When conditions allow, with good snow coverage down to village level, Arinsal can claim the greatest on-piste vertical in Andorra: 1010 m from Pic Alt de la Capa, all the way down to the lowest chairlift base at Arinsal's Cota 1550 suburb; that's over 3300 ft of non-stop descent.
Arinsal's true on-piste starting point is at the Comallempla 1950 m base area
, high above the village, accessible by gondola directly from the resort centre or by chairlift from Cota 1550
; alternatively, if you have a vehicle, you can drive up. Whichever way you choose to get here, once you're out in the ski area there is no need to return to the village until the end of the day.
High ridges and cliffs tower above the Comallempla base area, funnelling the few main pistes down on to the groomed slopes above the base lodge and services buildings. Two principal chairlifts rise from this level to link into a more spacious snowbowl above: sheltered by the peaks of Pic Alt de la Capa, Pic Negre and the Pic de Coma Pedrosa (Andorra's highest mountain), this upper zone houses Arinsal's main ski area, including a well-maintained ‘FreeStyle Area’ terrain park
and the onward link lifts towards Pal via the high Port Negre saddle
There are really just two [blue-graded] arterial routes cruising down Arinsal's relatively narrow ski area, with a number of crossover variants. The upper slopes on Pic Alt de la Capa and Pic Negre offer some more challenging runs, with Pic Alt de la Capa the jewel in the crown (on days when the powder hasn't blown away!).
Following the installation of the cable car link
with Arinsal's ski area, and now with a gondola link with the town of La Massana
, Pal's profile on the international snowsports scene has increased; and it adds real interest and extra value to a snowsports holiday in this region of Andorra.
The Pal sector has a very different character to that of Arinsal: gentle wooded slopes and a convivial family-friendly ambiance have been cultivated over the years to appeal to the station's core visitor demographic, mostly self-drive weekenders from Barcelona and its environs.
Almost the entire sector is accessible to confident beginners, yet the central Cubil mountain area also offers enjoyable red-profile cruising, mogul fields and a ‘FreeRide Area’
too; enough to keep all visitors entertained.