with symphonic orchestras from all over the world, has collaborated with Italian pop-rock artists and has even written novels and featured in radio and television shows! His solo piano sessions are not concerts in the traditional sense, with a pre-established program, but instead pays homage to the art of improvisation. A fast-paced trip that can veer from Bach to the Beatles and Stravinsky to Brazilian rhythms, with sudden intermissions in the world of popular music or in the Italian repertory of the forties. An unpredictable medley in which virtuosity, sensibility and irreverence are mixed.

Thursday, 26th July at 20:30h at the restaurant L’Ovella Negra, (Black sheep) Cta del Vall d’Incles, Canillo. Shuffle Express: the concept of pure blues in one of the most naturally beautiful settings in Andorra. A concert of blues in various styles (swing, rock, shuffle…) cover versions of classic and contemporary blues artists such as BB King, Eric Clapton,. Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Joe Bonamassa, Susan Tedeschi & Jr. Watson, with some compositions by the band themselves. Musicians: Pablo Villar (vocals & guitar); Virginia Yañez (keyboard & vocals), Marc Milian (double bass & sound), Dante Falótico (drums).

Thursday, 26th July at 21h in the guardhouse of Lake Engolasters, Encamp. (Free but pre-booking essential +376 739 111 or [email protected]. Recommended to bring a flashlight and a folding chair. I presume this will leave from the FEDA electricity museum but suggest you confirm when booking. CA) Summer Nights at the Museums: a night tour of the hydroelectric path to Engolasters followed by a concert with Jordi Claret (ONCA) & Landry Riba. Put a double bass and a cello together. Let one start and wait for the other to add to the invitation … Add effects, looped phrases and structures, play around with improvisation and let yourself be carried away. An unconventional, fresh adventure that has just been born by these young musicians … “environmental improvisation” are the words that best defines this project!

Thursday, 26th July at 22h on the outside of the Sports Complex,, Encamp. Encamp in the Key of Light: Llum (Light) with Líquid Dansa & Likantropika. Llum is a multidisciplinary show that combines live music, mapping and screening, vertical dance and performance. It will be a live concert of about fifty minutes in an urban setting that will awaken the sensations of the spectators. The live music of Likantropika and the explosion of colours in its audiovisuals projected on to the outside of the sports complex will invite you to a sensory journey through light. Líquid Dansa will give shape and movement to each of the musical notes of Likantropika through vertical dance on the facade of the building!

Friday, 27th July at 23h at the cafè teatre La Fada Ignorant, Andorra la Vella. Concerts a la Fada: Mateólika.
Saturday, 28th July at 23h at the cafè teatre La Fada Ignorant, Andorra la Vella. Concerts a la Fada: Estef & Mike.
Sunday, 29th July at 18:30h at the Lake Engolasters, Encamp. Summer Nights at the Museums – FeMAP – Pyrenaeus Ensemble. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons + work by C. Farina. In 2016, FeMAP created their own production centred around one of the most popular works of the baroque repertoire, The Four Seasons by the Venetian, Antonio Vivaldi. The collection of the four concerts for violin, string and continuo, which Vivaldi wrote around 1723, was an obvious subject for the Festival. These Four Seasons are, without a doubt, the most Pyrenean ones ever performed. The production was commissioned by Joan Espina, a violinist from Lleida, who is surrounded by a powerful group of instrumentalists specializing in historical interpretation. Musicians:

Joan Marsol, Oriol Algueró, Irantzu Zuasti, Roger Junyent, Cecilia Clares & Anna Urpina (violins).
Albert Romero & Jordi Armengol (violas)
Guillermo Turina & Vavier Roig (cellos)
Mario Lisarde (double bass)
Rafael Bonavita (theorbo)
Eva del Campo (clavichord)
Joan Espina (violin & director)

Thursday, 26th July at 21h in the Centre de Congressos, Andorra la Vella. (Tickets 38€ or, for groups of 12 or more, 20€) . Swan Lake with the Moscow Ballet. The story: Prince Siegfried sees a magnificent swan, as he takes aim the swan turns into a beautiful woman. This is Princess Odette. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet Swan Lake is brought to life by The Moscow Ballet with their graceful Choreography and arrangement by Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov & Anatoly Emelianov.

