- Accommodation & Hotels
- Ski Area
- Ski Lifts & Pass
- Activities & Things to do
- Restaurants & Nightlife
Arinsal is a village in Andorra, set at an altitude of between 1550 and 2560 metres, close to the border with Spain at Tor, Pallars. In the summer Arinsal is home to walkers and bikers, as well as those who just want to relax in the mountain scenery. In the winter, it offers skiing and snowboarding for beginners, as well as a good selection of runs for intermediates.
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.
It is located at the head of a valley. The old village part is clearly evident but due to the fact it is also a ski resort it has grown a lot and has quite a number of hotels catering to this trade. As a result though outside the ski season the place is pretty much closed up including some of the bars and restaurants.
This resort is very popular with English speaking skiers.
The village itself surrounds a main street leading to the cable lift at the bottom of the ski slope and provides plenty of accommodation from self-catering chalets for those who like to do their own thing to half board hotels if you prefer to relax and enjoy the local cuisine. For those who like to eat out, plenty of restaurants offer a variety of fayre for families and couples, and the après ski is renowned as the best in Andorra, whether you want a quiet drink with a cool vibe or to meet new friends in a lively bar. With alternative activities both day and night, this well-established English speaking ski resort has something for everyone.
The Arinsal and Pal ski resorts are linked by cable car and have 63kms of ski with access to:
- 7 green slopes
- 14 blue slopes
- 17 red slopes
- 4 black runs
- 5 slaloms
- 2 freestyle areas
The green and blue slopes are particularly well-respected as excellent areas for beginners, with most blue slopes being easily achievable within a few days of starting lessons. The two Arinsal Ski and Snowboard Schools, with many English speaking instructors, occupy much of the lower slopes and offer 19 hours of group lessons for the beginner, with specific kids groups from the age of 4 years old available. Refresher lessons are also available over 4 hours and the blue runs in Arinsal are accommodating slopes to refresh your skills, with private lessons also available.
The season gets going in mid-December as the snow starts to have a thick base depth and the best skiing continues through to mid-March when the early morning snow generally starts to tail off. January normally has the heaviest snowfalls, 28" of snow fell in 2017 and the season stays open until mid-April if conditions allow.
With almost 300 snow cannons, the resort guarantees that half of its slopes will have snow at any time of the season and there are 30 ski lifts to take you around the pistes.
Skiing in Arinsal
The skiing area was dramatically extended for the 2000-1 season with the new cable car opening up access to the Pal area which with its picturesque tree lined slopes is the perfect compliment to Arinsal. From Arinsal itself it now takes only four minutes in another new lift, the six-seater gondola up to Comallempla. This point can still be accessed by car if you prefer.
For Beginners the Prat de la Coma Area has been extended and much improved in recent years. Off to the right of the mid station there are three beginners tows with large nursery area for first timers. Probably more a resort for intermediates and progressing beginners there are some excellent long blue runs - one of the longest runs in Andorra is La Solana which starts at the top of the Pic Negre and takes you all the way down to Cota at the base of the mountain.
Many people believe its best for beginners to start off in Arinsal and then progress on to the slopes at Pal. There are three slopeside cafes; the Obelix and the Iglu make good refreshment stops, whilst the Panoramix boasts one of the best and biggest sun terraces in Andorra. Off to the other side there are more challenging red runs and experts will find three blacks at the top of the mountain. The longest, steepest black run in Andorra, La Devesa, plunges under the chairlift which runs from the base station. Snow cover is being made ever more reliable with the addition of more snow cannons each season.
Skiing at Pal can be accessed from four different points, after a drive up the winding road from the village. La Caubella at 1950m is the main base with ticket sales, ski hire and restaurant. All four green runs are located in this area with the beginner area much improved in recent years. Beginners are probably best advised to start in the Arinsal sector and then progress on to the slopes at Pal when their confidence has increased. This is best known as an intermediate resort and there are 4 fairly lengthy blue runs . Better choice of reds so its the perfect place for intermediates to improve. La Serra is worth trying, starts of at the top of the Pic de Cubil at 2358m then gets into a more gentle blue and takes you all the way back down to La Caubella.
