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9 tiny countries with big appeal

By: Josh Lew on Nov. 21, 2013, 9 a.m.
Andorra la Vella

Photo: Gurgen Bakhshetsyan/Shutterstock

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Andorra

This country of 75,000 people sits in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. Once remote and impoverished, Andorra's beautiful scenery and status as a tax haven have made it a popular destination for tourists and people immigrating from elsewhere in Europe.

Aside from the ski slopes (which are known for their family-friendliness) and mountain biking trails, Andorra has villages and towns that boast architecture and atmosphere that have not changed in centuries. Andorra La Vella, the capital and only city of any size in the country, has plenty of duty-free shopping options. The tourism boom has led to a vibrant retail scene, with approximately one shopping venue for every 40 Andorrans. Andorra La Vella also has a charming old town area with classic guesthouses and inns that provide a good base for exploring the surrounding mountains and valleys.