Welcome to the Ski Andora page, providing a regular round-up of the skiing conditions and current snow reports for five ski resorts in the country. Over recent years some of the best piste conditions in Andorra have been reported at Soldeu and Arcalis although during any given week the best slope conditions may be found at any of the country’s resorts. For off-piste powder there is no particular stand-out resort for consistency so check out the reports below if you are planning a trip at short notice.
Andorra has one of the most interesting modern histories of any major ski nation and perhaps a history and economy more reliant on winter sports than any other.
The small country in the southern European mountain range of the Pyrenees between France and Spain was little known for its skiing up to the 1960s, then half a dozen small Andorra ski resorts were developed across the country, becoming increasingly popular through the 1970s and ‘80s, thanks in part to its good family ski areas but equally its affordable skiing and duty free après skiing.
By the late 1990s skiing in Andorra had developed to such an extent that the ski areas were beginning to border one another and more people were travelling to ski Andorra from the UK to ski than they were Italy or Switzerland.
Over the past decade Andorra has re-invented itself again. The tiny principality has concentrated on upgrading its infrastructure and now has more of a Swiss feel than a bargain-basement one. Unfortunately for skiers and boarders prices have risen too, particularly for lift passes, now among Europe’s most expensive.
The reasons for the change are many. The main one is that it is a kind of natural evolution as Andorra has reached its physical limits after four or five decades of continual growth. Another key factor was the growth of budget skiing in Eastern Europe providing price competitions with Andorra which the local population no longer felt a need to even try to compete with.
On the slopes there have been changes too. Where once there were six ski resorts now there are two. One, Grandvalira, is fully lift and piste inter-connected. The former rival ski areas of Pas de la Casa (Grandvalira-Pas de la Casa) and Soldeu El Tarter (Grandvalira El Tarter) are now one, and have expanded to such an extent they now cover over 200km of piste, including runs over the border in to France – the largest ski region in the Pyrenees and one of the world’s largest too.
The slopes, mostly wide intermediate trails above the tree line, are served by one of the world's most modern lift network with more six-seater high speed chairs than almost any other. Snowmaking covers most of the slopes as well.
The second ski area, VallNord, is a looser conglomeration of the remaining resorts where lift tickets also cost rather less. Arinsal and Pal have connected their pistes by ski lift but a third area, La Massana/Arcalis, is the little known star of the country for powder snow and free-riding.
Although still well known for its apres-ski scene, particularly at the highest resort, Pas de la Casa, Andorra has moved distinctly up market with several four and five star hotels, concentrated on Soldeu and a spectacular spa in capital La Vella.
The country has also started staging World Cup races at Grandvalira and has built a reputation for environmental management. It continues to be one of the world’s best for high quality childcare and ski school with many teachers English-speakers from Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Although French and Spaniards still drive over the border to fill their cars with duty free petrol and buy cheap alcohol and cigarettes at the border supermarkets, the popular opinion is that skiing in the French Pyrenees is now, overall, the cheaper option.
Andorra: latest snow conditions round-up
ANDORRA Arcalis, Vallnord (170/290cm) is continues to offer enjoyable late season skiing conditions thanks to almost 3m of snow on the upper slopes; though skiing was limited to 6 lifts and 12 tracks by Monday 16th April
Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Andorra. Fresh snow is forecast at 0resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.