300 sunny days a year and 210 km of ski runs – it’s quite a lot as for such a small country. In Andorra, nestled between France and Spain, we find excellent conditions for skiers.
In the Pyrenees, belonging to the miniature state of Andorra, is a modern ski resort called Grandvalira, very gladly visited by adherents of winter fun. It’s the largest in this mountain range, and consists of six climatic towns: Pas de la Casa, Soldeu, Canillo, El Tarter, Grau Roig and Encamp. All are connected by a system of modern lifts, so keen skiers can move freely around the complex.
Grandvalira - liked not only by Britons
Since the resort was built, it enjoys a huge popularity among tourists, especially the residents of the British Isles, who can be met literally everywhere. Polish skiers, however, are not completely convinced if modern lifts and great slopes can provide them such great experiences, but each year there is more and more of them in Grandvalira.
And what can we find in the resort? At the height of 1710 to 2640 m. extends over 1,926 hectares of ski areas. The local slopes are very well prepared - if aura isn’t too favorable, 43% of them are artificially snowed by 1,097 snow cannons. Grandvalira has 74 modern lifts, whose capacity is more than 100,000 persons per hour.
Slopes are not only well prepared, but also varied. 210 km of ski runs are divided into 18 green, 38 blue, 32 red and 22 black. It’s an excellent place both for advanced skiers and those, who still don’t feel too confident on skis. First can enjoy slopes with FIS homologation, while others can try the wide and gentle descends. Both beginners and experienced skiers can enjoy snow parks, while the youngest winter sports enthusiasts will be delighted with a visit to one of a kind children's amusement park. Learning to ski here will be a real pleasure for them.
With its offer, the resort attracts skiers, snowboarders, cross country skiers and other winter sports adherents. Every year the resort hosts freestyle competitions Total Fight Masters of Freestyle. That's not all - at the local snow track, located at an altitude of 2,250 m, you can test the latest models of Audi cars. Boredom has no chances to reach so high.
Ticket skipass at Grandvalira resort in the season 2013/2014
Skiers who can’t wait for the moment they will put their skis on and will conquer the slopes, should get acquaint with the ticket offer for the upcoming season. After comparing the prices they can choose the most suitable option. 1-day pass for adults costs 44 EUR, the price of the pass for children aged 6-11 years is 32 EUR, for youths (12-17 years old) - 41 EUR.
As you know, it’s cheaper in the packet, so if you are going to spend more time on the slopes, it’s worth to buy a so-called multi-day pass. For example, if you will buy two one-day passes, you will pay 88 EUR, while 2-day pass costs 84 EUR. If, however, you'll want to ski on the slopes longer than a week, for one day you will pay 40 EUR for an adult, 27 EUR for a child and 36 EUR for youths.
Après Ski Offer
Grandvalira has much to offer, not only on the slopes, but also after skiing. On-site there’re many fast foods, while numerous mountain restaurants tempt with a diverse menu. Motorized tourists have a wonderful chance to explore the attractions of the area, and visit the capital of Andorra, to indulge in one of the greatest mountain spas in Europe, namely the Caldea Thermal SPA. Geothermal hot springs will relax us better than an intense massage.
A really big attraction for visitors is Igloo Hotel - the only one in southern Europe. This amazing, sparkling with ice structure was built entirely of snow. It has been decorated by local artists, and is located in the area of Grau Roig. Amateurs of extreme experiences should also visit Iglu Bar Grandvalira, where - despite the walls of ice - the atmosphere is really hot. It’s situated in the region of Pla de les Pedres.
And since we are in Andorra, we can’t skip one of the most famous attractions, which are myriads of shops. Visitors can enjoy to the fullest extent a duty-free zone. Apart from the memories, they can bring cheaper branded clothing, alcohol, jewelry, electronic and sports equipment, as well as perfumes.
Accommodation in Grandvalira
Resort tempts not only with excellent conditions for skiing, but also with developed infrastructure. A large number of hotels, guesthouses and campsites, as well as the wide range of entertainment and ease of access, attracts tourists from different countries. Guests from Poland can get on a plane to Barcelona (about 2.5 hour flight), and then get to the resort by bus, travelling for about 3 hours among really beautiful scenery. There’s also problem to come here with your own car or camper. Caravanning amateurs can stop, for example, on Camping Casal, only a few hundred meters away from the resort. A night stay costs here 3.5 EUR, an access to electricity - 3 EUR, while the place for the motorhome - 7 EUR/day.
As you can see, despite of its tiny size, this charming small state has a lot to boast of. Until recently, visitors from Poland knew it more as a stop point on the way to the Iberian Peninsula. Today, however, they more often recognize it as a true tourist gem. And rightly so.