Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Australia


Australia Flag


"Down Under", "Island Continent", "the Great Southern Land", "the Land Down Under", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land" and "Oz".


Why visit Australia?
Offers something for everyone whether seeking art galleries, backpacking, beaches, boating, camping, culture, fishing, hiking, hunting, museums, natural wonders, paddle boarding, rain forest, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, theatre, vineyards, white-water rafting and wildlife.


Twelve Apostles (Port Campbell National Park/Great Ocean Road), Victoria, Australia. Photo Credit: Keith Gillette/Pixabay 


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Boomerangs, Broome pearls, didgeridoos, handicrafts, opals, sheepskins and wool products.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Anzac Biscuit. Barramundi (fish). Chiko Roll (savoury snack). Damper (soda bread). Lamington (butter cake). Meat Pie. Roast Lamb. Tim Tam (chocolate biscuit snack). Vegemite (spread). Weet-Bix (cereal). Witchetty Grubs (white lavare).
  • Local Drink to Try: Boags (beer). Bundaberg Root Beer. James Squire (beer). Lemon, Lime & Bitters (LLB). Little Creatures (beer). Swan Lager (beer). Tooheys (beer).

Nambung National Park, Nambung, Australia. Photo Credit: kathrynbax/Pixabay 


Fun Facts
  • Dating 60,000 years ago home to the oldest rock art in the world.
  • Around 3000BCE, dingos (dogs) were traded with Indigenous Australians from Austronesians.
  • During 17th Century (1601-1700), due to Dutch shipwrecks feral cats were introduced.
  • In 1770, Captain James Cook, British Explorer claimed the land for England.
  • Until 19th Century (1801-1900), called New Holland by Dutch Explorers.
  • In 1850's, gold was discovered lending to new migrants from China, Europe and North America.
  • During 20th Century (1901-2000), founded the surf lifesaving movement.
  • In 1984, established a universal healthcare system, "Medicare" (hospital, medical, optometric) providing all citizens access to free or low-cost care regardless of  income. Visitors from Finland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom are eligible to receive free care during their stay.
  • Since 1951, has been a formal military ally (ANZUS Treaty) of the United States.
  • Mid 1980s, birthplace (Sydney) to flat white coffee (espresso coffee with microfoam).
  • In 2015, kangaroos out numbered the human population 2:1 ratio. 
  • In 2018, known as the country with the highest average wealth (beating Switzerland).
  • In 2019, koalas were recorded as “functionally extinct” declining numbers due to bushfires, domestic dog attacks, habitat destruction and road accidents.
  • Aboriginal Australian Culture is said to be the oldest continual cultures around the world.
  • Afghanistan introduced camels to help with transporting goods into the Outback.
  • The world's largest island, largest country in Oceania and only country is also a continent.
  • Home to the world's largest coral reef, Great Barrier Reef.
  • The Guinness World Records has recognized Hyams Beach (Jervis Bay) for the whitest sand in the world.
  • Compared to any other country it has more reptile species (approximately 755).
  • Passionate about sports basketball, cricket, field hockey, football "footy", horse racing, motor racing, netball, rugby, soccer and tennis. Also, a powerhouse in water-based sports, swimming and surfing.
  • A major exporter of coal, gold, iron-ore, liquified natural gas, wheat and wool to China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and United States.
  • Fourth largest wine exporter in the world, production mainly in the southern area.
  • Over 100,000 Aboriginal rock art sites.
  • Highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Pack your sunblock!
  • There's a symphony orchestra in each state.
  • Hosted the Summer Olympics twice in 1956 (Melbourne) and 2000 (Sydney).
  • Features 8,222 islands within its maritime borders; largest listed in order by size Tasmania, Melville Island, Kangaroo Island, Groote Eylandt, Bathurst Island, Fraser Island, Flinders Island, King Island and Mornington Island.

