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Complete Guide to the Arinsal Ski Resort

By Caio

We love winter here in Arinsal. Ski season opening is one big reason for our passion. From hiking to cycling, there is plenty to do all year in Andorra, but we’re particularly happy when we can hit the slopes.

It's one thing to take in the stunning views on foot or from the saddle of your bike, but the experience is on another when you're actually skiing down the mountains.

Once you decide that an Arinsal ski resort vacation is for you, this guide will help you get the most out of your holiday.

Introduction to Skiing in Andorra

Andorra has grown into a world-renowned destination for skiing. And that’s not just because we have mountains everywhere we look. A concerted effort has been made, particularly over the past 10 years, to build the amenities and services that winter tourists expect.

Only a small percentage of Andorra’s land is flat — and that makes it very difficult to farm. Luckily, Francesc Viladomat had the bright idea in 1957 of installing the principality’s first ski lift on his family’s property at Pas de la Casa. Things have gone downhill since then!

Accommodating those on a ski holiday is a specialty for us. As a whole, Andorra is now the fourth-most-popular destination for Brits on a ski holiday.

Overview of Skiing Near Arinsal

Arinsal is a convenient home base for anyone visiting Andorra who wants to ski at Vallnord, the less-crowded and more interesting of Andorra’s two downhill ski resorts.

As Stephen Wood wrote in the Independent: “Vallnord has character, thanks in part to its wooded slopes. Even at its highest point there are trees, in a gladed area with the added hazard of moguls.”

Arinsal Ski Resort Stats by the Numbers

Pal-Arinsal in La Massana is the original foundation for the Vallnord resort. (Ordino-Arcalis was added later.) It’s an internationally-known ski resort because we have:

  • A diverse collection of 77 slopes that total 90 km.
  • The altitude of the runs ranges from 1,550 to 2,560 metres.
  • Three ski schools that have a total of 250 instructors.
  • A total of 44 lifts that can move approximately 55,000 people at any one time.
The slopes at Vallnord, including Arinsal, are served by several modern lifts.The slopes at Vallnord, including Arinsal, are served by several modern lifts.

Who Will Enjoy an Arinsal Ski Resort Holiday?

There is a popular idea that Vallnord is a great place for beginners to learn to ski. And that’s definitely true — many of those 250 instructors are fluent English speakers. Also, because Arinsal’s nightlife scene is so active, there will be plenty to do if you’re just easing into the idea of skiing.

The bars and restaurants also means that couples and groups of friends will enjoy an Arinsal ski resort holiday.

That said, there is a great deal at Vallnord for intermediate skiers as well. When snow conditions are at their peak, the Arinsal ski resort has the longest on-piste run in Andorra from Pic Alt de la Capa all the way down 3,000 feet Cota 1550, where the chairlift goes from.

Freestyle is a popular activity at the well-maintained snowpark.Freestyle is a popular activity at the well-maintained snowpark.

In the upper zones near Pic Negre and Pic Alt de la Capa, there are a few shorter red and black runs. If freestyle is your thing, there’s also a snowpark that includes many boxes, rails and jumps sorted into three difficulty levels, including for experts.

Season and Weather for Skiing at Vallnord

“Sunny with lots of fresh snow” is the short version of the winter weather forecast for the Arinsal ski resort area. Other details include:

  • The ski slopes connected to Arinsal’s ski resort typically open in mid-November with everything fully underway by December 1.
  • They stay open for, on average 135 days, before closing in April.
  • In every year for the past decade, at least one winter month has seen more than a metre of snowfall.
  • There are 400 snow cannons standing by in case nature doesn’t cooperate.

Pal-Arinsal vs. Ordino-Arcalis

Pal and Arinsal are connected by gondola. The former is the place to go with the family, has excellent ski schools for those just starting out and some challenging runs for the older members of your group. Arinsal has the closest connection between skiing and everything else — entertainment, apres ski options and great places to stay.

At Arcalis the runs are more likely to cut through trees and offer off-piste skiing opportunities.At Arcalis the runs are more likely to cut through trees and offer off-piste skiing opportunities.

On the other hand — Arcalis is right next door in Ordino parish. Its 24 pistes, served by 14 lifts are on the north and northwest faces of the mountain. That means more fresh powder. It also means some truly glorious off-piste routes.

Prices for Ski Passes at Vallnord

The first thing to know is that lift passes come in two varieties:

  1. Local to just Pal-Arinsal or Arcalis-Ordino, or
  2. both combined.

Arinsal ski resort visitors will be happy to hear that the combined lift pass only comes at a small premium.

For the 2018-19 ski season, Vallnord has set the combined price for adults (16 - 64) at between €86 for two days up to €370 for ten. The separate Arinsal ski pass goes for €78 for a couple days to €330 for 10. The Arinsal lift pass also offers the opportunity for buying half- and single-day passes.

