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Grandvalira is the name given to the ski area that encompases Emcamp at one end through to Pas de la Casa at the other and includes Canillo, El Tarter and Soldeu. The Grandvalira ski pass (4 days or more) not only covers over 220kms of marked piste between Pas de la Casa and Canillo but it now also covers the separate ski area of Arcalis (scroll down for Arcalis) 

The Skiing

The ski area is the largest in the Pyrenees with over 200kms of marked piste and 66 lifts connecting six resorts ranging from Encamp at 1300m to Pas de la Casa at 2100m. The ski area extends from 1700m up to 2640m and now rivals many of the traditional great Alpine resorts in terms of quality of skiing, ski lifts and ski schools.
 
Encamp is the prettiest unspoilt resort. The funival bubble lift which carries 16 persons at a time rises swiftly up from the centre of Encamp to Cortals at 2502m high above the main Soldeu / El Tarter ski area.
 
The bubble lift from Canillo rises 500m up to El Forn - a beautiful valley. A chairlift and drag tow serve an excellent nursery area - perfect for beginners and children. The Portella chairlift rises up to the summit of Portella at 2465m; from here there are a choice of runs back down to El Forn - Rossinyol - a delightful blue, Gaig an interesting black to the left of the chair as you ski down; alternatively there are a couple of freeride pistes that are marked but not patrolled or groomed which dive off the Rossinyol blue. From the summit the Daina blue run forms the link to the rest of the ski area. There is a north facing bowl designated as 'off piste' or 'free-ride' down to Riba Escorxada at 2100. Alternatively pick up the Llosada chairlift to Tosa de la Llousada at 2560m for a choice of runs.
 
From El Tarter at 1710m two lifts - a bubble lift and a high speed chair lift rise to Riba Escorxada at 2100. Here there are nursery areas, cafes, ski school, crèches. The 6 man chair up to Tosa de la Llousada opens up a number of runs  back down to Riba Escorxada. Llop is a steepish red which swings underneath the chair lift before joining the gentler Guineu blue run. There are two options to ski back to El Tarter - the picturesque Esquiel blue which follows the summer mountain road, or the north facing Aliga black which drops straight down the fallline. Back up to  Riba Escorxada the 6 man Espiolets chairlift opens up a number of north facing blacks; or take the quad Migdia chair and then the blue run - Gali de Bosc - half way down this run splits you can either bare left down to El Tarter or right down to Soldeu.
 
 

 

From Soldeu at 1800 m the 8 man bubble lift or 6 man express chairlift rises up to Espiolets at 2250m. A gentle ski through the nursery slopes opens then on to the Escola chairlift. From the top of the ridge this south facing bowl has some delightful reds and blue runs to keep everyone happy. The 6 man Solana chairlift then the 4 man Assaladors chair lift takes you back to the top of Tosa de la Llosada - either head back towards Portella and Canillo, or head back down the Obaga blue run to the 4 man Solamelles chairlift which goes up to the Col de les Solamelles at 2458m. From here there are some wide open meadow runs from 2150 up to Cortals at 2502m. From Cortals the Funival bubble lift descents over 1200m back to Encamp. But if you take the Colibril red or the Enlac blue over to the 4 man Llac del Cubil chair lift you access the glorious Grau Roig bowl.
 
Grau Roig is a fabulous bowl to play in - good amenities, great cafes, and a selection of blues, reds and blacks on north, east and south facing slopes. On the north facing side the Antenes, Riberal and Pic Blanc chairlifts not only access Pase de la Casa but also open up some steep reds and blacks. At either end of the north facing bowl are two lovely blue runs back down to Grau Roig. The Pic Blanc drag tow goes up to the highest point at 2650m. From here a delightful blue run - Portella swings round a quite almost hidden valley to then pop out back in to the Grau Roig bowl. But baring right from the top of the Pic Blanc drag tow opens up another freeride area. Back down at the bottom of Grau Roig, the Monnalus Chair is a must - one side a sunny red the other side a cold steep north facing black. The Cubii chairlift heads back towards Soldeu, but also opens up some lovely high mountain pasture skiing with a choice of 2 reds, a blue and 2 blacks back down to Grau Roig.
 
Pas de la Casa is accessed by nipping over the Col Blanc - 400 vertical metres below with a choice of blue, blacks and reds lies Pase de la Casa. A new chairlift up the left side of the valley opens up the Abelletes nursery area and also the stunning Coll des Isards chairlift which gives beginners a true understanding of what it is like to explore the mountain on skis and boards. The runs off the 6 man chair Font Negre are 'interesting' the red being a lovely carving run down while the black is surprisingly 'black'! The rest of the ski area is accessed by taking either the Font Negre , Pas de la Casa or the Costa Rodona Chairlifts up to the ridge and heading north.

The Grandvalira ski area is dotted with bars, mountain restaurants, freeride areas, parks for those who want air underneath their skis and boards, timed slalom runs, snow mobiling, snow buggies, crèches and ski schools.

 

Grandvalira from the air!

Arcalis

Situated at the head of the valley Arcalis is unique fabulous and fast becoming one of our favourite ski areas!

 

From the base station at 1940m chairlifts rise up on the left hand side to 2332m accessing some steeper pistes along with the FIS race course - though come right off the chair to some wide open blue runs than meander back down to the base station. The fast 6 man chairlift up to Les Portelles at 2552m opens up Arcalis' secret - ski down to Coma del Forat and jump on the Creussans 4 man chair - up to 2625m at Cota - this lift serves one freeride mountain - no pistes just suggestions of where to go - off piste freeride skiing at its best - lift served and patrolled! A new 10 person bubble lift 'Tristania' opened for the 2018/19 season offering quick and easy access to La Coma and the free ride area off The Creuss chairlift.

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