Overview of Pas de la Casa
Nestled close to the French border in north-east Andorra, Pas de la Casa has a lofty resort altitude of 2100m.
Those in the know refer to it as ‘Pas’ and it’s the most popular resort in the Grandvalira ski area, with a reputation for high-octane apres-ski and skiing available up to 2640m. This powdery, snow-sure playground is also car-free, which is fab for family groups, and conditions on- and off-piste are excellent right through to the end of the season in April.
There’s 210km of pistes in the wider Grandvalira area and a huge network of routes with plenty of blue and red runs for intermediates, a smattering of more challenging blacks for advanced skiers and three terrific snowparks that snowboarders and freestyle skiers love.
If you’re a value-focused snowsports enthusiast, lift passes are free for children aged five years and under and mature adults over 70 years at Pas de la Casa, while you’ll also find the equivalent to duty-free prices on everything from high-end electronics to ski equipment and designer couture.
There are cheap but quality cafes, bars and restaurants aplenty in Pas and the apres is second to none, so it’s perpetually popular with young skiers, but facilities and amenities in recent years have improved in order to provide it with a more rounded appeal to all sorts of skiers and snowboarders. Accommodation is comfy and practical, with easy access to the slopes and all the mod cons.
Off-slope activities here include husky dog sledding, snowmobiling and ice skating, while the principality’s capital Andorra La Vella is 28km away and you can drive there in 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. There are lots of historic buildings, statues and sculptures to see, as well as much more low-tax shopping ̶ bag a few bargain presents before you go home.
If your priorities are low-cost, high-altitude skiing combined with world-class apres-ski and retail therapy opportunities, a Pas de la Casa ski holiday ticks every box ̶ book your customised break with Erna Low and get ready to hit the slopes in Andorra!
Skiing in Pas de la Casa
The skiing in Pas de la Casa is high-altitude, snow-sure, excellent for beginner and intermediate skiers and there’s a measure of off piste and black runs for advanced skiers too. Here are some highlights:
There’s a highly-rated English-speaking ski school bang in the middle of Pas and it’s welcoming, inclusive and offers an excellent standard of instruction and customer service ̶ if you’re an absolute beginner on the slopes, you’re in great hands.
Pas is rare in that it offers gondola access to the beginner slopes, which makes getting to the slopes simple for novices and also that they’re more integrated with the regular pistes, so once you’ve found your feet there are wide blue runs nearby to progress to.
Intermediates are in skiing seventh heaven in Pas ̶ there’s a huge network of blue and red runs that range from fun and easy to a little more challenging and thrilling. If you’re happy with cruisy blues and rapid reds, this is the place to be.
If you’re an advanced skier, you’ll probably want to spend a little extra on a Grandvalira pass so that you can flex your muscles with some more challenging on- and off-piste escapades. The Llebre and Avet runs to Soldeu are bumpy but brilliant rides, there’s a fab floodlit snow park in the Peretol sector which freestylers love, and you’ll adore the off-piste at Grau Roig.
So it’s evident that Pas is just about perfect for intermediate skiers, there’s plenty of provision for intermediates and a few attractions for advanced skiers too. If you’re a mixed ability group, it goes without saying that you’ll have great fun!
Snowboarding in Pas de la Casa
Prefer snowboarding to skiing? Pas has plenty to recommend it to riders too and it’s particularly popular with novice or reasonably new enthusiasts. Here’s the lowdown on Pas hotspots for riders:
In the entire Grandvalira ski area, there are three terrain parks, two boardercross tracks, four off-piste trails you access via the piste groomer tow service, and one half-pipe. Pas is lift-linked to Grau Roig on the other side of the mountain, thus offering a huge network of intermediate runs, several beginner slopes and a handful of challenging black runs.
Because most snowboarders here tend to be starting out in the sport, fresh powder tends to lie undisturbed for days, which is great news if you’re a more experienced rider who loves off-piste action.
There are some good freeriding areas around Grau Roig, including several super powder fields around the top of the main black run. Furthermore, Pas has a good freestyle area for beginners, there’s a decent freestyle run at Grau Roig and the halfpipe is in the main park in nearby El Tarter.
Pas is perfect for beginner boarders, with nice novice areas within walking distance of the village which allow you to build your confidence quickly before moving on to slightly trickier runs.
To summarise, Pas is a good pick for novice and intermediate riders, but it’s also suitable for advanced riders looking for a long weekend with lots of unspoilt off-piste powder.
Snow Conditions in Pas de la Casa
With a resort height of 2050m and a highest lift at 2640m, Pas de la Casa is the highest resort in the Pyrenees and snow conditions tend to be terrific. Here are a few facts about historical snowfall in Pas:
The first week of February is usually the snowiest of the season in Pas, with 3.6 days of snowfall in total and 32cm of snowfall. The average snow depth at the top of the ski area in February is 156cm and 99cm at the bottom.
In November/December, there are usually a couple of days of snowfall per week, with light winds and little chance of lifts being closed. In December, the average snow depth is 38cm at the sop of the ski area and 19cm at the bottom.
In the wider area there are 1008 snow cannons, providing cover for 78km of runs if necessary.
For high-altitude, snow-reliable ski holidays, Pas delivers during most of the season and on those rare occasions when mother nature underdelivers, there’s sufficient snow-making capacity to make sure nothing can spoil the party.
