Skiing in Arinsal
In a nutshell: A compact and friendly ski resort set up to serve families, beginners and intermediate skiers.
- The ski-school offers British ski instructors which helps learners progress that bit faster.
- The ski schools also offer fun kids group lessons from as young as 4.
- Fantastic beginner and intermediate slopes
- The run from the top of the resort all the way down to Arinsal is great fun and has the largest vertical drop in Andorra
We don’t like:
- Virtually no ski-in / ski-out accommodation and most ski days finish with a lift down to the resort in a gondola followed by a short walk or bus ride.
- Limited skiing for advanced skiers. However, the lift pass includes access to Arcalis which is 30 minutes away on the free bus and offers excellent freeride and off piste skiing
- Arinsal is much smaller than Grandvalira so a 7 day ski holiday involves skiing the same runs quite a few times
- Resort altitude: 1,475m – Arinsal, 1230 – La Massana
- Highest lift: 2,560m
- Lowest piste: 1,700m
- Transfer time from most convenient airport: Barcelona & Toulouse – 2h 45m
- Number of lifts: 30
- Number of runs:
- Green: 7
- Blue: 14
- Red: 17
- Black: 4
- Ski Area Size: Moderate – 93km of piste
- Family friendly
- Great for beginners
- Great for intermediates
Pal-Arinsal is now a fully connected ski resort and together with the nearby Arcalis, make up the Vallnord ski area. The one ski pass gives you access to a combined 93km of pistes available in both Pal-Arinsal and Arcalis but a car or bus ride is needed to get between the two resorts.
Pal-Arinsal is a compact ski resort with a fantastic English speaking ski school. It is very popular with beginners and intermediates who are spoilt for choice when it comes to lovely blue and gentle red tree lined runs. Advanced skiers are better served at Arcalis but if they don’t want to make the daily drive, there are some decent red and black runs off the Pic Alt de la Capa and the Pic Negre peaks as well as a decent snow park. Our favourite run in the whole of Andorra is from the top of the Port Negre chairlift all the way down to the lowest ski point in Arinsal. Almost 1000m of vertical drop in one lovely red run.
Arinsal is the main village within the Vallnord ski region and most of the hotels are located within a short walk from the Arinsal gondola. It’s not possible to ski all the way back to the centre of Arinsal so if you’re staying in a central hotel you can either finish each day coming down the gondola or ski the red run to the bottom of the Josep Serra chair lift near the Patagonia Atiram hotel. It’s a 10-15 minute walk or short bus ride back to the resort centre from there.
La Massana is the second town that serves the Pal-Arinsal ski resort. It has a decent collection of budget to 4 star accommodation options. There are no pistes into La Massana so each day starts and finishes with a ride in the La Massana gondola which is located right in the town centre.
Both La Massana and Arinsal have a good collection of tax free shops, bars and restaurants that serve delicious regional dishes. The après-ski scene is not as wild as it is in other Andorran resorts like Pas de la Casa but it’s definitely possible to have a great evening in both towns. Mon Bohemi in La Massana and The Derby in Arinsal are our favourite bars. For people looking to take a day off from skiing there are many other activities which can be arranged such as dog sledding, paragliding, snowshoeing or why not treat yourself to a day of pampering in the excellent Princesa Parc Wellness Centre?
The ski area is small in comparison to neighbouring Grandvalira and many alpine resorts but the pistes are excellent and the area has a lot going for it.