Ski info


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The local ski area consists of 12 resorts within a short easy drive of each other. The nearest ski station  is only 10 to 15 minutes by car from all three properties.

Information on the regions ski stations can be seen here :
www.neigescatalanes.com
 
www.masella.com
www.lamolina.com

Preferential rates for equipment hire. 

There are 385km of pistes between 1500 and 2700m, which can be skied on one lift pass for the week, or buy your pass each day at the station of your choice. Prices are considerably lower than the Alps, and apart from the French school holidays, you can ski for a whole day without queuing for a lift!

One of the joys of skiing this region is the opportunity to experience the unique character of each ski station. Ski runs range from wide-open snowfields and couloirs at Porte Puymorens, (excellent for off piste & snowboarding), to the sheltered tree-lined runs at Eyne and St. Pierre (collectively known as L’espace Cambre d’Aze & skied on the same lift pass) Lovely for beginners, but also some challenging runs for more advanced skiers.

Puigmal, at 2700 has a combination of the above and some challenging off-piste & moguls. It now boasts the highest runs in the whole of the Pyrenees, with stunning views to the Montserrat mountain range near Barcelona. The Fashionable resort of Font-Romeu, which is linked on the same lift pass with Pyrenees 2000, offers good facilities for small children and has a good choice of English speaking monitors. Les Angles, the largest resort has longer, more extensive runs, and stays open latest in the year. Also very pretty and less crowded during high season, are the attractive resorts of Formiguères and Puyvalador. For complete beginners the quaint little station of La Quillane on the way to Les Angles is ideal.  

The Spanish resorts of La Molina & Masella combine to offer extensive ski slopes for all abilities.

All resorts have made a big investment in snow canons ensuring a continuity of skiing (in “normal” years) from Christmas to Easter. They all have ski hire and ski schools and cater for all levels of skier, offering special game orientated ski activities for very young children and crèche facilities. 

Apart from downhill skiing, there are 200km of cross-country skiing notably at La Calme near Font-Romeu) and L’Espace Nordique du Capcir near Les Angles.  Also guided ski-touring, racket walks for all ages and snowboarding. Other winter activities & après ski include several indoor ice-skating rinks &  swimming pools, bowling, horse-drawn sleigh rides and three out-door thermal spas.

All three of our properties are situated in more traditional villages settings, away from the busier ski resorts and have charming après-ski ambience, (log fires and views to snow covered mountain ranges), whilst offering all  necessary comforts (electric heaters throughout, dishwashers, washing machines, ski locker, etc.)

“Le Chardon de Soleil” is particularly suitable for families or groups of friends wishing to share a winter holiday together.  Spacious with panoramic views.

“La Fougère” is ideal for couples and smaller groups. A perfect mountain retreat, with panaoramic views from the balcony.

“Al Cortal” also ideal for couples and small families, is a pretty stone clad apartment leading out onto a charming terrace and private garden. Ideal for taking the sun and BBQs even during the ski season, thanks to the exceptional micro - climate of the region.

In order that you get the most out of your ski holiday, please do not hesitate to ask for any further assistance or advice either before or during your stay.

Frequently Asked Questions

1: Do the ski stations in the region cater for beginners?

2: Where can we hire skis and boots?

3: How do we book lessons?

4: Do any of the ski instructors speak English?

5: What are the ski stations like for snowboarding?

6: Where can we buy ski passes and what are the options?

7: Do any of the ski stations cater for very small children?

8: Can we buy ski equipment & clothing once we are here?

9: When are the quietest times to ski?

10: How would you describe the different ski resorts?

11: Are the ski resorts equipped with snow cannons?

12: Do we need to buy chains for our car?

13: How clear are the roads for getting to the ski stations?

14: Do the ski stations have bars & restaurants for lunchtime eating?

15: Are there special events laid on in the evenings in the ski resorts?

16: What other leisure activities could we do if we should want time off from skiing?

17: How far is the nearest ski station?

18: Some of us are not downhill skiers in our group but would like to get out into the mountains what other possibilities are there?

19: We are coming at Christmas. Where can we go to enjoy some Christmas atmosphere?

20: We are coming with a baby/very small child and would like to spend time skiing ourselves. Is there a crèche in the area?