Ski passes can be purchased through Vallnord’s website and existing ones can also be recharged there.

Other Ski Pass Details

Other details you should know when planning your trip include:

  • Those younger than six or older than 69 ski for free.
  • Seniors (65 - 69) get a discounted rate of €19.50 per day.
  • Multi-day passes don’t have to be used on consecutive days.
  • Ski passes for 6 or more days (or ones booked through certain online brokers) use a touchless chip for easy access to the lifts. Others require you to scan a barcode.

If you are visiting the Arinsal ski resort and want to use the gondola or chair lifts without skiing, there are separate passes for these.

Package Deals for Passes

Especially if you book through one of the big online brokers, it can be fairly easy to find offers. These usually bundle some combination of ski hire, lessons and lift pass into a discounted price.

There are plenty of opportunities to take impressive photos while skiing at Arinsal.There are plenty of opportunities to take impressive photos while skiing at Arinsal.

Vallnord also sells seasonal Arinsal ski passes, as well as ones that include access to Arcalis. These come in versions for families, at a discounted rate for repeat customers who book early and in combination mountain-biking season passes.

Extras for an Arinsal Ski Resort Holiday

If you’re keen on watching top-level ski competition, the calendar of events at Arinsal includes:

  • The Font Blanca a premiere mountain-based cross-country event.
  • Every January, the Borrufa Trophy offers fourteen to sixteen-year-olds the opportunity to compete at an international level.
  • In March 2019, the FIS World Cup finals will visit Soldeu.

Nearby Activities for Off Days

Andorra is famous for combining snow on the ground with sun in the sky, but unexpected bad weather happens. And in extreme cases, the lifts and ski runs may be closed for safety reasons.

Also, we’re the ski resort closest to Andorra la Vella and the shopping Andorra if famous for. Even if you’re not forced to miss a day, taking some time off for duty-free purchases can be a welcome break.

As well, with everything from karaoke bars to high-end restaurants the Arinsal nightlife has a wide range of possibilities for how to spend your apres ski time.

Sant Moritz as a Base for an Arinsal Ski Resort Holiday

At Apartaments Sant Moritz, we are conveniently located close to the ski slopes. Our rental apartments are an easy two-minute walk to the gondola, so you can be out of bed and on the mountain in no time. As well, Esports Sant Moritz has a location right next door so ski rental pickup is a breeze.

Book your stay with us and be right in the middle of Arinsal's ski resort oasis.

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MTB & Trial UCI World Champs 2015 Vallnord Bike Park, Andorra

By Caio

Countdown to World Championship Mountain Bike and Trials 2015 has begun!

As you know, the World Cup is decided in a single test for each specialty and we can guarantee that we will count on the international elite during a week full of adrenaline and emotions.

Hurry up! Last rooms and apartments available at Hostel Micolau and Sant Moritz Apartments!

And remember we are a Bikefriendly accommodation, we are a specially adapted to allocate cyclists guests, certified with the internationally recognized Bikefriendly stamp.

To check the World Champs Schedule, you can click here!



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Skyrace Comapedrosa Arinsal Andorra 2015

By Caio

On Sunday 26 July La Massana (Andorra) will host the Skyrace Comapedrosa, one of the most spectacular racing events in the Pyrenees mountains. Scree, meadows and the mountain scenery make it a unique race that accumulates 21km with a positive ascent of 2,300 meters and crowns the top flagship peak in Andorra, the Comapedrosa peak. TheSkyrace Comapedrosa program is completed with the Skyrace Arinsal of 15 km and an elevation gain of 1,415 meters.

The circuit demands a remarkable technical and physical habilities, with Arinsal as a point of departure and arrival. The race begins with a path that leads to high mountain terrain and then off-road ways that goes careening Percanela peak, Clot peak and Horse Fontspeak, before lowering to the mountain shelter of Plain of the lake, where begins the ascent to the top of Comapedrosa and then the descent to the Black lake, and back to Arinsal.

The Comapedrosa Skyrace winners will be awarded the Inverse Grand Prize, which is part of the "Skyrunner National Series: Spain, Portugal & Andorra" of the Skyrunning International Federation, the circuit's most prestigious mountain races.



From 54 €/night accommodation packages are available in St. Moritz Apartments and Hotel Micolau, including a special athletes breakfast, indoor parking and unlimited wifi.

For any queries, please send us an email to santmoritz@santmoritz.com, call us +376 737 878 or directly book through our websites www.hotel-micolau.com and www.santmoritz.com.


Best Regards from the St. Moritz Group team.

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St Moritz & Dronair proudly present...

