Grandvalira Ski Resort

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Grandvalira Ski Resort Andorra is the largest in the Pyrenees
Grandvalira Ski Resort Andorra is the largest in the Pyrenees
Pas de la Casa is Grandvalira ski resort
Pas de la Casa is Grandvalira ski resort's highest village.
Encamp provides easy access into Grandvalira resort from the valley via the Funicamp gondola
Encamp provides easy access into Grandvalira resort from the valley via the Funicamp gondola
A cruisy Grandvalira advanced piste trail (
A cruisy Grandvalira advanced piste trail ('Granota') devoid of skiers in early March
Grandvalira off-piste freeride terrain near Grau Roig
Grandvalira off-piste freeride terrain near Grau Roig
Day car parking at Grau Roig provides quick access to the slopes at Grandvalira
Day car parking at Grau Roig provides quick access to the slopes at Grandvalira
Freeride terrain above Soldeu at Grandvalira ski resort
Freeride terrain above Soldeu at Grandvalira ski resort
Skiing the pistes off Coll Blanc at Grandvalira
Skiing the pistes off Coll Blanc at Grandvalira
The Llac del Cubil chair is an important link in the vast chain of Grandvalira ski lifts
The Llac del Cubil chair is an important link in the vast chain of Grandvalira ski lifts
The view as one exits from the Funicamp gondola reveals a small portion of Grandvalira terrain
The view as one exits from the Funicamp gondola reveals a small portion of Grandvalira terrain
Looking across Grau Roig to Coll Blanc in Grandvalira
Looking across Grau Roig to Coll Blanc in Grandvalira's highest zones
Piste on the right, short but fun off-piste on the left of the Pedres-Soldeu chair
Piste on the right, short but fun off-piste on the left of the Pedres-Soldeu chair
Interesting freeride terrain below Pic Negre D
Interesting freeride terrain below Pic Negre D'Envalira
The drive to Andorra & Grandvalira from France can be
The drive to Andorra & Grandvalira from France can be 'interesting' & is not recommended in icy conditions.
Soldeu village sits snugly in the valley at 1800m elevation
Soldeu village sits snugly in the valley at 1800m elevation
Pas de la Casa village is in a windswept alpine bowl on the frontier with France
Pas de la Casa village is in a windswept alpine bowl on the frontier with France
El Tarter village is another in Grandvalira with direct access to lifts & slopes
El Tarter village is another in Grandvalira with direct access to lifts & slopes
Grandvalira ski terrain
Grandvalira ski terrain
Soldeu hotels have excellent sunny positions near the Grandvalira slopes
Soldeu hotels have excellent sunny positions near the Grandvalira slopes
Ski Grandvalira Andorra
Ski Grandvalira Andorra

Grandvalira Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Grandvalira

Grandvalira3.5/54
Grandvalira3.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
  • Recommend
    75%
  • Would Revisit
    75%
Eskimo Freeride Cat Skiing Tours

Andorra Ski Resorts

Ordino Arcalis
Pal Arinsal

     Grandvalira Ski Trail Map
  • Grandvalira Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,710m – 2,640m (930m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    5 - 7m
  • Lifts (70)
    6 Gondolas
    28 Chairlifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    December to late April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 210km
    Longest run - 6km+
    Advanced - 18%
    Intermediate - 36%
    Beginner - 46%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Adult - €51 to 52
    Child - €34.50 to 35.50
    Child u/6yr - Free

    Valid at Ordino Arcalis

    Grandvalira East Trail Map
  • Grandvalira East Trail Map
    Grandvalira West Trail Map
  • Grandvalira West Trail Map

Grandvalira Ski Resort Andorra

Grandvalira ski resort is the largest in Andorra & the entire Pyrenees. If large, interconnected ski resorts with multiple villages but without the crowds are your thing, Grandvalira may be for you.

Only a few minutes from the capital city, Grandvalira provides a unique ski holiday experience. Ski a world class resort in one of the smallest countries in the world!

Pros & Cons for Grandvalira Ski Resort

Pros

  • Vast network of lifts & ski trails.
  • All ski terrain over 1,700m elevation.
  • Quality on-piste trails for beginner & intermediate skiers & snowboarders.
  • Lift pass valid in the fun Ordino Arcalis ski resort.
  • Public transport access by train & bus is fantastic.
  • A multitude of hotel & apartment options in valley or mountain village locations, for every budget, all lift connected to the ski resort.
  • Ski-in ski-out accommodation available.

