We have been really enjoying writing our ski resort guides for the best countries and locations in Europe, and now, we thought we would bring you something a little off-piste. . . the best ski destinations in Andorra!
Andorra is an untapped haven for skiing and snowboarding. Now we are not ones to make sweeping statements, BUT we can safely say, for what it lacks in variety, Andorra makes up for in the general cost of living, friendly locals and snow quality.
When we say variety, we mean literally, when considering countries like Italy, France or Austria for skiing, it’s so tough to write a “best of” guide as there are hundreds of ski resorts, big and small but with Andorra, there are a few key areas. Having said that, it doesn’t matter if you are travelling in a mixed ability group, or if you are looking for a challenge, maybe après-ski is most essential or you like the best of all these factors, look no further rider, we got your back! Or rather, Andorra’s got ya back!
However, we want to ensure we can make the Ridestore Magazine a one-stop-shop of all your skiing or snowboarding needs no matter your level or desires when planning a winter vacay, so we have put together our guide about skiing in Andorra and the best ski destinations.
Andorra has a stunning location between France and Spain, nestled in the Pyrenees mountains, very much a proud member of the Mediterranean states of the EU.
Although driving to the destination is very much doable; from the Nordics or the UK, we are looking at 30 hours, from West Europe, around 12 hours, from the East, 15 hours and above and from the South, about 10 hours. But, given it’s close proximity to Barcelona (the nearest airport) we recommend getting a cheap European flight (check sky scanner), you can then perhaps enjoy a day or two in Barcelona at either end of your trip and jump on a transfer for a stress-free journey. It’s also tax-free heaven so you can save money elsewhere too!
2 fun facts about Andorra, 1, Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe and 2, Catalan is the official language of Andorra, but French is widely spoken too.
We looked at the price of ski passes, gear hire, food/drink, hotel/Airbnb for each region and assigned a rating based on the average cost of staying for 7 nights and 6 days of skiing in mid- January.
€ – Inexpensive, perfect for skiers/snowboarders on a budget
€€ – Middle of the range budget required
€€€ – Expect to pay premium prices
So strap on your ski’s, or maybe just your slippers for the moment, sit back and let’s drive right in!
Where: Part of the Vallnord Area
Ski-Able Terrain: 30 km of ski slopes, 15 lifts
Elevation: 1,940 to 2,625 m.
What an untapped, undiscovered and under-loved resort. Bang and we are off, quite a statement right? Right out the gate, we struggle to contain our enthusiasm for this resort, which is next level. Not a town for those who like to party, apres-ski is kinda none existant but if you love to ride, look no further.
You could be an intermediate or a freeride pro, Arcalis will be your new favourite spot. Imagine light maritime snow- The likes of which that would make Hokkaido jealous and empty, ghost town like pistes out of season? Arent you getting itchy ski boots as we speak?
Ridestore Recommends: Try your hand at the Freeride World Tour route. Hiking gear is needed and extensive local knowledge/ or a local guide. But you too can put your skills to the text like the thrill-seeking pro’s.
Where: Part of the Grandvalira Valley- Pas De La Casa is the biggest resort in the area.
Ski-Able Terrain: 210 km of runs 62 lifts
Elevation: 1,710 to 2,640 m.
Are you and your friend intermediate skiers/snowboarder? Do you love to ride a little, grab a drink, have a laugh and a giggle? Race each other? Push one another? After all, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone? The Pas De La Casa is the ski resort for you! Fun is the first word in skiing in Grandvalira and Pas offers the best and most balanced experience for skiers and snowboarder looking to improve and have the best holiday ever.
The resort’s runs are 47% blue and 37% red, meaning those wide-open pistes are just waiting for you. Excellent apres ski and party vibe in the town too, don’t miss-out- it’s also a fraction of the price compared to its central European counterparts! See ya Austria
Ridestore Recommends: Night skiing & floodlit snow tubes! 1.5km of terrain for you and your mates (after or before a few beers, you decide) to race each other on the snow tubes! 6 nights a week.
Where: Part of the Vallnord Area
Ski-Able Terrain: 63 km of slopes, 23 lifts
Elevation: 1,550 to 2,560 m
Arinsal is the second-largest ski resort in Andorra and is a must-visit. The resort is ideally suited to beginners to intermediates, but freeriders will find some pretty excellent tree skiing. The resort is also snow-sure for the majority of the winter, from late December to late March, with 45% of the runs covered by snow cannons.
The pistes are nice and gentle with plenty of space but snowboarders better watch out for the 8 drag lifts they have, if you are cool with them, Arinsal is a must-visit for both skiers and boarder alike with a vibrant nightlife/apres-ski vibe too. A top choice for families or groups of friends.
Ridestore Recommends: Ride the Valley run to Cota, 1550, It’s a whopping 7 km absolutely epic!
Where: Part of the Grandvalira Valley
Ski-Able Terrain: 210 km of slopes 62 lifts
Elevation: 1,710 to 2,640 m.
Are you and your friends considering their first-ever ski holiday? Or maybe this is only your second or third time on the slopes? Soldeu is your dream location. Infrastucurally speaking the ski resort is geared up and ready for you with excellent transport links, top quality English speaking instructors (perfect for a group lesson with your friends) as well as pristine pistes. Plus no awkward walking around in ski boots as the main gondola is right in the centre of the cute little ski village.
Speaking of Apres, (were we speaking of après or was that an unacceptable segway?) You have to try The Harp for live music during après and every night, Aspen and Fat Alberts are also top spots. You can watch big sports games there are play pool or dance the afternoon away! What better way is there to wind down after a day of becoming the best skiers on the mountain in ski school with your pals? #VacayGoals
Ridestore Recommends: YOU HAVE TO TRY Paragliding (El Tarter) and the Zipline (Canillo)! Apres-ski activities are incredible here.
That’s it, that’s all folks! A wrap up of the best places in Andorra. Now we know that you can find incredible freeriding in Vallnord, awesome après ski in Pas De La Casa and all the best experiences in every single spot. Get booking and let’s see you on the slopes in Jan!