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At this time last year I booked a last second ski holiday to Soldeu in Andorra. Like many skiers and snowboarders, I had never thought much about skiing the Pyrenees when we have the wealth of popular French and Austrian resorts at our fingertips.
My curiosity got the best of me when a friend that was working in the resort kept on saying how amazing the skiing was and her stunning snowy photos filled up my Facebook feed for most of the winter. As my planned week off quickly approached I decided to discover a new ski destination and I booked a last minute ski trip to Soldeu.
Going up in the TC8 gondola from Soldeu Andorra is a hidden gem between France and Spain, with just as good slopes as the French Alps but without the lift queues and ridiculous bar tabs. The resort of Soldeu is situated in the middle of 210km of pistes in Grandvalira with linked access to 5 other ski villages including Pas de la Casa.
As Andorra is tax free, alcohol prices in the shops are amazingly cheap. This is great if you are looking for a cheap ski holiday as apartment accommodation prices are very reasonable and you can eat and drink cheaply so you should have no problem with over spending on your trip.
On the slopes in Pas de la Casa
There are regular ski events throughout the season in Grandvalira from professional skiing events to freestyle competitions. Recent events include the Speed Skiing World Championships at the Grau Roig Riberal slope, Alpine Skiing European Cup on the Àgila slope in El Tarter and the Total Fight Master of Freestyle competition held at the El Tarter Snowpark. The Andorran ski resorts have had incredible snowfall the past few seasons, with snow levels even topping our favourite French ski resorts. Does it all sound too good to be true? Why don’t more holiday makers make Andorra their ski destination of choice?
Fresh snow and quiet slopes on a powder day in Soldeu
I didn’t believe it until I experienced it myself and I had one of my favourite ski weeks ever. I was extremely lucky and encountered a perfect week of snow conditions whilst staying in Soldeu. For the first 3 days I woke up to nearly a foot of fresh snow everyday so I was able to make full use of my new Nitro powder snowboard, and then for the second half of the week we had beautiful bluebird days. I couldn’t have prayed to the snow gods for a more superb ski holiday.
To start your week off there are plenty of blue runs around the Soldeu and El Tarter ski area allowing you to easily warm up your ski legs before venturing on to any intermediate or advanced pistes. Each of the villages are well linked with hardly any need for traversing which is great for snowboarders.
Fantastic wide pistes with stunning views As you progress through the week head over to Grau Roig and Pas De La Casa for a superior choice of wider and longer blue and red runs. The black and red runs on the face in Soldeu are fantastic and are easily accessed straight from the gondola or the TSD 6 man chairlift. For the freestylers, the snowpark at El Tarter is amazing and quick to get to from Soldeu. There is everything you need from fun features to huge kickers for all levels to enjoy.
Mountain restaurant stops in El Tarter
There is no lack of après and nightlife in Soldeu town. If you like a late night or two, this is a resort for you! Fat Alberts is a favourite and where you will end up if it ends up being a big night out. With live music and themed nights throughout the week, it is a popular spot for holiday makers and seasonaires.
The Aspen in the middle of town is one of the most popular bars. The bar staff are awesome, there is a huge choice of drinks, plus there’s also pool tables upstairs and you can watch popular sports events here. The Irish bar, The Harp, is a top bar to hit for après and is often filled with the ski instructors as they finish their day of work. It is the perfect place to get the shots in after a day on the slopes and have some banter with the bar staff.
If you are looking for a late night venue to end your bar crawl, head to Pussycat that is open till 5am!
The end of an amazing week in Soldeu
View Ski Holidays in Soldeu | Ski Holidays in Pas de la Casa | Ski Resorts in Andorra
Words and photos by Krystelle
The first week of March is a prime time for many of the Iglu team to head off on their ski holiday's. The half term crowds have disappeared, the chance of fresh snowfall is high and we get to enjoy the start of spring skiing conditions.This is the time of year where we can go to our favourite resorts. A large group headed to the beautiful Austrian resort of Mayrhofen, while others were in Tignes, Val d’Isere, Zell am See and St Moritz. It was an amazing week for a ski holiday with fresh snow at the stars of the week then sunny skies for the second half. Everyone agreed it was a perfect week in the Alps. There is so much snow in the Alps, it is the perfect time for a last minute getaway! Take a look at a selection of our favourite photos from the week:
Nick HH, Ned, Linda, Nick J and Krystelle enjoyed a week in Mayrhofen staying at the Chalet Stoanerhof. After a very snowy start to the week with more than a foot of fresh snow, the storms cleared up mid week so the team could enjoy the glorious sunshine and mountain bars.
