CanilloCanillo is the northernmost Parish of Andorra and is situated at height of 1.531 m above the sea level on the side of a mountain.

It is a picturesque small town , and is cut into two halves by the river running through the middle of it. In addition it is an intensely medieval town, with its quaint alleyways and charming houses with their rustic wooden balconies and the fine old ironwork grilles. Canillo’s church is of great interest. It has one of the largest bell-towers in the principality of Andorra. The floor area is 27 sq m and the height of it is also 27 m, the base being square and the roof pyramidal in shape. Inside the church is a coffer which contains historical documents written on parchment; there is also a fine Gothic carving of Christ and a splendid iron screen 6 m in length. The charming church of Canillo stands near the waters of the river Montau. Near Canillo is the church of Sant Joan de Caselles.

The countryside surrounding Canillo is simply majectic.

The rugged, half-bare encircling mountains contrast with the shape of the place itself. One very interesting spot is the mill or Moli Vell, which is very popular and much visited by tourists.

Without any doubt Canillo is one of the localities of Andorra with the greatest interest for the visitor. The whole of Vall d’Incles, near the French border, is an important as a center for winter sports.

To see at Canillo :

Church of Sant joan de Caselles

The splendid church of Sant joan de Caselles stands not far from Canillo. It is a veritable masterpiece of Andorra Romanesque architecture and was built between the 11th and 14th centuries.

The church is set in the midst of a pretty valley and surrounded by mountains.

It has a fine three-storeyed bell-tower with Lombard windows on the upper two storeys. Its outlines stand out gracefully against the green of surrounding landscape, and there is a harmonious contrast between the ochrecoloured bell-tower stone and the blue-grey of the roof slates which crown it.

When the land surrounding the church of Sant Joan lies under snow, the sight of the building set against its white background is both attractive and the inspiration of poetry. Without any doubt it is one of the churches with most architectural character in Andorra. Inside it there are many items of interest, and the decoration is splendid. Special mention must be made of a fine 12th century Romanesque Christ and the richly decorated, magnificent retable. The church of Sant Joan de Caselles is just one of the excursions that can be made from the nearby town of Canillo. The artistic and curiosity interest of the church is one of the delights in store for the visitor to Canillo.

The church is surrounded by only a few other buildings, and their rustic outlines enhance even further the balanced Romanesque architecture of the church.

The sanctuary of meritxell

The Virgin of MeritxellMeritxell is a popular, age old sanctuary where thousands of pilgrims wend their way on 8th September every year. It is on this day that the national day of the Valleys of Andorra is celebrated. A legend which goes deep into the religious memory of the people of Andorra says that the image of the Virgin of Meritxell was found in winter in the midst of plants in bloom by some of the faithful who were on their way to Canillo from Encamp. After the image had been taken to Canillo, it mysteriously disappeared and was once more found in the midst of plants in flower at the very spot where it had been discovered previously. Again it was taken to Encamp, and again it disappeared. When it was found for the third time, it was decided to raise, on that spot, the sanctuary of Our Lady of Meritxell. The Sanctuary was almost completely gutted by fire in 1972. The present church is considerably more spacious, built to modern design in stone, glass and copper, following the plans of the internationally known Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill. It stands next to the ruins of the old hermitage. The Virgin of Meritxell is the religious symbol of Andorra.

Church of Sant Serni

Canillo hiking

Casamanya (2740 m)

Between Ordino and Canillo.

Incles valley

The greatest charm of this valley is to be found in its ruggedness and unspoiledness , hardly set foot on by man. The rocky mountains make their own contribution to the picture like quality of the area.

Juclar lake and cascade

This is another of the natural marvels of Andorra, a land so rich in original and superb landscapes. The Lake of Juclar is like a window laid flat on the ground and it surrounded by mountains. From on high, as if fleeing from the nearness of the snow, the foaming and crystaline waters of the cascade of Juclar hurl themselves headlong into the valley.

Where to sleep in Canillo

Canillo on Flickr