Bondi Beach, Bondi Beach, Australia. Photo Credit: Flo K/Pixabay



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: Australian Tennis Open (January), Ballarat Beer Festival (January),Brickvention (January), City of Perth Skyworks (January), Illawarra Folk Festival (January), Parkes Elvis Festival (January), Stonefest (January), Summernats (January), Tamworth Country Music Festival (January), Taste of the World Beer Fest (January), BeerFest (February), National Multicultural Festival (February), Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (February), The Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival (February), West Coast Blues & Roots Festival (February), Adelaide Festival (March), Australian Grand Prix (March), Canberra Balloon Spectacular (March), Enlighten Festival (March), Melbourne Comedy Festival (March), Rock It Festival (March), Sea N Beats (March), Sydney Children's Festival (March), Bendigo Easter Festival (April), Bright Autumn Festival (April), Bring It On! Festival (April), Canberra International Music Festival (April), Hunter Valley Steamfest (April), Julia Creek Dirt & Dust Festival (April), Fairbridge Festival (April), National Folk Festival (April), Rip Curl Pro Surfing (April), Tjungu Festival (April), Australian Fashion Week (May), Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival (May), Crookwell Potato Festival (May), Freeplay Independent Games Festival (May), Lovedale Long Lunch (May), National Simultaneous Storytime (May), Thredbo Jazz Festival (May), Yungaburra Folk Festival (May), Barunga Festival (June), Dark Mofo (June), Merimbula Jazz Festival (June), Winter Magic Festival (June), Ardlethan German Beer & Wine Festival (July), Bankstown Bites Food Festival (July), Darwin Beer Can Regatta (July), Davenport Jazz (July), Mary Valley Art Festival (July), Splendour in the Grass (July), Darwin Festival (August), Hamilton Island Race Week (August), Henly-On-Todd Regatta (August), Desert MOB (September), Melbourne Writers Festival (August), Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo (August), Tweed Valley Banana Festival (August), Brisbane Festival (September), Floriade (September), Midwinter Ball (September), Mudgee Wine & Food Festival (September), Orange Blossom Festival (September), Parrtjima (September), Adelaide Film Festival (October), Australian Beer Festival (October), Blackheath Rhododendron Festival (October), Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations (October), Craft Beer Sunshine Coast Festival (October), Darling Harbour Fiesta (October), Lake Moondarra Fishing Classic (October), Melbourne Cup Carnival (October), Oysterfest (October), OzAsia Festival (October), Sculpture by the Sea Bondi (October), Sydney Blues & Roots Festival (October), Vegan Festival (October), Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival (October), Australian Poetry Slam (November), Beers by the Bay (November), Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival (November), Bitter & Twisted Boutique Beer Festival (November), Bleach Festival (November), Brisbane Water Oyster Festival (November), Canberra Country Blues & Roots Festival (November), Feast Festival (November), Festival of Fisher's Ghost (November), Margaret River Gourmet Escape (November), Oz Comic Con (November), Falls Festival (December), Festival of the Sun (December), Myer Christmas Parade (December), Rollercoaster (December), Summer Rhythm Festival (December) and Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (December).
  • Holidays: Australia Day (January), Labour Day (March), Anzac Day (April), Queen's Birthday (June), Melbourne Cup Day (November) and Boxing Day (December).

Melbourne City, Australia. Photo Credit: moerschy/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • Local wines are often compared to those of France.
  • "Black Summer" refers to bushfire season (May - June). 
  • European Agreement prevents them from producing champagne, instead sparkling wine.
  • Camel, emu and kangaroo meat is sometimes a menu item served.
  • Camels are required to wear taillights (Broome).
  • Turquoise Bay ranks one of the best drift snorkels in the country.
  • Whitsunday Islands (Whitehaven Beach) ranks one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. 
  • The rich and famous reside along Bondi Beach (Sydney).
  • Due to droughts, water restrictions are often imposed.
  • Around the northern coast the Barramundi Fishing is the most prized sport.
  • Genuine quality Aboriginal products offer a Certificate of Authenticity and information about the local artist.
  • Driving under the influence is illegal and strictly enforced.
  • Major hotels usually have an on-call physician.
  • Between June - October is the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef for visibility.
  • Cyclone Season is from November - April.
  • In the north and western areas, particularly November - May the most dangerous marine stingers on earth are known to be in masses.
  • A light jacket/sweater is often required during the evenings.
  • Expect a longish commute between destinations.
  • Air transportation is common to get across the island. 

Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour (Sydney, New South Wales), Australia. Photo Credit: kitkatty007/Pixabay 


This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000AUD.

Seasons are opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere!