There's only one black run at Pal which, depending on the snow conditions, can be a challenge even for the experts - that's La Comellada which leads onto a blue back to Els Fontanals. Also for the experts are the 4 approved FIS slalom slopes. An extra three kilometres of slopes were added for 1999/2000 when the Seturia area was opened up in preparation for the new cable car link to Arinsal. An impressive quad chairlift gives uplift to the one blue and two red slopes. There is some excellent off piste and tree skiing at Pal though it is best to go with a guide or instructor if you're not familiar with the area. Now that the cable car is up and running with a 6 minute ride up to the Font Negre and the Arinsal bowl this can only serve to improve what has to be Andorra's most picturesque resort.
Snowboarding in Arinsal
There is a definite preference for snowboarders in the Arinsal sector where the investments here have included a new, modern snow park for boarders with extension of the big air half-pipe and jumps. As yet there is no area specifically for snowboarders in Pal itself. There are plenty of long cruising blues and reds though.
Arinsal Aprés Ski
Arinsal has virtually all of the off slope activity and is indeed renowned for its nightlife with many discos, bars and pubs offering distinctively different atmospheres and music. The Red Rock is one of the busiest bars, famous for its large measures, videos and burgers or there's Quo Vadis, the Surf Bar, Cisco's and Bar el Derbi. The Rocky Mountain Bar is full of atmosphere at night with games, music, movies, snacks and great meals for good prices. Good for daytime too with breakfasts from 9am . The Viking in the nearby village of Massana is also worth a visit.
Transportation - Get In
In case you haven't already realised, Andorra doesn't have an airport. This means you need to look for flights to nearby airports including Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Toulouse. You can use the search tools on the right to find your flights - the Sky Scanner tool searches across many airlines.
When selecting your flights, you need to make sure that transfers are available from your chosen airport after your flight has landed.
By far the most popular airport for independent holidaymakers heading to Andorra, Barcelona is used by a wide range of budget and traditional airlines but for those of you looking for shared airport transfers there are seven daily services between Barcelona airport and Arinsal (six in summer).
A much smaller airport with not as many flights to choose from, during the ski season there is one transfer daily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday bewteen Girona and Arinsal, however it does benefit from being on the Spanish side of Andorra so the transfer route is much better.
There are limited flights into Lleida and no shared transfers, so if you fly to Lleida you'd either need to rent a car or book a private airport transfer.
You will find a good range of flights arriving into Toulouse but make sure you check available shared transfer times, there are three daily shuttle services during the winter. It is also important to note that in instances of extreme snow conditions the access road between Toulouse and Andorra can be closed which leads to cancelled transfers. If this happens you would need to make your way to the Spanish side by car or public transport.
When putting the cost of your holiday together, with the budget airlines make sure you remember to add extras such as your luggage and ski carriage if you have your own equipment. Obviously for a ski holiday most people end up bringing lots of warm clothes which take up plenty of room in suitcases! If you're unsure about what to bring you can take a read of our 'what to wear' guide. If you have your own skis or snowboard then also check your chosen airlines' luggage guidelines to see if you're allowed to pack clothes in the same bag as your equipment.
On short haul routes such as flying to Barcelona from the UK then traditional airlines such as British Airways are becoming much more competitive, especially once you've added on extras such as luggage and snacks or drinks on the flight. You'll often find a wider choice of flight times too so it can be very useful when planning flights to match up with transfers.
Arinsal Airport Transfers
If you're organising your own holiday, then choosing how to travel from your holiday airport to Arinsal is an important decision. You have a variety of options including car rental, shared transfers, or private transfers.
When choosing your transfer option you should consider the amount of time it will take on arrival for you to collect your luggage, and skis or snowboards if you have them, and to make your way to your meeting point. For your return you need to allow for bad weather or traffic and have enough time to check in.