Thursday, 26th July 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) Summer Nights at the Museums: ‘La santa, el rus i el comte. (The Saint, the Russian and the Count’ – in the 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.

Friday, 27th July at 20h in the Museum Casa Areny-Plandolit. (Tickets on sale beforehand at the museums: Automobile, Casa d’Areny-Plandolit, Casa Rull, Farga Rossell & Casa de la Vall or at the door on the night. Summer Nights at the Museums: Últim Estiu a Ordino. (Last Summer in Ordino) a dramatized visit in Catalan. Whilst doing some research, Joan Peruga came across the correspondence of Sumpta, one of the daughters of one of Andorra’s most distinguished characters, Don Guillem d’Areny-Plandolit. This was the trigger that led him, in 1998, to publish his first novel, Últim Estiu a Ordino, inspired by this family saga. 20 years later the An-danda-ra theatre company, with the collaboration of the author and the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture, made a theatrical adaptation of the novel.

Saturday, 28th July at 20h in the Historic Centre of Andorra la Vella. (pre-booking and ticket sales at the tourist office of Andorra la Vella tel.750 100) Summer Nights in the Museums: Travel through History and Legend a dramatized visit, in Spanish, to the old quarter that recreates the adventures of three characters who flee from the authorities and take advantage of the presence of a group to camouflage them and cross the streets together. You will discover houses, streets, legends and other stories.


Until Tuesday, 31st July at the Peixera annex to the government Gallery ARTALROC, Escaldes-Engordany. The Peixera (‘goldfish bowl’ because of its glass walls) has been converted into a space for interchange, action and experimentation where everyone has a place: children and adults, professional artists and amateurs. During this exhibition we will offer body painting workshops: the body will be the canvas on which new landscapes will be drawn and, at the same time, there will be a brush with which new textures will be painted – and much more. There will be dance and painting performances, drawing workshops, performance photography workshops and painting on skin. Monday 23rd, at 18h a performance by Emma Regada and Jordi Ribes. Thursday, 26th a performance by Emma Regada and Emma Riba.


Festa Major OF Ransol, l’Aldosa i els Plans
Wednesday 25th – Thursday, 26th July
All day in Ransol, Canillo.


Tuesday 24th – Friday, 27th July

TUESDAY: 11h Peeling of church bells and lighting of firecrackers. 11:05h Grand Trabucada through the streets of the parish by the Trabucaires (men carrying/ firing blunderbusses) of the UPTEE (Unió pro-tourism of Escaldes-Engordany) announcing the Festa Major 2018. 11:15h Parade through the streets with the Drum Beat accompanied by the Pubillatge of Escaldes-Engordany 2017 – 2018 (young heir and heiress elected annually) and the Trabucaires of the UPTEE. Leaving from: plaça de l’Església, av. Carlemany, av. de les Escoles, c. del Prat Gran, av. Consell de la Terra, passatge de l’Arnaldeta de Caboet, av. Carlemany, c. del Valira, mitjavolta, av. Carlemany, passatge de l’Arnaldeta de Caboet and c. dels Veedors. 12h Inauguration of the Witches’ Market in the passatge de l’Arnaldeta de Caboet. 13h Inauguration of the food trucks in the c. dels Veedors. 17h Children’s Magic Show with the magician Mag Ferrer in the Plaça Coprínceps. 18h – 20h Radio Festa Major organised by the young people of the parish in the Veedors parking. Interviews, Music and much more. Followed at 18h by Festival of the colours “Holi Party”. ‘Envelopes’ will be on sale for 2€. 21:30h Hamburgers for all, 3€, in the Veedors parking. Followed at 23h by a session of Flaix Andorra with Bruno Demato & Marc Montalvo. 01h Closing of the Witches’ Market.

