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
Photo of Chloe Byrne
25 September 2020

France, Switzerland and Austria come to mind when skiing in Europe is mentioned, but did you know you can also ski in Andorra?

Nestled on the French and Spanish border, this tiny country is one of the best – yet least-known – countries for skiing in Europe. Endless sunshine, high altitude and cheap deals make this a must-visit Pyrenees ski destination. Read on to discover the best ski resorts in Andorra.

Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig

Ski Resort
Map View
Slopes and chairlift at Grau Roig, Pas de la Casa, Grandvalira Ski Area, Andorra
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig sit on the other side of the Grandvalira ski area, next to the border with France. It also gives access to all of the 210km (130mi) of slopes in Grandvalira, and all levels of runs.

Facilities

Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig sit right next to each other, but have very different vibes. Pas de la Casa has a great shopping centre and is very lively, with a buzzing après-ski scene. It is particularly popular with teens and young adults, as well as snowboarders. Grau Roig, on the other hand, is very quiet and has no commercial centre. It’s home to a luxurious hotel and spa, and also offers a Kids Forest, specifically designed for little skiers.

Soldeu

Ski Resort
Map View
Skiers exiting a chair lift above Soldeu and El tarter, Grandvalaria ski area, Andorra, Europe
© Graham Toney / Alamy Stock Photo
Soldeu sits at the centre of the vast Grandvalira ski area, one of the largest in the Pyrenees, with over 210km (130mi) of runs. It is Andorra’s most upmarket ski resort, with one-day lift passes costing €51 (£47), but this does cover the whole Grandvalira area. The best time to visit is from January to early March when the snow conditions are likely to be best.

Facilities

Soldeu is blue-run heaven, making it ideal for beginners and intermediates, while advanced skiers will prefer the steeper reds on the Pas de la Casa side. There’s a popular ski school with English-speaking instructors and ski hire from Sports Calbo. Accommodation is slightly more expensive, and there’s definitely a lively après ski scene here. Head to Fat Albert’s for a beer and check out Delbosc Coffee Shop for great coffee and cake.

El Tarter

Ski Resort
Map View
A view from the piste above El Tarter, Grandvalaria ski area, Andorra, Europe
© Graham Toney / Alamy Stock Photo
Just next door to Soldeu, El Tarter is linked to the same ski area as Soldeu and Pas de la Casa, so it is just as convenient from a ski perspective. There are plenty of runs to keep you entertained for a week here, plus it’s home to the famous El Tarter Snowpark.

Facilities

El Tarter is a slightly smaller village with plenty of self-catering accommodation and a hostel for budget stays. It is very family friendly (as the après vibe is a little quieter), and the snow school also has an excellent reputation. Parking is easy here – it has a large car park next to the gondola. Stop off at Burger Brothers for a seriously good meal at the end of the day.

Vallnord Pal-Arinsal

Ski Resort
Map View
View down the nursery slopes in Pal, Vallnord Ski Area, Andorra
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
The Vallnord ski area is smaller than Grandvalira, but still covers over 63km (39mi) of slopes including four black, 17 red, 16 blue and seven green runs, plus there are five FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) slalom slopes used for World Cup skiing events. It’s located in the west of the country, and Pal-Arinsal resort can be found on its western edge. There are great high-speed ski lifts and gondolas, which connect the two neighbouring resorts. Arinsal is a ski-in, ski-out resort, meaning that you can ski right from your hotel without having to take a bus. Blue runs dominate the piste here, but there are also a couple of fun reds and three blacks, including La Capa. It’s also a great place for freeriders with extensive off-piste and tree runs over on the Pal side. Pal is closest to the commercial centre of Andorra la Vella, and is ideal for family skiing. It also offers other winter sports such as snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, mushing and sledging.

La Massana

Ski Resort
Map View
ski slopes with lifts forming perspective photo
© claudia guerra / Alamy Stock Photo
La Massana is also in the Valnord Pal-Arinsal ski area, but tucked over on the opposite side. A gondola will take you straight up from the village into the El Planell area at 1,900m (6,234ft). There are lots of green runs here, which makes it a perfect place to start learning to ski. It’s not an area for advanced skiers looking for steep couloirs to drop into – it is more suited to leisurely skiers and those with young children.

Facilities

Visitors stay in the village below and take a short gondola ride up to the pistes. La Massana’s nightlife is more low key than Arinsal’s, but there are a couple of Andorran bars, hotels and Shusski rental shop for skis and snowboards. Secret Spot Hostel is great for budget accommodation, while those looking for more plush quarters should try Hotel Màgic La Massana with its indoor pool (and on-site Irish pub). Soak your weary limbs at Caldea afterwards, Europe’s largest spa.

Vallnord Arcalis

Ski Resort
Map View
Restaurant terrace in the L'Hortell service area at the bottom of the slopes in Arcalis, Vallnord Ski Area, Andorra
© Ian G Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Arcalis sits in the Ordino Valley and also gives access to the Vallnord ski area. Arcalis has fewer groomed pistes (30km (19mi) compared to Pal-Arinsal’s 63km (39mi)). However, it is Andorra’s freeride hotspot, famous for hosting Freeride World Tour events in its craggy off-piste. It is known for attracting some of the best snow in Andorra, thanks to its north-facing slopes.

Facilities

The resort offers seven green, six blue, 10 red and two black runs, fewer than Pal-Arinsal, but still a good number for beginners and intermediate skiers. Advanced skiers can take advantage of the heli-skiing on offer, while families are also well catered for, with Màgic Ski Club offering lessons for kids aged 3 to 17, including freeride lessons for teens eager to hit the tree runs. Bear in mind that here is no accommodation on the hill itself.

This is an updated version of an article by Esme Fox. Additional reporting by Nina Zietman.

These recommendations were updated on September 25, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.