During the holidays, the Select ski team took a group of teachers to experience the fantastic opportunities for school groups in Andorra. One of our expert ski tour co-ordinators, Francesca Gerard, tells us what makes it a great choice for your 2018 ski trip:
Even more southerly than Nice and Marseille and level with Rome, and once a collection of fragmented small ski resorts, Andorra might not always have been an immediate choice for a school ski trip. Massive investment in over the past few decades has transformed Andorra into an ideal choice with quality skiing resorts, duty-free shopping and brilliant sunshine!
In recent years Andorra has heavily invested in the infrastructure of its ski resorts, upgrading lifts, snow-making ski terrain, and the available après-ski activities. While Andorra has a strong snow record, thanks to snowmaking there are also snow-sure areas throughout the season regardless of snowfall. Grandvalira, Andorra’s largest resort, now has over 200km of skiable terrain – rivalling the top European resorts. Vallnord, the other principal resort in Andorra, while smaller offers excellent beginner and intermediate terrain with strong family atmosphere. Across Andorra, thanks to the effective network of ski lifts you can travel even in peak season without the usual queues you might experience in similar sized resorts in the Alps.
Great ski school
Whether you ski in Grandvalira or Vallnord, you will be guaranteed to find an excellent ski school. The quality and friendliness of the Andorran ski schools has become well-known in recent years with an excellent British (and Irish) run section for English-speaking visitors and a high level of instruction.
Designed for school groups
The mountain towns of La Massana and Arinsal access Vallnord, and Encamp accesses Grandvalira. All offer welcoming hotels and are linked to the ski areas by fast cable cars. Accommodation tends to have large cafeteria areas so groups can be seated together at mealtimes. On the mountain, hot buffet lunches are provided for school groups in large cafeterias. Accommodations offer overnight ski storage and normally have dedicated facilities which school groups can use to shower and change before their departure (on the last day after skiing once they have checked out of their rooms). The accommodations also offer luggage storage facilities and meeting, games and disco rooms
One of the great things about Andorra is it’s less than half the size of London, so nothing is ever too far away! There’s plenty for school groups to do and see with ice skating close by in Canillo and swimming in Ordino. One of the most popular things to do in Andorra is to take a trip to Andorra La Vella, the capital, a short drive away, where groups can take advantage of tax-free shopping for some holiday souvenirs and bargains.
High in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, Andorra enjoys beautiful scenery and snow throughout the winter season. Travelling to Andorra couldn’t be easier, being within easy reach of Barcelona airport from the Spanish side and Toulouse from the French side. Travelling in from Barcelona has the added advantage of having no hairpin bends, and also offers the opportunity to visit this beautiful area.
You can view further information on our resort pages or contact us on 01444 870100 to find out more.