Border between France and Andorra in the Pas de la Casa : where is it exactly?

Do you know Andorra, this little mountainous country of 468 km2 enclosed between France and Spain, in the middle of the Pyrenees? Located in the Pas de la Casa, the border between France and Andorra has recently been the subject of a vigorous debate regarding its precise delimitation. We will see that the lines separating Andorra, France and Spain are linked to the History of the Principality.

Trouble around the France/Andorra border

Expanding over 55 kilometers to the south of France between the French departments of Ariege and Pyrenees Orientales, the France/Andorra border crosses the Andorran parishes of La Massana, Ordino, Canillo and Encamp.

By road, the only crossing point between the two countries is located at the Pas de la Casa, village of the Principality rising up to nearly 2 000 meters of height, by the mountain pass of the Port d’Envalira.

Centuries of seamlessly great cohabitation

In 2012, after hundreds of years of good neighborliness without any text or any document establishing in a concrete manner the symbolic barrier between the two states, France and Andorra have decided to officially demarcate their borders via the signature of a border agreement. But at the moment of the official decision, the small town of Porta, located in the Pyrenees-Orientales, showed its disapproval regarding the delineation.

Challenging of the France/Andorra border

The establishment of the France/Andorra border fails to win unanimous support in Porta. The reasons for the French town’s anger? A reduction of the surface area of their lands causing an obstacle to the expansion of its touristic projects. The French town showed its discontentment regarding the ongoing initiative.

France/Andorra border : the town of Porta cries foul

This piece of land at altitude located around the Pas de la Casa turns out to be strategic to the extend that it welcomes one of the sources of Ariege, that allows to supply in water a rather large area. Yet, the town of Porta considered to build shortly, in this precise location, a hotel project containing 300 accommodations.

With the new delineation of the border between France and Andorra, Porta might lose the control over the sources of Ariege, an important disadvantage because those sources are considered to be necessary to supply the future accommodations.

The Pas de la Casa, crossroads of the Pyrenees with multiple assets

Apart from the natural resources and the grandiose surrounding of which the Pas de la Casa benefits from, one must say that the first village after the Franco-Andorran border enjoys many assets.

The reasons for a success that cannot be denied

In summer and winter alike, its ideal location and geographical situation attract visitors searching for authenticity and large spaces.

From November to March, its altitude gives it a quality snow cover while its sunny climate allows people to enjoy the joys of winter sports in one of the most bright atmosphere. Accessible from the Pas de la Casa, the ski resort Grandvalira is among the most famous in Europe and offers snow fans the largest skiing area of the Pyrenees (210 km skiing pistes)!

Non-exhaustive list of the many strong points of the Pas de la Casa

In the Pas de la Casa in Andorra, every month of the year, your holidays will inevitably be successful. Here is a small summary of the attractions of the village located at the border between France and Andorra:

• a consistent and of excellent quality offer for accommodation for all budgets (hotels, apartments, etc.),
• the practice of hiking in an amazing surrounding by means of the many marked paths of high mountain that are also accessible to every level of practice,
• a large offer for sports leisures, such as skiing in winter or riding a mountain bike in summer
• the discovery of a culture and heritage of a great richness, proper to Andorra (monuments, museums, parties, etc.),
• incredible and unmatched shopping conditions, the Principality benefits from a weak level of taxation on merchandise : alcohol, cigarettes, gastronomy, jewelry, luxury, perfume, prêt-à-porter, etc.

And why don’t you invest in Andorra in the Pas de la Casa?

On-trend destination, the Pas de la Casa attracts tourists as well as investors. More and more people do not hesitate to come settle in Andorra in order to enjoy the appealing living conditions.

One must say that the condition to obtain the residency status are quite simple. In addition, the real estate profitability in this moment is quite high in the Pas de la Casa. If you wish to obtain more information on the topic, do not hesitate to contact Frontera Blanca, real estate agency specialized in the transactions in Andorra and specifically in the Pas de la Casa.

Historical gateways between the countries

The Andorran co-Princes

We are wishing that the controversy regarding the delineation of the border between France and Andorra at the level of the Pas de la Casa will end quickly. It would indeed be a pity if the good relations between France and Andorra were to become damaged after many centuries of cordial arrangement, especially as the History of both countries is intimately linked. The Principality has also forged links with Spain.
Borders between Andorra, France, and Spain have been drawn in the 1860’s, notably during the Bayonne Treaty (1866).

The origins of the Principality date back to the Charlemagne era, in 780, and rest upon a new system : the pariage or “paréage”, a contract of feudal law that grants the division of the Andorran throne between two co-princes : the Catalan bishop of Urgell and the French head of State (at the beginning, the Count of Foix).

The political system

In Andorra, the executive power is assured by the head of the Government, the General Council, an assembly that includes an equal representation of the population that is divided between the 7 parishes : Canillo, Encamp, Ordino, La Massana, Andorra la Vella (capital), Sant Julia de Loria and Escaldes-Engordany.
Each parish is managed by two “consols” that elect every 4 years the members sitting at the General Council.