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Andorra

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More than most winter sports countries, Andorra invites generalizations. Because it's such a small country, all the resort villages are remarkably similar, having almost all the same pluses and minuses: low prices (including duty-free goods), ugly villages, lively bars and clubs, good ski schools, fairly reliable snow, young clientele, mainly easy, well groomed, and often busy slopes with plenty of snowmaking facilities and mediocre mountain restaurants, are all fairly typical of Andorran resorts across the board.

There's an immediate temptation to compare Andorra to Eastern Europe. Some of the below pluses and minuses would be appropriate to Borovets and company, too. But Andorra really is in a different league. It is somewhat more expensive (though still cheap by Alpine standards), has much better lifts and other resort infrastructure, much livelier nightlife, attracts a mostly young and lively clientele rather than families, and has more reliable snow.

In recent years there has been substantial investment in efficient, modern lifts and this year's reporters have been extremely complimentary about the new lifts and the high standard of piste maintenance and grooming.

Boarding
As with most places that draw a young crowd, boarding has a big following in Andorra. Most of the resorts now boast fun-parks and half-pipes amongst their facilities, and many areas are installing more chairs and gondolas. Tuition is excellent, and there is a lively après-board scene, with good cheap bars and pumping clubs.

For more information about specific resorts in Andorra, please
click on one of the links below:

Andorra La Vella
Arcalis
Pal - Arinsal
Pas de la Casa - Grau Roig
Soldeu - El Tarter

or visit Andorra's Official Website by clicking on one of the following links:

Andorra Tourism
Vallnord (Arcalis, Pal - Arinsal)
Grandvalira (Soldeu - El Tarter / Pa de la Casa - Grau Roig)

Trail map
Town map
click on images for full-size view

What's Great
What's Not-So-Great

+ Cheap packages; duty free prices in resort

+ Excellent choice for beginners and early intermediates, with resorts that offer good tuition, good piste grooming and mountains that won't frighten

+ Lots of efficient, modern new lifts

+ Lively nightlife with cheap drinks and generous measures of spirits

+ Resorts close enough to each other - and some are now linked - so you can sample at least one other during a week

+ Good combination of altitude and extensive snowmaking with strong southern sunshine

- Most resorts have little in the way of charm, and Soldeu and Pas de la Casa are sited on the busy main road through the country

- Nightlife tends to revolve around booze and clubs - not much variety and can get rowdy at night

- Potential for a really impressive linked lift network is not exploited - no share lift tickets

- There seems to be no end to the construction work

 

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"Where to Ski and Snowboard Worldwide" ©Chris Gill & Dave Watts
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