WEDNESDAY: 9h Mass in honour of the patron of d’Escaldes-Engordany in the chapel of Sant Jaume. Breakfast offered by UPTEE. 11h Opening of the Witches’ Market in the passatge de l’Arnaldeta de Caboet. 11:30h Performance of Follet Krakort in the Witches’ Market. 12h Day of the Tourist in the Plaça Coprínceps. 12h Opening of the food trucks in the c. dels Veedors. 13:30h Performance of “l’Home Arbre” in the Witches’ Market.

16h –19h Children’s inflatables in the c. dels Veedors. Also at 18h Foam Party. 18:30h Distribution of coca sweet cake and chocolate to the children in the Veedors parking. 18h Performance of Follet Krakort in the Witches’ Market. 18h Grand afternoon concert by the Orquestra La Principal de la Bisbal at Prat del Roure. 19h Zumba Class with Paula Calvo, at the Plaça Coprínceps. 20h Performance of “l’Home Arbre” in the Witches’ Market. 20h Havaneres (sea shanties) with Caball Bernat and distribution of burnt rum at the Parc de la Mola. 22:30h Performance of “Bufon amb Malabars, foc & música” (Bufon with jugglers, fire and music) in the Witches’ Market. 23h Night time dance with Orquestra La Principal de la Bisbal at Prat del Roure. 23h ‘Fluor party’ with DJ Christian Hook & DJ J.Luis in the Veedors parking. 01h Closing of the Witches’ Market.

THURSDAY: 11h Opening of the Witches’ Market in the passatge de l’Arnaldeta de Caboet. 11:30h Performance of Follet Krakort in the Witches’ Market. 12h Opening of the food trucks in the c. dels Veedors. 12h Mass of Santa Anna in honour of the patron of Escaldes-Engordany in the Church of Sant Pere Màrtir, with the assistance of the Authorities, the Pubillatge 2017-2018 and the folkdance group, Esbart Santa Anna. 13h The traditional dance of Santa Anna in the Plaça Santa Anna, with the traditional Catalan Cobla Orchestra, Cobla Vents de Riella. 13:30h Aperitive of Santa Anna in the Plaça of Sant Pere Màrtir, offered by UPTEE. 13:30h Performance of “l’Home Arbre” in the Witches’ Market 16h –19h Children’s inflatables in the c. dels Veedors. 18:30h Distribution of coca sweet cake and chocolate to the children in the Veedors parking. 18h Performance of Follet Krakort in the Witches’ Market. 18h Grand afternoon concert by the Orquestra Marvella at Prat del Roure. 19h – 21h Workshop, exhibition and performance of burning the falles (fire balls/brands) by the Fallaires (far brand carriers) d’Escaldes-Engordany in the Parc de la Mola. 20h Sardana dancing with the Cobla Vents de Riella in the Plaça Coprínceps. 22:30h Performance of “Bufon amb Malabars, foc & música” (Bufon with jugglers, fire and music.) in the Witches’ Market. 23h Night time dance with Orquestra Maravella at Prat del Roure. 23h Concert of Els Catarres in the Veedors parking. 01h A session with the DJ PT and the closing of the Witches’ Market.

FRIDAY: 12h – 15h EE-Play tournament of videogames of the Festa Major. (Clash Royal & Fifa 18) in the Espai Jovent d’Escaldes-Engordany. Inscripcions aquí. Confirmation of inscriptions the same day from 10h – 12h. 11h Opening of the Witches’ Market in the passatge de l’Arnaldeta de Caboet. 12h Opening of the food trucks in the c. dels Veedors.16h – 20h Continuation of the EE-Play tournament (see above) and prize-giving. 16h –19h Children’s inflatables in the c. dels Veedors. 18:30h Distribution of coca sweet cake and chocolate to the children in the Veedors parking. 18h Grand afternoon concert by the Orquestra Rosaleda at Prat del Roure. 19h Exhibition of Taekwondo by the Gimnàs Seung Yont at the Plaça Coprínceps. 23:30h Magnificent firework display for the end of the Festa Major. 23:45h Night time dance with Orquestra Rosaleda at Prat del Roure. 24h Concert commemorating the parish’s 40 years of existence by the Efecto Pasillo in the Veedors parking. 01h closing of the Witches’ Market. 02h Session with the DJ JAM

Saturday 28th and Sunday, 29th the Witches’ Market and the Food Trucks will be open in their usual places.


