This airport is likely one of the least frequented airports in Europe with regular scheduled services. You just have the chance to fly to Andorra La Seu d’Urgell Airport (LEU) twice a week. Since late 2021, Iberia’s regional carrier Air Nostrum is having two return legs in their schedule, one on Friday and one on Sunday, connecting to Madrid-Barajas (MAD). Typically, the outbound flight from this unique place is that late that you cannot connect to Germany on the same day, but a fortunate schedule in November 2022 gave me the opportunity to do. Thus, taking the chance and having a look at this exotic place has been a no-brainer.
Andorra Airport (LEU) – Location & Transport
Even though Andorra La Seu d’Urgell (LEU) is typically simply referred as Andorra Airport, it is in fact located in Northern Spain / Catalunya. It used to be a private airfield, but has recently been upgraded to a regular airport. The airport is located Southwest of the town of Seu d’Urgell, which is also somehow the point of entry to Andorra from Spain.
You unfortunately have to say that the website of the airport as well as the information on the official Andorra tourism site about traffic connections to Andorra is poor. The best connection is a the airport bus, which I for that reason dedicated a specific chapter in this review. Many locals, of course, grab their relatives and friends at the airport by car. Getting a taxi or driver up the mountain without pre-booking is likely challenging. There feels to be a rental car service as well. However, when I tried to book a car from there, I always received the message that the office is closed.
Andorra Airport (LEU) – Airport Bus
Some three hours before each flight, a bus is departing from the Andorra Main Bus Terminal and heads to the airport. The bus leaves some 20 minutes after scheduled arrival of the plane and heads back to Andorra. Only on the evening before arriving in Andorra, I saw that you can pre-book the bus. The one-way fare is 10 Euro, the return 18 Euro. The easiest way to get onto the bus is pre-book it online via the website of the provider, Grup Montmantell. The passports are checked before boarding, which eases border crossing. On the way from the airport, the company provided a luxury bus, which felt to be some sports teams team bus. On the way back, there was a different bus, which was still absolutely fine.
The equipment at the National Bus Station is very nice, by the way. They even had spotlessly clean public toilets. There is no snack bar or similar, though. The bus gates are published way before the departure, so that you finally cannot miss your connection from Andorra La Velle to the airport.
Andorra Airport (LEU) – Connections
As said, Andorra Airport (LEU) used to be a fully private airfield. Also nowadays, the vast majority of operations are private flights / general aviation. There is also a helicopter service around. Due to the geography and the rather short runway, Air Nostrum is using an ATR 72 turboprop plane to connect the airport to Madrid (MAD). The airport building still features some advertisements about flights from rather long-forgotten times, when the airport also had direct connection to Barcelona (BCN). Other key customers of the airport are private jets and (freight) helicopters.
Arriving at Andorra Airport (LEU)
I fell in love to the airport from the very first moment of arrival – I can’t neglect that the great weather did play a role in it as well. Due to the mountain situation, you typically approach from Southern direction in depart into that direction as well. Flying through a valley of the Pyrenees is absolutely lovely. After you arrived, you grab your hold luggage in front of the small terminal building. There is no luggage belt – but finally (as you see), it is also not absolutely necessary to have it. Many people travel with hand luggage only. Apart from taking some seconds and enjoying the views, I headed straight to the bus. Unloading the major hand luggage pieces from the turboprop plane does take a few minutes, but apart from that, the arrivals procedure was very smooth.
Departing from Andorra Airport (LEU)
When I arrived at Andorra La Seu d’Urgell (LEU), the terminal building was quite crowded with departing passengers. Thus, I decided to take my IFRENT rental car on Saturday to the airport and also take some snaps of the empty terminal building – don’t be confused about it. If you take the bus, however, you might be very early for departure, as the border crossing may take quite some time and it just has to go for quite a buffer.
There are two check-in desks and a cafe-bar as well as landside toilets. This is about an exhaustive overall of all services of the small terminal building. Right before departure, I was not allowed to take pictures of the check-in, as due to the narrow building, the x-ray, which is used for hold as well as for carry-on luggage is standing right next to it (behind the roller shutter you see on some pictures). The prices at the cafe are very low compared to larger commercial aviation places. The most beautiful part of the airport building, however, is the partially open air terrace at it rear, which offers some amazing views and is great to hang out before the flight.
I did not dare to wait for the incoming flight before I passed security and explored the airside part of the airport. The waiting area is in fact a maybe 5 times 5 meter large room with some fifteen chairs, densely put next to each other. Once boarding is beginning, there is a small isle and a boarding pass check. We also had to briefly wait in the terrace area before we could finally walk to the Air Nostrum ATR-72.
Andorra Airport (LEU) – Services
The staff at Andorra La Seu d’Urgell Airport (LEU) was amazing and super-friendly. I had some really kind chats with them. A bit of an exception was the Guardia Civil doing the security checks. Even though there were several people, none of them spoke Spanish, which just feels a bit of unusual at a European airport. The WiFi in the terminal worked well. Unfortunately, the hotel was not able to issue boarding passes further than Madrid Airport (MAD). This meant that I had to wait for some half an hour at the Iberia transfer desk at the Spanish capital for them. I thus highly recommend to check in online before the flight (tagging the luggage to the final destination was no issue, though).
Andorra Airport (LEU) – Some Departure / Landing Views
I already raved about the views during approach, taxiing and taking off to you. Here are some proofs that I have absolutely not been wrong about that thing. Unfortunately, the plane windows have not been too clear and clean on both flights, which leads to a lower sharpness and quality.
Andorra Airport (LEU) – My View
Andorra La Seu d’Urgell Airport (LEU) is a treat for aviation enthusiasts. Yeah, there is no real service, the connections are rare and the transport could have some more options. But finally, it is just too beautiful out there in the Pyrenees. And this tiny little shoe box with a tower and two weekly flights is just too charming. I simply had to love this airport. Let’s hope that there will be an upgrade to at least one daily flight one day. It would boost tourism in the area significantly.
Aviation in Spain
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