Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter Resort, Andorra ⋆ Who do I do
  • Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter Resort, Andorra

Where to hit the slopes when snowboarding Grandvalira…

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Flying over the mountains


Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Gentle runs here


Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Chalets

Earlier this year we were looking for an affordable winter holiday in Europe, having just come back from our fantastic honeymoon!  (Read all about our honeymoon in Australia and Samoa)  A few years ago, we flew to Andorra for a snowboarding holiday as we heard snowboarding Grandvalira was great for beginners.  This time we thought we would go back and explore all of the mountain area whilst snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, which we didn’t do with our first trip.

So, where is Andorra?  Andorra is a small principality located between Spain and France, situated in the Pyrénées.

Home to one of the biggest ski areas in Europe … - Nielson

We booked our trip through Nielson as they offered an unbeatable deal of £529 (for the end of March) which included resort transfers, an all inclusive chalet, 6 day lift pass and equipment hire for a week.  How amazing is that! The flight out from London was quite early at 7.45am with Thomas Cook Airlines and landed two hours later at Lleida-Alguaire airport.  The transfer was over 3 hours, so be prepared for a long drive.  Although there is a break at Restaurant Can Valls to stretch the legs and grab a bite to eat about half way through the journey.

Chalet Casale, El Tarter

We stayed at Chalet Motxo four years ago; a traditional chalet sleeping up to 24 people, very cosy, great food and very family friendly.  This time we chose the larger chalet, Chalet Casale, which was located next to the Chalet Motxo.  Chalet Casale is a converted barn, which sleeps up to 38 people with each room being en-suite.  Wooden beams run throughout the chalet, giving it a warm, rustic feeling.  Compared to Chalet Motxo, the rooms at chalet casale were larger and the chalet was very spacious and homely with a relaxed atmosphere.  It even had a little bar too – great for those who are too tired after a day of snowboarding/skiing to venture out to a local bar.

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Chalet Casale

The chalet is on top of a hill which proved challenging on a few occasions; when you’ve done a full days snowboarding Grandvalira the last thing you want to do is to walk up a steep hill.  However it is conveniently located only 650m to the lifts and 600m to the resort centre.

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Comfy chairs in the lounge

We were allocated room 502 on the top floor.  Our spacious room had two single beds pushed together with plenty of storage for clothes and hanging space to dry out your clothes.  One thing you really need is space to dry your clothes, as you don’t really want to be wearing damp ski jackets and trousers the next day.  The room was simply furnished with wooden side tables and a double wardrobe. The bathroom was spacious too and very warm with the heaters ranked up to the max.  There was even a bathtub to enjoy a lovely soak after a long day of snowboarding/skiing … yes we did take advantage of this!

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Our bedroom

With our price, it included 6 evening meals with unlimited red or white wine (you heard it right!!), daily cooked breakfasts and afternoon tea.  The 3 course evening meals were pretty hearty and wholesome and we never left feeling hungry.  They served local and international cuisine using the freshest local ingredients.  Mid-week the staff get a night off and we were able to try the local restaurants and hit the town.  For any dietary requirements, the staff were informed and were happy to cater for anyone without a problem.

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Daily afternoon tea

The food was served farm style, which meant everyone just helped themselves on the table and there was always enough food to go around.  The meals ranged from casseroles, curries to pork with couscous.  The desserts were extremely tasty, especially the bread and butter pudding and the apple crumble! Yum!

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Red pepper soup

Afternoon tea was served between 4.30pm and 6pm with homemade cakes such as marble cake, chocolate yule log, victoria sponge cake etc.  The chef even prepared a surprise birthday cake for me one evening.  Ian had secretly contacted Nielson to organise a cake for my birthday (I do love surprises!).  For the evening when the staff were off, they left us lemon drizzle cake, mini meringues, bread and jam.  Great service!

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Birthday cake

There was complimentary Wifi throughout the chalet.  We did notice the Wifi did slow down a bit as everyone was using it in the evenings, which was expected.

Restaurants

There are numerous restaurants in the area or Soldeu offering various cuisines.  We chose Fat Alberts, a restaurant located in a 300 year old barn.  Fat Alberts offers a great selection of food ranging from steaks to pizza.  A casual, informal restaurant with a laid back vibe.

