Overview of El Tarter
Located in the heart of Andorra’s Grandvalira Ski Area and closely linked to its sister resort Soldeu, El Tarter is ideal for novice skiers and snowboarders as well as mixed ability groups and families.
There’s a vast 210km skiable area full of crisp, fresh powder to explore in this Pyrenees snowsports haven, with a wonderful network of blue and red runs for intermediate skiers and riders, a few challenging black pistes for experts and freestyle areas that snowboarders and fun-loving skiers can’t get enough of. Snowpark El Tarter is the largest in Andorra, at 1.3km in length, and there are lots of dedicated kids circuits and a fun piste (the Bababoom Circus) that will help your young ones embrace the joy of snowsports in a safe environment. The official ski school here is English-speaking, very reputable and caters for kids aged three and upwards.
The ski season in El Tarter runs from December through to April, with optimal conditions in February and March. Snow retention is terrific in this high-altitude resort set at 1710m above sea level, but there’s also an armoury of snow cannons available to top up natural cover if necessary.
Accommodation here is excellent value for money, with a good choice of comfortable and conveniently located apartments and hotels. El Tarter is a little quieter than some neighbouring Grandvalira ski resorts, but there’s still an ambient apres-ski scene with a few busy bars, not to mention quality cafes and restaurants serving a range of cuisine.
An aesthetically pleasing ski village comprising a clutch of rustic stone buildings gathered around the main road, the hospitality in El Tarter is warm and welcoming and there’s an awesome laid-back ambience. Off the slopes, you can sample cathartic pools and spas, or treat yourself to a massage or beauty session, while alternative off-slope activities include snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
When you want to experience a winter wonderland without paying extortionate prices, El Tarter ticks every box and no one’s better placed than Erna Low to help you create the perfect customised ski break in this phenomenal Andorra ski resort!
Skiing in El Tarter
El Tarter is a top Pyrenees ski resort for beginners and families, but the skiing here suits mixed ability groups too. Here’s some top tips on what to expect:
The centre of El Tarter surrounds the main chair lift and gondola, meaning that accessing the pistes is child’s play.
There are ample beginner’s and nursery slopes, bountiful cruisy blue pistes, several terrific tree-lined red runs and some challenging black pistes, so it’s ideal for beginners and intermediates, but there’s something to satisfy everyone.
The resort altitude is 1710m, but most of the skiable area is higher, at 2100m and above at the Riba Escorxada sector and up to a lofty 2465m in Tosa dels Espiolets. You’ll find some cracking off-piste in both of these sectors and at Tossal de le Llosada there are several exciting black runs and some more outstanding off-piste powder.
There are several beginner’s slopes at Tosa dels Espiolets, which are easy for novices to access via the lift system and it’s much more pleasant to ski up here than being stuck at the bottom of the regular slopes, which is often the case in rival resorts.
Soldeu is a swift chairlift away and from there you can sample the delights of the varied runs around Grau Roig and Pas de la Casa.
The Telecabina El Tarter provides easy access to the expansive central beginners area and this is also where the ski school is situated. You’ll also find the Bababoom Circus here, an accessible and fun slope for kids with lots of enjoyable obstacles and games.
As you can see, El Tarter is the perfect spot for a first-time family ski holiday or a winter break with a mixed ability group. It’s compact, manageable, has comfy accommodation, fab facilities and superb scenery ̶ what more could you want?
Snowboarding in El Tarter
Thanks to its first-class snow park, El Tarter is the hotspot of the Pyrenees for snowboarders, so if you’re heading here to carve up the slopes, you’ll have the time of your life. Here’s the lowdown on El Tarter for riders:
In El Tarter and across at Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig, there are a range of blue runs that are ideal for riders practicing turns and building confidence, plus there are lots of lovely red forest runs where you can whizz through the trees.
It’s always safer to hire a local guide, but you can also find some great off-piste areas to explore if you’re a more advanced and adventurous rider. Plus, because El Tarter mainly attracts novices, fresh dumps of pow are often left alone for days without being tracked out.
El Tarter snow park is widely regarded as the best in the Pyrenees and was one of the trailblazing facilities for riders in the Iberian Peninsula. At 1.3km long, there’s plenty of space to explore and the modules here are some of the most varied and expansive anywhere, with lines for all abilities peppered with rails, boxes and kickers galore.
Throughout the year, Snowpark El Tarter hosts popular freestyle camps, amateur snowboarding contests and high-profile pro meetings like the Grandvalira Total Flight, where you’ll see some of the best riders and skiers in the world tackle gnarly obstacles and perform breath-taking tricks and routines. Thanks to its top-notch snow park, varied pistes and great off-piste powder, El Tarter is a hidden gem for snowboarders.
