Top Lift: 2624m
Ski area: 89km of piste
Adult lift pass: 182-202.50€ for six days
In a Nutshell
The Vallnord region comprises two seperate ski areas: Arinsal-Pal-La Massana and Ordino-Arcalis. Together they offer good-value skiing for beginners to intermediates, with some excellent tuition, good restaurants and a lively nightlife.
Essential Advice for the Perfect Trip
The village of Arinsal and the linked ski area of Pal joined forces with the valley town of La Massana and the quite separate ski area of Ordino-Arcalis to form the single lift pass region of Vallnord. It’s all part of the dramatic regeneration of Andorra in recent years as a serious ski destination. It has unceremoniously binned its bargain basement image and the once humble resort of Arinsal Pal, still renowned for its low-cost nightlife, has even managed to twin itself with glitzy Gstaad in Switzerland.
Most skiers and riders choose to stay in Arinsal, an attractive little resort with easy gondola access to some easy beginner and low intermediate pistes. ‘I could not recommend this place highly enough’ said a reporter.
A sleek 12-person gondola connects La Massana into the Arinsal Pal circuit, making it an alternative and convenient place in which to stay. It is also a convenient base for the more demanding and much underrated ski area of Ordino-Arcalis, situated a 20-minute drive away up a remote valley.
When the snow is good and the sun is shining the easy, undulating pistes can match those of any resort. But no amount of investment can give the mountains here the thrilling high-altitude terrain of the Alps. Beginners are well catered for with some excellent ski schools in all the resorts, with instructors who generally speak good English.
One of the major reasons to choose the Vallnord region is its proximity to the capital, Andorra La Vella. Here you can visit the futuristic spa, Caldea, and shop your heart out on the Avenida Carlemany. Boutiques sell designer names like Versace, Armani, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and Dolce & Gabbana at discount prices.