The country is very mountainous and over a third of its area is forest. The climate is similar to areas in the Alps, with warm summers and snowy winters.
The area was ruled by the Moors until 803, when it was conquered by Charlemagne. Under a treaty of 1278, it has two jount rulers, the King (now President) of France and the Bishop of Urgel. Since 1993, it has had a democratic elected parliament and self-government; the rulers' powers are now confined to relations with France and Spain.
About 80% of GDP is due to tourism, especially skiing, which benefits from the mountainous terrain. Other industries include banking, tobacco, forestry, furniture making and sheep farming.