Private Airport Transfers
Having your own taxi, minibus or coach waiting for you when your flight arrives is probably the most relaxing start to your holiday that you can choose. You don't have to wait around for other people on other flights, and you don't need to worry about driving in Europe or working out the route!
We work with Grup Montmantell to provide private transfers from Barcelona, Girona, Reus, Toulouse, Carcasonne & Perpignan. You will have a driver waiting for you at the airport when your flight lands ready to take you directly to your hotel, plus it doesn't cost much more than an airport shuttle! Have a look at the great prices below. Prices are each way, and are per group.
To make a transfer booking just click on the booking bar at the bottom of the page to get started.
|Private Airport Transfers|
|Size of Group||Price Per Group|
|Cost Per Person|
|Up to 4||€329.00||€82.25|
|5 - 8||€393.00||€49.13|
|9 - 16||€616.00||€38.50|
|17 - 34||€722.00||€21.24|
|35 - 55||€902.00||€16.40|
Shared Airport Transfers
AndBus (formerly Novatel) operate shuttle tranasfers to and from several airports and will drop you off and pick you up at your hotel (you may need to change buses in Andorra la Vella). Journey times are approximate.
To book your AndBus airport transfers start by entering your details in the booking bar.
Age categories for AndBus shared transfers are:
Adults: Age 26+ | Youth: 12-25 years receive a 10% discount | Children: 4-11 years are half price | Infants: 0-3 years are free
|Shared Transfer Prices|
|Single €46||Single €47|
|Return €77||Return €79|
Bus Timetable 2017-18 (To/From Arinsal)
NB: Most transfers run daily, however please check notes below for transfers marked with a star (*).
The times listed below are scheduled and may be affected by weather and traffic. You should plan to arrive at your chosen airport a minimum of two hours prior to the departure of your flight.
Airport to Arinsal
|Barcelona - 4 hours|
|Toulouse - 3¾ hours|
Arinsal to Airport
|Barcelona - 4 hours|
|Toulouse - 3¾ hours|
If you're wanting flexibility whilst you're on holiday, and feel confident in driving in to the mountains then definately consider car rental from the airport.
There are lots of car hire companies operating from the airports who you could use to come to Andorra. If you book car hire it is important to ensure you advise the rental company that you will be travelling to Andorra as it is across an international border and also outside the EU.
Also, don't forget to ask about things like snow tyres and snow chains, which you may have to pay extra for! Finally, don't forget about making sure you will have enough space for all your luggage in the car, as well as skis if you are bringing your own.
Transportation - Get Around
There is a bus service (the L5) between Arinsal and Andorra La Vella, passing through La Massana. It leaves every half hour and costs €4.80 return into the capital.
The road continues up out of the village and stops about another 1 or 2 up at another hotel. Then there is a semi-private road that winds up the mountain for about 3 or 4 miles to the top station of the cable car lift.
Part of the Vallnord complex, Arinsal’s immediate ski area is to be found up a steep slope above Arinsal in one of a number of glaciated hanging valleys that feed eventually into the Valira del Norte and flow down to Andorra La Vella.
Of the two sectors in Vallnord, the Pal - Arinsal sector (just 5km from Andorra la Vella) is the larger of the two with 63km of runs among 770 hectares of skiing and around 1,000m vertical from base up to 2,560m. With 4 green, 16 blue, 16 red and 5 black runs the Pal - Arinsal ski area is best for beginners and intermediate skiers and riders and includes designated areas for freestlye, free ride, slalom and bumps.
Skiing out of Arinsal begins at the main car using the Telecabine Orriols. This quickly transfers you to the main ski base from which it's possible to take a sequence of four further lifts to the very top of Pic del Cubil for an exhilarating descent.
At the top of this relative plateau rises the Pic del Cubil (2,358m) one of the tallest skiable mountains in Vallnord. Near its summit a 70,000 sq m artificial lake has recently been constructed to feed the snow guns on the lower slopes, with 371 artificial snow cannons in Pal-Arinsal covering around 19km of the 63km ski area.
