Soldeu Ski Resort Guide
Soldeu is situated in an attractive, long, wooded valley and from the slopes you can enjoy stunning mountain views, the resort is family orientated, however it doesn’t seem to attract families as much as neighbouring Pas de la casa does.
The village is very pleasant and is ideally situated in the centre of the extremely impressive Grandvalira ski area, which rivals some of the major Alpine resorts, including Les Deux Alpes for example. This positioning enables skiers to get full use of the very extensive Grandvalira area which is also shared with its neighbouring Pas de la casa, which itself has 193km of pistes for skiers to enjoy and make use of. Soldeu’s slopes link with Pas de la casa and together they form the Grandvalira ski area.
The village itself is situated on a hillside which is quite steep and lines the busy road that comes down to the valley from France to Andorra la vella and also on to Spain. The lower slopes in Soldeu are very prettily wooded however you’re not always guaranteed great snow on them.
The village has a combination of modern buildings with traditional stone cladding. There is a through road which can get very heavy with traffic at times. The majority of the buildings are hotels, apartments, chalets, bars and also a few shops.
There is a steep hillside that leads down from the village to a river and here you’ll find the slopes on the opposite side.
A gondola will take you from the village to the very heart of the slopes located at Espiolets, there is also a six pack that will do the same.
If you’re looking for alternative bases that boast major lifts then El Tartar is just a few miles down the valley and Canillo is just a few miles more from El Tartar.
Skiers can also enjoy many outings to other ski resorts in Andorra and one to mention in particular is Arcalis and the quickest way to get there is by car.
There is a wide variety of hotels, apartments and chalets. Some of the hotels include, Sport Hotel Hermitage, Sport Hotel Village and Euro Esqui.
You’ll find great places to eat out in Soldeu with some very atmospheric places for example Fat Alberts and Barda del Rector and some of the restaurants are in old restored buildings.
The après ski here is lively but not at all loutish, there is something for people of all ages here, so no one will feel left out, you can enjoy live bands at Fat Alberts and Piccadilly which is located under the Sport Hotel. There is also live music at Aspen and for youngsters there’s Avalanche, told you no one would be left out didn’t I.
Bowling (located at Pas)
While you’re visiting Soldeu you must take time out to visit Canillo which is home to the impressive Palau de Gel which is an Olympic ice rink with also a pool, tennis, gym and so on.
The Ski Run’s
Solseu’s slopes are excellent if you’re a beginner or an intermediate, with a great variety of runs to choose from. The ski school here is one of the very best and boasts English speaking instructors.
The Grandvalira ski area which includes Pas de la casa rivals some of the major Alpine resorts in terms of size, which really is something to be very proud of.
Did you know that Soldeu means Sun God? The slopes here enjoy good reliable snow. Soldeu has a good natural snow record thanks to the north facing slopes, with 43% of the slopes boasting snowmaking.
Soldeu’s main local slopes are located on open mountain side that are above the woods, which does make them vulnerable to the elements when the weather turns nasty. There are very challenging runs here that will be great for confident intermediates and experts, and these runs will take you through the woods and back to the lift bases, just remember that if the weather turns, conditions can be difficult, even for the best of skiers.
The slopes can get crowded at certain times, especially for the gondolas but it doesn’t usually cause too many problems and the lifts cope very well.
Espiolets is really like a little mini resort and is home to the ski school, nursery slopes and restaurants. To get here there is a gondola that rises over the north facing wooded slopes that will take you there.
There is a gentle run that will take you east from Espiolets to a location that boasts easy, long runs that are served by a six pack, perfect for beginners and intermediates, to boost up their skills. Further on from there is a much more extensive location with even more slopes that links with the Pas de la casa ski area.
Travel west from Espiolets and you will discover the open bowl of Riba Escorxada which is where the arrival point of the gondola that’s up from El Tartar is located. This will be your chance to travel further on from this point via a six pack that serves the slopes on Tosa dels Espiolets and the slopes here are very sunny. There is another six pack will take you to Tossal de la Llosada at the highest point and this six pack will also take you to the link with El Forn which is located above Canillo, which is well worth a visit to see the Olympic ice rink.
The majority of the key lifts in the Grandvalira ski area are gondolas and also high speed chairs, however there are some slow lifts too.
There is a very impressive terrain park that is located just above Riba Escorxada and boasts a great reputation, with many events taking place here. The terrain park is serviced every day by the shaping crew. If you just want to ride the terrain park then you can get a free style day pass. There are triple lines of kickers that range between 8m and 16m. Another great feature of the terrain park is the large gap jump to a jib, which is very popular and also the giant air bag. There is also a selection of rails including two wall rides a wave box and a big rainbow rail. Beginners will love the jumps they are just perfect for them. The terrain park is served by a drag lift and should you want to go further up there is a fast quad to take you.
Soldeu is the home of snowboarding in the Pyrenees it is the perfect location for beginners and enables them to practice their skills on the gentle, wide slopes that this area boasts. More advanced boarders will also love it here and can enjoy excellent off piste terrain and can also enjoy the best terrain park in the Pyrenees. If you’re a backcountry boarder you’ll have to head to Pal for tree boarding and Arcalis is perfect for heli boarding and occupies the steepest terrain. For all your snowboarding requirements there is a snowboard shop in Soldeu called Loaded and has everything you could want.
Experts may find the on piste slopes a little boring and rather limited, there is the Avet black run that is good but the remainder aren’t that exciting and may seem a bit dull for experts. There is much more choice off piste for the experts to enjoy.
Intermediates will love Soldeu with so much to explore, they will especially love the ski area east of Espiolets which is perfect for them, great for gaining confidence before tackling more challenging terrain.
Soldeu is the very best location for beginners, with a wide variety of runs for them, perfect for boosting confidence. The ski school is excellent and is a great place to start.
If you’re looking for cross country then you’ll have to head to Grau Roig which isn’t that far away.
There is a good choice of mountain restaurants including Pi de migdia, Riba Escorxada Restaurant and Gall de Bosc to name just a few.
Solseu doesn’t seem to attract families as much as Pas de la casa does, the problem could be because of the remoteness of the slopes and the busy through road. However there are snow gardens and nurseries for children that are located at various points and there is a kids’ circuit at Riba Escorxada.