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L'Anella d'Ordino sculpture, Arcalís


Tucked away high in the far north-western corner of Andorra, nestled among the high wild peaks on the French border, Arcalís has long been regarded by the best local riders as the principality's secret ski area.

Although it is Andorra's most compact and least known station, Arcalís boasts the country's purest Alpine profile and gnarliest terrain. A distinct microclimate, plus a fleet of advanced Pininfarina-designed piste-grooming vehicles, also means that it often boasts Andorra's best conditions, from the first to the last run of the day. The station's full double-barrelled name associates it with the parish capital Ordino, though the slopes are actually 14 km (8½ miles) away from the town. There is no neighbouring resort village or on-site accommodation, which has contributed to the area being little-known internationally and added to its mystique.
Following the decision to merge [commercially] with Pal-Arinsal, in the neighbouring parish of La Massana, Ordino-Arcalís is at last receiving the wider recognition it deserves, as part of the more internationally recognised Vallnord domain.

With the introduction of the Vallnord lift pass, visitors staying in La Massana or Arinsal can share in the magic of Arcalís on their snowsports holiday to Pal-Arinsal. It's also possible to stay closer to Arcalís, in the attractive parish capital Ordino or in one of the handful of small family-run hotels in the string of tiny hamlets in the peaceful long valley leading up to the ski area.
Arcalís = AR-KA-LEES
Llorts village, Ordino Valley | © SECNOA | Photographer: Marcel Urigüen


There is no actual village or accommodation at Arcalís, so all daily visitors must arrive via the CG3 road along the picturesque valley from La Massana and Ordino.


Unique Features
Arcalís also has a couple of unique features: one is an abandoned road tunnel (the Túnel del Rat) in the high La Coma sector, which is worth scrambling into to see ice stalactites and stalagmites; the other is a huge, whimsical, circular metal sculpture, perched precariously on the edge of the cliffs above the base station.

Arcalís adds considerable value and interest to a snowsports holiday in this region of Andorra, and it is well worth making the effort to squeeze in at least a day-trip to this rewarding mountain hideaway.
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Statistics given are for Vallnord's Arcalís ski area only:

Altitude Range
1940–2625 m
(6365–8612 ft)

Access Points

Ski/Snowboard Schools

Hands-free Lift Passes
Ski Lifts
13 in total
Total capacity =
16,510 passengers/hour

26 in total

Medical Centres

Vallnord Tourist Office
Tel. +376 737 017
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