Above Arinsal itself there are 2 green runs and a snow playground, 9 blue runs, 6 red runs and 3 black runs. On the Pal side of the Pic del Cubil (but still accessible from Arinsal) there are a further 2 green runs and a snow playground, 8 blue runs, 10 red and one black.
Arinsal is the dominant partner in the "piste marriage" with Arcalis where there's only 25 runs - 6 green, 6 blue, 11 red and 2 black runs - and just 26km of on-piste skiing among 442 hectares with 74 artificial snow cannons covering 12km out of 26km on-piste skiing. To be fair Arcalis does have the edge when it comes to off-piste skiing (around 310 hectares suitable for off-piste) but Arinsal is the best place to base yourself in Vallnord until you're ready to go off-piste.
All the pistes have a name and number making piste maps easy to follow. The lifts are also numbered and navigating the ski area is easy. Besides skiing and snowboarding Vallnord has gone out of its way to promote other winter activities including snowmobiling, mushing (dogsledding), skibikes, snowshoeing, panoramic flights by helicopter or hang-glider and horse riding.
In the Pal et Arinsal sectors (immediately above Arinsal) there are 5 green beginner runs and 2 jardines de neiges (snow parks).
The area at the bottom of the Arinsal valley (turn left when you reach Comallempla) has a sequence of short runs for novices - El Cortal, L'Escola I and L'Escola II - served by conveyor belt and chairlift that are good for building confidence. Moreover there's a children's snow park here and a handy restaurant El Refugi d'Arinsal for when it all gets too much.
There's also a good series of beginners' slopes around the restaurant La Borda at La Caubella which can be accessed directly from La Massana if you take the Bus Neu down that far.
In the Pal et Arinsal sectors (immediately above Arinsal) there are 17 blue runs and 16 red runs for intermediate skiers.
This is very much intermediate country and if you're careful you can complete a circuit across the twin peaks (Pic del Cubil and Pic D'Enclar) and get back down to Colle de la Botella primarily on advanced blues and with just a hairy moment or two on the red run La Serra that descends between Del Cubil and D'Enclar. There's a real sense of achievement as you then ski gently down to Comallempla and take the lift back to Arinsal.
In the Pal et Arinsal sectors (immediately above Arinsal) there are 5 black runs, including La Comellada which descends rapidly from almost the top of Pic del Cubil (2,358m) to El Fontanals 350 feet below. The route takes in the highest free ride (off-piste) zone in the Arinsal area and carves a path through forest.
Some of the best freestyling in the Vallnord area is to be found above Arcalis by taking the Chairlift La Basera from the main car park up to Les Portelles skiing down the La Balma red run down as far as the draglift La Tossa. There are then 4 free ride (off-piste) zones that extent most of the way back down to Arcalis.
Arinsal Boarding & Freestyle
At the moment there is only one freestyle area in Vallnord – not a good state of affairs for boarders and freestyle skiers – which is to be found at the top of the Els Planells drag lift above Comallempla.
To start take the cable car from Arinsal main car park up to Comallempla and then the Les Fonts chairlift to the Xina Igloo bar and freestyle back down to the draglift Els Planells which will take you back up to Xina Igloo which, fortuitously, serves great Chinese food.
Addicts may want to spend a day the other side of Andorra la Vella in Grandvalira where there are eight freestyle areas.
Ski lifts & pass
The ski lift infrastructure is good and Vallnord is putting a lot of money into making it work with 28 lifts carrying up to 34,100 skiers per hour in Pal – Arinsal and over in the Ordino – Arcalis sector the 13 lifts have capacity for 16,510 skiers per hour.
From the main car park in Arinsal the 4-person cable car known as Telecabine Els Orriols rises nearly 500m up into the Arinsal Valley to Comallempla where the resort's main mountain restaurants, bars, ski schools, cash point and medical centre are to be found.
