Arinsal is a village in Andorra, a small mountainous country in the Pyrenees mountains at the head of a valley. The old village part is clearly evident, but because it is also a ski resort it has grown a lot and has quite a number of hotels catering to this trade. As a result though outside the ski season the place is pretty much closed up including some of the bars and restaurants.
This resort is very popular with English-speaking skiers.
The main road up from La Massana which itself is up from Andorra La Vella.
There is a bus service between Arinsal and Andorra La Vella, passing through La Massana. It is not very regular so it is worth checking the timetable before planning any trips. The cost is reasonable.
The road continues up out of the village and stops about another 1 or 2 up at another hotel. Then there is a semi-private road that winds up the mountain for about 4.5-6 km (3-4 miles) to the top station of the cable car lift.
There is great mountain scenery all around and it is a really good location for starting out on any hiking or climbing trip.
The highest mountain Pic de Coma Pedrosa in Andorra at 2942 metres (9,665 ft) is located in this area.
- During the ski season which is approximately December to March or so, you can go skiing. There is a cable car up to the Arinsal ski area which is in the centre of the village. Arinsal and nearby Pal offer good skiing for the novice and the intermediate skier, and first time skiers often head for Arinsal and Palfor their first holiday or two before heading for Soldeu and Pas de la Casa. Arinsal is a little different from Soldeu and Pas de la Casa too in that it has quite a few full-time residents and the villages are 'year round' while the others are fairly seasonal. For this reason Arinsal and Pal can be the perfect answer to those who are embarking on their first ski holiday as there is more than just skiing, Ordino and her first class sports centre is easily accessed for example, and if you decide skiing isn’t for you, you do have other choices too. Arinsal-Pal piste map
- Arinsal is good too for snowboard activities with a freestyle area.
- Trekking in and near Arinsal (Hola Andorra SL), c/Arinsal, ☏ +376 869 181. There are many treks and walks that start right from the village of Arinsal. If you are planning on going to Andorra for a walking holiday, Arinsal is your best choice as the resort lies at the foot of Andorra's highest mountain, the Coma Pedrosa (2,942 m). There are also 3 mountain huts and 7 mountain lakes all within a 2-hour hike from the village. For more details on the hikes and on accommodation in Arinsal itself, please visit http://www.santmoritz.com/blog/en/hiking-in-andorra/
- Adventure activities (Adventure activities). There are lots of adventure activities available in the surrounding area such as Via Ferrata, purpose-built adventure circuits and horse riding. You can find more information about the activities at http://www.arinsal.co.uk/activities/
There are ski and snowboard shops in and a couple of supermarkets, but for the best shopping head for Andorra la Vella.
There is a very good range of restaurants in Arinsal. If you want to try the local Catalan cuisine, there are several options including El Bosc, 360, and The Rocky. For international tastes, there is Surf (Argentinian Steak), Cisco's (Mexican), El Moli pub & restaurant (pizza, pasta, burger, salad, Thai curries, kids' menu) and Quo Vadis (Pub Grub & Italian).
Arinsal has many bars to choose from, and most are family friendly.
- The Rocky.
- El Moli, in the centre of the Arinsal Village opposite the Gondola, ☏ +376 835281. Special prices on beer, après ski, live music, international DJs, Sky Sports, and free Wi-Fi..
- Quo Vadis.
- El Cau.
- Black Bull.
- The Derby.
- Bar Solana.
- Self-catering chalets and apartments in Arinsal (Hola Andorra SL), c/Arinsal, ☏ +376 869 181. Friendly, self-catering apartments and chalets within walking distance to the Vallnord gondola that takes you up to the Pal-Arinsal ski resort. Ideal summer destination too. Many hikes and treks start right from your door step.
- Aparthotel Poblado. Above the Quo Vadis pub. Clean simple rooms. Free ski and boot lockers, 2 minutes from the gondola. Rooms on roadside can suffer from traffic noise, gondola side rooms have white noise from the river. Very convenient for skiing, just grab your boots and skis from the locker and walk to Gondola.
- Paul Mikheson, C/Arinsal (Arinsal), ☏ +376 869 181. Self-catering chalets and apartments, all located in Arinsal, Andorra, within walking distance to the ski lifts. Ideal for winter but also summer holidays: many hikes start right from your property meaning no need for a car!
- Hotel Montané, Carreterra General D'Arinsal, ☏ +376 737 535. Three-star half-board hotel directly opposite the gondola in Arinsal.
- Hotel Arinsal, +376 835 640.
- Princesa Park, +376 736 500.
- Aparthotel Crest, +376 835 866.
- Hotel Palarine, +376 835410.
The capital Andorra La Vella is reachable by public transport, and the duty free shopping and department stores.