Perched at nearly 5,000 feet above sea level, Arinsal is an alpine paradise that both exudes tranquil bliss and yet fills the air with bustling energy for the wanderer at heart.
Our home here in Arinsal is proof to this, with annual visitors flocking to experience this quaint village, from all around the world. Once you’ve finished taking in the scenery you might wonder what more does Arinsal have to offer. Plenty!
What Makes Arinsal Different?
Arinsal is a village of about 1,700 Andorrans perched high up in the Pyrenees. Surely Europe has its share of mountain villages but life here is truly different.
Tourism is, by far, the biggest economic activity in Arinsal and most businesses are geared toward offering something to the stream of international visitors — especially English speakers.
We’re big on outdoor activities — but we also know that’s not for everyone. Luckily our location is a short drive to Andorra la Vella, meaning you can have the mountains at your doorstep and Andorra’s best shopping almost as close by.
Winter Activities in Arinsal
Before 1973, we had plenty of mountains here in Arinsal and the opportunity for some winter hiking. But then things really changed. That’s when Josep Serra installed the town’s first ski lifts and a new industry was born.
Skiing, snowboarding and all sorts of downhill activities have become popular attractions in Arinsal over the last 45 years. You’ll find a number of après-ski resorts nestled in the snowy mountains of Arinsal, Vallnord being a popular choice.
And if you find yourself wanting a break from the alpine slopes, don’t fret. There’s a lot more to do in Arinsal during the winters. But before we dive into them, here’s a glimpse at the much sought-after skiing activities.
Skiing in Arinsal at the Vallnord Resort
Situated in between the sectors of Pal and Arinsal, Vallnord is a ski-destination loved by beginners and experts alike. You can navigate between the sectors quite easily with the help of cable cars, just be sure to check the closing time.
Vallnord operates our local, world-class ski resort. It’s a top choice thanks to:
- Over 1,000 metres of altitude difference from peak to base.
- A total of 44 state-of-the-art lifts for easily and quickly getting up the hill.
- Cota 1550, the longest on-piste ski run in Andorra.
Ski resorts and schools aside, you can grab a bite at a number of restaurants housed in Vallnord. With locally-sourced ingredients and mouth-watering cuisines, you’ll never run out of options.
Have a look at our full guide to the ski resort options in Arinsal for more info.
Renting or Buying Equipment from Esports Sant Moritz
At the Sant Moritz group, we love skiing as much as you do. Which is why we know the importance of having the best equipment to elevate your snow-filled experience.
At Esports Sant Moritz we set you up with all the equipment you need for your activity of choice, giving you more time to do the things you love the most.
Some of the reasons why Esports Sant Moritz is one of the top ski hire options in Andorra are:
- There are three locations, placed conveniently all over Arinsal.
- You’ll find the latest gear from top brands like Black Crows.
- Esports Sant Moritz staff members are passionate skiers themselves and will be happy to help you to rent or purchase the gear that works perfectly for you.
Other Downhill Experiences in Arinsal
Obviously, it isn’t just skiing that attracts people to Andorra’s mountains. Snowboarding is also very popular, especially with beginner and intermediate snowboarders.
The halfpipe and terrain park that are part of the Vallnord complex get top marks from these groups.
Back on skis, if an off-piste run is what you’re looking for then Ordino-Arcalis is worth investigating.
And maybe you haven’t skied before — or are looking to tune up your skills before returning to black-diamond difficulty. In either case, you’ll find a ski school for you here in Arinsal.
What to do Off the Slopes in Arinsal
Getting behind a team of sled dogs is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Operators of mushing adventures are increasingly offering this activity to winter visitors.
If going at a faster clip is more your speed, snowmobiling is a great way to take in the stunning mountain scenery here in Andorra.
Things to Do in Arinsal, Andorra During Summer
The thing to remember about visiting Andorra is that even when the snow melts the mountains and the breathtaking views are here to stay.
Summers in Andorra are all about exploring trails and basking in the glorious sun. Whether it’s an adventure you’re looking for or a bit of lounging around, you’ll find it all right here.
