Arinsal Ski Resort
Arinsal is lift-linked to Pal, forming the Vallnord ski domain. It's not a huge ski area, but it's a good value destination for beginners and less confident intermediates. And Arinsal is one of Andorra's more attractive ski resorts.
The Vallnord ski area linking Arinsal with Pal has 63km (39 miles) of pistes spread over 707 hectares (1747 acres) and 31 ski lifts, including a long one down to the nearby valley town of La Massana. That’s perfect for beginners and near novices, and probably enough also for relaxed intermediates who are happy pottering about on the slopes for an hour or two before settling down for a long lunch at duty-free prices. But experts who want to be tested, and keen piste-bashers who want to explore endless new runs, should stay in other Andorran resorts like Soldeu and Pas de la Casa, which are both part of the much larger Grandvalira ski area.
The skiing immediately above Arinsal is in a high east-facing bowl above the treeline on the Pic Negre mountain. A lift takes skiers from the village to the mid-mountain station at Comallempla at 1950m, where there is some ski-in, ski-out accommodation. There is only one run back to the valley floor which goes to the small hamlet at Cota. To return to Arinsal you either take the bus from Cota or come down in the lift from Comallempla. The top lift on Pic Negre reaches above 2500m so the area is reasonably snowsure. There are some isolated (and optional) challenges for better skiers, but most of the runs are oriented towards beginners and near novices, making Arinsal an excellent resort to learn to ski in.
Pic Negre is linked by lift to Pic de Cubil and Pla de la Cot, which are above Pal and the valley town of La Massana. This part of Vallnord is bigger than the Pic Negre sector above Arinsal but it’s also lower, with mostly tree-lined slopes. There is also some tougher skiing here, including unofficial off-piste routes through the trees for experts, although not enough to occupy them for a full week. Ordino-Arcalis, the freeride capital of Andorra with the best off-piste in the country, can also be reached by car or bus but it’s no longer included on the Vallnord pass.
Of the Vallnord bases, most people prefer to stay in Arinsal. It’s not chocolate-box pretty and it’s ongoing development has made it rather stretched-out but it has enough traces of the old Andorran mountain village to give it some charm and authenticity, and you can see why people like to come here in summer as well as winter. And whilst it’s more of a relaxed family-friendly type of place than a full-on party-resort like Pas de la Casa, it has enough apres-ski and nightlife for those who want to have fun in the evenings and take advantage of Andorra’s inexpensive food and drink.
- Accommodation in Arinsal. Hotels, Chalets, Self-Catering Apartments, Package Holidays, Where to stay… Read more >
- How to get to Arinsal. Nearest Airports and Railway Stations, Airport Transfers, Hire Cars… Read more >
- Ski Schools & Guides in Arinsal. Ski & Snowboard Schools, Mountain Guides, Private Instructors… Read more >
- Discounted Ski & Snowboard Rental in Arinsal:
- ALPINRESORTS.com works with several ski hire shops in Arinsal and the other Vallnord villages and can secure large savings if you book in advance – check out their latest discounts in and around Arinsal here
- SKISET also has ski hire outlets in Arinsal and the other Vallnord resorts, and will give discounts if you book online here