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Yummy steak

Other good restaurants include Merlot and Cort de Popaire.  Merlot is a village favourite known for their excellent quality of food and friendly service.  Cort de Popaire offers authentic cuisine whilst using local fresh products in a warm and cosy ambiance. 

Hit the slopes Skiing or Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter

The majority of peoples’ first impressions of Andorra is that the area is only for beginners.  Well you’re wrong!  The pistes are great for all levels from nice gentle slopes to the steep runs for the adrenaline junkies.  There are numerous spots on the slopes to enjoy a warm hot chocolate, take a break and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.

On our first day snowboarding Grandvalira, we took it pretty easy and tested out our skills on the blue/red runs.  Further into the week, we made our way over to the other side of the mountain, Grau Roig, enjoyed a few red runs and a couple of feisty black runs.  During our private lesson we had the chance for a private visit to the Ice Hotel – each room had detailed carvings on the wall and was equipped with sleeping bags and rugs.  There was a hot tub too! We do encourage everyone to have at least one lesson as there’s always something new to learn and the the instructors are so knowledgable about the area and where to find the best powder and/or lesser known runs plus there’s no waiting for lifts 😉

We did come across a couple of blue runs which flatten out quite a bit towards the end and can be tricky for snowboarders as the last thing you want to do is to take your board off and walk.  Unless you have some friendly ski pals who are willing to pull you along. Luckily we hit the end of them off of a black/red run so not such a problem…

Here’s a few of the photos we captured whilst snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter:

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Bluebird day

Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Just taking a break

Aprés-Ski

There’s numerous activities in the evenings or during the day to get involved in:

  • Husky mushing
  • Wine tasting at Hotel Del Clos
  • Book a spa treatment at Hotel Del Clos
  • Thermal spring spa at Caldeu.  Great to ease those aches and relax in the hammam.
  • Soldeu night every Friday.  Slide down the slopes in a giant rubber ring, have a bite to eat and enjoy the music. Do it all over again 😉
  • Shop till you drop in the tax-free shops – only a bus ride away.
  • Quiz night on Tuesdays
  • Live music every Wednesday at Hotel Del Clos
Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Husky mushing

Tips:

  1. If you’re taking your own board or skis remember you may need to book this as oversize baggage or your airline can refuse it! (they’re always updating their terms so remember to check).
  2. Familiarise yourself with the area using the resort/piste map before snowboarding Grandvalira.
  3. Grab a locker at Hotel Nordica for €25 for the week.  The lockers are located right by the slopes, which will save you from carrying your skis/boards around daily.  Also there’s ample space for your skis/board & boots too.
  4. As soon as you have settled in at the chalet, make your way to the ski resort to pick up your ski pass.
  5. If you’re looking to book ski/boarding lessons, then reserve your place on the first day to avoid disappointment.
  6. There’s a supermarket nearby (around 15 minute walk from the chalet) if you need to buy bottled water, snacks etc.
  7. Don’t drink the tap water, only use bottled water.
  8. There’s a welcome meeting on the day of arrival provided by the Nielson team.  This is a great time to ask them any questions you may have or book any activities.
  9. Don’t forget piste etiquette
Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

Ian mastering his skills


Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

On our way to Colibri

What to Bring

  • Baselayer Tops – His & Hers.

    Having base layer tops are great to keep yourself warm, especially if you’re planning a trip in January/February time.  During this time, it can be fairly cold.  The Columbia thermals are breathable, lightweight, warm, wicker away the sweat and dry quickly.

  • Baselayer Bottoms – His & Hers

    The base layer bottoms are very comfortable under your snowboard trousers, very stretchy and anti-microbial too!

  • Tops / Fleece – His & Hers / His & Hers

    These Mons Royale tops are loose, very casual and great for wearing over your base layer.  They give you that extra warmth and they look pretty cool too.  These are made from 100% Merino Wool and come in a variety of styles.

  • Goggles – His & Hers

    I’m afraid sunglasses just won’t do when you’re out on the slopes.  We love our Oakley goggles as we’re able to change our lenses depending on the weather.

