If you’re looking for a budget skiing trip with the family, consider booking your next break in Andorra. The nation has some excellent winter sports resorts, many of which offer real value for money, so you can focus on having fun rather than worrying about how much you’re spending.
There are a number of locations throughout Andorra that boast perfect skiing conditions, but if the expense is a primary concern, you’ll want to make sure you choose a cheap yet adequate resort for your getaway. I’ve picked out three top spots for such a break – read on to find out more.
Probably the most economical resort in the nation, Soldeau has good all-round facilities and a lively atmosphere. There are approximately 200 km of ski runs to tackle, which cover all ability levels, and the pistes here are award-winning and larger than average.
The resort boasts a wide selection of accommodation, including family chalets, as well as plenty of other activities besides skiing. There are swimming pools, skating rinks, an activity centre where you can try your hand at ice hockey and squash, natural hot springs and the chance to try out snow biking.
It’s also a great place to get your competitive juices flowing, as there are all sorts of contests to enter, including dog sledding races and hunting with bows and arrows while on your skis!
Whilst I am a snowboarder, I booked a late deal to Soldeau in April 2009 in order to learn to ski. I stayed at the hotel Bruxelles, which was cheap but excellent. Walking distance to the lifts and couldn’t fault the food in the restaurant. Quality of ski instruction was first rate too.
The popular resort of Arinsal has much to offer skiers of all skill levels, but caters especially well for those with some prior experience on the snow. There are more than 60 km of runs to tackle, while snowboarders can hone their moves at the onsite half pipe.
Around the resort are dozens of restaurants and apres-ski bars, and in the nearby town of Ordino is a sports centre, if you fancy having a go at other activities during your family getaway. Canillo – which is about 16 miles away from the resort – is another good place for activity lovers to visit, and you’ll find one of Europe’s largest ice rinks here. Facilities include a gym, sauna, swimming pool and squash courts.
Head to Andorra la Vella’s Caldea complex if it’s relaxation you’re after following a busy day on the slopes – you’ll discover Turkish baths, saunas and masseurs on hand here – and when it comes to settling down in the evenings you can choose from apartments, hotels and chalets in Arinsal, with prices at many of these being more than reasonable.
Pas de la Casa
The resort of Pas de la Casa has some of Andorra’s highest ski slopes, so it’s perhaps unsurprising the location is particularly popular among intermediate-level and advanced skiers. Pas de la Casa has a good snow record and is arguably the sunniest of Andorra’s resorts, with the best time to visit for a skiing trip being between December and May.
If you’re confident on your skis, you might want to pit your abilities against the longest ski runs, some of which are more than 4 km in length, and difficult trails like the 2 km Avet run down to Soldeau.
Have a go at snowboarding during your stay – there is a terrain park and a half pipe here – or visit the ice rinks for a spin on some skates. There are also two golf courses nearby, and Olympic tennis courts in Aldosa and La Massana for when you want to spend some time away from the snow and ice.