From here there are chairlifts to the very top of the valley which connect by telecabine to Coll de la Botella from which it's possible to take the Chairlift La Botella, and drag lifts, to the very top of Pic del Cubil (2,358m).
The lift system is simply numbered 1-30 and the piste map makes it clear at each incline what you can expect. Terminology is given in French (as we are near the French border) and translates as follows: Telesiege (Chair Lift). Teleski (Drag Lift) and Telecabine (Cable Car)
There are also tapis roulantes (conveyor belts) one telecorde (tow rope behind a piste basher) and a telepherique (a large cable car connecting two sides of the Coll de la Botella).
Arinsal Lift Passes
Arinsal forms a part of the larger Vallnord ski domain, which is made up of two distinct areas, these being Pal-Arinsal and Arcalis. Visitors to Arinsal can choose to either purchase a local Pal-Arinsal lift pass, or a full area Vallnord lift pass which will also give them access to the renowned ski area at Arcalis. Until the 2015/16 season there was only the one option of a full area Vallnord lift pass, however the two separate resorts have decided to move forward in offering the option of either local or full area lift passes to provide greater flexibility to visitors.
There are two types of lift pass depending on the duration you choose. Short durations have a barcode on and you insert it in to the machine at the bottom of the lift, however for longer durations (including the 6-day pass) they have a tiny chip in them which makes them "hands-free" so you can leave it in a pocket and the machines at the bottom of the lifts will read the pass allowing you on to the lift. Any lift passes pre-booked through Arinsal.co.uk will be the "hands-free" type, even if you are here for a shorter duration.
|Vallnord Lift Pass Prices|
|Pal-Arinsal Lift Pass Prices|
Activities & Things to do
Whilst Arinsal is well known for its fantastic pistes and schools catering for skiers and snowboarders alike, there are also a multitude of other activities available in the local area both on and off the snow. So whether you are a non skier looking for alternative activities, or just taking a days rest from the slopes, check out our list below for some ideas of other great things to do in the local area.
Mountain Based Activities
Fancy a break from skiing but want to stay on the mountain and enjoy the snow? There are a great variety of activities located throughout Arinsal and Pal, from mushing to paragliding and even helicopter flights!
Many of the activities take place in the Pal sector where you will find two different activity centres, El Planell is located near the top of the gondola from La Massana, and Coll de la Botella is located near the cable car which links Pal to Arinsal. If you are able to ski at an intermediate level then you can ski across (via the cable car) alternatively you can take a bus or a taxi.
All activities can be booked directly with Vallnord at the main information desks. In Arinsal this is located at the top of the gondola.
Sledging and tubing are both great fun activities for kids and you will find a designated area in Pal for the activities to take place.
Location: El Planell, Pal
Cost: It costs approximately €7 per day to rent a sledge or you can spend €10 on 6 trips tubing.
Special bikes designed for the snow with skis instead of wheels!
Location: Arinsal and El Planell, Pal
Cost: €22 for one hour
A really popular activity in Vallnord and a great fun adrenaline rush, allowing you to drive a snowmobile along a specially designated route. To drive a snowmobile you need to have a full driving license.
Location: Coll de la Botella, Pal
Cost: Snowmobile - €50 for 30 minutes / Night Snowmobile Excursion - €100 for one hour / Companion Snowmobile Excursion €25 for 30 minutes
At El Planell there is also the option for a children’s snowmobile ride which costs €7 for 5 minutes.
Another really popular activity; go on a breathtaking ride through the Seturia forest on sleds pulled by husky dogs.
Location: Coll de la Botella, Pal
Cost: €32 for adults and €25 for children
A great way to explore nature and enjoy the snow at a more leisurely pace wearing specially designed snowshoes (also referred to as raquettes).
Location: Coll de la Botella, Pal and El Planell, Pal
Cost: El Planell - €21 for one hour / Coll de la Botella - €25 for 30 minutes
A real special treat, take to the air and enjoy stunning, panoramic views across the Vallnord mountain ranges and beyond. A fantastic way to create unforgettable memories of your trip.
