The main street in Grandvalira Soldeu behind Hotel Himalaia is lined with shops, bars and restaurants. Nightlife is frenetic all season but, unlike brasher Pas, revellers here are not confined to the 16-25 age bracket.
There’s live music in lots of the bars
The Villager in the Sporthotels is a favourite apres spot to head for straight off the mountain. It shows all the main sports on screens around the bar and has live Irish music and sometimes appearances from an Elvis impersonator. Most atmospheric is Fat Albert’s (+376 851 765), a cavernous yet rustic 300-year-old barn, with regular live music and a very lively apres-ski scene. It’s open from 3pm until 3am (or 4am at weekends) with videos and live music.
Aspen Bar (+376 851 974) is in the centre of Soldeu, featuring live music most nights – including an Irish band on Tuesdays and Saturdays. It’s also said to be “fun on Friday after the ski school races”. Iceberg (“small and friendly”) has karaoke on Fridays. Other venues include The Avalanche for live bands and DJs, and the Roc Bar (+376 851 079) in Hotel Roc de Sant Miquel, and the Picadilly Pub (in the Sporthotels) for Irish music. Other rated bars include the Pussy Cat and the T-Bar.
Newest venue is The Harp, which is an Irish-owned bar with live music seven nights a week. The line-up of musicians include the Astronauts and the Space Cowboys from Galway.
It’s a lot quieter in El Tarter and even more so in Canillo
El Tarter only has a couple of bars to choose from. The Stone Bar is an English pub in the basement of the Alba Hotel (+376 751 115) and Dylan’s is a chillout lounge and cocktail bar playing international chillout and dance music. Nemo’s nightclub is at the foot of the slopes by Hotel Llop Gris. If you’re after nightlife, then we’d recommend you stayed in Soldeu, rather than Canillo, which is a much quieter place than the other Andorran resorts.
From spa to shopping
Caldea Spa, in Escaldes-Engordany on the outskirts of the capital of Andorra La Viella, is one of the largest spas in Europe with a 600 sq metre 68°C thermal pool and attractions that include Turkish baths inside a mini mosque and Bombay elephant caves.
For duty free shopping opportunities, it is worth a trip to Andorra la Vella, the capital city. Buses depart every 20 minutes from the main road through Soldeu and El Tarter. You can expect to find a huge choice of shops selling electrical goods, jewellery, perfume, alcohol and other duty free goods.