If you want to learn to ski and you do not know which sector of the Grandvalira ski resort is best to do it, you are at the right place. In this section of our website we will explain everything you need to know to get started in snow sports in this Andorran winter resort.
Before starting a trip to the snow, it is important to check the weather forecast for the dates on which we want to travel. At Esquiades.com you will find all this information in one place and on all the ski resorts that we offer. In this case we will check the weather in Grandvalira.
In addition to the weather forecast, it is also important to know how many low-level tracks are open at the ski resort. For this, you can access the condition of the Grandvalira ski slopes and check the number of open green and blue runs. If it is the first time you step on the snow, these tracks will be the most suitable for your level, since they are wide and are not steep. In addition, as we will explain later, some of the Grandvalira ski resorts also have areas specially designed for beginners.
Finally, remember that you must take all the necessary equipment for your trip to the snow. Snow clothes, a hat or sunscreen are some of the basic elements for skiing.
To get an idea of how the Grandvalira resort is distributed, imagine a 25 km road that goes from the capital of the Principality (Andorra la Vella) to the French border. Along this road, on the left and right are the different ski resorts in which the ski resort is divided.
The first and closest to the capital is Encamp. From the town you can access the tracks of the sector with the same name using the Funicamp funicular. The trip is about 15 minutes long and is quite an experience. Continuing north, we find the ski sectors of Canillo, El Tarter, Soldeu, Grau Roig and finally, Pas de la Casa, the furthest sector from Andorra la Vella and the only one with hotels located at the foot of the slopes.
The level of difficulty of the Grandvalira ski resorts increases as we move north, but the truth is that all of them have easy level ski tracks (green and blue). Below we will explain the pros and cons of each ski resort for those who start skiing or snowboarding.
El Tarter is one of the sectors inside Grandvalira with a higher amount of green and blue tracks available. It has children's tracks and many low level tracks to learn and progressively ski. Therefore, it is ideal to start in snow sports, especially if you are going to ski with children who are learning.
El Tarter is linked by chairlifts to three of the seven ski resorts that compound Grandvalira: Soldeu, Grau Roig and Canillo. In this way, when you have finished skiing on the slopes for beginners in El Tarter, you can easily move to another area.
The hotels and apartments in this ski resort are located in the village of El Tarter, from which you can use the TSD4 chairlift or the TC10 funicular to go up to the slopes, located in Riba Escorxada (2,100 m).
It should be noted that this ski resort has a ski school. In this way, if you want to take your first steps in good professional hands, here you will have the opportunity to do so.
For your convenience, during the booking process of our website you can easily add group classes for any of the sectors in Grandvalira (except Canillo). Also, since you are booking a hotel + ski pass package, if you add ski or snowboard lessons, they will be much cheaper than if you book them separately.
From Esquiades.com we offer you an easy route for your initiation in snow sports in El Tarter. We recommend that you first practice at the level of Riba Escorxada which has a good initiation zone. You can start at the green tracks called 'Jardí de Riba' and 'Riba I' and then, you can follow the blue track 'Pi de Migdia'. This area has two chairlifts, a ski lift and a tape for beginners.
If you see that these three fall short, you can go up the TSD6 chairlift 'Tosa Espiolets' and go down the blue track called 'Esquirol' to the starting point.
The Soldeu sector is another recommended option for beginners, since it has several wide and easy tracks. If you stay in the town of Soldeu, you can take any of the two cable cars that connect the town with Espiolets (elevation of 2,500 m). Here you will find a large area for beginners with several teleracks and a tape.
Soldeu also has a school to get you started in winter sports, so if you want, you can book classes and enjoy learning to ski or snowboard. On the contrary, you decide to learn on your own, we recommend you to make a small initiation route that you will find below.
After gaining confidence by going down the green tracks of the area for beginners, you can head towards the blue track 'Astoret'. This track is very wide and you can slide down it with less difficulty than other blue tracks. You will reach the TSD6 chairlift, through which you can climb to the beginning of the track 'Gall de Bosc', which is a good option to go practicing.
At the end of your day in the snow, you can join with the rest of your friends and go down all together to Soldeu through the blue tracks 'Ós' and 'Bosc Fosc', which are somewhat narrower and will help you improve your level.
The Canillo sector has 2 tapes for beginners and 3 short green courses, located at the foot of the slopes. If you're looking to take your first skiing steps and you'll be a few days, this sector has what it takes to get started.
However, if you plan to spend some days at the snow, it is possible that the green and blue tracks the sector has won't be enough to carry out a proper progression and you will have to go to other sectors to find more blue tracks.
