Arcalis is a unique gem of a ski resort, nestled at the end of the Ordino valley, away from any hotels. This means it is much quieter than the other resorts of Andorra, and combined with the higher altitude it makes for usually the best snow conditions in the country, so well worth a visit.
Now part of Grandvalira Resorts, skiing in Arcalis is included with all Grandvalira lift passes, or you can purchase a lift pass just for Arcalis at the ticket windows.
If you are a beginner skier or snowboarder, don't be fooled into thinking that just because you have to travel to get there it's going to be too challenging for you to enjoy. Arcalis is infact home to the Mega Verde - an 8km green run which winds gently from the top of the resort to the very bottom. Although a little narrow and flat in places, it's great to have a nice long run to build your confidence on. You'll also find some great places to stop and explore on the way down, like the hidden ice cave and the giant 'O' metal sculpture - which is a great photo opportunity. Once your confidence builds, there are plenty of places where you can join a slightly harder run on the way down, and then re-join the green if needed.
If you are confident on the slopes then you can either head to the left-hand bowl and sample the nice, wide blues and reds or tackle the slightly steeper options over on the right-hand side. Even though there is technically only 30km of piste there are a number of different combinations you can enjoy - plenty to keep you entertained.
In Arcalis there are two Freeride areas. These are basically controlled off-piste areas and are great for people that are wanting to explore un-pisted runs for the first time. One (accessible by the Els Feixans drag lift) is specifically designed for learners, it's a small area that allows you to get the feeling for being off-piste. The other (via the Creussans chairlift) is a more expansive run that takes you extremely close to the France/Andorra border. They are both clearly marked on the piste map further down the page.
For any advanced skiers or borders then it really is a paradise, there are limitless areas to be explored and it's definitely worth hiring a guide to make the most out of your time. You'll soon realise why it's home to one of the Men's Freeride World Tour stages. Due to the altitude of the resort, the snow conditions are really dependable.
From anywhere in Andorra, Arcalis offer a free minibus shuttle service to collect you from your accommodation, returning you at the end of the day. This should be booked via your accommodation reception 48 hours in advance. There are limited spaces and during peak season times this service can get booked up extremely quickly. Once fully-booked neither Andorra Resorts or Ordino-Arcalis can be held responsible for alternative travel to the resort.
You can access the resort via public transport, but this requires taking two buses per journey, and there is only one service per day. Spaces are very limited.
There are plenty of car parking options at the resort (free of charge) if you have a hire car, but due to the nature of the resort you will need to be prepared and comfortable to potentially drive in adverse weather conditions.
Over the last few years, the station of Ordino-Arcalis have really invested time and money into the whole resort - meaning there are many different offerings for you to take a rest from the slopes.
Here is the Arcalis piste map showing you the ski slopes and lifts of Ordino-Arcalis.