The Ski Resort
Pal and Arinsal are situated in the heart of Andorra. Both of these sub-areas are connected, providing visitors with access to 62 kilometres of varied runs. A gondola lift takes skiers directly from the ski resort La Massana up into the Pal ski area, which is particularly popular with families. There are multiple magic carpet lifts for the kids in the Pepeclub, as well as a ski school with international ski instructors in every sub-section of the ski area. Advanced skiers can test their limits on the runs from Pic d’Enclar and Pic del Cubil, while several blue-marked runs offer a more leisurely descent back into the valley.
A lift connects Arinsal to Pal. The former is also an ideal destination for families with youngsters: In the Snow Garden, kids can learn to ski in a playful way, build snowmen and let off some steam in the snow. The Baby Club is located directly next door and offers professional childcare for kids aged between one and four years old. The jewel in the crown of the ski area is without doubt the Piste Marrades, which winds its way more than 1000 vertical metres down the mountain. The trails extend all the way down into the village, with many hotels located directly next to the slopes. Arinsal is also incredibly popular with freeride fans, and the Capa peak is the first port of call for exploring some untouched powder.
- The high point of the ski resort is located at an elevation of 8399 ft.
- Average snow depth during the season (Nov 30 to Mar 13) is 40 " at summit elevation and 34 " at base elevation. Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average snow depth of 57 " at summit elevation and 48 " at the base.
- Vallnord - Pal Arinsal features 33 sunny days on average per season. February is the sunniest month with an average of 12 sunny days.
Snow Safety & Snowmaking
On Mountain Dining
There is a rich variety of options for eating and drinking in both sub-areas. In Pal, the Terrassa Pla de la Cot is highly recommended, perching as it does at an altitude of 1900 metres, as is the Terrassa Coll de la Botella located at 2000 metres above sea level. In Arinsal, the Panoramix and Obelix are popular establishments. The Restaurant La Borda is a more upmarket choice, however reservations are essential here.
No day spent in the ski area would be complete without attempting the Piste Marrades, which descends some 1000 vertical metres into the valley.
Most Difficult Runs
Vallnord is not only synonymous with skiing and snowboarding, but also different forms of winter sports and snowbound fun! In addition to the classic winter pursuits like snowshoe hikes, sledding and winter walks, there are also a whole host of different activities you can try in the area. If you fancy riding the mountain on a more unusual piece of equipment, airboarding or ski-biking could be right up your street. Groups or families can even plough down the mountain together on the Snow Snake. If you’d prefer to reconnoitre the landscape with an engine underneath you, snowmobile and snow buggy excursions are also available. True adrenaline junkies can even try their hand at bungee jumping or speed riding – a combination of skiing and paragliding.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
The bars in Arinsal in particular are well frequented after the mountain closes for the day. First stop for many is the Polar Bar at the mountain station of the gondola. You can then continue the party directly at the valley station in Quo Vadis, where every Thursday is Mojito Night! In the town itself, a wide range of different bars have something for every taste. Cider from the Basque Country can even be enjoyed in the Sidreria Pub Herri, while the Bar & Nightclub Surf is a great place to shake your leg to some Latin American rhythms. El Cau is great for dancing and El Derby is an authentic Irish pub.
To travel to the ski area, first drive to Narbonne via Zürich, Lausanne, Avignon and Montpellier. From there, head for Toulouse and then turn off towards Andorra shortly after Carcassone.
The two closest airports are Carcassone Airport in Pays Cathare in France and l’Alguaire Airport in Lleida in Spain. Both are around 155 kilometres from the ski area and offer public transport connections to the resort.
There are also regular to trains from the stations in Barcelona, Lleida and Toulouse.