Welcome to Os de Civís, a notable place by nature of its location. The village is part of Spain – mainland Spain, not an exclave or island – but it can only be reached by vehicle from another country. That country is Andorra and the village’s unique position next to it makes it quite interesting and beautiful.
Andorra is not a member of the European Union (mobile roaming charges are…interesting) and has been known as a bit of a tax-free shoppers’ haven. As a result, there are customs checks on the two main border controls (one with France, one with Spain). Because there are no full-on roads past Os de Civís, it doesn’t appear to be a focus for customs checks, although there are a number of trails and tracks nearby. It didn’t surprise me to read the off-road route past “Os” being described on the web as a “smugglers’ route” and sure enough there are adventure excursions available to experience them.
Opting for the more official but stunning road journey, the drive from Andorra la Vella to Os de Civís is quite something. Like many drives in the Pyrenees, both the driving experience and the views are breathtaking, although because of the bends, sheer drops and the like, if you want to enjoy the scenery, you might want to bag the job of “passenger”.
Once there, a wonderful vista opens out from approximately 4,900ft so you can breathe in this mountain paradise. There’s not much to do in the village itself, but that’s not the point.