We loved our trip to Arinsal and would recommend it to anyone looking to see Andorra.
The Two Key Elements to a Ski Holiday: The Skiing (Obviously) and the Apres-Ski
The Andorran Ski resort of Arinsal lies in the Pyrenees and offers great skiing variety with three skiing sectors. The two linked sectors of Arinsal and Pal, as well as the separate Arcalis sector, set a short bus ride away which allows skiers great variety. Arinsal is in the district of La Massana.
For many, a ski holiday involves days on the piste and the nights out in the local bars and restaurants. The Apres Ski scenes within many ski resorts have developed as a result of this and Arinsal's Apres Ski and nightlife is no exception. The main bars have various apres-ski events running from 3 pm in an afternoon. Bars offer a number of perks, whether it's a free toastie with a drink, cheap drink offers or offers on food.
Look out for cameras on the piste in Arinsal.
Also when you're on-piste, lookout for the guys from Bogarts Bar (in the Princess Park complex), Quo Vadis and El Derby as they're on the slopes everyday filming groups of skiers. They often get big chunks of you skiing throughout a day or week so if you go into one of the bars you'll likely see a video stream of the various different instructors' groups and can request to see the video of your group too.
Where is Arinsal Ski Resort, Andorra?
Restaurants to Consider Visiting in Arinsal
Due to its unique position, Andorra has numerous culinary influences. The principality has borders with Catalan Spain and France which obviously influence the local cuisine. However, as a tourist it is not always local cuisine that appears on a restaurant menu.
Arinsal offers a great amount of choice for a diner to fill up after an energetic day on the pistes.
Surf: A Little Piece of Argentina in Arinsal
Fancy a steak? When you think of eating out, Argentinian restaurants do not usually come top of the list but one thing to note is that if you love a good steak, Argentinian food is for you and therefore you'll want to consider Surf, Arinsal.
Surf not only serves up steak—it serves up huge juicy steaks—a carnivore's dream!
Restaurant 360 is a great day time choice. Andorran custom is to eat late in the day, however, Restaurant 360 offers the opportunity to eat earlier in the evening which is especially a bonus if you have young children.
Reviewers on the TripAdvisor website have voted this to be the best restaurant in Arinsal and if the portions, quality and value of the food are your priorities it's clear to see why. Starters are on the large size so make sure you leave some room for mains.
A huge recommendation is Restaurant 360's Catalan Night which gives you a 4 course Catalan meal with a glass of wine, beer or soft drink for 20 euros per person. Great value and a fantastic meal although you must book your Catalan night at Restaurant 360 in advance.
Check out this great review of Restaurant 360's Catalan Night!
El Refugi De La Fondue Restaurant, Arinsal
El Refugi De La Fondue Restaurant
If you fancy something a little different why not consider El Refugi De La Fondue Restaurant. The restaurant is situated 50 metres uphill from the Princessa Park Hotel and specialises in raclette and fondue meals. This small and cozy restaurant specialises in meat and cheese dishes in the traditional Swiss style in a limited menu
The food divides opinion however if you want to try something different to get you out of your hotel environment or away from bars full of party animals it's worth consideration. Expect to pay around 25 euros per person for a 2-3 course meal with a bottle of house wine.
The Refugi De La Fondue is also known as Cafe Everest. If you're looking for a unique dining experience in Arinsal this is your choice.
Fancy a snack upon leaving the slopes? The Bull, Arinsal
The Bull Snack Bar
A great option for when you get off the slopes is the Bull. It's just a short 50-meter stagger downhill from the Arinsal gondola station. The Bull is a great option to replenish those sugars. The Bull offers simple yet hearty snacks such as toasties and jacket potatoes to keep even the hungriest skier going til dinner.
The inside of Quo Vadis, Arinsal
Every Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday at Quo Vadis so pop down for a beer and pancakes with Kevin and the team from the Quo. Just don't mistake Kevin for an Aussie as he's South African.
Quo Vadis is a great bar which offers great apres-ski. There's a big selection of pub grub for the hungry traveller from Pizza's to Burgers you'll be well looked after.
It's almost a given that no matter where you travel there will be an Irish bar. Enter El Derby.
Has anyone else come to the conclusion that in general Irish Bars are more expensive than everywhere else. El Derby is no exception and is the most expensive bar that we found in Arinsal.
Apparently the bar was originally called The Derby after the famous horse race and then the name morphed to Derby O'Mally's before becoming simply El Derby or The Derby.
If you like Irish music the bar has a singer on during the apres-ski period each evening between 3-6 pm. And if you visit more than once you'll likely find that the singer repeats the same songs you've heard previously. Maybe you like that familiarity but there have to be more than about 10 songs that can be sung.
Fancy a free toastie with your apres-ski pint?
Then opt for El Cau (The Cow) which is virtually opposite Quo Vadis. El Cau Bar has a slightly grungey interior which you'll either feel relaxed in or hate akin the the marmite effect however have some great offers for food and drink once you get off the piste especially combined with food too.
El Cau Bar, Arinsal Andorra
Fancy doing all the above bars- only cheaper?
We all like our money to go that little bit further whether at home or away. Thanks to the people at the arinsal.co.uk website you can do just that. On their website there are a selection of discount vouchers for some of Arinsal's best bars and restaurants which you would go and eat or drink within anyway. They also have plenty of information to help with a visit to Arinsal too.
How did you Like Arinsal?
Please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on July 12, 2012:
Thanks good lady. I had a fantastic experience there back in march. It offers everything a beginner and intermediate skier could wish for. Maybe I'll see you there!
Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on April 18, 2012:
Thanks for great information about this ski resort. Wish I could bookmark it for one day. You never know. It could be a holiday destination for one of us. The restaurant guide is excellent!
Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on March 28, 2012:
Thank you for the feedback tirelesstraveller. Arinsal has also been a regular point on the Volta A Catalunya race as well with finishes previously held at the ski station there.
Judy Specht from California on March 28, 2012:
Wonderful description of where Arinsal is located. The map was really helpful. Follow the Tour d France and knew immediately where Arinsal was glancing at the map.