Andorra and the Schengen Area
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Feb 13, 2013 10:38 AM Last Post By: Kerouac2
Feb 6, 2013 11:22 AM
Andorra and the Schengen AreaAccording to what I've found, Andorra is not a part of the Schengen Area. I'm planning a trip to Europe and am pretty much counting on maxing out my Schengen Area time (as an American, that's 90 days). I'd like to do some hiking in the Pyrenees, and was thinking that I could do that in Andorra. My idea is that if I got a proper stamp on my passport coming in and out of Andorra, the time I spend hiking in the country would not count towards the 90 days. It'd only be a week at most, but it would be worth it to extend the trip a bit, since I'd already be hiking the area anyway.
But how do border crossings into Andorra work? Am I likely to get a stamp, or will they just check my passport and wave me on?
Feb 6, 2013 11:46 AM
Feb 6, 2013 12:15 PM
Feb 6, 2013 1:58 PM
3It was a nice idea ;-)
We had a similar one on here the other day,about Monaco.
I guess the Schengen countries have figured out that people would try to use the microstates to 'get around' the regulations.......
Feb 6, 2013 3:22 PM
4Monaco, Anndorra, Lichenstein and Vatican City are all for all intents and purposes IN Schengen.
Feb 6, 2013 4:30 PM
5Yeah, I figured as much. I remember crossing into Switzerland from Italy in 2006 before the Swiss officially became a member and the border check was quite cursory. Going back to Italy was even easier; it was late and the border guard had vacated his post for a seat at the bar across the street! He waved us on and that was that... I think I'd have liked his job.
Feb 7, 2013 7:51 AM
Feb 7, 2013 10:25 AM
7Yeah, I'm planning on going to Eastern Europe for a bit. I was mainly thinking of the Andorra stay as a way to get a bit of insurance. I wouldn't want to stay all 90 days, then realize that I have to go through a Schengen country for a layover or passing through on a train or something and get in trouble with authorities.
I'm also hoping to get to Romania and Bulgaria before they become part of the Schengen Area (I hear a decision might happen in March). Honestly, my limiting factor in travel will probably end up being money, although I'm hoping to be pretty frugal (including couchsurfing, camping, and hitchhiking where possible).
Feb 7, 2013 1:35 PM
8Give serious thought to whether carrying all the necessary gear for camping is worth the effort. Campgrounds cost as much as a hostel bed in many places and 'free camping' is frowned on in most places you are likely to go.
For example, I once camped in a VW campervan just outside Rome for a week. 'Just outside' as in an hour's drive away from the city centre. There was nothing closer than that. Campsite cost, bus cost to and fro each day is probably as much as a hostel bed.
There is just no way I would carry the necessary camping gear in a backpack personally. Here is my packing list, check it out and compare if you like. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?newPost=true&messageID=20692239�
Pack weight is what it is all about bigsciota. Comfort is directly related to weight.
Feb 7, 2013 4:23 PM
9I like your packing list, always interested in seeing those (I take it you've been over to backpackinglight? great site). The camping would depend on where I plan on being, but in my experience, camping is the way to go when, for example, exploring rural France (something I intend on doing). My bivy bag, inflatable pad, and light sleeping bag aren't actually that heavy or voluminous, so I will probably end up packing them. In fact, the sleeping bag is the largest item of the three, and would also come in handy for couchsurfing and sleeping in mountain huts.
Feb 8, 2013 8:31 AM
10I never heard of backpackinglight.com but took a look just now. Seems ok.
My list is based on just about 40 years of wilderness backpacking experience as well as 'normal' travel. During that time I have seen true revolutions in packs, tents, sleeping bags, rain jackets, footwear and base layers to name but a few. Things truly have changed over the last few decades.
What always amazes me bigsciota, is that travellers found here on the TT generally tend to carry more weight in bigger packs than a wilderness backpacker who must carry food, stove, shelter as well as what both usually need to carry. It makes no sense to me. Logically, a traveller (6 weeks in Europe or 6 months RTW) should need to carry less weight than a wilderness backpacker. So why don't they?
All the experience and knowledge is out there, having been found through trial and error by wilderness backpackers. But travellers don't access that knowledge.
Feb 8, 2013 8:40 AM
11On another note, be aware if you not already are, that sleeping bags are not allowed to be used in many hostels. Frankly, if I were offering couchsurfing, I would not allow them either.
Sleeping bags are the number one cause of transferance of bed bugs from hostel to hostel. Bed bugs are becoming a real issue in many hotels as well. http://bizmology.hoovers.com/2010/09/22/hotel-industry-hopes-you-sleep-tight-and-dont-let-the-bed-bugs-bite/
It may be that carrying your own camping gear is the best bet after all. ;-)
Feb 8, 2013 8:45 AM
12Interesting note. I've used a sleeping bag in a hostel before and in mountain huts (which almost always require you either bring your own sleeping bag or sheets), but come to think of it, I haven't seen many others using them in a hostel.
Then again, I've found that it's best not to think too hard about what may or may not be in/on the mattress of a hostel bed... Not conducive to getting a good night's sleep. Another reason why camping is the way to go!
Feb 8, 2013 11:43 AM
Feb 13, 2013 7:25 AM
14Hey, to answer your question about Andorra border control....I've just been there for skiing and there isn't any at all. You drive in from Spain, and drive back out. They do have a post on the border but its for customs for than immigration. If Spain and France will let you in, then Andorra figues that good enough for them too. Only thing to be aware of is Spanish customs pull over vehicles on the road form Andorra back into Spain, in case you though of smuggling in a car full of 2e-a-pack cigarettes and 8e-a-bottle whisky ;)
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.03 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$130.37 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$142.16 per night