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La Massana

La Massana Ski Resort Guide

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La Massana, Andorra

Rated: 2/5 (from 6 ratings)

La Massana Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForApres-Ski.
Total Piste Length89km
Highest Lift2,600m
Resort Height1,550m
 Nearest AirportsToulouse and Perpignan
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La Massana at a glance

Arinsal was established in the early 1970s when the Western end of the La Massana Valley was developed. It is an attractive Catalan village, but rather spread out. It is very lively and rapidly expanding (expect building work!). The resort operates a ski bus service between Arinsal and La Massana

 When will it snow in La Massana?

There is currently no significant snow in the 7-day forecast for La Massana.

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La Massana Facts, Stats and Ratings

La Massana Rated

Ratings for La Massana

How High is La Massana?

Max Vertical and Resort Altitude for La Massana
Highest Lift2,600m
Lowest Piste1,600m
Resort Altitude (La Massana)1,550m
Max Vertical1,050m

La Massana Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats for La Massana
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
Total Length
Cross Country
Total Length
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts

La Massana Summary

The Andorran Ski Resort of La Massana is one of the larger Ski Resorts in Andorra and has direct access to 89km of downhill skiing, with 41 marked pistes, served by a total of 26 ski lifts. La Massana is directly linked by Ski Lift to the ski areas of Pal-Arinsal.

The ski resort itself is at 1,550m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 2,600m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

La Massana Overview

VallNord comprises the lift and ski run connected ski areas above Pal and the village of Arinsal, as well as another ski area at Ordino, Arcalis - so essentially three areas for the price of one! Many tour operators and skiers still refer to these villages individually rather than under the new collective marketing name of VallNord.

The area has long been rightly famous for its fun and friendly environment, excellent English speaking ski schools and high value, often lively apres-ski, particularly in Arinsal. However the past decade has also seen a distinct move up market with ever higher quality evident on and off the slopes. Some prices have risen as a result of this, but VallNord remains markedly more affordable than the other Andoran ski area.

Until the 2000/01 Pal and Arinsal were two separate resorts and of course they remain two separate villages. However for that season the two resorts and ski areas were linked and both resorts began to market themselves jointly. This was followed by another marketing merger, this time with the Arcalis ski area (also known as Ordino). Together the ski areas became known as VallNord. They are the latest of many resort mergers in Andorra so that the country which once had ten or so fragmented ski areas, now officially has just two ski resorts.

Since the 1990s Andorra has made massive financial investment into its ski facilities and Pal - Arinsal, as well as the country's other resorts, has seen rapid development. For the 98/99 season Arinsal's first gondola lift was installed reducing the time needed to reach the ski area down to only four minutes. As well as the new gondola in 1998/99 both resorts renewed and extended their snow gardens therefore improving their facilities for children.

Arinsal was established in the early 1970s when the Western end of the La Massana Valley was developed. It is an attractive but rather spread out Catalan village, to the north of Andorra la Vella, the capital. The village itself is typical of quaint Pyreneen villages, attractively built in the typical local style slate and stone. The village is only nine kilometres (six miles) from the Spanish border and is famous for its young atmosphere. It is very lively and rapidly expanding (expect building work!).

Andorra, is, of course, a country well known for its extraordinary duty free shopping, Arinsal is a year round holiday destination but especially popular during the skiing season when seasonal workers outnumber locals six to one.

First opened in 1982 Pal lies at the head of the la Massana Valley to the north west of Andorra la Vella, the country's capital. The ski resort, one of five in Andorra, located between France and Spain in the Eastern Pyrynees. The resort itself is located in the centre of a National Park - an area of spectacular natural beauty, one good reason why people return to this area year after year - another being the extensive duty-free shopping in the country. During the 1990s Andorra made massive financial investment into its ski facilities with all the Andorran ski resorts undergoing major developments .

Pal is no exception and in recent years the resort has made several improvements. The opening up of the Seturia sector, mid-way between Pal and neighbouring Arinsal, added three new pistes, a quad chairlift, snow cannons, new car parks and more restaurants.

Arinsal has invested in a completely new, modern snow park. The Seturia Sector, mid-way between Arinsal and Pal was also opened up in preparation for the addition of Andorra's first cable car and further extending the skiing area and facilities. The 2000/2001 season saw the consolidation of investments with the spectacular Seturia cable car linking Arinsal and Pal into one extensive ski resort. A first for the Pyrenees, each cabin takes 50 people - on the six minute ride from its base in the Coll de la Botella to its summit at Port Negre, a distance of 2,376m.

Ordino-Arcalis, the newest of Andorra's four ski resorts is located in the north-eastern corner of this tiny duty free principality. Although its on the French border there is no entry into France - the access point is on the other side of the country at Pas de la Casa. Arcalis first opened in 1982; very recent in comparison with the other Andorran resorts. This is a purpose built resort with no slopeside accommodation, the closest lodging being at El Serrat 7km (4 miles) away and Ordino approximately 12km (8 miles) away. With the Ski Andorra lift pass it is now possible to ski all of Andorra's resorts on one pass so visirtors wanting to ski at Ordino might also consider staying in the capital, la Vella and travelling to each resort.

