Soldeu el Tarter
Soldeu el Tarter sits at the centre of the vast Grandvalira ski area, one of the largest in the Pyrenees, with over 210 kilometres (130 miles) of runs. Essentially, Soldeu and el Tarter are two small villages, both with direct access to the slopes. They’re both upmarket ski resorts with pricey passes, but give access to some of best pistes in the Pyrenees, with excellent snow conditions.
The villages give access to 16 green runs, 51 blue runs, 42 red runs and 19 black runs, meaning that they’re ideal for beginners, intermediates and more advanced skiers. Both resorts also have a number of ski schools, snow gardens and nurseries, while El Tarter is home to the El Tarter Snowpark – perfect for snowboarders, and a children’s snow circuit. Between them, Soldeu and El Tarter have a good range of accommodation and nightlife options, with a variety of hotels and self-catering apartments. El Tarter is a little more laid back than Soldeu, and is probably better for families; it also has a hostel for those who are travelling on a budget.
Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig
Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig sit on the other side of the Grandvalira ski area, next to the border with France. They also give access to all of the 210 kilometres (130 miles) of slopes in Grandvalira, and all the various levels of runs.
Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig sit right next to each other, but have a very different feeling to one another. 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 one luxurious hotel and spa, and also offers an Imaginarium Circuit through the forest, specifically designed for toddlers.
The Vallnord ski area is smaller than Grandvalira, but still overs over 90 kilometres (56 miles) of slopes and top-notch ski conditions. 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 gondalas, 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 lift. Here, you’ll find seven green runs, 15 blue runs, 16 red runs and four black runs, meaning it’s best for beginners and intermediate skiers. It’s also a great place for free-riders and snowboarders, and offers a good range of nightlife options. Pal, on the other hand, 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.
Arcalis sits in the Ordino Valley and also gives access to the Vallnord ski area. It’s a favourite with nature lovers, with lots of forests, beautiful valleys and dramatic gorges. It also has great snow conditions.
The resort offers seven green runs, six blue runs, 10 red runs and two black runs, less than Pal-Arinsal, but still a good number for beginners and intermediate skiers. Other benefits for beginners are the longest beginners’ run in Andorra and a good ski school. Children will love the Arcalis Family park, with rides and teddy-bear mascots.