PAS DE LA CASA-GRAU ROIG (GRANDVALIRA)
Often referred to colloquially simply as ‘Pas’, and widely regarded as one of Europe's best-value ski resorts: boasting duty-free prices and seamless links into a big-mileage ski area, offering something for everyone in a fun & lively environment.
Pas de la Casa was Andorra's pioneer ski station: founded in 1957, it was the first to install mechanical ski lifts and automatic snowmaking equipment; it is now Andorra's largest resort, and one of the most popular in the Pyrenees.
The slopes flow almost directly into the town centre, and the ski area is linked via the neighbouring Grau Roig sector into Soldeu-El Tarter
, together forming the bulk of the impressive Grandvalira
domain, one of Europe's largest linked ski areas.
The pistes also cross onto the French territory next to the town, in the next phase of expansion to create a cross-border sector called the Porte des Neiges.
The town lies within the Andorran parish of Encamp, although its parochial capital (Encamp town) is located at the geographical centre of the principality, quite a distance from this border-hugging community; the only road between them has to pass through the neighbouring parish of Canillo, via Soldeu. To save visitors from the south from having to drive all that way to reach the slopes, a cable car link stretches over 6 km (3¾ miles) from Encamp town to the high Collada d'Enradort ridge above the Cubil Valley, in the sector between Grau Roig and Soldeu-El Tarter.
The terrain covered by the Grandvalira domain thus now extends to almost ten per cent of the surface area of the entire country!
Grau Roig = GRAU-ROSH
Encamp = ON-CAMP
RESORT VILLAGE LAYOUT
Avenues & Alleyways
Located right on Andorra's eastern border with France, Pas de la Casa faces west in a horseshoe shape around its central base-area slopes.
PAS DE LA CASA TOWN
If you enter Andorra via the French border, the town of Pas de la Casa will be your first impression of the Principality. Unfortunately, even though the surrounding mountains are as beautiful as in the rest of the Pyrenees, the same cannot be said of this aspect of the resort.
Like many border towns around the world, Pas de la Casa has a sprawling frontier townscape of austere buildings adorned with advertising hoardings and crammed with duty-free supermarkets, low-cost jewellers, cut-price electronic goods shops and free-pour bars. Of course, that might be exactly what you're looking for.
The town does have a more welcoming appearance when viewed from the pistes, and even a certain charm in the cluster of cafés & restaurants in the main street (Avinguda d'Encamp) next to the central base-area slopes.
Skiing, Shopping, Partying…
Pas de la Casa is integrally complete as a ski station and resort, offering direct access to a huge ski domain and plenty of facilities and off-slope attractions.
It's definitely one of Europe's liveliest destinations, with a wide selection of bars & clubs pandering to the predominantly young English-speaking tourist market, but overall with a more Gallic ambiance than any of Andorra's other resorts.
Although brash, the resort also has a number of upmarket boutiques and a handful of good quality restaurants too.
Andorra's duty-free status means this is also possibly the best resort in Europe in which to buy snowsports gear, and there's a huge selection of rental & retail shops all vying for trade, which helps to keep prices as low as possible.
Après ski is full-on and raucous, from afternoon happy hour all the way through to the wee hours of the morning. Pack a box of Resolve, and leave room in your luggage for the duty free!
Drive-In Ski Station
Grau Roig exists purely as a ski station, albeit a very important one, serving as a prime gateway to the Grandvalira domain for visitors from the west & south, saving them from having to drive over the Envalira Pass, and/or from paying the toll for the Envalira tunnel, in order to reach Pas de la Casa. As a result, the area has a much more noticeable Spanish ambiance.
There is only one hotel at the base area, and no actual ‘resort’ village to speak of. There are two huge open-air car parks, each served by extensive day-lodge services buildings housing various bars & restaurants; these lodges are also accessible on-piste.
SKI AREA DATA
Statistics given are for the entire Grandvalira domain:
Pas de la Casa: 2100 m (6890 ft)
Grau Roig: 2120 m (6955 ft)
1 central organisation: 7 bases
Hands-free Lift Passes
67 in total
Total capacity =
110 in total
= 193 km/120½ miles
Grandvalira Tourist Office
Tel. +376 801 060