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post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm considering a trip president's week.

Can anyone offer their experiences/opinions/advice as it pertains to lodging and overall worthiness as a destination?
post #2 of 11
1. It's cheap.
2. At the big resorts, runs are slightly overstated. (Beginner skier on black runs after 5 days)
3. It's cheap.
4. Sometimes referred to as Motorway Skiing (OK, for you, Interstate Skiing) - nice big wide pistes, nothing too difficult for trucks or cars.
5. Did I mention how low cost it is?

post #3 of 11
Skip Andorra and head for the Alps unless you want to make a stopover in Barcelona or elsewhere in Espana. In that case, head to Andorra....
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by West Virginia Skier:
Skip Andorra and head for the Alps unless you want to make a stopover in Barcelona or elsewhere in Espana. In that case, head to Andorra....
I wish that such a reply would at least include the slightest hint of a reason or basis.
post #5 of 11
ok, speaking from several years experience of visiting Andorra.

You'll find it reasonably busy during Presidents week as this clashes with the Brit school holidays. That being said all is not lost. You can ski all the resorts over a 1 week period, all within a 1 hours drive of each other.

Pas de la Casa/Soldeu now share a common lift ticket, this opens up a much larger skiable terrain.

Arinsal and Pal are also linked and once again share a lift ticket.

The hidden gem of Andorra is a resort known as Arcalis, Arcalis is not on the Brit package holiday circuit, much quieter and benefits from North facing slopes.

You will need a car to get yourself around the country, but as previously stated, no 2 resorts are far away.

Costs are very favourable, lift ticket prices are cheaper than the alps and indeed much cheaper than the US.

Equipment, that scores high. Andorra is a tax free country so you;ll find heaps of bargains, this applies to all goods you would wish to buy.
Getting there is ok as well, under 2 hours from Barcelona and a little over 2 hours from Toulouse, although the Toulouse route is often very busy as you approcah the Pic D'Envlira tunnel.

Yes its cheap, yes it can be busy, yes loads of Brits learn to ski there. Sking is not as limited as some people like to make out, if your only visiting, there's more than enough to keep you busy.

Its also a bit of a party town, so dont expect a quiet time, the tourists are up for a good time and they certainly make sure they have one.

In my opinion it offers great value for money.

Accomadation can be difficult to secure, but if your prepared to stay in the Capital (reasonably central to all but Pas De la Casa) you should be able to find a good hotel etc.

check out some of the resources I've come across.


one last thing, Andorrans are not the worlds greatest vegetarians, they are confirmed meat eaters and most dishes are based around meat.

Sure there are bigger and better area's but Andorra is an unpretentious alternative.


[ November 15, 2003, 03:14 AM: Message edited by: Colin-uk ]
post #6 of 11
IMO hotels in the capital city (andorra la vella) should not be an option. The city is ugly, crowded with suposedly tax free shops and french / spanish people haggling (think a cross between a mall and an oriental bazaar). The prices are not that low ( I looked at electronics, mainly) and about on par with US prices.You need to bargain, but don't expect the next shop to be better, cause they all work together. A friend of mine wanted to buy a video camera, reached a price, and then it turned out that the only available camera in the shop was the one from the display. So he went to another shop (not the one next door), reached an understanding for 20 euros more, the sales man had him waiting for 10 minutes in order "to get the camera from the storage room" and presented him with... you guessed it, the same camera from the previous shop. So beware of bargains and stay away from La Vella
A much better option is to get a hotel in one of the resorts, or at least in La Massana.
The apres ski can get pretty wild (lots of drunk young brits), but the locals are usually nice. The distances between the resorts are ridiculously small (sometimes less than 2k)
Oh, the skiing, is well... OK. the resorts are small, vertical drops of N American magnitude, mainly easy cruising. you can easily do better in france.And the cost is not that low, now that they have joined the euro.
so i'll second the opinion that says " go there if you have to be in Bacelona", otherwise skip it
post #7 of 11
post #8 of 11
Sorry for the short response Xdog.
I've never skied Andorra but have had long talks about the place with several people who have skied it. On the other hand, I've made three trips to the Alps in last two years and plan to go again this year.

For the UK skier who can take advantage of cheap domestic flights to Toulouse, Andorra offers a good, inexpensive alternative to the Alps.

For the North American, however, I think Andorra ain't worth the time and effort. Face it, the biggest problem North Americans face in skiing Europe is getting over there. It's time consuming and expensive--epecially compared to discount flights to Denver, or Salt Lake City. If you are going to fly all the way across the pond, go to the best place in the Alps that you can afford. I've stayed in great 2 star places in St. Anton for $40 per night per person, and lift tickets at St. Anton are cheap compared to US tickets. Swiss Intl. offers a cheap fare from Newark to Zurich and AA offers a similar cheap flight ($450) from JFK to Zurich. From Zurich, hop the train right at the airport and enjoy a quick 2.5 hour trip right to the heart of St. Anton (you'll need to switch at the Hauptbahnhoff in Zurich). As an alternative, go to one of the less expensive base areas in the Trois Vallees in France or fly to Munich and try Solden/Obergurgl/Vent--pretty reasonable if you stay in Solden. There are many other alternatives that I have left out to save space, but my basic point is that in the Alps, you'll get better skiing for the money. On average, the Alps areas offer a better ski value for the money because of better snow, much bigger VERTICAL, and generally less crowded conditions. You'll also find more attractive villages if you pick and choose the right resort.

As far as I can see it, the only reason to choose Andorra over the Alps is if you or one of your party wants to sightsee in Spain. In that case, go to Andorra.... [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ November 16, 2003, 05:56 AM: Message edited by: West Virginia Skier ]
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, now we're gettin' somewhere.

The main reason I'm considering Andorra is basically to say, "Hey, I've skied Andorra"! That, and it sounds like a very intermediate area which appeals to my mrs.. A day or 2 in Barcelona also appeals to both of us. I know I'll get more for my money in the alps, but I'm always looking for something different.

Alternative destination is Chamonix. Anyone have any specific lodging reccommendations?
post #10 of 11
Originally posted by Xdog:

Alternative destination is Chamonix. Anyone have any specific lodging reccommendations?
NO! Hotel Felsenhof, Lech. It will cost you $250 a night but that's cheap for Lech.... [img]smile.gif[/img]

In all seriousness, Chamonix is not the place to go if you are trying to please make an intermediate happy--hard trails, sucky lifts. Lech, with all its brand new, high-speed transportation, easy groomers, and CHARMING VILLAGE will thrill the pants off of the Mrs. Furthermore, the Madloch trail (zurs to Lech), Muggengrat headwall (Zurs), and the Steinmahder area (check out the new 8 pack) will give you a taste of the steeps.. If you want more, put Mrs. in a lesson, and you and a guide go off and do some off-piste--ski Valuga down to Zurs or put the Schindler mogul fields on YOUR LIST. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ November 16, 2003, 04:55 PM: Message edited by: West Virginia Skier ]
post #11 of 11
Barcelona is great, i loved this city and i'd say that 2 days are not enough, 3-4 days are the min. Also, do not miss the seafood.
Andorra is different, and the terrain is indeed suited for intermediate non agrrresive skiers, and the whole experience (incl. Barcelona) is great as long as you get your hard skiing fix elsewhere. I don't remember specific hotels, but i'd choose Ordino (have to drive or take a bus to any ski area) or Cannilo (that is connected to Soldeu ski area) as a base. These places are calmer, and more "authentic" than soldeu and pas de la casa.
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