It seems like ages ago since I was in Andorra snowboarding! I’m already thinking about where to go next! Did you catch my recent post about the Hotel I stayed in? How can I not share a post about the most important part about the trip… snowboarding?!
Andorra is made up of 2 main skiing areas; Grand Valiria which links Soldeu (where we stayed) El Tarter and Pas De La Casa. Then Vallnord that has 93km of piste which links Arinsal, Ordinio-Arcalis & Pal. Arinsal is one of the more popular resorts, but caters more for beginners. We stayed in Soldeu which is part of the Grandvalira area. It’s the largest resorts in the Pyrenees, offering a huge 210km or 127 miles of pistes (that is a heck of a lot)! and has been one of the world’s most successful resorts. There’s really good mix of slopes to suit all abilities;
Green – Easy (14)
Blue – Moderates (43)
Red – Intermediate (38)
Black – Advanced (16)
Like a lot of ski resorts, the blues pistes can be quite varied. Some of the slopes can be fairly steep and more like reds. Then you can get some reds aren’t that bad! It’s a fairly high resort, the village is at 1710 metres and rises to 2,580 so its a fairly snow sure resort! If your looking for vibrant apres ski and nightlife head to Pas De La Casa, its known as Ibiza on snow!
Not a bad view to wake up to on a Monday morning 🏂🏂 pic.twitter.com/Mtz55aa6tm
— Yorkshire Gentleman (@TheYrkshrGent) February 26, 2018
To access the heart of the slopes at Espiolets, you can either take the Gondola which is really busy most days or a short walk takes you to a chair lift which also takes you up to the main slopes.
Most of the slopes are long and wide which is great for us snowboarders! There are some narrow ones too which have a few flat spots towards the bottom which can be a bit annoying as a boarder. If freestyle is your thing, there’s a snowpark at El Tarter, with areas for different levels of skiiers and boarders! You can even grab some freestyle lessons (if only I’d of known this when I was there!)
Temperatures can get really cold in the Pyrnees, as long as you’ve got some good base layers and jacket and trousers and you’ll hardly notice the cold!
It's been as low as -15 in Andorra 😨 although you don't really feel it when your out boarding 😄 pic.twitter.com/6HqPbb6RT7
— Yorkshire Gentleman (@TheYrkshrGent) February 27, 2018
The run from Soldeu down to El Tarter via Gall De Bosc (8.2km or 5 miles) is amazing, with its stunning scenery and descent down 850 metres! From the top of the run at Tossal De La Llosoda you’ll be blown away by the views over the mountains and stunning scenery.
Restaurants & bars
There’s a wide choice of restaurants and bars for when you want to grab something to eat or drink. Snowclub El Tarter is worth a visit if you’ve made it down to El Tarter. The Cliquot snow club often has a live DJ on where you can kick back, and enjoy a drink in a chilled out atmosphere. Drinks prices are fairly reasonable, around €4 for beer and €3 for a coffee or hot chocolate. Main meals cost from around €10.
An adult day lift pass for Gran costs €49 or £43. A 5 day lift pass will cost you €217 or £192, probably one of the more expensive lift passes in Europe. It may sound expensive but I think its worth paying as you get such a massive amount of pistes to go at! I’d be surprised if you could get round it all in a week!
If you fancy doing an activity other than skiing or snowboarding, there’s plenty of choice at Grandvalira. Choose from snow mobiles, huskey dog sleding, snow shoes and snow tubing among!
With a impressive 210km of pistes to go at and some amazing scenery, the Grand Valiria has a lot to offer both skiiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Although, I’d say its better suited to intermediate riders. Would I visit this resort again? Absolutely, But there’s so many other different resorts to see!
Have you been skiing or boarding this year? Where abouts did you go and what did you think?