Seeing as Andorra is well known for the quality of its ski schools, we thought we’d put together some frequently asked questions about group lessons and why they are a great addition to your holiday. Ski school can be about so much more than improving your technique, it’s about having the confidence to explore the mountain and get the most out of your holiday time whilst meeting a group of people the same ability as you.
Isn’t ski school just for beginners?
Absolutely not, when confronted with this question I always explain that even Olympic athlete’s need constant coaching. There is so much to be gained from ski school, from breaking bad habits to something so simple as understand technique a bit better. Especially if you are new to the domain, an intermediate group will head straight up the mountain and your instructor will know exactly the spots to head to. Instructors love having intermediate groups as they can really explore advanced techniques and push you to the limits of your ability.
Will I get any free time?
Ski school doesn’t have to be for the full week, with both Grandvalira and Vallnord ski areas offering ski school from 3 to 5 days through Andorra you can choose a duration that suits you the best. If you’d like to have some free time at the end of the week, then why not choose a shorter duration so you still get the tuition to find your ski feet again but then have plenty of time to go off on your own and explore. Remember, you can check with your instructor at the start of the week of any ‘must ski’ slopes as they will know the domain and conditions better than anyone else.
Are mornings or afternoons better?
That’s completely down to personal preference as they both have good qualities. With morning lessons, you’ll generally find the snow in it’s optimum condition for the day and it also allows you to have the afternoons free to do as you wish, whether that’s a long and leisurely lunch, more time on the mountain or a cheeky trip to the spa. Morning lessons tend to mean an early alarm clock though, as getting your gear on and heading up to the lesson take time.
With afternoon lessons it means that you take the rush and stress out of the day, you are on holiday after all! A later start will allow you to have a longer lie-in in the morning, which is great if you have smaller children or enjoy partaking in après ski activities. We speak to many visitors who love afternoon groups because it avoids the morning rush of getting everyone in the family up on the slopes first thing.
In Arinsal, when booking lessons, you can choose AM or PM lessons to suit your needs (5 days only, 3 and 4 days options are PM only), in Grandvalira, new for this year, AM or PM lessons are allocated on time of booking (previously it has been first come, first serve on the first morning).
Will my instructor speak English?
Yes, if you select the language option as English on any of our booking sites you will get an English speaking instructor. In Arinsal, Soldeu and El Tarter , they all have British sides to their ski schools where most of the instructors are native English speaking and they also have a very strong understanding of the British market. When booking lessons, it’s important to know that some companies offer options for other durations or timetables, but these may be international classes. This means it will be a mixed language group and a multi-lingual instructor. If you want to be sure, you can always get in-touch with one of our team here and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.
Is a lift pass or ski equipment included in lessons?
No, you have to buy an appropriate lift pass and hire equipment seperately to the lessons. We offer various special offers and pre-booking discounts, so it’s well worth seeing what options you have available. Any discounts get automatically added to your basket on our online shops.
What’s the maximum group size?
You’ll find that most group lessons have around 12 people in, although this can be less during the quieter weeks of the season. At the beginning of the week, some instructors combine groups on the first morning, so they are able to split the group most accurately due to their ability. It’s a lot easier to determine this in the first morning, than trying to shift people round later in the week.
What’s the youngest that children can join in for group ski school?
In Grandvalira (Pas de la Casa, Grau Roig, Soldeu, El Tarter, Canillo & Encamp), the minimum age for group ski lessons is 6 years old. In Arinsal, they offer lessons for anyone over 4 and above. If your children want to snowboard then it’s from age 12+ in Grandvalira or from age 10+ in Arinsal. For more information on what your little ones can enjoy, check out the pages here for Arinsal, Soldeu or Pas de la Casa.
What happens if I’m late?
It’s really important that you arrive on time for ski school. On the first day, we ask that you arrive 30 mins before your lesson is scheduled to start so that you can be completely ready to get the most out of your tuition, for following days please arrive at the meeting point 10 mins before the scheduled start time. If you are late, it can not only impact the group but if the group has departed you may not be able to join with them meaning you missing the lesson completely. If you are late for morning lessons on your first day, you might be re-allocated into afternoon lessons.
Can I skip a day?
Ski school has to be consecutive days because of the progression and learning of the group, it you’d prefer not to do ski school every day, then it’s better to choose one of our lower duration options.
Can I start a day late?
If you are a beginner then unfortunately it’s not possible to join group lessons on day two, because the progression of the group (even after one day) will be too much to catch up on. If you are an intermediate skier, then you may be able to, but it has to be agreed by the ski school as it’s very logistically different to slot someone in. You would need to book the lessons starting from day one to reserve your space as well. If arriving for the first day isn’t a possibility, always get in touch and we will assist you as much as possible and look at all the options available.