Ordino Arcalís Ski Resort

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Ordino Arcalís is Andorra
Ordino Arcalís is Andorra's best freeride powder ski resort
Ordino Arcalís powder skiing
Ordino Arcalís powder skiing
Freeride off-piste is what Ordino Arcalis ski resort is all about
Freeride off-piste is what Ordino Arcalis ski resort is all about
Ordino Arcalis base area has no village, but plenty of atmosphere
Ordino Arcalis base area has no village, but plenty of atmosphere
On-piste trails at Ordino Arcalis Andorra
On-piste trails at Ordino Arcalis Andorra
Everyone needs to ride the O at Ordino Arcalis
Everyone needs to ride the O at Ordino Arcalis
Ordino Arcalis is a day tripping resort with well placed car parking close to the lofts
Ordino Arcalis is a day tripping resort with well placed car parking close to the lofts
Ordino Arcalis perfect piste trail under La Basera chair
Ordino Arcalis perfect piste trail under La Basera chair
Refugi Les Portelles is Ordino Arcalis only upper mountain restaurant, but its a beauty.
Refugi Les Portelles is Ordino Arcalis only upper mountain restaurant, but its a beauty.
The La Coma restaurant, bar & deck has the best of everything at Ordino Arcalis
The La Coma restaurant, bar & deck has the best of everything at Ordino Arcalis
A modern gondola connects the two extreme ends of Ordino Arcalis ski resort
A modern gondola connects the two extreme ends of Ordino Arcalis ski resort
Novices are well catered for in Andorra & Ordino Arcalis is no exception
Novices are well catered for in Andorra & Ordino Arcalis is no exception
L
L'Abarsetar chairlift serves mixed piste & wonderful off-piste trees at Ordino Arcalis
The tree skiing toward the tunnel at Ordino Arcalis
The tree skiing toward the tunnel at Ordino Arcalis
Freeriders traversing to ski the flanks of Pic de Cataperdis in Ordino Arcalis
Freeriders traversing to ski the flanks of Pic de Cataperdis in Ordino Arcalis
Gorgeous off-piste freeride powder at Ordino Arcalis
Gorgeous off-piste freeride powder at Ordino Arcalis
The Creussans chair rises up to 2,625m accessing only off-piste routes & terrain
The Creussans chair rises up to 2,625m accessing only off-piste routes & terrain
No Powder is left unmarked at Ordino Arcalis ski resort
No Powder is left unmarked at Ordino Arcalis ski resort
All resort facilities & services are in one major building at Ordino Arcalis
All resort facilities & services are in one major building at Ordino Arcalis
Ski Ordino Arcalis
Ski Ordino Arcalis

Ordino Arcalís Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Ordino Arcalis

Ordino Arcalis4/51
Ordino Arcalis4 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Guide and Ride Ski Tours

Andorra Ski Resorts

Grandvalira
Pal Arinsal

     Ordino Arcalis Ski Trail Map
  • Ordino Arcalis Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,940m - 2,625m (685m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown (but the most in Andorra)
  • Lifts (16)
    1 Gondola
    4 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Early December to Mid-April
    9:00am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 30km
    Longest run - 5km
    Advanced - 10%
    Intermediate - 48%
    Beginner - 42%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Adult – €35.50 to 39.50
    Child – €30.20 to 33.50
    Child u/6yr - Free
     Ordino Arcalis Freeride Zones Map
  • Ordino Arcalis Freeride Zones

Ordino Arcalis Ski Resort Andorra

Ordino Arcalís ski resort in the Pyrenees may be the smallest in Andorra for piste trails but has a huge amount of freeride terrain & routes for the adventurous - whether a beginner or expert, & the region's most reliable snow. This is the place to come in Andorra to ski unsullied powder & experience the best the local mountains can offer, in a relaxed & fun environment. Sounds perfect for Powderhounds & families alike, doesn’t it?

Pros & Cons for Ordino Arcalis Ski Resort

Pros

  • High elevation ski area with the best snow in Andorra.
  • Modern & efficient lift system.
  • Uncrowded.
  • Quality piste trails for novice to intermediate skiers & snowboarders.
  • Fun-filled off-piste freeride terrain including tree skiing & steeps.
  • Easy access to extensive backcountry terrain.
  • Wonderful on-mountain restaurants & bars.
  • Friendly, playful vibe.
  • Affordable lift pass price with access to Grandvalira including in 3-day+ passes.
  • Ample free car parking for day trippers right near the lifts.

Cons

  • Relatively small inbounds ski area.
  • Skiable vertical is shortish for Europe (685m but generally less).
  • Even though it has Andorra’s best snow, the Pyrenees can be boom & bust, check the snow conditions before coming!
  • Limited advanced piste trails.
  • No on-mountain accommodation or resort village.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • The mountains high number of lifts (16) is misleading (see below)
  • The drive up can be challenging in full winter conditions.
  • It is in Andorra, so fuel, booze, smokes & sweets are cheap, cheap, cheap…..

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

Ordino Arcalís isn’t huge, but it is Andorra’s premier freeride ski resort (& home to a Freeride World Tour event no less!). Away from the groomers, the skiing & snowboarding terrain is varied & studded with loads of natural jumps, rollers, woops & yips, plus trees to assist in upping the fun factor to 11. Skiable verticals tend to be in the 400 to 600m realm, again, not huge. Its high-altitude base (1,940m) give it the best snow in the region, adding significantly to its powder hound appeal.