  • Waterproof Ski jacket – His & Hers

    The jacket must be waterproof, windproof and breathable.  The weather at the base of the mountain can differ greatly to what’s happening at the top.

  • Snowboard trousersHis & Hers

    These trousers are waterproof, very comfortable and easy to move around in for the entire day.

  • Waterproof GlovesHis & Hers

    You’ll need gloves which are waterproof and insulated.  These gloves are excellent as they’re not bulky and you can still strap your boots into the bindings with the gloves on.

  • Ski socksHis & Hers

    Snowboard/ski socks are thicker and cushioned to keep your toes warm and to help endure wearing boots all day.  These have a reinforced toe and heel cushioning and are quick dry too.

  • Small rucksack

    You can put your snacks, water, phone camera etc into the small rucksack while you’re out on the slopes.

  • Knee pads

    For the snowboarders

  • Sunscreen

    Don’t forget to slap on the sunscreen.  This will protect your face from wind, sun and it’s also sweat resistant.  The last thing you want to have when returning from your trip is goggle tan.  Trust me, it takes a few months to fade!

  • Helmet

    It’s up to you if you want to wear a helmet.  Airing on the safety side, wearing a helmet can reduce head injuries and many resorts are making them compulsory.

 

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Overall, our holiday snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter with Nielson was fantastic.  The staff at the Chalet Casale were ever so friendly and helpful, and even made a birthday cake for me!  The rooms were clean and the meals were extremely tasty and filling – we were never left hungry.  The resort is ideal for beginners to advanced and the instructors are highly qualified.

Price: £529 (included flight, stay, lift pass and boot hire – super deal on 03/2017)

Have you visited Andorra?  Where’s your favourite place to snowboard/ski?

 

 

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Snowboarding Grandvalira El Tarter, Andorra – WhodoIdo: Grandvalira resort is one of the largest and modern resorts in the Pyrenees and in Europe. It’s great for snowboarding and also skiing for all levels. Plenty to do after a day on the slopes including husky mushing! Great restaurants and bars up in the mountain too!

30 Comments

  • Enjoy Travel Life 24/11/2017 (21:10)

    I have never been snowboarding, but I love the look of your accommodations and dining. And wait, did you say free unlimited wine? I’m in!

    • Lana
      Lana 24/11/2017 (23:03)

      Yes I did ….unlimited wine with your evening meal! Amazing right! 😉

  • arvin 24/11/2017 (15:45)

    Having lived in Minnesota for over a decade, I love to Ski and Snowboard, never thought of Andorra, after reading your detailed post, I’ll have to give it some thought

    • Lana
      Lana 24/11/2017 (18:28)

      Oh yes you must! You won’t regret it! 🙂

  • amit 23/11/2017 (22:17)

    I wont lie, as I read this I was instantly transported back to Queenstown in winter. You’ve made me miss Neverland (yes I have a post on queenstown called I miss neverland haha) But I learnt to snowboard over there, was on the mountains everyday during ski season hurting myself 😀 but it’s not just the mountains, it’s that whole feel and atmosphere of the cabins, open fires in bars. Ok, ok enough reminiscing, back to your actual post – firstly your chalet looks amazing 😀 would love to stay there (probably out of my budget range though) And secondly, those cakes 😀 😀 – and thirdly the views on the mountain look spectacular. Looks like a great place to bring my board….Oh no wait I sold mine 🙁

    • Lana
      Lana 23/11/2017 (23:56)

      Oh no, now you’ve made me want to go snowboarding in Queenstown! Bet it’s amazing out there! It’s being in the mountains, feeling cosy in front of the fires, all warm and snuggly! You’ll just have hire a snowboard when you’re out there! 🙂

  • Medha Verma 23/11/2017 (11:46)

    Your chalet looks adorable and pretty comfortable! I also love your snowboarding pictures, what a beautiful experience! I am especially glad that you’ve shared list of things to take while snowboarding because I will be going for my first ever snowboarding experience this December and I have absolutely no idea what to wear and what to carry. This list is very helpful for me, thanks!