Ordino is probably the most culturally attractive town in Andorra and, considering the redevelopment which has taken place in the country over the last decade, the old part of the town has remained more or less unscathed. For centuries the Parish of Ordino was devoted to mining and metallurgy but its principal revenue now is from tourism - especially its winter tourist trade. There are still some traditional activities, mainly tobacco and potato farming, and farmers do still raise livestock. Ordino has a distinguished history and in earlier times it was this Parish which housed all the powerful Andorran elders such as the Casa d'Areny de Plandolit in Ordino, a rank which dates back to 1633.

The villages of the Ordino valley, with their ancient stone and slate roofed buildings, are totally in harmony with their natural surroundings, perhaps this is why the area has been twinned with the mountain resort of Gstaad in Switzerland. The parish church was built between the 16th and 18th centuries and houses the smallest and most ancient madonna in the principality la Verge del Remei (our Lady of Recoverance) in romanesque style. The National Auditorium represents Ordino's strong musical tradition, the outer shell of which dates to 1930 when it was erected as a National Museum. It was then purchased by the Government in 1991 and beautifully rebuilt in local stone and walnut.

On the Mountain

The longest possible descent in La Massana is 6km long and the most difficult run is the 'La Devesa'.

 Skiing in La Massana

The skiing area was dramatically extended for the 2000-1 season with the new cable car opening up access to the Pal area which with its picturesque tree lined slopes is the perfect compliment to Arinsal. From Arinsal itself it now takes only four minutes in another new lift, the six-seater gondola up to Comallempla. This point can still be accessed by car if you prefer.

For Beginners the Prat de la Coma Area has been extended and much improved in recent years. Off to the right of the mid station there are three beginners tows with large nursery area for first timers. Probably more a resort for intermediates and progressing beginners there are some excellent long blue runs - one of the longest runs in Andorra is La Solana which starts at the top of the Pic Negre and takes you all the way down to Cota at the base of the mountain.

Many people believe its best for beginners to start off in Arinsal and then progress on to the slopes at Pal. There are three slopeside cafes; the Obelix and the Iglu make good refreshment stops, whilst the Panoramix boasts one of the best and biggest sun terraces in Andorra. Off to the other side there are more challenging red runs and experts will find three blacks at the top of the mountain. The longest, steepest black run in Andorra, La Devesa, plunges under the chairlift which runs from the base station. Snow cover is being made ever more reliable with the addition of more snow cannons each season.

Skiing at Pal can be accessed from four different points, after a drive up the winding road from the village. La Caubella at 1950m is the main base with ticket sales, ski hire and restaurant. All four green runs are located in this area with the beginner area much improved in recent years. Beginners are probably best advised to start in the Arinsal sector and then progress on to the slopes at Pal when their confidence has increased. This is best known as an intermediate resort and there are 4 fairly lengthy blue runs . Better choice of reds so its the perfect place for intermediates to improve. La Serra is worth trying, starts of at the top of the Pic de Cubil at 2358m then gets into a more gentle blue and takes you all the way back down to La Caubella.

There's only one black run at Pal which, depending on the snow conditions, can be a challenge even for the experts - that's La Comellada which leads onto a blue back to Els Fontanals. Also for the experts are the 4 approved FIS slalom slopes. An extra three kilometres of slopes were added for 1999/2000 when the Seturia area was opened up in preparation for the new cable car link to Arinsal. An impressive quad chairlift gives uplift to the one blue and two red slopes. There is some excellent off piste and tree skiing at Pal though it is best to go with a guide or instructor if you're not familiar with the area. Now that the cable car is up and running with a 6 minute ride up to the Font Negre and the Arinsal bowl this can only serve to improve what has to be Andorra's most picturesque resort.

La Massana offers good sking, particularly, for Intermediate and Beginner skiers.

 Snowboarding in La Massana

There is a definite preference for snowboarders in the Arinsal sector where the investments here have included a new, modern snow park for boarders with extension of the big air half-pipe and jumps. As yet there is no area specifically for snowboarders in Pal itself. There are plenty of long cruising blues and reds though.

When is La Massana open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates for La Massana.


NOTE:- Lift and Piste openings are always subject to Snow Conditions in La Massana.

Snow Making

La Massana is able to make snow, on 25km of ski runs, with 350 snow cannons.

Ski Lift Capacity

The 26 ski lifts of La Massana are able to uplift 30,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Where is La Massana?

La Massana is in the Andorran Pyrenees in Andorra.

How can I get to La Massana?

 By Air

The nearest airports to La Massana are Toulouse, Perpignan and Barcelona. There are five airports within three hours drive.

Off the Mountain

La Massana Aprés Ski

Arinsal has virtually all of the off slope activity and is indeed renowned for its nightlife with many discos, bars and pubs offering distinctively different atmospheres and music. The Red Rock is one of the busiest bars, famous for its large measures, videos and burgers or there's Quo Vadis, the Surf Bar, Cisco's and Bar el Derbi. The Rocky Mountain Bar is full of atmosphere at night with games, music, movies, snacks and great meals for good prices. Good for daytime too with breakfasts from 9am . The Viking in the nearby village of Massana is also worth a visit.

La Massana

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