Sitting at the end of a valley in south Andorra between Spain and France, Arinsal is typical of the region's resorts - a mix of modern hotels and old-fashioned buildings. It has made a big effort to move away from its cheap and cheerful image, updating to modern lift facilities and becoming more upmarket. It is still a fun place to stay though - high in the Pyrenees it's a tax-free haven with vibrant bars and great shops for spotting a bargain in.
Since 2004 Arinsal has formed part of Vallnord, along with Pal and Ordino-Arcalis and a shared lift pass. You can jump on a 50 person cable car to get to Pal or take a short bus ride to Ordino-Arcalis for a great variety of skiing and boarding, particularly for beginners and intermediates. Most of the skiing is on family-friendly wide open slopes, many of them tree-lined. Beginners will love the excellent ski school and nursery slopes at Prat de la Coma. Intermediates typically have the run of the place with great blue and red pistes, like the 6 km Prat de la Coma run.
There's lots more waiting for intermediates over at Pal, with its long, tree-lined slopes. Experts are a little more limited, but will enjoy the steep La Devesa black directly above Cota, La Comellada on the Pal side and four International Ski Federation approved slalom slopes. Families will love the long sunny days, great childcare facilities and kids lift pass offers. Lift lines at Arinsal are not generally a problem, and mid-week the slopes are often deserted!