Skiing, snowboarding and relaxing in Soldeu, Andorra

by nj106

Based on 10 years personal experience of the resort, reviewed is the ski/snowboard tuition, places to stay, eat, shop, drink as well as places to relax after a hard days workout

This review is based on my 10 years experience of visiting the resort of Soldeu, having been a first time skier as a child to now being an advanced snowboarder, I've seen it all.

As the resort stands today, Soldeu offers one of the most highly rated Ski-Schools in Europe. Having used the Ski-School and Snowboard schools yearly, the instructors are friendly, encouraging and cover all ranges of skill, for all ages from first time skiers to advanced classes. The resort on ground level offers a wide range of accommodation, restaurants, supermarkets, shops and bars.

On the slopes:
If you're a first time skier/snowboarder, or even intermediate and don't own your own 'gear', I highly recommend taking up the 'Learn to Ski' package which is offered. For £20 more than the lift pass fee alone, you then get 5 days of lessons plus your boot/board/ski hire. No brainier really...
For the more advanced skiers/snowboarders new to the resort, the ski school offers a 'guide' or an advanced group to get used to the surroundings, mixed in with some off piste and fresh powder runs. Snowfall is usually very good, though if nature isn't offering the snow, the huge number of snow cannons can help make up for it.

Soldeu is linked with 5 or 6 other resorts, you'll see from the below link how broad the distance is you can travel, the resorts are easily linked with a range of chair lifts, lines and cabins. Should you want to do a one-way journey, there's also a bus route back to your original destination.
This is the 'Grand Valira (Ski-Resort) link: http://www.grandvalira.com/gv/home.aspx?lang=4
If you’re not a skier or snowboarder, there are also a range of other activities which can be booked, such as night jet skiing, cross country skiing, dog sledging and more.

On the ground
Bars: Soldeu offers a range of bars such as 'the pussycat', 'fat alberts', 'T-Bar' and 'The avalanche', these offer family friendly fun, as well as a good night out and plenty of happy hours.
Restaurants: Most hotels offer the facility of walk-in and eat. If however you're staying in one of the Sport Hotels, I highly recommend you book 'half board' as the food is fantastic. There is also a couple of restaurants and café’s in the resort itself. As for up the mountain, there are 3 or 4 restaurants, though the prices are expensive so ensure you take a few snacks to eat during the session.


Hotels: I have myself stayed in the Sport Hotel, the Sport Village, the Himalaya and the Hotel Soldeu. The sport hotels offer excellent facilities, as well as being linked to the Well Being Spa facility (a must visit), great food and friendly staff. The Himalaya and Soldeu offers similar accommodation, though the food is not as up to scratch, but is considerably cheaper.
Shops: There's a wide range of ski-shops and handful of convenience stores in the resort, as well as a pharmacists. With regards to the ski-shops, they're always willing to make a deal so make sure you ask for some sort of discount!


Getting There
There are two airports to land at, Toulouse or Barcelona. Barcelona is a quicker, less windy journey and offers beautiful scenery, whereas Toulouse is a little cheaper. A 3-4 hour bus journey from the airport will see you to the resort.


Overall:
You could call my opinion 'biased', due to the fact I revisit this resort yearly, though I have been to a few other resorts in Europe (Alps, Bulgaria, Austria), none of which compared to Soldeu.