Apres Ski in Pas de la Casa
Do you take your partying as seriously as your skiing and snowboarding?
If you’re nodding your head, you’ll love the apres-ski ambience in Pas, because this Pyrenees pleasure zone can compete with anywhere in the world when it comes to letting your hair down.
Here are a few not-to-be-missed nightspots in Pas de la Casa:
Fancy Balearic beats and mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine? Don’t miss Costa Rodona on the slopes at the bottom of the resort, where you can ease back on the sun-kissed terrace on a comfy hammock or sofa and soak up preternaturally beautiful Pyrenees views to a sublime soundtrack from hotshot inhouse DJs.
Underground Bar & Grill is located behind the main lift in Pas de la Casa and it’s probably the best place to go for wholesome, satisfying food washed down with fresh beer. Carnivores are satisfied with burgers, ribs, chicken and steaks grilled on an open fire in authentic BBQ style and there’s big screen sports screening major rugby and football fixtures throughout the season.
The only place which might beat Underground Bar & Grill for rib enthusiasts is Milwaukee Bar on Career Bearn, which hosts a famous Rib Shack evening that’s always packed, plus with more big screens than you can shake your ski stick at it’s always a bustling venue for major sports events. When you want to relax with mates in an amicable atmos, this is a top pick.
Paddy’s Bar is a bit of an institution in Pas and it hosts live music every night, screens most top footy fixtures and serves sumptuous bar food. If you’re after an authentic pub experience with lashings of Celtic craic, this brilliant bar near the TFS4 Solana lift is the place to be!
Want to dine and dance the night away in a venue that looks like a leftover set from a retro-futuristic space opera? Coll Blanc is situated right at the top of the TSD6 lift and this flying saucer shaped venue serves fine food during the day and bouncing club nights in the evening, where DJs on the decks get everyone throwing outrageous shapes on the terrace and beyond.
Another awesome place to boogie away until the wee small hours is Billbord nightclub close to the slopes near the TSF4 Solana lift, on Career Bearn. This is one of the biggest and best organised clubs in pas and hosts superb club nights like Hed Kandi, with a mixed crowd including full-on ravers who rarely leave the dancefloor and glam guests who never venture far from the champagne-fuelled VIP area.
For a session with a certain je ne sais quoi, don’t miss the Ice Igloo bar, which is part of the hotel carved from solid ice here every season. Surprisingly, you’ll be cosy inside, and sipping a warming vin chaud while admiring the stunning ice carvings is always an amazing experience.
As the name suggests, The Red Lion is a typical British-style boozer that’s always packed when there’s a big sports match on and with super-cheap beer, spirits and mixers available during happy hour from 8pm-10pm Sunday to Friday, patrons are usually very well refreshed.
Facilities in Pas de la Casa
Pas de la Casa has all the fantastic facilities and amenities you’d expect from a modern ski resort and there’s plenty to keep you entertained on and off the slopes.
Ski Hire in Pas de la Casa
You won’t struggle to find ski hire providers in Pas, but for a hassle-free experience, why not let Erna Low sort out your gear for you? With excellent connections, we can find the best quality equipment at competitive prices for every member of your party and conveniently roll it into your ski package break.
Ski Passes in Pas de la Casa
If you want your ski passes for Pas de la Casa pre-booked to save time and trouble, contact Erna Low and we’re happy to make all of the arrangements. We can often source superb deals for families, children and large groups too, so it’s always worth checking with us!
Spa & Pool in Pas de la Casa
With all your on- and off-slope exertions, you’ll need some downtime for recharging your batteries and there are several hotel spas and sports venues to choose from in Grandvalira. There’s a leisure centre with pool and gym in the Pas village centre, and the Caldea Spa offers various high-end treatments, such as Thai massage, Hindu foot massage and Ayurvedic facial. Meanwhile, hotels which have spa facilities onsite include Font d’Argent and Hotel Sporting.
Shops in Pas de la Casa
Pas is a stone’s throw from the French border and its duty-free shopping is a major attraction. In the resort itself you can pick up electronic goods, perfumes, jewellery, cosmetics, spirits and designer label couture. If this doesn’t slake your retail thirst, capital La Vella is only a half hour’s drive away and it’s a shopper’s paradise.
Facilities for Children in Pas de la Casa
Pas has a reputation for partying, but it's also well set up for families, with a fab ski school and lots of off-slope entertainment.
Ski Schools in Pas de la Casa
The Pas de la Casa Ski & Snowboard School is the official institution run by resort authorities and it has an exceptional reputation. It accepts kids aged 6 and upwards as well as novice adults for lessons, which are in English and in group or private. The school also has a snow garden nursery, which caters for children as young as three and has an indoor and outdoor area.
Children’s Entertainment in Pas de la Casa
Alternative children’s activities in Pas include husky dog sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling, while nearby La Vella has another sports centre with an ice rink and indoor pool.
Childcare in Pas de la Casa
As well as the snow garden operated by the official ski school in Pas, there’s a nursery at neighbouring Grau Roig that accepts children as young as one year old, and there are also nurseries in Soldeu, El Tartar and Canillo. If you’re travelling with kids in tow and fancy a rare date night or free day on the slopes, you can take off with your partner with perfect peace of mind.