Guide to the Mountain in Soldeu el Tarter | Welove2ski
Ski Resorts

Guide to the Mountain in Grandvalira Soldeu

Guide to the Mountain in Soldeu el Tarter | Welove2ski
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Grandvalira is a large linked ski area with seven different resorts: Soldeu, El Tarter, Encamp, Canillo, Grau Roig and Pas de la Casa. The biggest and best-known are Soldeu and Pas de la Casa and together they promote themselves as a world-class destination for serious skiers. It’s worth remembering that snow conditions in Soldeu El Tarter and the rest of the Pyrenees are entirely different from those in the Alps. It’s a shorter ski season, with the best conditions running from December until the end of March.

A growing ski area

The linked Grandvalira ski area is perfect for intermediates who will enjoy the long, wide runs. The ski area is reached from Soldeu by an eight-person gondola or six-man chair-lift up to Espiolets, and by a similar choice of lifts from El Tarter. A gentle ski through the nursery slopes takes you on to the Escola chair-lift. From the mid-mountain station of Espiolets, lifts fan out in both directions towards Pas de la Casa and further down the valley to Canillo, where a gondola leads back into the area.

The undulating terrain above and below the tree-line is best suited to beginners as well as skiers and snowboarders who don’t want too much of a challenge. However, the substantial size of the ski area should keep more advanced skiers fully occupied.

Fun skiing through the trees

Off-piste opportunities through the trees are particularly good, and new snow does not get tracked out within hours. Recent lift improvements include the £3.8 million 10-person gondola, which takes skiers up the mountain from El Tarter. The 2011-12 ski season saw the first World Cup race in Andorra: the Ladies Alpine Skiing World Cup on the Piste Avet in Grandvalira Soldeu.

Good facilities for freestylers

The Grandvalira is the only ski area in Andorra to have three snowparks: Isards Park in Pas de la Casa has a beginners area and a permanent boardercross course, Snowpark Tarter is for all standards from beginner to professional, and Snowpark Xavi at Grau-Roig is the most popular with its rails and boxes. A specialist operation, Pro-Tec Coliflor Freestyle Academy, runs freestyle camps in the El Tarter park.

Continue Exploring Grandvalira Soldeu

About the author

Felice Hardy

Felice was one of the founders of Welove2ski and regularly contributes, as well writing for a range of other publications including The Evening Standard, The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, Harpers Bazaar, Country Life, BA Highlife and House & Garden. She started skiing at the age of three. She also enjoys hiking with her dogs and mountain biking in the Alps.

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