- 22 Resorts
- Consistent Snow
- Diverse destinations
- Resorts open before those of many other states
- Home to Vail, Beaver Creek, Copper Mountain
The resorts of Soldeu, El Tarter and Pas de la Casa have merged to create the largest ski area in the country: Grandvalira.
Grandvalira is now one of the world's 30 biggest ski resorts with more than 200km of piste and the first resort outside the Alps to officially offer more than 200km of ski runs, moving it into the global big league. Its 66 lifts, which include 20 high-speed detachable quad and six-seater chairlifts, along with three gondolas, give a combined uplift of more than 100,000 skiers per hour – a combination of speed and capacity matched by less than a dozen resorts worldwide. It is also now one of the planet’s biggest and most modern snow-makers with more than half of its terrain covered by 1,000 snow cannons.
While you can still find low-priced apartments, the range of quality accommodation on offer is a rather new thing. The best of the slope-side hotels is the five-star Hermitage and nearby Sporthotel in central Soldeu.
Grandvalira continues to retain a hardcore party reputation, particularly at the resort of Pas de la Casa. It has a compact centre with a dozen or so small-to-medium sized bars in each. Service by English or Antipodean bar staff is the order of the day, with prices equivalent to those 'back home' or better, so they're lively as soon as the lifts close.
Andorra doesn’t have its own airport. The biggest airport is Barcelona (210 Km) and the nearest is l’Alguaire de Lleida (158 Km). Girona (250 Km) and Reus (210 Km) are two other options. From here you can get to Andorra by car or bus. From France, the main airports are Rivesaltes airport (170 Km) in Perpignan and Blagnac airport in Toulouse, (196 Km).
Andorra has been spending on 'alternative facilities' besides skiing and shopping, particularly high-class swimming and leisure complexes. These include the most dramatic building in the capital La Vella, only a few minutes from Grandvalira, the spectacular Caldea 'Thermoludic Centre' where mirrored glass crystal spires cut the skyline. A serious health centre, it features a vast array of luxurious pools as well as health and beauty treatments. In addition the village of Canillo, linked by gondola in to Grandvalira, is home to an excellent indoor sports centre, Andorra's national facility, including a swimming pool and ice rink.
mi Snow Making