While many of the trails are accessible to beginners, cyclists looking to up their game can follow in the footsteps of the Tour de France at Arcalis.Despite its sporty credentials, Andorra is not without its cultural side, and the capital, Andorra La Vella, tips its cap to the French propensity for luxury retail with an excellent array of duty-free shopping.

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Even within the cities themselves, it is often easier to find duty-free shopping for goods produced outside of Andorra than the local products made within Andorra.

Note, that while there is no tax charged on the goods, the base price of the item may be a little higher than outside of Andorra, so that may be a consideration when looking for high demand products that may find their way to the shops.

" It's not simply that they don't understand the appeal of returning to the same place year after year, but that they don't understand why you'd go to Andorra at all. Even those who have heard of it are sometimes fooled into thinking that there's no point going because it doesn't have the glitz and glamour of resorts in the French or Swiss Alps. It's not a nice addition to life, in Andorra skiing is life.

The economy is rooted in it, which is perfect for Andorrans because that means they can make a living from what they love doing. Nestled high up in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, this small Principality punches way above its weight when it comes to winter sports.

Andorra is known as a tax haven, and duty-free shopping is found throughout the country.

There are large duty-free shopping centers lining the roads into the country, some as soon as you cross the border from Spain or France.On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer warm wishes to the people of Andorra as you celebrate your national holiday, Our Lady of Meritxell Day, on September 8.With its long history of independence dating back to medieval times, Andorra exemplifies the enduring spirit of successful self-governance.At just over 180 square miles - or 468 square kilometres, for the more European-minded among you - it has undoubtedly made the most of what nature has given it, which is a landscape every bit as stunning in parts as more famous destinations, with generous amounts of snowfall.It certainly snowed regularly during the week that we were there, which added atmosphere to the whole winter wonderland experience.Not that I'm dogmatic about the whole subject or anything. Those little luxuries which make a relaxing summer holiday aren't so important.