When most people think of Skiing in Europe they automatically think of the Alps, often of France, Switzerland and Austria; skiing in Andorra would probably not cross their mind. However, the best thing about a trip to Andorra is that it isn’t the Alps and so provides a completely different skiing and holiday experience.
The Pyrenean mountains have their own separate landscape and culture to the Alps, but with France to the North and Spain to the South, there are still many familiarities. However, one significant difference is that many of the resorts still have individual charms and there are many local Andorran mountain villages which have maintained their authenticity much more that some of the purpose-built French resorts for example.
Having the influence of Spain and especially the Catalan food and culture is a bonus. Think a cold glass of Sangria and delicious assorted Tapa at lunch, rather than your usual vin chaud and fondue; a pleasant change from the usual rich and heavy skiing food. Of course, there are still many Ex-pats and Brits living and visiting Andorra, so a proper cup of tea and a full English can be easily located if that’s the only thing that will get you up and on the slopes in the morning.
Talking of the slopes, Andorra’s skiing is definitely not to be scoffed at. With more than 60 peaks and 2500m of altitude, Andorra is the ideal Winter (and Summer) Sports area for all to enjoy. Andorra’s main ski resorts are linked, with Sodeu, El Tarter and Pas de La Casa making up the major resorts of the large Grandvalira area, and with lots of lovely, tree-lined, gentle slopes as well as steeper runs and plenty of off-piste there is an abundancy of skiing and boarding for all abilities.
Lastly, while places like St Anton or Val D’Isere may be thought of as the resorts for Après-Ski, Andorra has its fair share of fun and lively places. With a substantial investment in recent years, the resorts have transformed from their previous reputation of low-cost party places to places of a significantly higher quality, with excellent shopping, restaurants and top accommodation options but still without the price tags of some other areas.
For these reasons and more, Andorra is an ideal place for a ski holiday. Whether that’s for families, large groups of friends or a perhaps a romantic getaway for two.
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