  • Best Time to Visit: September - May
  • Coldest Months: July - August
  • Hottest Months: December - February
  • Peak Season: December - January & June - August

Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photo Credit: Hans Braxmeier/Pixabay 


Your Must-See & Do
  • Ayers Rock, Barossa Valley, Blue Mountains, Bondi Beach, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Daintree National Park, Featherdale Wildlife Park, Great Barrier Reef, Hunter Valley, Hyams Beach, Island of Tasmania, Kakadu National Park, Margaret River, McLaren Valleys, Melbourne Queen Victoria Market, Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, Mount Kosciuszko National Park, Ningaloo Reef, Norfolk Island, Paddington Market, Prahan Market, Queensland, Snowy Mountains, South Melbourne Market, Sydney, Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Turquoise Bay, Uluru, Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Wilson Promontory and Yarra Valley. 
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Australian Convict Sites, Australian Fossil Mammal Sites, Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, Fraser Island, Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Greater Blue Mountains Area, Heard & McDonald Islands, Kakadu National Park, Lord Howe Island Group, Macquarie Island, Ningaloo Reef, Purnululu National Park, Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens, Shark Bay, Sydney Opera House, Tasmanian Wilderness, Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Wet Tropics of Queensland and Willandra Lakes Region.

Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, Northern Territory (Warumungu). Australia. Photo Credit: pen_ash/Pixabay 

Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

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Perth (Capital of Western), Australia. Photo Credit: Shah Rokh/Pixabay

                                          All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Republic of Armenia

Republic of Armenia Flag


Why visit Armenia?

Best known for archaeological sites, architecture, art, caves, churches, hiking, historical sites, mountains, monasteries, paragliding, religious sites, rock climbing, skiing and zip-lining.


Yerevan, Armenia. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Art, ceramics, enamel boxes, fine lace, gold items, hand-carved stone/wood, hand-knotted wool carpets, jewelry, nesting dolls, rugs, stone objects and watches. 
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Bozbash (stew). Cold Cucumber Soup. Dolma (wrapped meat). Lamb Stew. Lavash (flabread). Meat Kebabs. Yogurt Soup. 
  • Local Drink to Try: Armenian Coffee. Kefir (fermented milk). Pomegranate Juice. Tahn (yogurt). Tarkhun (tarragon flavored soda).

Vahramashen Church, Amberd, Armenia. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 


Fun Facts
  • In 4000BC, during the Bronze Age (3000BC-1200BC) elements of civilization have been found to include a shoe, skirt and wine makings. 
  • In 301AD, the first country to declare Christianity.
  • In 405AD, their own distinctive alphabet was created.
  • In 1045, invaded by the Seljuk Turks.
  • In 1925, their first silent black-and-white film debuted, Namus.
  • In 1952, brought home their first Olympic (Helsinki) medals (two golds and two silvers) in gymnastics with Hrant Shahinyan 
  • In 1992, became a United Nations Member.
  • Home to the world's oldest national church, Armenian Apostolic Church. 
  • Stone crosses (khachkars) is found throughout the country.
  • Mount Ararat (in Turkey) is visible.
  • Lake Sevan, is the second largest lake in the world.
  • Security ties with Russia as a deterrent against Turkey.
  • Achieves international recognition competitively in chess, weightlifting and wrestling.
  • Grows over 100 varieties of grapes.
  • Proud producers of brandy and wine. Brandy rates one of the best in world for quality and taste.

Lake Sevan, Armenia. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: Armenian Footballer of the Year (January), One Nation One Culture Festival (March), Yerevan Jazz Day (April), Dolma Festival (May), Yerevan Wine Days (May), Syunik Mulberry Festival (July), Vardavar Festival (July), Yerevan Color Run (July), Extreme Sports Festival (August), Sevan International Music Festival (August), Taraz Festival (August), High Fest International Theater Festival (October), Gata Fest (September), International Balloon Festival (September), Yerevan Tea & Coffee Festival (October), ReAnimania International Animation Film & Comics Art Festival of Yerevan (October) and Yerevan International Film Festival (November).
  • Holidays: Christmas Day (January), Army Day (January), Genocide Remembrance Day (April), May Day (May), Victory & Peace Day (May), Republic Day (May), Constitution Day (July), Vardavar (July) and Independence Day (September).

