Outdoor activities are the most popular thing to do for visitors in Andorra, with skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports including dog-sledding, right at the top of the list. For a spring or summer visit, hiking, trekking, walking, rock climbing, canyoning, mountain biking, birding, fishing, balloon flights, and much more can make up a great itinerary.
Some of the best skiing in Europe is found here, with a great choice of resorts. Pla and Arinsal are joined by cable car, forming part of the Vallnord ski area and combining their resources to offer 700 hectares of pistes. Lift passes are also valid in the resort village of Ordino-Arcalis. Grandvalira, including Soldeu and El Pas de la Casa, just nine miles (14 kms) away, while Arcalis is 12 miles (2 0kms) by road. For cross-country skiing, head to La Rabassa, which is set above Sant Julia de Loria town. Operators including Ski Andorra can arrange everything to your satisfaction.
Ski tours and snow-shoeing are popular in Andorra, with the spectacular off-piste descents at Coma Pedroase, Portella de Cataerdis, and Pic de les Fontes all waiting to be explored. Around 100 ski routes are available and at Pal resort the snowmobile circuit offers forested trails all the way along the valley. A snowshoe trek through the Caubella woods or in the Seturia valley can be a fun family activity. Alpine-Guides.com specializes in back-country trips.
Dog sledding, or learning to drive a team of huskies, is a real winter thrill, and an hour’s drive day or night with a professional musher can be the highlight of your holiday. The chance to work with these amazing dogs is a unique experience, enhanced by the speed at which riders are whisked down the packed snow. Several Andorran companies including Vallnord.com ensure a great experience.
For golf fanatics, there are five courses in Andorra, three of which offer a full 18-hole course. Aravell Golf Resort in Lleida and Vall d’Ordino Golf Club in La Cortinada–Ordino are among the most recommended for putt putt.
White-water rafting is a thrilling adventure sport for summer visitors, and far less dangerous than it appears as certified instructors are always on board to take care of the practicalities. For first-timers eager to learn, the Barcelona Olympics kayaking course at Parc del Segre is a calmer, manmade river. For those looking for more of an adrenaline rush, the Nuguara River has nine miles (14 kms) of white water, taking about two hours from top to bottom, also with an instructor via Hola-Andorra.com or another specialist. Canoeing is another hugely popular water attraction here.
Pal is the perfect place for family holidays in summer, as it offers a great choice of outdoor activities aimed at visitors with children. Quad biking, walking amongst the stunning mountain scenery and horseback riding are all fun adventures and great ways to experience the natural beauty of the region. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Madriu Valley is a can’t-miss destination for its wild landscapes and traditional shepherd’s huts. Guided trail walks can be reserved through the Escaldes-Engordany Tourist Information Office.
Andorra’s vibrant nightlife, both in the capital and the ski resorts includes pubs, lounges, cocktail bars, a wide choice of restaurants and bars, and early hours dance clubs featuring DJs, live bands, and the latest sounds. Many entertainment venues don’t close until 4:00 a.m. or later. Festivals and concerts fill the principality’s calendar with local cuisine a special feature at all.