Arinsal ski resort is situated at an altitude of between 1,550m and 2,560m, close to the border of Spain. The first lifts were installed in 1973, and from here the resort has grown into a well-connected base which provides access to three ski areas; Arinsal, Pal and Ordino-Arcalis. The resort village is set in a steep valley amongst the northwestern mountains of Andorra and offers up a buzzing atmosphere where fine dining and bustling bars are at the heart of the action. The friendly and down-to-earth atmosphere is well suited to families, with a variety of international restaurants guaranteeing to cater to everyone in the group.
Families and groups are also well looked after by the virtually tax-free status of Andorra which ensures fantastic value for money when it comes to booking accommodation and dining out. Whatsmore, the majority of the accommodation in Arinsal is conveniently located very close to the lift centre, whilst childcare facilities are located on the mountains, making it easy for families to organise their day.
Resort Altitude: 1,550m
Resort Skiing: 2,625m
Total Ski Area: 92km
Blue Runs: 47km
Red Runs: 35km
Black Runs: 10km
The ski area accessible from Arinsal offers a wide variety and choice for skiers and boarders of all abilities. With the highest point reaching an altitude of 2,560m you can be sure to enjoy breathtaking views and snow sure conditions. The area offers around 92km of marked runs connected by over 30 lifts; the majority of which are reds and blues which intermediates will enjoy cruising on.
Advanced skiers will enjoy the thrilling descent from the Pic del Cubil; one of the tallest skiable mountains in Vallnord. This is situated in Arcalis, which is a free-stylers haven known for its off-piste territory and snowpark. The majority of the main ski area is well populated with blues and reds, whilst in the local Arinsal area you will find 35 easy blues tailored towards beginners. There are also nursery slopes here which are separated from the main runs to ensure a safe and enclosed learning area.
The Les Fonts chair lift enables keen freestyle boarders to loop the ten acre terrain park, which houses plenty of boxes, rails and kickers. Access can be gained to the neighbouring resort of Pal via the Teleferic Arinsal-Pal Gondola, providing opportunities to try more intermediate terrain. Beginners can make use of the large variety of gentle blues and nursery runs within the resort which are perfect territory to perfect technique.
The Arinsal ski and snowboard school has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and instructors and is the only school in the area to offer children's group lessons for students as young as four years old. Private or group lessons can be booked, as well as the option to choose a ski refresher course for skiers who are looking to brush up on their technique. In general, the resort attracts lots of British instructors which is another perk for families looking to holiday here.
A Baby Club is available for children aged one to four years old, which offers off-mountain care during the day in an indoor facility. For older children aged four to eight there is a Snow Garden which enables kids to take their first steps on the snow within a safe environment. Specialist instructors will help them progress with their skiing within a fun learning programme which enables them to progress to Group Ski School standard.
Arinsal offers a good selection of mountain restaurants, ranging from Pal La Borda below La Caubella peak which specialises in Andorran cuisine, to La Borda which has its own doughnut bar. Down in the town there is a fantastic variety of international restaurants, including Mexican, Thai, Chinese, British and Argentenian. Local Catalan cuisine can be sampled at a range of cosy eateries, and entails delicacies such as butifarra which is local sausage and crema Catalana which is a burnt caramel sealed custard pudding.
Arinsal has a broad diversity of bars, which makes it the ideal destination for groups or families who may have varying preferences for evening activities. The outdoor balcony at El Cabin Bar is the perfect stop off point to enjoy some late afternoon sunshine. The bar offers a relaxed atmosphere for all ages and is sponsored by Corona. A karaoke night is held each Wednesday at El Derby, whilst Surf and Cisco's have DJ's later on in the evenings to cater to a younger crowd.
Non-skiers can enjoy a leisurely day at the resort's 25m indoor heated swimming pool, or head to the gym, climbing wall, aerobics or squash court facilities for an active day off the mountain. Alternative winter sports activities on the mountain include sledding, tubing, ski biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and even paragliding; all of which ensure you will not miss out on the Alpine atmosphere and fantastic views.