La Massana: Home To Pal-Arnisal's 63Km Of Lift-Linked Pistes
The La Massana Valley in Andorra is dominated by towering peaks, particularly the 2946-metre Comapedrosa Mountain. Pretty villages are scattered throughout La Massana along with ancient chapels, bridges, and Romanesque monuments.
The La Massana Valley encompasses the ski resorts of Pal (1780m), Arinsal (1780m), and La Massana (1550m). La Massana (1600m) is the largest and the lowest of the villages and is directly lift-linked to the Pal-Arinsal ski area; a gondola takes skiers straight up from the village to the slopes and there is also a ski bus linking the villages.
The Pal-Arinsal ski area offers access to 63 kilometres of pistes for all levels (four green runs, 16 blue, 16 red, and five black) linked by 30 ski lifts. Skiers can reach an altitude of 2560 metres and enjoy a vertical of 1010 metres. Despite the laid-back appearance of Pal-Arinsal, there is a buzzing après ski scene with plenty of bars and restaurants.
Arinsal offers wide, gentle slopes of beginners, while Pal is favoured by intermediates for its long blue runs. Experts can take on the challenge of the La Comellada black run and enjoy off-piste trails through the trees. Snowboarders flock to the Arinsal sector for the modern snowpark with big air, half-pipe, and jumps.
Pal-Arinsal has recently merged with the 24 kilometres of runs in neighbouring Ordino and Arcalis (1940 metres) to form the Vallnord ski area. In total Vallnord features 87 kilometres of pistes divided in to 66 runs linked by 41 ski lifts.
La Massana is a relatively new ski resort so nightlife is much quieter than neighbouring Arinsal and there is no official run back to town. The village is also one of the closest to capital La Vella, ten minutes away, with its vast range of duty free shops.
The La Massana Valley is served by two main airports Toulouse - Blagnac in France (196 kilometres away) and Barcelona in Spain (202 kilometres away).
Fly to Barcelona or Toulouse then catch the bus. If you book in advance, the bus will take you to Arinsal for a few Euros more. Otherwise, it will drop you at the bus station in Andorra la Vella, then taxi to your destination. This may be cheaper if there is more than one person.