Andorra one of Europe’s smallest independent countries landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountain range, bordered by Spain and France. With an area of 468 km², it is the sixth smallest country in Europe and also the largest of the European microstates.
Andorra consists predominantly of rugged mountains, the highest being the Coma Pedrosa at 2,942 metres and the average elevation of Andorra is 1,996 metres. These are dissected by three narrow valleys in a Y shape that combine into one as the main stream, the Gran Valira river, leaves the country for Spain (at Andorra's lowest point of 840 m).
Andorra was extensively glaciated during the Quaternary; glaciers flowed down all of the major valleys of Andorra, merging into one large glacier at Escaldes-Engordany, which in the coldest stage reached as far south as Pont de la Fontaneda near Santa Coloma. Andorra has numerous glacial erosional features, including U-shaped valleys, cirques, arêtes, and roche moutonnées. Examples of cirques include the Cirque de Pessons in the east, Llac de Tristaina in the northwest, and the two cirques at approximately 2400 m elevation on Pic de Casamanya (2740 m). Santa Coloma has a glacial terminal moraine.
Phytogeographically, Andorra belongs to the Atlantic European province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF, the territory of Andorra belongs to the ecoregion of Pyrenees conifer and mixed forests.
Andorra has 172 lakes, of which the largest is Estanys de Juclar (23 hectares or 56.8 acres) near Pic de Noé in the north east.
The climate is high mountain type with Mediterranean influences, winter temperatures are low and in summer they are mild, with large variations taking place according to altitude and orientation. There are, on average, 300 days per year of sunshine.
The average annual minimum is -2ºC and the average maximum is 24ºC.
Autumn is the season with the highest rainfall while in winter there are abundant snowfalls.
Landslides and avalanches are the main natural hazards.
Comparison of the surface area of small European countries (Km²)
- Cyprus 9.251
- Luxemburg 2.568
- Andorra 468
- Malta 324
- Lichtenstein 160
- San Marino 61
- Monaco 2
- Vatican 0.44