I was delighted when I got the opportunity to go on this educational ski trip organised by one of our suppliers. It had been a few years since I was skiing and I was really excited about this trip.
There were 15 of us who flew to Barcelona and transferred to Andorra, which was a relatively short 3 hours by coach. The first resort we stayed in was Arinsal at the 4* Princesa Park Hotel and the hotel is impressive on arrival. At reception, we were upgraded to their deluxe rooms, I would highly recommend this as they were more luxurious and were very comfortable.
We spent some time wandering around the hotel and the facilities are amazing. They cater for families, couples, small and large groups. With a spa centre on site and the basement bar has 4 bowling lanes, numerous pool and snooker tables and a lively disco bar.
We were on half board basis while at the hotel and dinner that evening was exceptional. The choice of food available was fantastic and everyone's needs were catered to.
The next morning we collected our skis, boots and sticks and headed for the slopes for some ski lessons. As it was early in the ski season we had to go up to the high altitude resort of Arcalis where the snow was perfect for a lesson or two. Skiing is like riding a bike, once you know how; it comes back to you fairly quickly. There were many runs for all levels and experience, green and blue are really easy, red runs for intermediate and black for expert. I spent a fantastic day skiing down the mountain, all green and blue runs, as I just hadn't the confidence to try a red run.
Back to the hotel that evening to get ready for a night out in Arinsal. After dinner, we went down to a bar called Quo Vadis, only about 150m from the hotel and the place was packed with skiers and snowboarders, young and old. There was a fantastic atmosphere here and the staff were very friendly and even offered a few free drinks too!
On our third day, we checked out of the Princesa Park and transferred to our next resort of Soldeu and to the 4* Sport Village Hotel for 3 nights. This hotel lobby has the wow factor. Because it was only a few weeks before Christmas, the place was decorated beautifully with a huge Christmas tree in the lobby.
The rooms at this hotel were large and the hotel also caters for a more family orientated crowd. After check in we headed for the slopes again where this time we went to Pas de la Casa, with my new found skills and confidence, I was ready for a long and fun day on the slopes. The snow here was even better than before, powder snow, which makes for excellent skiing.
Pas de la Casa has a reputation for being a lively resort, with many bars opening well into the early hours. This is a great resort for groups of friends looking for party style nightlife.
That evening we had dinner at the hotel, buffet style mainly, but you can get your steak cooked exactly how you like it. The choice of dishes was amazing, fresh and very tasty and the deserts we lovely too.
The next morning we took a break from skiing and headed off to visit an outdoor activity park called Naturlandia. This was fantastic and would be great with a group of friends or with the family. We did tobogganing, archery, ice skating, paintballing, skidooing, cross country skiing, quads and snowbiking. There is even more to do, but we had a limited time frame.
After a busy morning at the park it was back to the hotel for a rest that afternoon. The next morning we were up again for some more skiing and then a wander around the shops in the capital Andorra le Valle later. Andorra is duty free and this makes for some cheap shopping.
Andorra is a destination that I will return to for skiing as it offered high altitude resorts with guaranteed snow from December to April. Depending on which type of ski holiday you want to take, be it family, group of friends or just as a couple, Andorra has a resort to suit everyone.
I'm already looking forward to my next trip there, which I hope to take in winter 2012.