The Best Ski Resorts in Andorra

Skiing is one of the main reasons millions of visitors flock to Andorra each year
Skiing is one of the main reasons millions of visitors flock to Andorra each year | © Ian Dagnall Commercial Collection / Alamy Stock Photo
Alex Allen

Forget crowded, expensive ski resorts in the Alps. This tiny mountainous country on the border with Spain offers intermediate-friendly slopes, cheap beer and endless sunshine. Although it’s only about the size of London, Andorra still manages to squeeze in nine high-quality ski resorts, each with its own distinct personality. Read on for our favourites.

1. Arinsal

Ski Resort

In the northwest of the country, Arinsal is the perfect place to strap on a pair of skis for the first time. Its network of mainly blue pistes are perfectly suited to first- and second-timers, while there’s a nursery for the little ones and a snow park with a halfpipe for thrill seekers to perfect their tricks. Off the slopes, Arinsal village has a decent selection of family-friendly restaurants and après ski bars, as well as activities – such as bowling, spa treatments (at the Hotel Princesa Parc) and ziplining – for the non-skiers.

2. Pal

Ski Resort

Pal, on the other side of the mountain and linked to Arinsal by a cable car, offers more advanced skiers something crunchier to get their edges into. As well as gentle, sweeping blues, there are steep reds and even off-piste black runs through the trees. The village of Pal itself is matchbox-size, with just a handful of hotels and restaurants – so if you’re looking to blow off steam after a day on the slopes, carve your way down to Arinsal. Pal is less than 10 minutes away by taxi.

3. Pas de la Casa

Ski Resort

Skiers on a chairlift at Grau Roig, Pas de la Casa, Grandvalira Ski Area in Andorra, with snowy slopes in the background
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo

High and expansive, Pas de la Casa is ideal for late season skiers looking for wide, quiet slopes. As the highest resort in the Pyrenees, it can stay open and snow-blanketed right up until the end of April, meaning the keen beans looking to avoid the crowded pistes and lift queues of peak season will be happy as larry. Beginners will be pleased, too, as the majority of the slopes here are green and blue – with a scattering of red and black runs found right at the top. Freestyle skiers and snowboarders will appreciate the park and pipe, just above town.

4. Grau Roig

Ski Resort

If being in the mountains is as important to you as skiing, then Grau Roig could be the resort for you. It has the most dramatic scenery of all of Andorra’s resorts, with rocky, cloud-veiled peaks and wooded valleys – as awe-inspiring as anywhere in the Alps or the Rockies. It also has some of the most varied terrain, encompassing nursery slopes for the little ones, off-piste areas and the only Speed Skiing slope approved within the Iberian Peninsula.

5. Soldeu

Ski Resort

Skiers exiting a chair lift above Soldeu and El Tarter in the Grandvalaria ski area
© Graham Toney / Alamy Stock Photo

For slope-savvy families, this pocket-size resort is perfect. There’s an excellent ski school to drop the kids off at, if they’re not up to speed with you – or if you need to catch up to them – plus a beginner/intermediate mix of pistes, ideal for those ready to transition to grown-up runs. There are tree-lined black runs, too, for the show-offs in your group. As for the village of Soldeu itself, it’s not huge – you can walk from one end to the other in 10 minutes, but it has a handful of reliable family-friendly restaurants and hotels, most with spas and kids’ clubs.

6. El Tarter

Ski Resort

Snowy slopes seen from the piste above El Tarter at Grandvalaria ski area, with skiers on a chairlift
© Graham Toney / Alamy Stock Photo

El Tarter itself may be small – a cluster of contemporary wood-and-stone apartment buildings winding up into the slopes – but this bijou resort is part of the Grandvalira, the largest ski area in Andorra, with 210km (130mi) of pistes to explore. Beginners and intermediates are particularly well-served, with the majority of the area’s runs being green, blue and red. There’s loads to do for non-skiers, too, with activities such as dog-sledding and snowshoeing on offer.

7. La Massana

Ski Resort

An empty chairlift bench above snowy slopes with skiers
© claudia guerra / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the four localised resorts that form the Vallnord ski area, La Massana is largely comparable to its neighbours Pal and Arinsal when it comes to the difficulty and style of its pistes. It differs in having a bigger central hub, with a greater choice of hotels, restaurants and après ski bars. And it’s completely unique in Andorra for having a comic book museum, as well as a cultural theatre that specialises in off-beat plays.

8. Canillo

Ski Resort

Canillo, linked to Soldeu as part of the Grandvalira ski area, is for adrenaline junkies. It’s only got a handful of pistes itself, which aren’t particularly gnarly, but it’s the off-slope activities that’ll really get your blood pumping. Get ready for ice karting, which involves racing petrol-powered go-karts in laps around an ice rink. Or how about zooming along the longest zipline in Europe at the Mont Magic Circuit? There’s even a motorbike museum for die-hard petrol heads.

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