Mountain Biking in Arinsal
If Vallnord is world-famous for skiing, its acclaim in summer activities is just as great. Under the sunny skies is where Vallnord converts to a bike park and mountain biking becomes one of the most sought after summer activities in Andorra.
In total, there are 29 different runs spread across the facility. The focus is on downhill, but we also have enduro, cross-country, four-cross and even an electric bike circuit.
If you’re looking for a serious adrenaline rush, Vallnord has quite a few competitive events that you can participate in and race on some of the most challenging trails.
If riding trails isn’t your thing, we’ve also got a dedicated bike park complete with a BMX pump track.
Hiking Trails Near Arinsal
There are many trail options near us for those looking to get outside and experience Andorra under their own power.
Head northwest for a challenging hike into the mountains to Refugi de Coma Pedrosa. Or a short drive into Andorra la Vella can get you to the much more low-key (but still popular) trail along the irrigation canal (“Camí saludable dels Drets Humans“).
Road Cycling From Arinsal
Nestled between France and Spain, Andorra is in the heart of Europe’s cycling-obsessed homeland which springs to life in summer.
Cycling from Arinsal to La Massana is popular thanks to the wonderful road conditions. You may find some traffic on your journey but it is rather slow-moving and safe for cyclists.
Our tourist-style apartments are a great overnight waypoint for a long-distance cycling trip.
Buying or Renting Summer Equipment from Esports Sant Moritz
Warm weather fun is also a strong suit for Esports Sant Moritz. Especially with our nearby world-class bike park, they specialize in everything from helmets to inner tubes.
They take staff training just as seriously for knowledge about summer equipment. That means making sure that whether you’re renting or buying, you can expect gear that fits and suits your skill level.
Excursions from Arinsal
We think a holiday to Andorra should involve as much variety as possible. That’s one of the main advantages of living in such a compact country.
To help with this, Sant Moritz takes pride in setting you up with some of the finest excursions like:
- Guided freerides for skiers who want to go off-piste.
- Snowshoeing trips on mountain trails.
- Helicopter rides for a birds’-eye view of the scenery.
Nightlife Options for Winding Down in Arinsal
After all that exercise and excitement, you’re probably ready to end the day with a beer in hand. Luck for you, Arinsal is a top nightlife destination that prides itself at not being too overcrowded.
That said, it is during the winters where you’ll find all the popular bars bustling with energy and excitement from Arinsal’s annual ski tourists.
Summers on the other hand, are somewhat quieter but lively all the same.
El Cabin is One of Arinsal’s Top Bars
A very friendly atmosphere makes El Cabin one of Arinsal’s favourite après-ski spots. That goes doubly if you can snag a spot on the riverside patio.
From breakfast to late evening drinks, El Cabin is constantly bustling with energy and great food all throughout.
Polar Bar for a Break on the Slopes
If you didn’t get your fill of sunshine while skiing, grab a chair on the sunny patio at Polar Bar.
A popular pit stop for many tourists, this cozy bar and restaurant whips up some of the most sensational dishes with a view to match. Stop by for a meal or a hot cup of coffee and you won’t be disappointed.
View this post on Instagram
Other Options for Eating and Drinking
A few other places worth recommending include:
- Argentinian steakhouses like Ruta 40 and Pampa Arinsal
- Gustus or Restaurant Emo for a fancier night out.
- Borda Erts and La Borda Xica have their takes on traditional Andorran fare.
Apartments Sant Moritz: Your Go-To Accommodation Choice in Arinsal, Andorra
Arinsal deserves a spot at the top of your list of attractions in Andorra because:
- All the things to do in Arinsal during the day — from world-class skiing to the snowboard park to mountain biking in the summer.
- It’s just-right nightlife with après-ski drinks on the patio, family-friendly dining options or bars with a lively atmosphere.
- Our ski-village atmosphere is charming without missing out on any of what you want from a vacation.
Now that you’ve sorted out what you’re going to do in Arinsal, book your accommodation with us. Get in touch and we’ll find you one of our conveniently located tourist apartments at the best price possible.