Pas de Casa is a bit brash and unapologetic. A ski resort and shopping centre all mixed up. It is very much a border town with it’s developments reaching the border. The Andorra – France border until recently has not been marked. In terms of border interest there are 3 aspects:
- The customs and passport control facilities that are situated outside Pas de Casa on the RN22 entirely in France. As Andorra is not part of the EU nor the Schengen zone there are full checks and consequent delays. In reality I drove straight through this border twice and was not checked. (Different from the Andorra/Spain crossing point. My report here.)
2. The Envalira Tunnel is a tunnel in Andorra that runs between Pas de la Casa near the Andorra-France border and Grau Roig (Ski resort). It enables its users to avoid the Envalira Pass. It is amongst the highest road tunnels in Europe. In 2001, a bilateral treaty between France and Andorra rectified and amended the border slightly. It provided for the exchange of two equal plots of land of 15,925 m² each, to enable Andorra to construct on its assigned plot a viaduct linking the Envalira tunnel to the French RN22. The exact border is marked on the road.
3. RN22 where the road enters the town. The exact border is marked on the road.
Andorra – France Passport Control and Custom Facilities
Located outside Pas de Casa, this is an external EU border so full checks are possible. At the end of the shopping day the queues are long as duty free checks are instituted. Prices in Andorra are substantially cheaper for fuel, alcohol and cigarettes.
Crossing Point 1 – The Envalira Tunnel
Plans for a tunnel were developed in Andorra during the late 1950s. In 1963, the Envalira Tunnel design tender was awarded to French engineers Semet and Phillip Studies, and subsequent negotiations were conducted for years and the access roads were improved. On June 1, 1999, Spanish companies FCC and NECSO (today ACCIONA) began construction work on the Grau Roig side of the massif; and on August 2, 1999, work began on the Pas de la Casa side. The tunnel is a toll tunnel costing €6 which is well worth it as the trip over the mountains is not for the faint hearted.
The treaty mentioned above means that as you leave the roundabout on the RN22 and drive onto the bridge you enter Andorra.
Crossing Point 2 – the RN22 as it enters Pas de Casa
Date of Visit: 15.08.2020