Andorra Inspection Trip

Written by Ski Adaptable Ski Trip Consultant Ricky Behan March 2014

When people think about a ski trip, Andorra is not always the first destination that springs to mind when deciding on a ski resort however if you were to visit this small picturesque country I think you would have an entirely different view. Recent investment, €50 million to be precise, in mountain cafes, restaurants, chairlifts, gondolas, snow-making machines and hotels has transformed Andorra from one of Europe’s lesser known countries for skiing into one of its most modern and cost-effective.

Andorra school ski trips - inspection visitBuoyed by recent investment Andorra has become an attractive option for school ski trips and due to the upsurge in demand for this tiny country I had the good fortune to visit and experience Andorra first hand to see what the fuss was all about.  Located between France and Spain in the Pyrenees Mountains, Andorra consists of two ski areas, Grandvalira to the east andVallnord to the west. I was based in the quiet village of Soldeu which forms part of the Grandvalira ski area along with El Tarter, Soldeu, Pas de la Casa, Canillo and Grau Roig. The majority of our groups are located in Pas de la Casa which is the highest resort in Andorra so it was here where I started my inspection trip with our ski rep Jordi who took me around the local hotels that we offer.

I was specifically told to look out for the quality of the hotels in Andorra and having been on similar inspection trips before I was very impressed with the standard of the hotels in Pas. They were conveniently located within walking distance to the slopes and had good après ski facilities onsite to keep students entertained. Couple this with clean, comfortable en-suite rooms and a skiing area of 220km and you have a perfect package for a school ski trip. Boasting an excellent snow record and a modern lift system, Pas de la Casa is ideal for beginner and intermediate groups with its wide, well-groomed confidence boosting tracks.

Andorra school ski trips - inspection visitIf the busy resort of Pas de la Casa is not your style and you prefer a more low-key affair then the smaller ski area of Vallnordis perfect. Comprising of the areas of Arinsal, Pal and Ordino-Arcalis, Vallnord is smaller than Granvalira but still offers excellent accommodation and high altitude skiing at affordable prices. It was here that I was able to look around another popular resort we use called Arinsal which is a lovely village set between 1550 to 2560 metres. The hotels we use here are conveniently located within walking distance of the main ski lift in Arinsal and all possess excellent onsite après ski facilities such as games rooms, onsite discos and even a swimming pool. Another major plus point about both Vallnord and Grandvalirais the food. All the hotels provide buffet breakfasts and evening meals and unlike most resorts we use, lunch is served at mountainside restaurants so students will have a hot 2 course meal without having to return to the hotel or taking a packed lunch up the mountain.

Once again there seems to be a perception that Andorra does not have as favourable climate as the more traditionally know countries in Europe for snow but this could not be further from the truth. Due to the high altitude Andorra benefits from reliable snow fall and boasts an impressive natural snow record with the season starting in early December and ending in late April even May. Like most European ski resorts, Andorra retains snow on the slopes until late April and often well into May with often the best snow of the season falling in March and April. Having skied in France, Switzerland and Austria I was very impressed with the level of skiing in Andorra which is perfect for beginner and intermediate groups looking to build their confidence. Furthermore due to the extensive lift system that links up all the different ski areas there is also plenty for the more advanced skier.

Take a look now at the great resorts of Vallnord and Grandvalira and get in touch to request your quote for your school ski trip to Andorra. Contact Ski Adaptable today to start organising your school ski trip to Andorra.

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