Check out the Ordino Arcalís ski trail map

On the piste, the 30km of trails at Ordino Arcalis are excellent for beginners & intermediates. A lovely, long novice trail runs for 5km from the top of La Basera chair, all the way to the base area via La Coma. At La Coma, the high alpine base gets sun & has loads of snow in the rolling slopes of the bowl. In the main L’Hortell base, all abilities are catered for, including a couple of short piste trails for advanced riders. The terrain is generally snowboard friendly.

The ‘first lift crowd’ tend to be decked out in fat skis, touring bindings & backpacks for hunting powder. The lift accessed off-piste, whilst filled with fun natural elements, is relatively petite in scale when compared to the freeride behemoths of the Alps (think Chamonix, Verbier, Engelberg, Andermatt, La Grave et al), but still playful & worth the visit in good snow. Skiers’ left of the La Coma Chair, above the wide bowl, are multiple couloirs easily accessed via traverse & bootpack. The backcountry is wide-ranging & easily accessed via short boot-packs or skins from the lifts. Tree skiing is great off the top of the L’Hortell T-Bar lift. Runs are on north or south-aspect slopes. The sunny tree runs lead beyond the resort to the other side of the road tunnel where a walk, or a hitch from one of the friendly locals, will get you back up to L’Hortell. Make sure to ski the ‘O’ – a short off-piste section below the oversized symbol of the resort.

See the local off-piste & backcountry diversity on the Ordino Arcalis freeride zones map.

Don’t be taken in by the huge numbers of listed ski lifts (16) at Ordino Arcalis. The resort can be essentially fully skied by just using the four chairlifts. Everything else is for novices & pedestrians (the fancy gondola included). The full skiable vertical (685m) can be ridden off the Creussans (Freeride) chair all the way to the L’Hortell base, but the first 400m vertical section is all off-piste. Easier ‘nearly’ top to bottoms are from the La Basera or La Coma chairs.

Lift Passes

The local lift passes are particularly good value, particularly during the low season. Adding to that value is the recent integration of Ordino Arcalis into the Grandvalira resort stable. Lift passes of 3 days or more include options to ski Grandvalira for no extra cost. Woohoo! Whilst we do not rate Grandvalira for off-piste, it is a vast & interesting ski resort which will please families, novices & intermediates.

Where is Ordino Arcalis Andorra?

The Ordino Arcalis ski resort is in the delightful mountain principality of Andorra wedged between Spain & France in the eastern Pyrenees. The tiny nation’s capital, Andorra la Vella, is only 22km (30min) by road from the resort base. The nearest villages to the ski area are El Serrat (6km down the road) & the resort's namesake Ordino, 14km from the resort base area. Andorra’s second largest city, La Massana, is only 16km from the resort, providing the best place from which to explore the Valls de Nord ski areas.

The best gateway airports are Barcelona (BCN) in Spain (230km & over 3hr drive to the south) or Toulouse (TLS) in France (212km & over 3hr drive to the north). Note that we found driving to Andorra from France in winter to be an absolute nightmare, go via Spain instead.

Public transport to the small nation is not great. Train services in France or Spain do not penetrate in to Andorra, so rental car or private transfers are generally the way to go.

Once in Andorra, the local bus system is fantastic. The L6 bus is the safest bet if not willing or able to drive.

For more info on the best ways to get there, see the Andorra overview page.

Ordino Arcalis Accommodation

The ski resort has NO on-mountain accommodation or a resort village. The nearest village to the ski resort is El Serrat, less than 10 min drive down valley from the ski resort base. A relatively quiet location, it nonetheless has several excellent hotels.

Search & book Ordino Arcalis ski accommodation at El Serrat.

El Serrat may provide the bulk of the local accommodation, but the major town of La Massana is a more than worthy alternative. In the centre of town, right at the turnoff up to Ordino Arcalis (and near the gondola station for the Pal ski resort) are several fabulous hotels. Within a few steps of the Pal gondola are the Magic Ski Hotel & Del Pui Hotel. A short stroll away are the Magic La Massana Hotel & Ruttlan & Spa Hotel. Further away but still within easy walking distance is the affordable, but still excellent, Secret Spot Hostel. La Massana has numerous shops, bars & restaurants that ably complement the individual hotel facilities. Despite what some La Massana accommodation providers state, one cannot ski on a piste trail down to the town from Pal, a download on the gondola is required. Bus stops to Ordino Arcalis are right near most hotels.

Search & book all La Massana accommodation.

Given the small proportions of Andorra, it lends itself to a single base ski safari. Staying either in La Massana or in the capital of Andorra La Vella and driving to a new ski resort every day makes a lot of sense. The two other ski areas in Andorra, the huge (but mellow) Grandvalira & more interesting Pal Arinsal have convenient valley gondola lift accesses closer to the capital than Ordino Arcalis.

Search & book all Andorra La Vella accommodation.

Ski Rentals

Ski rentals from our partners are available in the town of Ordino on the road to the ski resort & numerous other ski resort bases throughout Andorra. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Ordino Arcalis Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

Review

The Powderhounds skied Ordino Arcalis in 2020 & had a cracking time with a group of fun-loving locals. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read all the reviews.

See how Ordino Arcalis compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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Tours in or near Andorra
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