Khor Virab (Monastery)Ararat Province, Armenia. Photo Credit: Taken/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • The only point of entry to Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
  • Offers plenty of outdoor Cafes.
  • Outside of Yerevan, English is not widely spoken and amenities are considered few.
  • Local men don't commonly wear shorts in public.
  • Rail service is known to be unreliable and unsafe.
  • Not an ideal destination for those with health issues regarding accessibility to care and medication.
  • There's zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Air, rail and road delays are common.
  • Ranks as a developing country. 
  • Waste Management is underdeveloped (recycling/waste sorting).
  • Tensions run high between neighboring countries Azerbaijan and Turkey.
  • Russian is the second language widely spoken.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport required for entry and exit.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 18 months.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Yenokavan, Tavush Province, Armenia. Photo Credit: Ваагн Манукян/Pixabay 


  • Best Time to Visit: May - October
  • Coldest Months: December - February
  • Hottest Month: July
  • Peak Season: September - November

Hand Carved Cross Stone (Khachkars), Armenia. Photo Credit: Taken/Pixabay 


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Cathedral & Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots, Monasteries of Haghpat & Sanahin and Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley.

Zvartnots Cathedral Ruins (Armenian Apostolic Church), Vagharshapat, Armenia. Photo Credit: Taken/Pixabay 


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

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All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Argentina

Argentina Flag


Why visit Argentina?

Great for biking, birdwatching, boating, casinos, cattle ranches, desert canyons, fishing, galleries, hiking, historical sites, mountains, museums, nature, nightlife, parks, skiing, whale watching, white water rafting, wildlife and wineries.


El Calafate, Argentina. Photo Credit: Ingelise Jansen/Pixabay 


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Art, bag of yerba (tea), cowhide products, gaucho, gems, guitar, handicrafts, leather goods, poncho, rugs, sheepskin goods, soccer jerseys, tango music and wines.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Alfajores (cookie). Asado (grilled meat). Chimichurri (sauce). Empanadas (stuffed fried dough). Locro (hearty stew). Dulce de Leche (jar spread). Provoleta (cheese).
  • Local Drink to Try: Malbec Wine. Mate (tea). Submarino (hot chocolate). Torrontés (wine).

Puerto Madero, Argentina. Photo Credit: Gabriel Cabrera/Pixabay 


Fun Facts
  • During Paleolithic Period (2.5 Million Years ago - 10,000 B.C.), there's evidence of human remains.
  • In 1816, declared independence from Spain.
  • After the Great Depression (1929-1933) was unable to recover due to political instability.
  • María Eva Duarte de Perón (1919-1952), Film Actress & First Lady of Argentina (1946-1952) had memorial services in Argentina, Italy and Spain before arriving at Recoleta Cemetery (Recoleta).
  • In 1970s, during the Dirty War 30,000 children, men and women disappeared.
  • In 1982, they lost the war over the Falkland Islands.
  • In 1991, it was the only southern country to send warships and cargo planes during the Gulf War (1990-1991).
  • Known for the highest consumption of red meat in the world.
  • The Argentine Government reserves the rights by law to veto a child's name given upon birth.
  • Has significant cultural connections to the Italian culture. 
  • Considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.

Salta, Argentina. Photo Credit: griselda oliva/Pixabay 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: Cosquin Rock (January), Gualeguaychu Festival (January), Tilcara Carnival Festival (January), Buenos Aires Carnivalis (February), Buenos Aires Tango Festival (March), Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia (March), Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival (April), Buenos Aires Contemporary Art Fair (May), Independence Day (July), Buenos Aires Jazz Festival (August), Tango World Championships (August), Pepsi Music Festival (September), Oktoberfest (October), Semana Musical Llao Llao (October), Septiembre Musical (October), Buenos Aires Gay Parade (November) Creamfields Buenos Aires (November), and Dia De La Tradicion/San Antonio de Areco Gaucho (November).
  • Holidays: Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice (March), Day of the Veterans and Fallen of the Malvinas War (April), Labour Day (May), National Day (May), San Martin's Day (August), Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity (October) and Immaculate Conception (December).

Iguazú Falls, Misiones Province, Argentina. Photo Credit:  Kent DuFault/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • Offers world-class salmon and trout fishing.
  • Citizens' names are long as they have two surnames. Example: First Name, Middle Name, Father's Last Name and Mother's Maiden Name. You address them by their father's last name.
  • Buenos Aires is relatively costly.
  • Private healthcare clinics meet international standards.
  • Parallel to the Andes from the Strait of Magellan to the high plains of the northwest, Route (Ruta) 40 is a scenic drive.
  • Meals are usually eaten late, lunch around 2PM and dinner at 10PM or later.
  • Women should dress conservatively entering churches and museums.
  • An International Driving Permit is recommended.
  • Has the largest railway system in Latin America.

Ushuaia, Argentina. Photo Credit: Michelle Maria/Pixabay 


This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Currency Exit Restrictions: $10,000USD.

