The resort of Arinsal is the perfect location for first time skiers and riders, with many fantastic British ski schools. You will soon find on arriving in Arinsal that it’s one of the most British dominated out of all the resorts in Andorra, one of the reasons for this is that the British tour operators are able to offer their customers fantastic packages at very reasonable prices. Arinsal has enjoyed a rapid development over recent years and has become very popular with snowboarders and skiers.
Arinsal is ideally situated at the top of a steep sided valley that is located north of Andorra La Vella.
Arinsal has a lovely village feel to it with the resort being long and narrow and as you wander around you will see stone clad buildings that boast rustic appeal. The locals are very friendly people and there is always a warm welcome for visitors. The wooded slopes dominate the landscape with lots of shaded valleys.
A gondola will take you to and from the village and up to the slopes, there is also a chair lift which is located about 1km out of town, which has just recently been upgraded to a six pack which has fantastic snow making on the run down. You also have the option of driving to the top of the gondola.
There is another valley called Pal that you will notice has a more open setting and is linked to Arinsal via a cable car. Arinsal and Pal are both ideally suited for beginners, but be warned these areas can get very busy during peak periods. Pal has lots of lively bars for you to enjoy and skiers will appreciate the pretty tree lined slopes that are home in Pal.
La Massana is situated lower down than Arinsal and Pal and is a lovely town that has a gondola which takes you up to the slopes of Pal. La Massana is the perfect base if you’re planning on visiting the slopes of Arcalis, which you are covered for with the Vallnard lift pass. La Massana is much closer to the slopes of Arcalis than Pal or Arinsal and offers a great bus service.
- Helicopter rides
- Dog sledding
- Snow bikes
- Ice diving
Arinsal boasts fantastic places to eat and drink for when you’re off the slopes and with so much entertainment to be enjoyed for people of all ages. Quo Vadis is said to be great fun for visitors of Arinsal. You can enjoy lively bars and discos with some great places to try including El Cau, Surf, Rocky Mountain, El Cisco and El Derby which holds many karaoke nights.
If you want somewhere a little quieter to enjoy a drink then head to the bar in the Hotel Arinsal.
The Ski Runs in Arinsal
The most densely wooded slopes in Andorra can be found in Pal with the area located above Arinsal being more open and east facing. The majority of Pal’s slopes face east but those down to the link with Arinsal are north facing.
The slopes above the upper gondola at Comallempla are single, long and narrow and are all served by a network of drags and chairs which includes a six pack and a quad.
Head to the top and you’ll see the cable car that links Arinsal to Pal. The slopes in Pal are widely spread out and boast four main lift bases which are all ideally situated, are perfectly positioned and are reachable by road.
At very busy times you may face some queues at Arinsal’s gondola which takes you back to the village.
Another important thing to mention is that the cable car that links Pal to Arinsal can be forced to close when the wind is very high.
There is a large freestyle area in Arinsal which has its own lift and also available is a large half pipe, a big jump, a terrain park which has many jumps and rails, a chill out area, a boardercross and a beginner’s zone. Pal also has a beginner’s park.
The majority of the runs in Arinsal are above 1950m which means that snow is generally assured.
Arinsal itself isn’t really great for experts but there is some good tree skiing in Pal. Arcalis has much more to interest experts with many more challenging slopes to be enjoyed.
Intermediates will have enough to keep them occupied with a range of difficulties on offer however if you are a decent intermediate you may be better off trying the slopes in Pal and Arcalis which you will find to be much more varied and interesting.
Arinsal and Pal are both great destinations for beginners with each place having so much to offer beginners, with gentle nursery slopes that are far enough away from the main runs, but these areas can get crowded at peak periods.
Snowboarders will love Arinsal with at least half of the lifts there being drags. Pal also has some flat sections for snowboarders to enjoy.
There are many fantastic mountain restaurants for you to dine in should you fancy some refreshments while you ski and there are also plenty of schools and guides.
Kindergartens are also available for young children as well as nurseries.