Cost: From €75 for a ten minute flight.
The ultimate adrenaline rush and a once in a lifetime experience, not for the faint hearted!
Location: Coll de la Botella, Pal
Cost: From €100 for the flight, videos and photos of the experience can be purchased at an extra cost.
Resort Based Activities
Arinsal is known for its friendly and sociable atmosphere, here are a few ideas of things you can do around the village by day and night.
The après ski scene in Arinsal is welcoming and fun for all ages and tastes, the reasonable drinks prices and large measures usually appeal to most!
Many of the bars have different events going on each night from live music to quizzes.
- Bar Games - Table football is something of a commodity (and almost a national sport!) in Andorra, you will find tables in almost every bar providing great fun for all the family. Beware of challenging the locals to a game, they will probably show you a thing or two! Other games include the “Nail Game” where each player has a nail that they have to hit into a large trunk of wood, this one is especially fun after a few beers.
- Watch Videos of yourself Skiing - In Ski School? You can find videos from the days ski school groups playing in The Derby Irish Pub and Quo Vadis.
- Pub Crawls/Party Nights - On Mondays, some tour operators offer a guided tour of their favourite bars in resort with shots and games along the way. Fridays are also big for planned party nights, ask your resort representative what’s going on when you arrive in resort.
- Quiz Nights - On Wednesdays, you will find some tour operators running quizzes in different bars around town including El Molis, Quo Vadis and the Derby Irish Pub. Anyone can get involved and there are some great prizes to be won.
There are loads of great restaurants in Arinsal with something to suit every taste from traditional roast dinners and steaks to sushi and Thai curries.
Downstairs in the Princesa Parc hotel you will find a 10-pin bowling alley, along with a bar and games room, good fun for all the family and open to the general public.
Princesa Parc Wellness Centre
If you don't want to leave Arinsal, but still want to relax, the Princesa Parc Wellness Centre has relaxing pools, saunas, steam room, and a jacuzzi. An excellent way to relax, but on a smaller scale than the famous Caldea spa. You will also find a small gym on site.
There are a few shops in Arinsal, mostly selling ski and snowboard clothing and equipment as well as a few souvenirs at the supermarket. If you're wanting to do some more serious shopping then head to the capital city Andorra La Vella, where you will find an abundance of duty free shopping across a great range of shops, as well as the main busy shopping streets you also find a large indoor shopping centre.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Arinsal has a great selection of restaurants to choose from including Mexican, Thai, Chinese, British, and Argentinian, obviously as well as the local cuisine, which is Catalan, and well worth trying.
The reputation of Cisco's speaks for itself, with a smallish but excellent quality menu of Tex-Mex food. Some favourites include fajitas, ribs, burgers and the delicious mango chicken. When ordering, make sure you say how spicy you want it served!
El Xalet (Hotel Montane)
Open for breakfast whether you want something light or a full English. In the evening the Hotel Montané is the perfect place to dine if you're looking to celebrate a special occasion, with a delicious varied menu served in a stylish and relaxing environment, with great view of the mountains. They also serve a traditional Sunday roast.
360 Restaurant & Bar
360 Restaurant & Bar is situated just 50m from Arinsal's main gondola. It has an a nice open terrace for those sunny afternoons and you can relax with a varied menu offering snacks, pastas, burgers and grill (steak, chicken, lamb and pork) washed down with local beer or cocktails. Catering for families and groups they offer a special vegetarian and kids menu.
A relaxed restaurant with international homemade food from pizzas and pastas to thai currys, Chinese stirfrys and popular fish and chips in paper. On Sundays they have a roast dinner for €10.50 from 12:30 until 19:00 (or until it runs out) plus they serve ‘Bunny Chow’ which is a South African lamb stew served in a bread bowl.
Bambu at Hotel Palarine
A British owned Chinese restaurant offering excellent food and a homely atmosphere - it's a favourite with many locals and well worth the trip.