Cons

  • Several confusing lift/piste connections for the uninitiated.
  • Boom/bust snow cycle in the Pyrenees with generally increasing winter temperatures impacting snow quantity & quality at lower elevations.
  • For a resort so big, relatively limited freeride powder & advanced terrain.
  • Public transport from French or Spanish airports to Andorra is remarkably limited & difficult to manage.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • An international clientele that may, or may not, appeal to one’s sensibilities, particularly in the higher-priced accommodation!
  • Resort villages seem rather soulless, lacking any sense of integrated ‘community’, but maybe that’s what visitors here are seeking.
  • Access to Europe’s best value vices in the booze, cigarette & sweet departments; plus cheap fuel - there are more petrol stations here per capita then just about anywhere else in Europe (the possible exception is duty-free Livigno!).

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

The Grandvalira ski resort is the largest in the Pyrenees, combining six base areas to occupy most of the southeast corner of Andorra. With over 210km of trails, 70 lifts & a longest run of over 6km, Grandvalira is a large ski resort by world standards. The resort's base areas range in elevation from 1300 to 2120m altitude & include the villages of Encamp, Canillo, El Tarter, Soldeu, Grau Roig & Pas de la Casa. The most skiable vertical is around 850m from the top of Tosa de la Llosada all the way down into El Tarter village. The highest lifted point in the resort is 2,640m & most of the terrain is north-aspect, guaranteeing decent snow coverage in its upper reaches. It is plainly obvious where the terrain aspect changes away from the shaded north - the snow depth decreases dramatically (i.e. near Canillo or toward Encamp).

See the Grandvalira ski trail map.

For all its size, Grandvalira feels small in the realms of advanced & off-piste terrain. Wonderful for beginners & intermediates, the few advanced piste trails are underwhelming (with two exceptions into Soldeu & El Tarter), & the off-piste freeride lacks the long, steep fall-line descents & diversity that we know and love in other Pyrenees & Alps ski resorts. Backcountry potential up into the peaks & bowls up behind the resort would be the ‘go-to’ prospect for expert riders looking for adventure at Grandvalira.

Grandvalira’s ski lifts are, on first impression, excellent. The Funicamp gondola from the valley at Encamp provides superb access to the mountains, BUT from there it gets rather convoluted. Despite some useful on-mountain signage, first time visitors can easily become 'geographically embarrassed'!

Lift Passes

Lift passes from Grandvalira are valid in the fun, freeride haven of Ordino Arcalis at the northern end of the Principality of Andorra.

Where is Grandvalira Andorra?

The Andorra capital, Andorra la Vella, is a 3hr drive (210km) north of Barcelona & a similar distance south of Toulouse. The lifts up to Grandvalira ski area are only 7km away from the capital where the resort extends for 17km along the Riu Valira d'Orient valley between Encamp & Pas del la Casa.

The minuscule size of Andorra creates a perfect ski nation, but it is far from perfect to get to if one doesn't have a rental car. Access lifts for the Grandvalira ski resort start at Encamp, a paltry 7km distance from the centre of Andorra la Vella. The lengthy Funicamp gondola is the closest to the capital and an incredibly easy way to get to & from the skiing.

Andorra’s mountain location precludes having an airport, so most visitors come into the country via the nearest major airports at Barcelona (BCN) or Toulouse (TLS). Similarly, railway does not penetrate Andorra's borders. A railway station at L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre in France is 12km from Andorra via the mountain pass at Pas de la Casa & provides the most convenient rail access to the nation, but it is actually far from convenient! The village at Pas de la Casa is the eastern-most base area of the Grandvalira ski resort, connected by road to the rest of Andorra via a tolled tunnel in winter.

Most groups will probably find a private shuttle transfer better value (cost & time) than a bus when travelling to Andorra from either France or Spain. A range of vehicles can get even the largest groups & their ski gear into Andorra quickly & efficiently. Search & book private transfers to Andorra.

Regular bus services from the airports connect Andorra & Grandvalira to the rest of the Europe, but they are not the easiest to navigate. Unless on a package deal, it may be simpler getting a rental car. There are however some good value bus ticket options, particularly from Barcelona, if you can work it all out!

