FREERIDE WORLD TOUR: AN ATHLETE'S GUIDE TO VALLNORD-ARCALIS

 

ANDORRA: a cake-eaters dream. Make your Andorran experience a well rounded affair filled with Big Mountain lines, fine local wines and good vibes with the locals. NB. Leave room for dessert.

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WHERE TO STAY: HOTEL COMA, ORDINO

A 25 minute drive from Vallnord Arcallis, Ordino is a charming jewel of a village nestled at the base of the mountains.

This Hotel is most notable for two reasons:

  1. The Staff. The Hotel Coma Staff are the most accommodating, warm and generous people this side of hospitality.
  2. The Dessert Tables. There are five of them. You heard me correctly, FIVE DESSERT TABLES. Before you get into a sweaty, hyperglycaemic panic – don’t worry – they are mini-desserts so you can afford to try everything.

 

WHERE TO SKI

If you’re fancying sending it to the MOON like Yann Rausis here, it’s best to head to the big mountain terrain that the Freeride World Tour uses to host the tour. Grab your flower pots and your digging trowel because first up you’ll be hitting Smoothy’s Garden. Named for our mad countryman, Sam Smoothy after he sent a line so insane it’s rumoured to be one of the best FWT runs of all time. Check it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khkFvh53Ibc

Next up you’ll hit the Basser Negre Face where this picture is taken. Yann Rausis had his first ever FWT run here and backflipped his way in to third position.  Legendary stuff! If you’re not feeling so legendary yourself, make the most of the groomed pistes or hit the park, and if that all seems too hard, pop in for an existential crisis over a very strong coffee at the base of the resort. 

 

 

WHAT TO LOOK AT: ORDINO'S CHURCH

Whether you cross your chest on the daily or reserve your worship for the mountains, you must check out this marvelous Church:

Sant Corneli y Sant Cebria.

Give or take a few powder days, this Romanic church was built in 300AD, making it officially quite old.

You might be on a ski holiday, but take the time to drink in the rustic nature of Ordino, the buildings and the way of life there. It truly adds to the rich tapestry of your adventure.

 

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Andorra is a small principality located in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain.

What is a principality? Well for a start, it’s a fun word to say – but it’s also a sovereign country ruled by a monarch or a prince.

So who is the Prince of Andorra?

Actually, there’s two. Job-sharing is all the rage these days, and the Co-Princes splitting duties in Andorra happen to be

  • The Bishop of Urgell (Joan Enric Vives Sicília)
  • The President of France (Emmanuel Marcon)But Co-Princing in 2018 is quite demanding, so the Co-Princes have elected their own Co-Princes, who take care of Andorra quite well.

 

WHERE TO DRINK COFFEE: VALLNORD ARCALIS

If you overindulged in tax-free booze the night before, dust off the cobwebs with the ruthlessly strong coffee at the base of the mountain.

They say when the going gets tough, the tough get going, but I think you’ll find the tough get a strong cup of coffee to really kick it up a notch.

 

 

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