If you fancy something a little different this sushi restaurant does apres ski. A three piece tray and a beer or wine is €3.00. With friendly staff and a relaxing atmosphere Sushi Moutain is a great place to enjoy authentic Japanese food.
Hunters Sports Bar & Grill
Arinsal's newest bar and restaurant can be found underneath Sant Moritz Apartments, next door to the supermarket. The warm and friendly decor makes you feel at home in the mountains.
You can stop off for breakfast on the way to the slopes, come down to the village for lunch, or pop in for dinner or drinks in the evening.
Déjà Vu is a pizzeria located in the Hotel Micolau, and the Arinsal.co.uk team think the pizzas are great! They also have a varied menu including steak and duck, with a friendly team to serve you.
They have a wide range of pizzas as well as pastas and meat dishes and a child friendly menu available both to eat in or take away (you can also phone ahead to order your pizza in advance for take away). It's a popular place to sit and have a coffee in the afternoon when heading off the mountain.
Argentinian steak restaurant serving steaks cooked on on open grill, as well as pizzas, pastas and burgers.
In our opinion a really good restaurant and takeaway, serving steaks, pastas and pizzas. They have a friendly team and portions are a good size too, serving Argentinian specialities with a menu offering starters, steaks, pasta dishes, pizza, BBQ style plates, salads, desserts and full wine list.
Located just 15 metres from the gondola, the Snack Bar Factory has vintage decoration and offers a great selection of food. Open all day long from 8am for breakfast, through lunch, dinner and late drinks until 2:30. After a hard day skiing you can relax on their mountain view terrace and enjoy one of their specialities such as crepes, burgers or their wide variety of vegetarian options.
A friendly restaurant and takeaway with a local feel towards the bottom end of the village, serving a great selection of pizzas, pies, pastas, salads and more. They also have tapas, or you can just go in for a coffee or a beer.
There are two main supermarkets in the village selling all your holiday essentials, with a fairly decent selection of food if you're self catering. There is also a good selection of shops selling ski/snowboard equipment and clothing. In addition to those in the village, you will find several sports and souvenier shops at the top of the gondola (at the base of the slopes) so make sure you shop around and get a great deal!
Currency & Money
The currency of Andorra is the Euro. You can change money at most hotel receptions as well as being able to take money out of cash machines in the village, and even up the mountain! Just watch out for the exchange rate at receptions though as they can be quite low! The nearest banks can be found just down the road in La Massana.
Andorra La Vella
For more extensive shopping opportunities you might want to pay a visit to Andorra la Vella, the capital city. If you want to go, there are a few options. Firstly is public transport. Buses depart from the village along the main road, however when you get into the city it can be tricky as the bus drops you off in a different place to where it picks you up to bring you back. Second option is a taxi. They work pretty much the same as anywhere else, and hotel receptions will usually call one for you, or you can flag one down. Taxis cannot be booked in Andorra, therefore you just have to wait for it to come. Beware that the taxi will start it's meter where it sets off from, and not where you get in!
Once you're there, you can expect to find a fantastic array of shops selling predominantly electrical goods, jewellery, perfume, alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco, all at duty free prices! In recent years a sales tax has been introduced, this currently stands at 4.5%, but prices are still fairly low. A top tip would be to do your homework before you go to make sure that you are getting a bargain!
Duty Free Allowances
Andorra has customs on both the French and Spanish borders with regular vehicle searches carried out. The main duty free allowances, as per the Andorran government in October 2015 are:
- Tobacco & Cigarettes - 300 cigarettes or 150 cigars (under 3g each) or 75 cigars (over 3g each)
or 400g of pipe tobacco
- Alcohol - 1.5l of liquors over 22% (or 3l of liquors or aperitifs under 22% or sparkling wine) plus 5l of table wine
- Perfume - 75g of perfume plus 375 ml of eau de cologne
- Other - Up to a value of €900 per person or €450 if aged under 15