Ski resort towns all over the world become bike towns every summer. The Tour de France has a long history of going through some of France’s (and Andorra’s) ski resort villages big and small. Learn about these beautiful places in TdF Ski Areas by joining Outside+.
After an incredibly rainy finish in the ski resort town of Tignes last weekend, as well as two laps on Mont Ventoux during Stage 11, the Tour de France finally arrives in the rugged Pyrenees mountains this weekend. There are five total Tour stages in the mountains that form a natural border between France and Spain, followed by a trip to Paris.
On Sunday, July 11 cyclists on the Tour will leave France during Stage 15 and enter Andorra. This small country wedged in the Pyrenees between France and Spain is home to a key Freeride World Tour stop at the resort of Ordino Arcalìs, but the Tour de France will pass through a collection of ski villages that make up Andorra’s other most famous ski resort, Grandvalaria.
The collection of ski resorts under the Granvalaria resort includes Soldeu, which hosted a number of World Cup ski races over the past few decades. Most recently, Soldeu was the location of the 2019 Alpine Skiing World Cup finals and will host this event again in 2023.
The other “sectors” of the Grandvalria ski resort include Pas De Las Casa, Grau Roig, Encamp, Peretol, El Tarter, and Canillo. Stage 15 of the Tour de France will pass through all seven of these villages before ascending the Col de Beixalis—a category 1 hill climb—and then descend to the finish line in Andorre-La-Vieille.
Skiers interested in checking out Grandvilara would be best suited to fly into Barcelona or Toulouse and take a private bus line to the resort. Skiers can expect a full European resort experience at this large and modern collection of ski areas. Check out the ski resort’s website for more info on these buses.
Those who watched the 2019 World Cup finals likely noticed it can get hot and slushy in Andorra’s high country, but luckily the mountain has 65 percent of its terrain covered with snowmaking equipment, meaning that if it’s cold enough, there is always skiing to be had in the winter.
Grandvalira Ski Resort Quick Facts
- 210 kilometers (130 miles) of ski trails
- 127 designated pistes
- 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) of freeride terrain
- 3 terrain parks
- Night skiing available
- 3 designated World Cup runs