    • Lana
      Lana 23/11/2017 (12:11)

      You’re going to have an amazing time snowboarding! Where are you off to? The Columbia base layer top and bottoms are great and you can buy midweight and heavy weight options too. I can’t wait to read all about it! 🙂

  • Eric Gamble 22/11/2017 (16:45)

    Wait, am I reading this correctly? You paid 529 British pounds for the both of you or was that each person? I mean for what you got three meals an unbelievable fun Chalet and lift tickets for 6 days and if I read that correctly your plane ticket, that’s an unbelievable deal! I’ve been dying to get to Andorra though I don’t really like the cold I would even go snowboarding for that price for sure! What a great adventure

    • Lana
      Lana 22/11/2017 (18:03)

      It was £529 per person – still a bargain though with flight included and equipjment hire too ;). I never used to like the cold either but snowboarding is so much fun 🙂

  • Ivan 22/11/2017 (09:39)

    Just three years ago I decided to hit Ischgl instead of Andorra. I’m still thinking of going there someday but these lovely pictures (both food and scenery) made me wanna go there right away! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lana
      Lana 22/11/2017 (11:07)

      I hope you get the chance to visit Andorra one day. I’ve not been to Ishgl – might have to look into it! 🙂

  • Becca Talbot 21/11/2017 (13:48)

    What a great post Lana! Love the sound of the restaurants, especially The Merlot one! I’m not much of a skier or snowboarder myself, but I can definitely appreciate the beautiful scenery here! x

    • Lana
      Lana 21/11/2017 (15:07)

      I love the beach but there’s something about being in the mountains! Thanks for the comment 😉

  • Exploring Curiously 21/11/2017 (04:36)

    What a beautiful place! And it sounds well thought out with places to dry your clothes.

    • Lana
      Lana 21/11/2017 (10:31)

      It’s great that there’s plenty of space to dry out the clothes – who wants to ski/snowboard in damp clothes! 😉

  • Followingtherivera 20/11/2017 (15:01)

    This is a great post on Andorra skiing for a beginner like me. I have to say I’m so hungry now after seeing all your photos! Great tips on what to pack, and how to behave too, now I just need to go and stay in this chalet!

    • Lana
      Lana 20/11/2017 (15:19)

      Staying in all inclusive chalet makes it so much easier. Food pics always make me hungry too! 😉

  • Laura 19/11/2017 (08:31)

    I don’t ski sadly, but Andorra looks an awesome alternative to the usual alps!

    • Lana
      Lana 19/11/2017 (10:47)

      Andorra is very affordable compared to some of the places in Europe. You must visit Andorra one day 😉

  • Stefanie 17/11/2017 (04:54)

    Andorra! Been meaning to get there! I’m not a very good skiier, but that chalet looks gorgeous! (As does the tomato soup!) 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tips. Hope to put them to use sometime soon! 🙂

    • Lana
      Lana 17/11/2017 (10:30)

      Andorra is a great spot to improve your skills. 🙂

  • Liz Gen 16/11/2017 (07:13)

    I haven’t tried snowboarding yet, but it looks fun. Andorra is one of the places I want to visit. Thanks for sharing your tips. 🙂

    • Lana
      Lana 16/11/2017 (10:47)

      The instructors in Andorra are excellent. Definitely give snowboarding a try! 🙂

  • Krupa 15/11/2017 (12:21)

    Snowboard holiday looks so amazing idea.. this resort is so wonderful and Ski is the best thing . Hope u enjoyed there.

    • Lana
      Lana 15/11/2017 (13:44)

      We try to go snowboarding every year. It’s so much fun! 🙂

  • Ariel 15/11/2017 (00:26)

    This post was very informative. Makes me want to go snowboarding so bad! Your pictures are beautiful! 😍

    • Lana
      Lana 15/11/2017 (10:46)

      If you snowboard you should try Andorra one day 🙂

  • Jenni 14/11/2017 (18:58)

    I so want to give snowboarding a try it looks like fun. Your pictures are making me think I might just go for the food though as it looks delicious lol.

    • Lana
      Lana 14/11/2017 (19:50)

      I still haven’t tried skiing 😉 The food is great and it’s 3 courses too! 🙂

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