Vicki Cheal - Ski Expert"A small, traditional resort, great for beginners/intermediates/families. I had my first ever ski trip there in the mid 90's! Not as busy as the French Alps. A gondola and chair lift whisks you up the mountain ready to ski. Great range of hotels and a great 10 pin bowling alley in Hotel Princesa Parc. Good apres, plenty of bars and restaurants to chose from."
ARINSALTo get to Arinsal for a ski holiday, you can fly into Toulouse or Barcelona from the UK with Barcelona offering a greater variety of flight options. Shared bus transfers take around 4 hours but its a distance memory when you see the slopes. Apartment blocks and hotels are built either side of a steep valley road which ends above the village centre, where you’ll find the main gondola and most of the accommodation. There’s a certain charm and rustic feel to the centre, evident in the older buildings.There’s a choice of different places to stay, from simple 2-star hotels, excellent value 3-star hotels and apartments and the popular Princesa Parc and Diana Parc hotels, which are 4-star and 5-star respectively. There’s a good après-ski scene in Arinsal, usually focussed around the base of the gondola when everyone comes down off the mountain. For those looking for nightlife, there’s a selection of late bars and some clubs. You’ll find a choice of restaurants to dine out although Arinsal is a lot smaller than both Soldeu and Pas de la Casa. A ski bus operates around the resort, so depending on where you are staying you can use it to get around. It’s possible to catch a public bus service down to the capital Andorra la Vella, where you can shop until you drop in the designer clothes stores, or head to Caldea.
SKI AREA OVERVIEW
If you’re planning on skiing in Andorra, Arinsal is a small, traditional village found in the Vallnord ski area, which includes Pal and Ordino- Arcalis. The village is situated at 1500m altitude, close to the Spanish border in the west of the principality at 1500m, with slopes extending to above 2500m. Vallnord offers just shy of 100km of pistes and in Arinsal and Pal (these two areas are connected via a 50-man gondola) there is a good range of terrain mainly suited to beginner and intermediate skiers and boarders, and particularly well suited to a ski weekend or short ski break to rediscover your ski legs on a variety of wide blue and red runs. We recommend more experienced skiers take the free ski bus to Arcalis, around 30-minutes’ away, which has some of the best freeride areas, pisted runs and off-piste in Andorra, plus it’s usually a lot quieter on the slopes since there are no hotels here and, being at a higher altitude, it’s even more snowsure.
- After the fresh snowfall, jump on the free bus to Ordino-Arcalis and experience some of the best slopes and off-piste that Andorra has to offer.
- If you’re just finding your ski legs or fancy some one-on-one tips to improve your skiing or boarding, the tuition available in Arinsal at the BASI-approved ski school is second to none.
- For a few cold beers and a bite to eat, Quo Vadis has a buzzing atmosphere and is normally very busy - well worth a visit and bang in the centre of the village.
- Andorra la Vella, capital of the principality is 20-minutes ride away on the bus. It’s a mecca for shoppers after designer goods and has a vast choice of places to eat out.
- Those after some real R&R, head to Caldea, Europe’s largest spa which is built inside Andorra’s tallest building. At over 30,000m2, there are no shortage of thermal spring water circuits, treatments and relaxation areas to enjoy.