Snowing down in the Village at the start of the week
Ned, Linda, Krystelle and Nick ready for their first day on the mountain
Krystelle and Ned enjoying the powder conditions at the start of the week
Linda loving the views and snow up the glacier
View ski holidays in Mayrhofen
Laura and Millie from the marketing team had an incrediable week in Espace Killy. It was a rocky start wiith high winds on day one, closing many of the lifts but after a foot of snow fell, the sun shone for the rest of the week.
Fresh snow in Tignes at the start of the week
Powder day for Millie in Tignes
Laura loving the breath taking views in Val d'Isere
View ski holidays in Tignes and Val d'Isere
Sam and Jason from the ski sales team spent a week in their favourite ski resort, Zell am See. As you can see they had an amzing week of powder days and apres sessions in the sun.
Power tree trails in Zell
A day trip out to Saalback
View ski holidays in Zell am See
Chris had a stunning week in the exclusive Swiss resort.
View ski holidays in St Moritz
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Our staff here at Iglu Ski visited some great resorts during the 2013/14 season, from the epic mountains of North America to the picturesque pistes of the Alps. As a homage to all the good times had, we’ve thrown together a collection of our favourite shots from the Iglu Ski 2013/14 winter season. Enjoy!
Now that the 2013/14 ski season has come to an end, we've taken a look back at some of our favourite moments and our most popular posts on social media.
In February, Jenny Jones made history (and made the whole of Great Britain immensely proud!) by being the first Brit to win a medal on snow in the Winter Olympics. #TeamGB
March saw Red Bull’s double half pipe make its debut in Aspen, Colorado. This unique creation played host to some of the world’s best riders, who competed to win $60,000, plus a nifty Polaris Snowmobile.
The Winter Olympics this year saw an epic finish line crash in the quarter finals of the men’s ski cross competition. All four athletes crossed the line in incredibly close succession – Armin Niederer was the only contestant to cross on skis, making him the winner –just!
The most inspirational video we saw this year was one about an incredible 96-year old man, George Jedenoff. George learnt to ski when he was 43-years old and it was at that moment he discovered his lifelong passion – he hasn’t missed a season since. This video just goes to show that it’s never too late to give something a try.
We found plenty of great videos this season demonstrating the struggles of using T-Bar lifts whilst on a snowboard. Comedy gold!
Two of the Iglu Ski team, James and Hans – seasoned snowboarders - decided to try out skiing while at Deer Valley resort. They did pretty well (except for a few minor tumbles!) and had the basic technique down after just one day. Go team!
In this video, we watched in awe as a piloted Go Pro camera flew behind two snowboarders riding off-piste, resulting in some absolutely stunning bird’s eye view footage.
2013/14 saw a craze for Pharrel Williams inspired music videos to the song ‘Happy’. So many resorts joined in and there were some great results which you can’t help but watch with a smile on your face – snow, ski, snowboarding, mountains and happy people dancing!
The spring sun began to shine and closing time for many resorts was drawing nearer. However the snow wasn’t giving in just yet and it continued to snow buckets. 74cm was due in Solden this week alone, 67 cm in Saas Fee, 58cm in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, 54 cm in Cervinia, 48cm in St Anton, 45cm in Verbier, 35cm in Chamonix, 32cm in Bansko, 28cm in Lake Louise, 28cm in Val d’Isere, 27cm in Tignes, the list goes on…
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"I was so impressed with the way Laura handled my initial call that as soon as I got home I decided to forget all of the other agents and companies and call her straight back and book the holiday. Thank you again Iglu for being so user friendly and more importantly thank you to Laura for being such an asset to your company and the sales profession."