Grandvalira Resorts welcome 407,000 skiers during the Christmas holidays
The Andorran domains see numbers similar to last season, with 298,000 visitors in Grandvalira, 73,000 in Pal Arinsal and 36,000 in Ordino Arcalís
Despite the lack of heavy snowfall, the Principality’s resorts had the best conditions in the Pyrenees, with 109 skiable km in Grandvalira and more than 85% of slopes open in Pal Arinsal and 80% open in Ordino Arcalís
The Christmas events, activities and musical concerts were a huge success, nearly at full occupancy
The Grandvalira Resorts ended the Christmas holidays satisfied with the number of visitors received. Specifically, between 19 December and 8 January, a total of 407,000 skiers came to Grandvalira, Pal Arinsal and Ordino Arcalís, a similar number — though slightly less — than for the same dates last year. Andorra has once again shown itself to be one of the main destinations chosen to spend the Christmas holidays, and is heading into the upcoming weeks with good numbers of visitors expected, mainly from international markets.
Good influx of skiers
Grandvalira Resorts positively assesses the Christmas period, between 19 December and 8 January, during which it welcomed a total of 407,000 skiers across its various resorts, a similar number — though 3% lower — than last year, when there were 420,000 skiers. In this sense, it is notable that during the first two weeks of the holidays, the Andorran resorts saw slightly higher numbers on its slopes than last winter, while in the last week — which was the first week of January — there was a slight decline. Grandvalira was the resort that welcomed the most skiers during the holidays, with 298,000 visitors, followed by Pal Arinsal, which welcomed 73,000, a slight decline from last year, offset by the increase in average customer spending which saw notable growth. Meanwhile, Ordino Arcalís welcomed 36,000 skiers over Christmas, and for the entire season thus far has seen a 60% increase in visitors compared to a year ago, due to the good conditions at the resort and the closures it experienced at the beginning of last winter.
The daily average of skiers on the slopes during this time was 19,380, with the largest number occurring on 28 December with 32,234 people: 24,168 at Grandvalira, 5,509 at Pal Arinsal and 2,566 at Ordino Arcalís. Grandvalira Resorts General Manager, Juan Ramon Moreno, noted that “the forecasts for the rest of January and the season in terms of bookings are very good, so we except to continue receiving a similar number of skiers as last year, which was exceptional”.
Meanwhile, despite the lack of snowfall and overall high temperatures in the Pyrenees and most of Europe during December, the Principality's domains kept a large number of slopes open. In this sense, the snow guarantee of the Andorran resorts and the exceptional work of the ground crews enabled Grandvalira to have between 109 and 132 skiable kilometres with snow cover of up to 35 centimetres over the Christmas period, making it the resort with the most kilometres available in the entire Iberian Peninsula. Pal Arinsal has kept over 85% of its slopes open at all times, with up to 40 cm of snow cover, and Ordino Arcalís has kept more than 80% of slopes open with up to 55 cm of snow cover. Thanks to these figures, the Andorran resorts were once again able to offer the best conditions in all of the Pyrenees.
Heading into the coming weeks, the weather forecasts predict snowfalls and a drop in high temperatures, especially on 15 and 16 January. Moreno stated that “the conditions have already improved during the first week of January, with some light snowfall and low temperatures that have allowed for some snowmaking”.
Christmas activities and L’Abarset musical concerts were a success
The traditional Christmas activities were very well received among the visitors to the three resorts, including visits from Santa Claus to the different Snow Gardens in Grandvalira and Ordino Arcalís, as well as the Cagatió and the visit of the Royal Page to Pal Arinsal. The star events were the torchlight descents in Pas de la Casa, which had more than a thousand spectators, as well as the torchlight descent in Soldeu and the beacon descent in Soldeu, with more than 200 participants in each one in addition to the attending public. The latter also served as a backdrop for resuming the campaign to promote Andorra as a candidate to host the Alpine Ski World Championships in 2029 with a great spectacle of LED lights.
Dining establishments and ski schools were operating at nearly 100%, and the Grandvalira Resorts activities were also at almost full capacity. These include, at Grandvalira, the mushing, the snowmobiles, the Mon(t) Magic Family Park in Canillo, and night skiing in Pas de la Casa. Pal Arinsal's activities for young kids were very well received, especially the sledge track, the tubing, and the Big Airbag. In Ordino Arcalís, activities included guided snowshoeing outings in Port del Rat and at the Mirador Solar de Tristaina lookout point.
L’Abarset, meanwhile, enjoyed a great après-ski vibe every day with DJs and parties filling the venue. The most popular days were 30 December with the first edition of the Greenworld Festival in Grandvalira, 31 December with Viviana Casanova, and 6 January with the second edition of Brunch In The Snow. Those three days alone had around 4,300 people attending.
About Grandvalira Resorts
Grandvalira Resorts Andorra brings together all the ski resorts in Andorra in the largest and most modern ski area in the Pyrenees and one of the most extensive in Europe, with a total of 303 km of slopes. The best of Ordino Arcalís, Pal Arinsal and Grandvalira in a single ski pass, giving access to a total of 123 ski lifts, with the longest ski season and a summer full of activities, sport and nature.