When it comes up to skiing, Europe can offer a lot of skiing destinations. There’s everything for each type of skier: from the beginner to the off-piste junkie, from the snowboard dude to the après-ski fan, from the family with kids to the teenage group of friends, from the budget traveler to the spa-addict. Whichever ski destination you choose there will be something for you.
- 1 Then why choose Andorra for your next ski holiday?
- 2 Practicalities
Then why choose Andorra for your next ski holiday?
I have already been three times skiing in Andorra and I loved it. And if you ask me, I will go there a fourth time, not that I don’t like the rest of Europe’s ski areas, but I feel comfortable in Andorra. It simply feels like home.
There’s always sunshine in Andorra
Or almost always. According to the statistics Andorra can brag the impressive 300 days of sunshine per year. Isn’t that a perfect reason to go skiing in Andorra?
Tip: Do not forget your sun screen and sun glasses. At these heights the UV rays can be quite damaging to your skin and eyes.
Snow is guaranteed throughout the season
The 2 skiing areas Grandvalira and Valnord are located at average 2000 m (6500 ft), which complemented by the 1300 snow cannons guarantees perfect ski conditions throughout the whole ski season. Even late in the season the conditions are good.
Tip: Go in March which is towards the end of the season – there’s enough snow, less people and the prices are more budget-friendly.
Andorra is absolutely adorable
Andorra is one of the smallest countries in the world, and it’s on the 6th place in Europe with a territory of only 468 km2 (180 sq mi). I love the small alleys with stone houses. Andorra is popular for its fine examples of Romanesque architecture – there are more than 40 monuments and churches. The modern architecture strives to preserve this rural look: stone combined with wood.
Tip: Take time to just walk around and enjoy the place. A ski holiday is not all about skiing, get to know the place.
It is not crowded
Although there come more than 10 million tourists per year and tourism has the biggest share of Andorra’s economy, it just doesn’t feel crowded on the slopes. The country hasn’t yet fallen into the trap of mass tourism.
Tip: When skiing watch out for the ski schools and ski with caution.
Shopping is fun in Andorra
Well, when you are on a ski holiday, what you are mostly doing is being on the slopes the whole day. And if you want to take a day off, you are in no time in the capital Andorra La Vella. It’s fun spending half a day in the Grans Magatzems Pyrénées – a huge department store. There are of course a lot of other shops and boutiques.
Tip: Andorra introduced in 2015 extra taxes, which makes the country nowadays less of a tax haven.
How to get to Andorra
Andorra is located in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. You can fly either to Barcelona (Prat), Girona or Toulouse airports. There are direct bus services from all three airports.
Organizing your ski holiday
You can opt out for booking all parts separately: accommodation, flight, transfers, food, ski passes and ski equipment, but I would recommend booking a whole holiday package. This will save you a lot of time and hassle and as you will be buying a package, also money. Normally, I avoid buying holiday packages, but in this case, it is just easier and cheaper.
If you still decide to book separately your ski holiday in Andorra, you can find here the best hotel deals:
Disclaimer: If you book accommodation via the above link, I may earn a small amount at no extra cost for you. This helps me run the blog and pays for costs like the the web-hosting, for example.
Ski resorts in Andorra
There are 2 skiing areas in Andorra, which are interconnected. Grandvalira is the bigger from the two. It has more than 200 km of ski runs and consists of the resorts Canillo, El Tarter, Soldeu, Grau Roig en Pas de la Casa. The other skiing area Valnord is relatively small – only 93 km of ski runs and three sectors: Arcalis, Arinsal and Pal. If you are into going out after a day of skiing and you like the night life, then Soldeu, Pas de la Casa or Arinsal are the best places for you. Valnord is more popular with families.
Tip: When looking at the holiday packages, choose for a hotel which is near to a lift that goes to the slopes, or which provides free transport to a lift. Otherwise, you will be carrying your skis (or snowboard) around, and this is one part I personally hate. The less you need to walk in the ski boots, the better.
Although Andorra is not a member of the European Union, the currency is the euro.
The official language in Andorra is Catalan. However, Spanish, French and Portuguese are the other recognized languages. Having tourism as the main industry, everybody speaks also English.
Have I made you long for the white slopes, dashing down like the wind? Do you feel like digging deep in your wardrobe and taking out your ski jacket? And then? Austria? France? Switzerland? Why not even Andorra? Just remember, Andorra is a ski destination where you can find all ski facilities and entertainment whiteout the crowds.
It’s all clear, my favourite ski destination is Andorra and best place to stay is Soldeu. And what is your preferred ski destination? What makes it so special?