Seasons are reversed from the Northern Hemisphere!

  • Best Time to Visit: October - April
  • Coldest Months: June - August
  • Hottest Months: January - February
  • Peak Season: November - February & July

Perito Moreno Glacier (Los Glaciares National Park), Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. Photo Credit: Mikel Larrazabal/Pixabay 


Your Must-See & Do
  • Andes Mountains, Iguazu Falls, Los Glaciares National Park, Pampas, Patagonia and Valdes Peninsula.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Cueva de las Manos Río Pinturas, Iguazú National Park, Ischigualasto/Talampaya Natural Parks, Jesuit Block & Estancias of Córdoba, Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto & Santa Maria Mayor), Los Alerces National Park, Los Glaciares National Park, Península Valdés, Qhapaq Ñan (Andean Road System), Quebrada de Humahuaca and The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier (an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement).

Andes Mountains, Argentina. Photo Credit: Pixabay


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

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Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo Credit: Herbert Brant/Pixabay 



All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Angola

Angola Flag


Why visit Angola?
Known for beaches, colonial buildings, desert, jungles and mosaic sidewalks.

Luanda (Capital), Angola. Photo Credit: Bruno Madeira/Pixabay 


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Drums, masks and sculptures.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Feijão de óleo de Palma (beans with oil). Fish Calulu. Moamba de Galinha.
  • Local Drink to Try: Mongozo (beer).

Angola Zoo. Photo Credit: nunobranco/Pixabay 


Fun Facts
  • In 1484, discovered by Diogo Cão, Portuguese Explorer.
  • In 2004, Exim Bank of China approved a $2 billion line of credit to rebuilding their infrastructure.
  • In 2016, a drought caused the worst food crisis in 25 years.
  • In 2014, undergoing a project to turn them into a continental hub with optic fiber underwater cable
  • In 2017, after 38 years of service, José Eduardo dos Santos, President stepped down.
  • In 2019, homosexual acts was decriminalized.
  • Estimated to take thousands of years to remove their land mines.
  • A low literacy rate.
  • Diamond Mines are known to be under the control of Rebels.
  • Economy is copper, diamonds, forest, fossil fuels, gold, oil, wildlife and rapid growth in mineral and petroleum reserves. 
  • Their legal system is based on Portuguese Laws.
  • China is their largest trade partner.
  • Education is free for eight years. Students are usually responsible for a fee for books and supplies.
  • African roots are evident in music and dance.
  • Basketball is the most popular sport.

Photo Credit: juls26/Pixabay 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: Angola Carnival (February), Luanda International Jazz Festival (July), Lubango Festival (August), Muxima Pilgrimage (August), Sumbe Music Festival (September) and Luanda Island Feast (November).
  • HolidaysDay of the Beginning the Armed Struggle (February), Day of Southern Africa Liberation (March), Day of Peace & Reconciliation (April), National Heroes Day (September), All Souls Day (November) and Independence Day (November).

Photo Credit: Wilhan José Gomes wjgomes/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • Has approximately 10 million unexploded landmines throughout the country.
  • Prone to fighting and violent street crimes.
  • Poor road conditions.
  • Ravaged by disease and malnutrition.
  • Medical care is below our standards.
  • Health risks include cerebral malaria, cholera, hemorrhagic fevers, hepatitis, marburg virus, rabies, typhoid, yellow fever. Skin infections are common. High rates of  dengue, filariasis, HIV, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis and tuberculosis.
  • Pack a bug repellent, first aid kit and sunblock.
  • Select countries require a 21 Day Quarantine entering after staying in the country.
  • Do not enter, stand or swim in freshwater lakes or streams due to possible bilharzia (parasite).
  • Do not eat salads, consume local dairy products or tap water.
  • Save every receipt as Immgration Inspections are thorough.
  • Outside Luanda, Special Photo Permits are required for traveling. Take a few extra passport size photos.
  • Portuguese is their official language but Kikongo, Kimbundu and Umbundu are widely spoken.
  • Piripiri is a local hot sauce.

Photo Credit: mdccruz01/Pixabay 


This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and two blank pages for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Required Vaccination for Yellow Fever. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry: $10,000USD and Exit: 50,000 kwanzas + $10,000USD.

Not a common tourist destination!

  • Best Time to Visit: May - October
  • Coldest Month: July - August
  • Hottest Month: March 

Photo Credit: Pixabay


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: M'banza-Kongo

Photo Credit: juls26/Pixabay 


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

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                                                   All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Andorra

Andorra Flag

Why visit Andorra?

