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. Grandvalira is 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.
Those looking for lively apres-ski should head to Pas de la Casa. The compact centre has a dozen or so small-to-medium sized bars and service by English or Antipodean bar staff is the order of the day. With prices equivalent to those 'back home' or better, they draw the skiers as soon as the lifts close.