Why Andorra Is the Skiing Destination You Need to Experience This Season
After organising a trip for one of my clients, I received this brilliant travel story from them. I hope it’s a good example of how we at Simplexity Travel can help to tailor your travel, ensuring you have the best possible experience.
It’d been several years since I last skied Andorra, but my memories of this tiny, mountainous country sandwiched between Spain and France were as fresh as the powder I relished carving through every morning on my first visit.
Andorra offers the finest skiing in the Pyrenees, with a fantastic selection of luxury spa hotels, quaint lodges and high-end apartments, as well as a diverse array of après-ski entertainment.
Whether you’re a new skier or like me, a little bit rusty after a few years of not hitting the slopes, it’s worth reading up on some handy ski training tips before you go. Everything from cross country to alpine skiing is covered in this easy to digest guide.
Easy-going international atmosphere
Previously, I’d stayed in Arinsal, a charming little village that’s part of the Vallnord ski area, where there’s abundant off-piste skiing available, and a rich blend of restaurants featuring international and traditional mountain cuisine. This time though, I chose to base myself in, which is another of Andorra’s best-known resorts.
It has an appealingly easy-going atmosphere, and lifts that link directly to the vast Grandvalira ski area, the largest in the Pyrenees. Among some 25 black runs, there’s the ‘Avet,’ which is used for the Alpine Skiing World Cup and one I fancied trying for myself. Soldeu is great for families too, with a highly regarded English-speaking ski school and many smooth, wide slopes. Nearby is Pas de la Casa (Pas for short), another resort I considered for its lively après-ski scene. It boasts a great snow record thanks to its 2050m elevation, and probably the best Andorra ski resort for boarders with a dedicated snow park.
First class travel arrangements
I flew into Barcelona first-class and was met on arrival by the car that my Simplexity Travel Manager, had organised for me beforehand.
The three-hour journey to Soldeu went in a flash, so absorbed was I in the stunning views on all sides. Andorra routinely benefits from crisp sunny weather, and clear blue skies. It’s also duty-free, and most resorts are dotted with high-end boutiques that are worth spending a few hours wandering around.
The Sport Hotel Hermitage is a palatial 5* hotel right at the foot of the slopes, ideal for skiing in and out. Asking my Travel Manager to book me a room here was a no-brainer: a Michelin-starred chef, a luxurious spa to revitalise and soothe tired muscles every evening, and the option of personalised ski lessons so I could brush up on my technique. The hotel has several tempting restaurants on-site, and an excellent cellar.
Soldeu rivals many prestigious European ski resorts in both size and quality of pistes. It’s set on a steep hillside in a scenic wooded valley, and your lift pass covers the other entry points into Grandvalira too, so the chances of getting bored on the slopes are slim to none. This is a great option for beginners and intermediates alike, but more advanced skiers will find plenty of tricky pistes to challenge them as well.
Of course you may not want to spend all day, every day on your skis or board. There is a wealth of other fun winter activities available in Andorra’s resorts, and my Travel Manager was familiar enough with the area to arrange them for me within hours.
You can rent a snowmobile for a few hours – I suggest joining an organised tour – or a set of snowshoes, and if you like a bit of adventure I highly recommend mushing, where you’re on a sled, in charge of your own team of huskies that pull you along at seriously high speeds – a real adrenaline rush.
Soldeu also has many stylish terraced bars, perfect for kicking back in a chilled environment, and taking in the spectacular panoramas that make Andorra such a superb ski destination.
If you would like to arrange a similar trip, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0203 535 9290.