In recent years the twin ski areas of Pal - Arinsal and Ordino - Arcalis have merged to form Vallnord, a mini ski conurbation of 66 runs, 41 ski-lifts and 13 mountain restaurants served by just one Vallnord ski pass.
This merging mirrors what has happened on the other side of the capital, Andorra La Vella, where six villages have put all their ski slopes into one ski conurbation known as Grandvalira to gain the benefits of co-operation and unified investment and marketing strategies.
Although now "merged" the Vallnord ski area remains divided in to two distinct sectors which are separate by the highest mountain in Andorra, Pic d'Arcalis (2,776m), and with no ski lift connection between them it's still necessary to take a ski bus or car to travel between the Pal - Arinsal and Ordino - Arcalis sectors.
By car it's only 20 minutes but by the free Bus Neu Vallnord service this apparently short commute takes ages because you have to change in Massana. A typical journey is 90 minutes at the moment so hire a car if you want to try out the full extent of the Vallnord system and if travelling independently, stay a few days in each.
That said Vallnord, and Arinsall in particular, more than make up with charm for the inconvenience. This southwest corner of Andorra is without a doubt the prettier end of the Andorran ski market with best off-piste skiing between charming Andorran villages that still have their stone churches and rough-hewn bordas (traditional inns originally frequented by farmers).