Resort Profile: Grandvalira

By adamrowden, 4 Dec '12 at 11:33

Typically lively, high value, friendly Andorran resort with a larger than average ski area. The biggest investor in skiing in the Pyrenees during the 1990s, the resort added a new 8 seater gondola for the 1996/97 season and new hotels. A skiing link with Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig was completed in 1997/98 and has been subsequently improved.

The two areas finally issued a joint lift ticket - Grandvalira - for the first time for the 2003-4 season. Investment for 2000 included three new six-seater chairs, immediately placing the resort in the world top five for numbers of this type of lift at the time. Soldeu is a modern, dynamic resort with picturesque scenery surrounding and the only ski area with ISO 14.000 quality award status, a lot of competitions are organised each season and there are some first rate mogul/bumps slopes. The second base at El Tarter is more traditional.

The resort is located in the north east of Andorra and is the largest skiable area in Southern Europe.

The area known as Grandvalira is comprised of six settlements which each offer visitors and seasonaires plenty of variety. Grau Roig is pretty small and is mainly just an activity centre that is located on the slopes. The three main resorts in Grandvalira are Pas de la Casa, which is a purpose built resort that is on the French border; and the linked towns of Soldeu and El Tarter.

The most popular area for drinking and hanging out is most definitely Pas de la Casa, or Pas, as it is known. In fact Pas is widely renowned as the party capital of Andorra. If you are a seasonaire then you will no doubt be hitting the bars in Pas as regularly as you can.

As the resort is nice and large, there is plenty to offer you when roaming around the pistes. The recent addition of high-speed lifts have cut lift queues and have also aided getting around the mountain. Oh, and there are also now three snow parks in the resort.

The off-piste potential here is also pretty darn good, so if you are a freeride nutjob, then you won’t be disappointed. And, thanks to the north facing slopes that are set at high altitudes, the snow tends to stay fresher for longer.

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