Snow Conditions in El Tarter
With a decent resort height of 1710m and a skiable area at 2100m and above, in addition to a prime position in the Pyrenees, snow conditions in El Tarter are terrific for most of the season. Here are a few facts on the typical conditions:
In recent years, February, March and April have been particularly snow-sure in El Tarter. In February, the average snow depth at the top of the slopes has been 137cm and 87cm at the bottom, in March the average at the top has been 157cm and 93cm at the bottom, while the average figure for April has been 156cm at the top and 74cm at the foot. January was also very snowy in the most recent season, with an impressive 160cm reported at the peak.
The snowiest week in El Tarter is usually the first week of February, with 31cm of snowfall and 3.8 days of snowfall.
There are 1032 snow cannons in the wider area, meaning that 65% of the slopes have snow-making capacity should natural snowfall need topped up on occasion.
If you’ve been yearning for a snow-sure resort where there’s fresh powder right through to the end of the season, El Tarter will exceed your expectations!
Apres-ski in El Tarter
For a reasonably small ski resort, there are plenty of places to let your hair down in El Tarter. Here are a few hotspots you shouldn’t miss:
Diamond CBbc is run by Ibiza club gurus Cala Bassa Beach Club and it’s a cool place to hang out if you like fancy cocktails, ambient lighting, comfy couches and funky tunes spun by the resident DJs.
The aptly-named Red Chillout is a great place to unwind all the way, with chalet-style décor, comfy chairs and even hammocks to hang out on. Sumptuous snacks are served here through the day and the soirees are all about relaxed tunes and tasty cocktails.
A visit to L’Abarset is almost mandatory if you’re visiting El Tarter. This massive open-air club and bar is open from the afternoon if you like to start partying early, and there’s a vast range of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails on offer which aren’t the cheapest but are high quality and volumes are generous. Meanwhile, if you love champers and are looking for an exclusive night, there’s a VIP Veuve Clicquot section where you can enjoy you bubbly in your own social bubble. The partying goes on until the wee small hours and the pub even serves full monty breakfasts to soak up that hangover in the morning!
Dylan’s is a hip cocktail bar that’s welcoming, inclusive and doubles as a popular underground club in the evening. There’s a video jukebox to spin your favourite tunes while you relax and play pool, and DJs and live music at weekends.
Vintage by Arthurs is a later-night venue hosted in a lovely stone built converted barn. With DJs, Live music and more, this is a great place to mix with locals and visitors alike.
It’s evident that there’s plenty of apres-ski action in El Tarter, so you’ll never be bored on a big night out.
Facilities in El Tarter
Amenities and facilities in El Tarter and across Grandvalira have improved year on year and now you can expect a smooth experience from the moment you arrive until you leave wondering when you’ll be able to come back again. Naturally, book your El Tarter ski break with Erna Low and all your arrangements will be seamless!
Ski Hire in El Tarter
Hiring ski equipment in El Tarter which perfectly suits your style and ability is key to you making the most of your holiday here ̶ but sorting out your own ski hire is a hassle you could ideally do without. So let Erna Low take the weight from your shoulders by organising your ski hire for you ̶ with our resort connections we can find great deals on quality gear and arrange pickup close to your accommodation. Please contact us if you would like ski hire included in your El Tarter ski package.
Ski Passes in El Tarter
You can also count on Erna Low to arrange your El Tarter ski passes or Grandvalira ski passes. If you’re novice or intermediate skiers or snowboarders, you’ll likely be satisfied with the former option, but if you have advanced enthusiasts in your group, a Grandvalira pass opens up the entire 210km skiable area to explore. We can often find great deals on family, child and group ski passes in El Tarter, so please talk to us if you would like this component conveniently included in your El Tarter ski holiday package.
Spa & Pool in El Tarter
The Sport Wellness Spa in nearby Soldeu is part of the Sports Hotel complex, but it’s open to non-residents and well worth a visit. Here you’ll find a soothing hydromassage pool, jacuzzi, hammam steam room, saunas, gym and a huge range of beauty and wellness treatments that leave you feeling completely refreshed and pampered.
Shops in El Tarter
There are a few sports shops and one small supermarket in El Tarter, but there’s also a large duty-free store half a mile down the road towards Canillo. However, if you rally want to splash out, capital Andorra la Vella is just 40 minutes away via bus or taxi and you’ll find everything from designer labels to high-end electronics at bargain prices.
Facilities for Children in El Tarter
El Tarter is a safe and serene environment for families with kids, with all the facilities they need to stay totally entertained for the duration.
Ski Schools in El Tarter
The official Soldeu & El Tarter Ski School provides expert ski and snowboard instruction for children and adult novices in English and several other languages.
As well as traditional downhill skiing, skilled instructors can help you brush up on snowboarding, Alpine skiing, and adapted skiing for guests with restricted mobility. The snow garden at the ski school accepts kids as young as three years old.
Children’s Entertainment in El Tarter
As well as snowshoeing and dog sledding, there’s a range of activities for kids across Grandvalira, including skating at the Ice Palace and swimming at the Palau de Gel at Canillo.
Childcare in El Tarter
The kindergarten at El Tarter accepts children aged 24 months+, but the Grau Roig kindergarten caters for kids aged 12-24 months.