Adventurous outdoor lovers seeking camping, festivals, fishing, hiking, mountain cycling, mountains, skiing, spas and shopping.


Alpine Andorra Hills, Andorra. Photo Credit:  johnnpas/Pixabay 


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Alcohol, brand clothing, cameras, chocolates, cured meats, furs, honey,  jams, leather goods, liqueur, perfume, shepherd cheeses, stamps, syrup and watches.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Cargols a la lluna (snails). Coca (pastry). Cunillo (rabbit stew). Embotits (sausages). Escudella (stew). Mató (fresh cheese). Pa amb tomàquet (bread). Trinxat (like bubbles and squeak). Trucha a la Andorrana (trout).
  • Local Drink to Try: Acqua d'Or (brandy). Granizado (fruit juice). Mulled Wine. 

Arinsal, Andorra. Photo Credit: Alexander Lesnitsky/Pixabay 


Fun Facts
  • In 805, found by Charlemagne "Charles the Great" (748AD - 814AD). 
  • In 1419, created the Consell General. One of the oldest and smallest functioning parliaments.
  • During Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), was a smuggler's passage for goods from France to Spain.
  • During World War II "Second World War" (1939-1945), was a smuggler's passage for goods from Spain to France.
  • In 1991 & 2005, hosted the Games of the Small States of Europe.
  • In 1993, joined the United Nations.
  • In 1994, Europe's largest spa opened, Caldea (Escaldes).
  • One of the highest living standards in the world.
  • Smallest country in Europe bordered between France and Spain.
  • Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe (3,356 feet above sea level).
  • Approximately 10 million visit annually, 7 million account for winter skiing. 
  • Considered one of the highest life expectancy in the world. Attributes because of air quality, altitude, cuisine and nature surrounding.
  • Does not have their own armed forces but defending responsibility from France and Spain.
  • During Natural Disaster Emergencies able-bodied men (21-60) must serve. By law, the head of households has a rifle, otherwise the local police will offer a firearm.
  • Not suitable for farming, most crop foods are imported.
  • One of four European countries to sign the Council of Europe Framework Convention on National Minorities.
  • Influenced by southern France Rugby is a popular sport.
  • Nearly 92% of the land is forest and only 4% of the land has been built on.
  • The Economy is commerce, financial services and tourism.
  • Has two heads of state, Archbishop of Urgell and the President of the Republic of France.
  • Producer of high altitude wines: Albernio, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

Andorra Homes. Photo Credit: Carmen Carbonell/Pixabay 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: Big Snow Festival (March), Canólich Gathering (May), Montserrat Caballe Singing Contest (May), International Women’s Clown Festival (May), Revetlla de Sant Joan (June), Summer Solstice Fire Festivals (June), Andorra’s International Jazz Festival (July), Festival de Sant Julià de Lòria (July), Roser d'Ordino (July), Andorra la Vella Festa Major (August), The Bagpipers’ Gathering (August), Andorra la Vella Fair (October), Narciso Yepes International Festival (October) and Andorra Shopping Festival (November).
  • Holidays: Andorra Constitution Day (March), Sant Jordi Day (April), Meritxell Day (September) and Feast Day of Our Lady of Meritxell (November).

Photo Credit: Michel Huché/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • Does not have an airport or a train station.
  • Duty free shopping! Be mindful, the government does charge a nominal duty 4% on imported goods.
  • Native language of Catalan is a blended mixture of French and Spanish. French, Portuguese and Spanish is commonly spoken. English is not commonly spoken.
  • Retailers usually close between 1-4PM for siesta (rest or nap).
  • City/Town parking space is limited.
  • Border congestion is common with entry and exiting.
  • Andorra Telecom (STA), exclusively operates local fixed telephone, internet services and mobile services.
  • Offers 60 mountain trails and 29 mountain refuges for overnight camping.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with three months validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 190 days.

By the way...

  • Best Time to Visit: May - September & November - April
  • Coldest Months: November - March
  • Hottest Months: July - August
  • Peak Season: November - April

Photo Credit:  jribes/Pixabay 


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley

Photo Credit: damedia/Pixabay 


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All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

Travel Tips Aboard

Photo Credit: Steve Buissinne / Pixabay Tourists are often targeted aboard with pickpocketing. Avoid Holding Your Phone in the Air (Makes fo...