Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Visit Andorra and conquer the snow

Visit Andorra and conquer the snow

As part of our guide to visiting Andorra during the winter, here’s everything you need to know about getting out amongst the white stuff

By Time Out in association with Visit Andorra
Advertising

When winter hits, Andorra is nothing short of breathtaking - and when it's covered with its usual blanket of fluffy white snow, there's nothing better than exploring the county's slopes. So grab a coat and make the best of the weather. Yep, whether you fancy popping on your snowshoes or jumping on skis, snowboards, snowmobiles or even snowtrikes, Andorra's got your winter activities sorted.

 

Where to ski

From beginners to professionals and fast alpine skiers to the most resolute cross-country skiers, there's a spot for every skill level in Andorra. We're talking a choice of four snazzy resorts where you can hit the slopes (but hopefully not the deck): Grandvalira, Vallnord Pal-Arinsal and Vallnord Ordino- Arcalís and Naturlandia.

First up, Grandvalira, which isn't just the largest ski resort in the county, but also in the entire Pyrenees. (Impressive, huh?). Yep, there are more than 200 kilometres of slopes here, so new skiers have space to practice and regular skiers can avoid the rookies. The sectors are divided throughout several towns in two villages (Canillo and Encamp): Pas de la Casa, Grau Roig, Soldeu, El Tarter, Canillo and Encamp. Plus, it has all of the services that you might need: restaurants, equipment rental shops, Wi-Fi zone and even a funky igloo hotel.

If you're travelling with any non-skiers, then Vallnord might fit your holiday a little better. Sure, it's got an extensive skiable area, with close to 100 kilometres in ski slopes spread across two resorts (Vallnord Pal-Arinsal and Vallnord Ordino-Arcalís), but there's also an intense activity schedule for non-skiers, too. Plus, there's plenty of places to rent equipment (in case you forgot your lucky goggles) as well as nearby hotels.

Naturlandia offers something slightly different than the other ski resorts because it's the only option in the Principality of Andorra for Nordic skiing. The 15 kilometres of tracks are in the upper sector of this adventure eco-park, so expect sport and unmissable scenery. It also has equipment rental and dining services (for when you've worked up a big ol' appetite), and as if that wasn't enough, you can round out a day of skiing with other attractions in the area. To experience the longest alpine toboggan run in the world head to Tobotronc or for airborne adventure give Airtrekk a go. Its wooden structure is 13.5 metres high and you can attempt to overcome 54 trials grouped in three levels of difficulty.

Other winter sports

Skiing is pretty classic, but if you're in search of new downhill experiences, Andorra has some slightly less orthodox, but equally as fun, disciplines on offer. Airboard, for example, is like a high-octane kids daydream, where you launch yourself downhill on a small air mattress. Another option is called Snowsnake, where a group of several sleighs combine to form a snake shape, allowing a group of you and your mates to descend the slopes together. But the possibilities don’t end there. There's still snowbikes, snowmobiles, snowshoeing and many other options, too.

Prefer to get extreme? Then the Vivac arcalís experience is calling. You'll find it up by the north face, and the activity begins with an excursion on snowshoes or alpine skis. Sound easy so far? Well don't forget that you'll finish up at one of the highest peaks in the Vallnord-Ordino Arcalís resort: Creussans peak at 2,679 metres, or Tristaina peak at 2,879 metres. 

If you're up for the Vivac arcalís trek, you can expect a highly qualified guide to give you some handy prep, as well as all of the material that you’ll need. They'll provide an insulated air mattress, sleeping bags, and a tent, all made using cutting-edge technologies and materials - all you'll need to bring is a bucket load of determination. They’ll also have all the provisions you’ll need for breakfast and dinner, which are included in the activity (and well-deserved, too).

The icy cherry on top? Once you’ve reached your chosen peak, your group will set up the base camp and get to enjoy the evening alfresco, beneath stars. Prep your fireside stories, people. 

Oh, and the next day, you’ll be able to enjoy one of nature’s most fascinating moments: seeing a new day dawn over the impressive valley panorama. Now that's a sight for sore eyes.

Advertising

Igloo Hotel

A highlight of Andorra, the Igloo Hotel is a more-than unusual place to grab some dinner. Situated in Grandvalira, this eatery has two spacious dining areas; the first, called the ice restaurant, is set to a frosty zero degrees - so be sure to come prepared with your thermals. If you'd rather relax somewhere that's nice and toasty, then Domo, Igloo Hotel's second dining space, has that covered.

Open for both lunch and dinner, spending time here is magical. Just head up in a snowcat or on a snowmobile as dusk falls and take in the spectacular vista which spans across the valley.  

For more information, visit www.visitandorra.com

Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising