Andorra offers some great opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. In this small country there are great snow-capped mountains that once were empty. Nowadays, millions of tourists from neighboring European countries come to the Pyrenees to enjoy the slopes. There are 8 ski resorts in Andorra that offer lessons or just give you the opportunity to relax and play in the snowy valleys.
How to get to Andorra
Andorra is located in the Iberian Mountains between France and Spain. There is no airport in the country, so tourists enter the resort through its neighbors. There is a daily bus service to Andorra from Barcelona Nord station. The ticket costs 28 Euro 75 cents (you can book it here). This is the fastest and most advantageous way to get to the mountainous principality. If you decide to rent a car to get to Andorra, you will have to pay about 50 euros. However, you should remember that not every company allows you to leave the car in another country.
You can book a taxi transfer from Barcelona to Andorra by reserving it in advance. The driver will meet you with a sign at the airport and help you with your luggage if necessary.
Weather in Andorra
The ski resorts of Andorra are considered the sunniest in Europe. Compared to the Austrian and Swiss Alps, where there is constant cloud cover during the season, Andorra has amazing clear skies. The slopes are open from December 1. This date is considered to be the start for foreign visitors. At night the air temperature drops to -10 degrees and during the day it can warm up to +10 degrees. The peculiarity of Andorran winter is that at the foot of the mountains, in the capital Andorra la Vella, you can see flowers and rivers flow, all while there is snow at the tops of the mountains at the resorts.
Where to stay?
If you plan to spend all your time on snowy slopes, hotels in small towns near the mountains are ideal:
Pas de la Casa (available hotels can be found here);
Soldeu (available hotels see here);
El Tarter (see hotels here).
The Tarter Mountain Suites and Apartments Les Terrasses del Tarter are great options for hotel rooms and apartments. You'll be near the lifts to the slopes, and the room windows overlook the snow-white hilltops. Accommodation in a hotel or chalet will cost an average of 90-120 euros per day per room, depending on the season.
If you want to combine skiing in Andorra with parties at night, it is better to book a room in the cities of Andorra La Vella, Encamp or Pas de la Casa. Near the capital the cost of daily rent is a little higher: a group of 3-4 people will have to pay 75 euros per day. Some hotels to consider are Mola Park Atiram Hotel, Golden Tulip Andorra Fenix, Appartements Solaris. Breakfast in these hotels is included in the price.
Ski Pass for lifts in Andorra
At any resort in th world, you'll have to pay to ride the lifts up the mountains. In Andorra, you can purchase a Ski Pass that allows you to ride on the slopes, use the lifts, buses and visit some entertainment centers. You can buy it either at the bottom of the slope at the ticket office or online in advance.
A subscription to the lifts for one adult per day costs from 50 euros, and if you'll be there for a few days, a pass will save you a lot of money. You can buy a Ski Pass here.
Ski resorts in Andorra
This is the largest ski resort complex in Andorra. The total length of all tracks is 200 kilometers. There are 54 challenging downhills for professionals and extreme skiers (marked red), 38 for those who ski well (marked blue) and 18 tracks for beginners and children (marked green). You can grab a map at any of the 67 lifts.
There are several schools in Grandvalira, where you can learn how to ride on any winter equipment. There are also shops near the funiculars where you can rent equipment. To have lunch you'll have to head to the middle of the slope, where there are 6 restaurants featuring different world cuisines.
This ski resort is 5 kilometres from the capital, Andorra la Vella. The resort is more family-run and consists of two villages, Arinsal Pal and Arcalis-Ordino. On their territory there are 89 kilometers of slopes. All are mainly on the north side, so the cover is one of the flattest in Andorra. In addition, the snow guns help to maintain excellent downhill conditions every day. Those who come to Andorra without their equipment can get rental equipment in tents near the bus stops. However, keep in mind that renting is only possible with a credit card. You will not be given skis and boards with your passport or driver's licence.
Besides skiing at the resorts, you can visit clothing shops (shopping in Andorra is a paradise), medical and recovery centers, rent a picnic gazebo for any-sized group, spend time with your child in a snow park and have a rest in a SPA-salon. Of course, you have to pay for these services separately.
If you don't like winter, you should still visit Andorra for at least a day if you're in Barcelona. It's worth it to see the contrast of countries that are 200 kilometers from each other. A professional guide in Barcelona can help you organize your trip to the Principality. You'll be shown all the important sights, have time for leisure activities, and enjoy a meal in a great restaurant. You can book a tour of Andorra for one day here.
Have a nice trip to the fabulous Andorra!