By Caio


Andorra is not just about snow. We want to show you all that Andorra can offer you, and that is nature, adventure, trekking, mountain bike, bike trial and lots of fun.

So why not try this summer with Sant Moritz Group?

Come to Arinsal and book your holiday this spring & summer at Apartments Sant Moritz: free tours daily for all bookings made directly in santmoritz.com and hotel-micolau.com.

Meanwhile, please enjoy our new promotional video for this upcoming 2015 summer season in #Arinsal by Sant Moritz Group and our friends Droanair.

Sant Moritz Group, Arinsal - Summer promo video from Sant Moritz Group on Vimeo.

Andorra is not just about snow. We want to show you a different Andorra - nature, adventure, trekking, mountain bike, moto trial and lots of fun.

Why not to try the summer with Sant Moritz Group?

Come to Arinsal and book your spring/summer holiday with Sant Moritz apartments.


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End of Winter Season 14-15

By Caio

Vallnord closes the 2014-2015 season with 681,000 ski days


Vallnord closed on Sunday the 2014-2015 winter season, after 130 days opened, with 681,000 ski days, a figure that represents approximately 8% less compared to ski days accumulated last season. But it must be said that with a considerable improvement in the results of the operating companies, and EMAP SECNOA.
The fall in the number of ski days due mainly to having open later than planned and to adverse weather conditions. During the "Immaculate Holiday" only the Arcalis sector remained partially opened while Arinsal and Pal delayed their opening until 12 December. During this period, it was lost more than 50% of ski days. The fact that the season accumulated 10% less operating day, 130 days before the 143 last year, has also been a factor.
Despite the drop in the number of ski days, the results of the companies foresee better than last season. The investments made in improving infrastructure and services, as well as managing the sales process and customer service, have increased the benefits in restoration and the ski school.

SECNOA: Ordino-Arcalis
The Arcalis station has had this season 170,000 ski days (175,000 last season). The sector, despite being forced to close eight days of the season because of the weather, lost only 3% of days of skiing. Meanwhile, income from catering sector remain almost the same with respect to last year, while the ski school grow 12%. The director of Arcalis, Xabier Ajona, who joined SECNOA last September, made a highly positive evaluation of the season given the circumstances: "The team has worked highly motivated and customer benefit has emerged. We are on the right track". Ajona also highlighted "the events organized during this last season, especially the World Cup of Mountain Ski and the Freeride World Tour have contributed to vindicate our station as one of the best natural areas to practice skiing and other disciplines".

EMAP: Pal-Arinsal
Meanwhile, the sectors of La Massana: Pal and Arinsal, close to 511,000 ski days, 9% less than last season, was especially affected by the delay in the opening and the decline of Russian customers. However, revenue from the sale of services as well as catering and ski school, grew at Pal. Investments carried out, including the new restaurant Pla de la Cot Ski & Lounge, among others, have satisfied customers and have generated a higher average spending per customer.
"Focus on the customer and firm commitment to quality will pay off in the medium term. The results we achieve, closing with profits for the second consecutive year, despite having experienced a difficult season, confirm that the decisions taken in the company EMAP will allow us to ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of our stations", says CEO of EMAP, Josep Marticella. "We are now fully immersed in the summer campaign when there will be many exciting events and we are also planning the next winter season," sentence.

International markets have shown both sides of the coin. The Russian market has fallen more than 60% as a result of the devaluation of the Ruble and the problems arising from the war in Crimea. British and Irish markets are stable as to traditional tour operators but with growing independent clients, which use the routes offered by low cost aviation companies. Related to customer proximity, the Spanish visitors are stable or grow slightly, while the French continue to respond positively to the promotional efforts undertaken by Tourism of Andorra, stations and other stakeholders in the tourism sector of Andorra.

The most prominent test has been the Freeride World Tour, which was held for the first time in Andorra and will remain, according to the contract, for two more years. Recall that, finally, this year they played two rounds of the FWT, that of Andorra and the one that was canceled in Fieberbrunn • hosted and attended by both Andorran riders Dani Fornell and Lorelei Torres. Other important events were the World Cup ski and White Fountain Cup celebrated in Arinsal and Arcalis, both ended with a double victory for the Catalan runner Kilian Jornet. In addition, the traditional Buff Epic Snow or Snow Festival, among others, have also successfully completed the schedule of events this last winter.

Recall that this summer season will begin on May 1 with the partial opening of Vallnord Bike Park La Massana. This week was also put on sale the new annual pass Bike & Ski. This happens only 1 euro worth more than the price proposed Vallnord for the winter season 2014-2015 and can be obtained at the tourist offices of La Massana and Ordino, as well as the virtual store Vallnord.

More information at www.vallnord.com

Press Department of Vallnord

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Podras mirarlo en directo atraves de: freerideworldtour.com




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