Friday 27th – Sunday, 29th July
(the Internet link isn’t working at the moment. Hope to bring more information in Wednesday night’s Update.)


Monday 23rd – Thursday, 26th July at 20:15h at the Cinemes Illa Carlemany, Escaldes-Engordany. Mamma Mia. Directed by  Phyllida Lloyd. Starring:  Meryl Streep,  Pierce Brosnan,  Amanda Seyfried. The Story: Donna (Meryl Streep), an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile Sophie, the spirited bride, has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother’s past in hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on her big day.


Monday, 23rd July at 15h in the Plaça de l’Església, Pas de la Casa. Summer afternoons in Pas de la Casa with a Foam Party and Disco. (Free) A fun party in which all the children can enjoy a big foam bath while popular music makes sure that the party is welcomed by everyone and that the children and their parents can dance in the foam.

Tuesday, 24th July at 18h in the Prat Gran, Encamp. Summer afternoons in Encamp – La Cuca de Mil Colors (‘The cockroach of a 1,000 colours’ – OR?? Cuca has several meanings. It can also mean pesetas and also has two cruder meanings… CA)
Wednesday, 25th July at 18h in the Prat del Colat, La Massana. (Free) Little Summer afternoons with Encara Farem Salat. Here comes The great party! An hour of dances for all ages, to party wherever you want. Encara Farem Salat will make you dance to the rhythm of dances and songs you have probably never heard before. A show with lots of laughter and ideal for the whole family.

Saturday, 28th July at 16:30h at the parking Prat del Riu, Canillo. Wild West Games. Plus Arts presents you with a unique children’s activity: giant games of the West! A film activity set in the old West that will allow children to play and have fun as if they were authentic Cowboys and Indians. Five wooden panels have been well aged for authenticity, and there are dolls and other elements of the West. 10 giant games of marksmanship and ingenuity will be the protagonists of this activity. There’s a full size cactus to hit with discs!

You can try to insert a ring, dangled from the end of a rod, into the neck of different bottles, as well as shoot different targets showing a cowboy who is about to fire his gun. Everyone is invited to play and enjoy this adventure, from children, to parents and grandparents! A children’s activity where the whole family can play.

Saturday, 28th July at 20h in the Museum Casa Rull, Syspony, La Massana. (4€ per child. 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.


Sunday, 29th July starting from the parking lot of the central cable car of Arinsal. SkyRace©Comapedrosa. The Andorran stage of the Skyrunning series has become a place to be for the world elite of mountain races. Arinsal and the Valls del Comapedrosa Natural Park are, for the eighth time, the venue for this prestigious international competition. On 29th July, the best athletes of the speciality will challenge the demanding tour of SkyRace©Comapedrosa which continues to be part of the Sky Classic and to which the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) has also introduced a bonus race. Athletes, both men and women, will face 21 km of climb in a very technical mountain terrain that will take them up to the 2,972 meters top of Comapedrosa, the highest peak in the Principality. The race has 2,300 m of positive difference. This test has been included, for the third consecutive year, in the calendar of the Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series of the ISF and will be scoring towards the Skyrunner® National Series of Spain, Andorra & Portugal. The SkyRace ® Arinsal will also be run, with a 15 km course and a positive difference of 1,400 meters. This is a tailor made test for amateur athletes who want to start in this demanding discipline. Skyrace Comapedrosa [email protected] .


Friday 27th and Saturday, 28th July at 21:30h at the Iron mine in Llorts, Ordino. (Tickets and prior booking obligatory on tel. (+376) 878 173.) Summer Nights in the Museums: 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.

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 ...