In addition, it is important to keep in mind that Canillo is the only sector in Grandvalira where it is not possible to book lessons. Therefore, if you are very interested in learning with a teacher, we recommend choosing another sector.
Here you can check a small initiation guide that you can carry out during your trip to the snow in Canillo.
Start practicing the descent with skis or snowboard on the green tracks that are in the area for beginners. Little by little these will fall short. It is important to bear in mind that the Canillo sector has narrow blue tracks. For this reason, if you want to continue improving, it is better that you move to the next sector, El Tarter, in order to get there you will have to take a total of four chairlifts. There you will find wider blue tracks and where you can descend without fear of falling down the slopes of the track.
Instead, if you already have a decent level or have already gone skiing, you can go from Canillo to Portella (elevation of 2,465m) with the TSD4 chairlift. From there, the Rossinyol blue track, which is quite long and despite being a bit narrower, with a bit of level, can be descended safely.
The Grau Roig sector is the only one that does not have accommodation near the slopes. Therefore, this sector can only be accessed by road, or by skiing from the other Grandvalira sectors. This is a factor to consider, in case you are not willing to take the car to go to the tracks.
At the foot of the Grau Roig slopes you will find a small area for beginners with two cable-cars and a ski lift. In addition, near there you will be able to find a green track and several blue ones. Grau Roig is a good option if you already know how to ski and want to continue practicing on the blue slopes, which can be reached by the TSF4 'Xavi' chairlift or the TSD6 'Coma Blanca' chairlift.
Also, if you prefer, you can take lessons and take your first steps in the snow with the Grau Roig teachers ski school. And once you have started, you can continue practicing your technique in this sector.
In case you are travelling with people who have a higher level, the sector has several red and black tracks. Thus, they will be able to ski with a higher level, while you can practice in the beginner area.
First, we recommend to try and get down the green tracks that are in the beginners area. There you will have two cable-cars and a conveyor belt. Once you have improved your level, you can climb the TSF4 chairlift 'Xavi' to the start of the blue 'Clot' track and descend it. If you are going to ski with children , we also recommend you to link with the 'Imaginarium Circuit' green track until you get to the start again.
If you already feel safer skiing or snowboarding, you can also take the TSD6 'Coma Blanca' and go down the blue 'Bosc' track or any other blue track that links to it.
It is true that Pas de la Casa is the most comfortable area inside Grandvalira for skiing and snowboarding. The hotels and apartments are located at the foot of the slopes and this fact allows you to leave your accommodation with your boots on.
Of course, given that Pas de la Casa is bordering France, the access by road from Spain is a little longer, compared to the rest of the sectors.
In conclusion, the Pas de la Casa sector has everything you need to start skiing, with the great comfort of being in a hotel or apartment at the foot of the slopes.
For ski and snowboard beginners, this sector has a small area for beginners and several green tracks near the town. In Pas de la Casa it is also possible to take ski and snowboard lessons. Once you have started, we recommend you to climb the TSF2 chairlift 'Coll dels Isards' to the start of the blue track called 'Isards'.
Staying in one of the ski hotels located in the town of Encamp is a good option for skiing in this sector. In addition, you can try the experience of taking the longest funicular in Europe, the Funicamp (included in the price of your ski pass), which crosses a large part of the Grandvalira valleys until you reach the snowy slopes.
Of course, if you have just started skiing or snowboarding, read the tips that we mention below, because, although Encamp has blue tracks and a small area for beginners, it is not the most appropriate sector to start skiing.
If you want to learn how to ski on your own or with your friends or family who are more experienced than you, keep in mind that the funicular leaves you at the top of the Cortals area, at the elevation of 2,500m where there are few tracks for beginners. In this area there is a conveyor belt, but we do not recommend it if you have never skied, because it leads to a blue track that has a more difficulty than usual. On the other hand, if you want you can practice in the beginners area, but in no time you will need more tracks!
For this reason we recommend you to hire ski or snowboard lessons in Encamp for beginners. The teachers will guide you to the areas indicated for your initiation and you will be able to progress faster and learn the correct technique.
Finally, please note that this sector is the closest to the capital of Andorra, Andorra la Vella and after a fun day in the snow, a lot of skiers take the opportunity to go to the shopping area of Escaldes-Engordany or relax at Caldea spa centre.
Now that you have all the necessary information to choose the most suitable sector in Grandvalira, you can check our ski offers in Grandvalira with hotel + ski pass included.
If you have any doubts, do not forget that you can check our tips and tricks section, where you will find all the information to get started in winter sports. Or if you prefer, call us and we will explain everything you all you need to know for your trip to the snow.