Sitting in the beautiful Pyrenees, Andorra is located halfway between France and Spain. It's a great alternative to the busier and sometimes costly slopes of France. Famous for its dramatic scenery, duty-free shopping, and young, lively nightlife, Andorra is perfect for groups looking for a good time.
Though smaller than other ski areas, Andorra has worked tirelessly to upgrade their facilities, meaning they now have excellent high speed lifts and wonderful piste grooming and maintenance. Like most places that attract a young crowd, snowboarding is big here and most resorts have cool terrain parks and half pipes. All kinds of bars and clubs really come alive at night, the resorts buzzing both on and off the slopes.
With the new upgrades, new snow parks and better snow making facilities, Andorra can offer great varied skiing. While the gentle well-groomed terrain and impressive ski schools favour beginners, experts can test themselves on the good reds and blacks and the forest off-piste. Arinsal is a typical Andorran resort, a mix of smart new hotels and quaint water fountains where locals still fetch the pristine water. Now linked to Pal, it offer 65 km of pistes, mainly blue and red.
Pas de la Casa is the biggest resort, and as part of the Grandvalira area, gives you access to 192 km of pistes. Pas de la Casa itself doesn't offer great expert skiing, but has three beautiful valleys and a wicked terrain park. Nearby picturesque Soldeu has a relaxed ambience, is exceptional value for money and there's lots to do off-slope, day and night. Great value, plenty of sunshine, fast-paced nightlife and great beginner areas mean Andorra is the perfect escape for first timers, those looking for a cheap ski holiday, and large groups.
How to get to Andorra
There are no airports in Andorra, so you'll need to fly into Tolouse (177 km) in France or Barcelona (186 km) or Girona in Spain, all of which have a daily bus service to Soldeu. The closest airport is Toulouse, which has a taxi/rail/bus combination as well as the bus. Skiing Holidays offers great package holiady deals that include flights , transfers and accommodaton.
Train is not a popular option as it is an involved process. By train, travel to Soldeu - El-Tarter via Paris and LHospitalet-près-lAndorre before boarding a bus to La Vella, Andorra's capital, with a stop at Soldeu. From London Waterloo, catch the 17:09 Eurostar service to Paris, arriving at gare du Nord the same evening. Change to gare d'Austerlitz from where you catch the overnight train to LHospitalet-près-lAndorre, arriving at 07:25 the next morning. Trains to Puigcerdà station from Barcelona in Spain are also an option, with buses travelling from there to Soldeu.
Driving to Andorra will involve catching the car ferry from Dover to Calais and then heading through France to Andorra via: Calais - Rouen - Orleans - Châteauroux - Limoges - Toulouse - Andorra. The trip from Calais to Andorra will take about 13 hours. The best idea is to catch a very early channel crossing, allowing you to get to Andorra by 7pm. Tolls are about £20 in France and £30 in Spain.