Andorra, The Land of Snow

Skiing in AndorraAndorra has the largest skiable area in the Pyrenees. Grandvalira (Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig and Soldeu-El Tarter) and Vallnord (Ordino-Arcalís and Pal-Arinsal Mountain Park), the two Alpine ski resorts associated with Ski Andorra, have a total of 3,075 hectares of skiing area, -282 kilometres of pistes, 106 ski lifts, and 1,417 artificial snow cannons. These facilities, combined with those of the Rabassa and Parador Canaro snowfields, make Andorra the Land of Snow.

In the last season, from December to April, more than 2.5 million skiing days in Andorra were sold. The wide choice of Alpine and cross-country ski resorts, combined with the great variety and quality of the additional skiing and leisure activities, make the Principality the top destination every winter.

Grandvalira and Vallnord have a total of 176 pistes divided into 28 green, 60 blue, 59 red and 29 black; there is also a cable railway with two carriages carrying 50 people, a Funitel with 36 24-place cabins, and five cable cars carrying between six and eight people. In addition to skiing and snow-boarding, there is also a wide range of snow-related activities, like snow-shoeing, skibikes, dog-sleds, and snowbikes.

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Grandvalíra: Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig and Soldeu-El Tarter

GrandvaliraPas de la Casa-Grau Roig and Soldeu-El Tarter form the skiing area of Grandvalira (1,926 ha). With a maximum altitude of 2,640 m and a minimum of 1,710 m, it has 110 pistes of 193 km, with a capacity for 99,600 skiers/hour, 64 skilifts (one Funìtel, three cable cars, 30 chair lifts, 16 ski lifts, nine telecords, and five conveyor belts) and 68.3 km of artificial snow pistes. There are also three freestyle areas, one bumps stadium, four Ratrack ski routes, eight FIS approved pistes, and a mini competition stadium.

The Andorran resort of Grandvalira offers other activities such as snow-shoeing, dog-sledding, and reindeer rides. There are also adventure circuits, a children’s circuit, and an open air activity centre for non-skiers. The areas designed for small children include the Snow Club Mickey, one of only two such areas in the world.

Vallnord: Pal-Arinsal Mountain Park and Ordino-Arcalís

VallnordThis is the result of the commercial merger of the neighbouring resorts of Pal-Arinsal Mountain Park and Ordino-Arcalís, and, while they are not physically joined, they provide two different resorts for a single charge, which also covers access to the new Massana-Pal cable car, the nearest to Andorra la Vella, which was opened in November 2004.

Vallnord is 5 km from Andorra la Vella and 3 km from Escaldes–Engordany. The Pal-Arinsal sector is the ideal resort for family skiing, with a skiable area of 707 hectares under snow with a capacity for 34,100 skiers/hour, with 28 ski lifts, 371 artificial snow cannons and 160 monitors. Its FIS stadium is one of the biggest in Southern Europe, and the latest trends in skiing and snow-boarding are practiced in its freestyle and freeride areas (with an area of 40,000 m2 and chill out included). It also has a Carving Area, two bumps areas and a slalom area.

Many other activities can be enjoyed at Pal-Arinsal Mountain Park as well as skiing and snow-boarding. Skibíking, snowbiking, orienteering, snowshoeing and helicopter flights are just some of these. There are also many activities intended for children, such as children’s snow bikes and jumps. And last but not least, the themed mountain restaurants should not be missed.

Ordino-Arcalis Sector is the most Alpine resort in the Pyrenees. Its orientation, on the north/north-west slopes of the mountain, where the snow is very generous, makes this skiable area outstanding for the excellent quality of its snow. It is also known for having some of the most spectacular off-piste skiing at the heart of a perfectly preserved natural landscape, with 25 pistes, 74 snow cannons and 14 ski lifts. In addition, it has a 15,000 m snowboarding park, slalom stadium and a biking circuit with spectacular night-time excursions.

Naturlandia-La Rabassa, one hundred percent cross-country skiing

Naturlandia-La Rabassa At Sant Julia de Lòria, between 2,160 m and 1,960 m, is Naturlandia. The La Rabassa snowfield is the newest destination for those passionate about nature and Nordic skiing. As well as 15 km of marked runs there is also Inuit Parc, an area of more than 4,000 m² with via ferratas for beginners, treetop routes, a 4m high viewing tower with 360º slide and tirolines in addition to the Inuit theme park, not to mention downhill ski pistes and a ski school. It is ideal for children of between 3 and 12 years old. In the future, Naturlandia will house a training and wellness centre for professional sportsmen and women who wish to train at an altitude of 2000 m.

In addition to cross-country skiing and the theme park, there are other activities to be enjoyed at the La Rabassa snowfield. Outstandingly popular are the snow toboggan park, the Nordic dog sleds and snow-shoeing through the woods. The educational activities for exploring winter nature and the fauna of the Principality of Andorra and the techniques for building igloos are also interesting.