Once in Andorra, everything is so close that taxis are a real option to get around. Buses on routes L2, L3 & L4 travel from the capital to various points in the resort & a special ski bus runs in winter augmenting the normal routes. Tickets are purchased on the bus & fare options depend on your length of stay & frequency of use.

See the Andorra bus route map.

Day visitors to the ski resort with their own car are well catered for, with adequate parking at all the major base areas. The upper mountain area of Grau Roig is the best in fine weather. Encamp or Canillo are best if the weather is poor, but the undercover parking comes at a small extra cost.

Grandvalira Accommodation

The Grandvalira ski resort comprises six main villages (Encamp, Canillo, El Tarter, Soldeu, Grau Roig & Pas de la Casa), but the reality is the capital Andorra la Vella is so close to the action, it may as well be a base village too!

Search & book all Grandvalira ski accommodation.

All six villages are connected to the ski resort by lifts, but only four have ski trails back down to them - El Tarter, Soldeu, Grau Roig & Pas de la Casa. The remaining two villages, Encamp & Canillo require a gondola download.

In short, for high alpine & lively, stay at Pas de la Casa. For luxury ski-in ski-out resort style accommodation, Soldeu is the spot. For affordable ski-in ski-out, perhaps El Tarter. For just affordable, Encamp is the best. For something close to an authentic Andorran mountain village, try Canillo. For splendid ski-in ski-out & alpine isolation after hours, Grau Roig wins hands down.

The highest altitude major village is the architectural mishmash at Pas de la Casa, right near the border with France. Entirely located in a treeless, wind scoured alpine bowl at 2100m elevation, the village resembles a downbeat version of Val Thorens. A wide range of accommodations, restaurants, bars & services are available though, and is certainly one of the most snow-secure villages in Andorra (and maybe the Pyrenees!). Several lodgings are ski-in ski-out or close to it. Several modern lifts including a c

Next along, and slightly higher (2,120m), Grau Roig is a broad alpine valley, more sheltered than Pas de la Casa, but with relatively few services & lodging options. Far & away the best of them is the ski-in ski-out Grau Roig Andorra Boutique Hotel & Spa.

Soldeu is an unashamedly high-end resort hotel & apartment development on the sunny side of the valley at 1800m elevation. A gondola station is integrated into the main massive hotel complex providing access to the heart of the ski terrain. A valley trail leads right to the door via a bridge of gargantuan proportions spanning the yawning gap across the river that running between the village and ski slopes. It is impressive to behold but will not appeal to everyone. The 5-star Hotel Hermitage & Spa is the best luxury stay in Grandvalira. A perfect amalgam of style, facilities, cuisine & location, if only one can afford it. Next door, actually closer to the ski lifts is the more affordable, but still excellent, Sport Hotel Village. Numerous other affordable options are across the road & further down the hill.

At around 1710m, El Tarter is the last of the Grandvalira villages down in the valley that are lift AND piste connected into the resort. The Hotel Nordic fronts the slopes near the ski lifts, but most other hotels & apartments are a short distance from the lifts.

Canillo village seems to be a ’neither here nor there’ prospect. Aside from Encamp, Canillo is the resort’s only real village (i.e. non resort style). Nevertheless, it is still replete with apartments more heavily utilised in summer than winter & has relatively little in the way lively outdoor dining or shops. Despite being at 1500m altitude there is no valley trail down to it and often very little snow, hence the lack of a trail. The gondola sits slightly inconveniently up the hillside away from the main village centre.

If on a budget or arriving at short notice, stay at Encamp in a self-contained apartment. The affordable La Solana Apartments are a  short 100m walk from the Funicamp gondola, bars and duty-free shops, plus usually has a mid-week vacancy at short notice.

Review

The Powderhounds visited Grandvalira in 2020 & found it to be a sprawling paradise for beginner & intermediate skiers. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read all the reviews.

See how Grandvalira compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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Tours in or near Grandvalira

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Pyrenees Ski Tour - Carros de Foc Circuit
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY SKI TOUR
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Ski Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Fully hosted & guided small group backcountry ski touring in the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, one of the most beautiful in the Spanish Pyrenees. Stay in mountain huts & ski untracked powder. Private singles or groups apply for your best dates. or join a group.
Price p/p From price based on 2 nights hotel & 4 nights shared hut lodgings.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,083
View Details
 
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Grandvalira here
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