If you’re on the hunt for a great value ski resort with hundreds of kilometres of well maintained pistes perfectly suited for school groups, look no further than Grandvalira. Here you’ll be greeted with plenty of blue-sky days and small lift queues thanks to its superb network of lifts and pistes.
Where should we stay?
In Grandvalira piste side options aren’t available, with all hotels involving a gondola transfer up to each sector and the main resort services.
For groups looking for plenty of activities and facilities nearby, I would absolutely recommend staying in Andorra la Vella, the capital of Andorra. Here you’ll have access to the beautiful pedestrianised town centre complete with all the high street favourites, including a McDonalds… or 3. Après activities can include bowling, pizza nights, escape rooms, tapas nights to name but a few.
Tip: With evening meals being eaten later in Andorra than on atypical ski trip, being in Andorra la Vella is a perfect way to spend some downtime between skiing and your evening meal.
How do we access Grandvalira?
The ski resort has 5 sectors each with their own gondola access points:
- Encamp (5km, approximately 10 minutes)
- Canillo (10km, approximately 20 minutes)
- El Tarter (15km, approximately 30 minutes)
- Soldeu (17.5km, approximately 35 minutes)
- Grau Roig (25km, approximately 50 minutes)
- Pas de la Casa (30km, approximately 60 minutes)
For groups staying at the Hotel Panorama the most likely entry points are Encamp and El Tarter, with groups facilities up the mountain at both locations.
How does the skiing work?
Both sectors at both El Tarter and Encamp have fantastic facilities for groups, set up with ski school meeting points, self-service group restaurants, ski storage and information points. Each day you’ll travel to the gondola station by coach, board the gondola and collect your skis from the ski storage lockers at the top of the mountain, before meeting your instructors at the allocated group meeting point for the week.
At the end of the day, simply lock your skis away and descend the mountain in the gondola ready to meet your coach to return to your accommodation.
Tip: You have the choice of a partial lift pass or full access pass. With the size and structure of the resort, groups on a budget should consider a partial pass, as it’ll save money and you’ll still have plenty of slopes to go at.
When it comes to ski schools, you will not be disappointed. With instructors coming from all over the world, English is well spoken making it easy for your students to translate instructions to actions.
What’s the progression like?
For beginner and intermediate groups, Grandvalira is perfect. As you’ll see from the piste map, there’s a huge range of reds and blues to get stuck into. Both El Tarter and Encamp give beginners the opportunity to ski from top to bottom with nice rolling blue runs being the perfect progression from the nursery slopes.
Both sectors are uniquely set up for beginners with plenty of variety of nursery pistes and lifts to learn the basics, fast.
Advanced skiers will find some tough terrain in the large bowl of El Tarter, with some challenging red runs to practice those long sweeping turns.
What are the lunch arrangements?
Included as standard your group will have lunch in a specific group venue with an allocated time to fit in with your ski times and meeting points. The organisation here is second to none, with the group being offered a choice of starter, main and desert, as well as a soft drink.
Is it a busy resort?
At February Half Term and Easter there is no getting away from the fact that the resort will be busy. However, because of the structure of the resort once away from the main entry points lift queues rarely extend beyond 5 minutes, with many of the pistes being quiet enough for you to use the pistes to practise your skiing, or just to push yourself!
What else is great about Grandvalira?
So much! The resort has fantastic wi-fi coverage meaning you can access online content on the go. Grandvalira have a fantastic app allowing you to track your progress on the pistes whether your online or not! You can access live information include piste information, snow forecasts and upcoming events.
Base camps and many of the lifts play music throughout the day keeping yours and the student’s energy up! And of course how could I forget the weather! Expect blue sky days and warm temperatures, the perfect ski conditions.
Blog written by Andy, Commercial Manager