1: Do the ski stations in the region cater for beginners?
A: All ski stations have beginner slopes that are either free to use or require a reduced rate lift pass. If you are booking ski lessons just make sure that you explain clearly your level of skiing. The small ski station 'La Quillane' near La Llagonne caters mainly for beginners.
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2: Where can we hire skis and boots?
A: There is a wealth of choice of ski & boot hire shops particularly in and around the ski resorts of Font-Romeu, Pyrenees 2000 & Les Angles; Also Llivia & Puigcerda in Spain. All the other ski stations have a few hire shops near the pistes. You can hire skis of all levels, for one day to a weeks' use. Also surf boards, raquettes and cross-country skis are available. You will probably be asked for a deposit, especially for the more high performance skis, and proof of identity.
We have arranged preferential rates for equipment hire and lift passes on presentation of your Confirmation Invoice.
If you already know the equipment you want to hire, you can obtain the same discount online here http://www.skiset.com/index.en.html (choose Font Romeu as the resort)
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3: How do we book lessons?
A: There are ESF or ESI offices situated near the pistes in all the ski stations, where you can book a lesson for the level of skiing that you require. You can book either for a group lesson, which can be fun and is certainly the cheapest option, or for an individual lesson. During the high seasons you would be wise to book in advance (especially New Year week or February 'zone A' when our local schools are on half term). Whilst we are unable to book lessons on your behalf, we can give you the ski school telephone numbers in a particular resort on request, or you can book online at http://www.esf.net/index2.cfm?lg=a (only for resorts:- Font Romeu, Les Angles and Pyrenees 2000)
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4: Do any of the ski instructors speak English?
A: Though the most popular second language spoken in this region is Catalan or Spanish, most instructors speak more or less good English. When booking be sure to find out which monitor speaks the best English, there are usually one or two who are particularly good.
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5: What are the ski stations like for snowboarding?
A: You can snowboard in all the resorts though some are more suitable. Puigmal & Porté Puymorrens are particularly good as they have wide, open spaces, a lot of off-piste and challenging 'snow parks'. On other pistes and in lift queues you will be tolerated but not welcomed, unless you are really skilled! You can book lessons in all ski stations and there will be many instructors to choose from. If you have never surfed before, Graham advises having a go particularly after a really good snowfall. If you think the early days of skiing involves a lot of falling, try snow boarding! 
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6: Where can we buy ski passes and what are the options?
A: You buy your lift passes near the pistes in all resorts. You have the option of half day, full day, up to a week. You can also buy a pass that will cover all 10 resorts in the region, though this doesn't always work out a lot cheaper. There is a high season price during the periods of Christmas, New Year and the French February half terms, and a low season price for December until Christmas, January most of March, and April until the ski stations close. Lift passes are considerably cheaper than those in the Alpes in all the resorts, and the smaller ski stations particularly good value. 
When you buy your lift pass you can add the insurance option, if you do not already have insurance that covers you.
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7: Do any of the ski stations cater for very small children?
A: It is quite common for children in this region to start skiing as soon as they start to learn to walk! Small children can either learn with their parents, or with a ski instructor on the 'baby slopes' Most ski stations provide a 'jardin de neige' for 3 to 6 year olds where children are given an introduction to skiing in a fun way (ducking under blow up arches and poles, following a course around colourful cones etc). Another strong favourite with small children is tobogganing. You will find specially designated 'éspace luges' in the ski resorts. (eg. Eyne/Espace Cambre d'Aze & Puigmal.)
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8: Can we buy ski equipment & clothing once we are here?
A: The largest choice of ski equipment and clothing can be found in the larger ski resorts and in particular Font-Romeu. Also in Puigcerda & Llivia just over the border in Spain. Best bargains can be found in Pas de Casa in Andorra, local large supermarkets, and March/ April sales. For a good choice at affordable prices it is hard to beat Decathlon in Perpignan or Foix.
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9: When are the quietest times to ski?
A: The Pyrenees are notably quieter to ski than most of the Alps, with much shorter lift queues. Quietest times are December to Christmas, January, March & April. One of the busiest weeks of the year is that of New Year, as it is also popular with the Spanish who come up from Barcelona. During February school half term France operates a system of three ski holiday zones which rotate on a yearly basis. Zone A, the local zone, includes Perpignan, Toulouse, Montpellier, Nantes and Rennes and will naturally be two of the busiest weeks of the ski season. If one of its two weeks are shared with zone B (Paris & Bordeaux), it will be particularly busy., and is best avoided. The remaining periods during the half term are virtually as quiet as those in the off season. (See here for holiday dates)
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10: How would you describe the different ski resorts?
A: There are 10 resorts in the region all within a half hours' car journey some as close as 10 or 15minutes. They all vary in their characteristics some being small, family resorts in wood land settings (St Pierre, Eyne, Formigère, Puyvalador). Others with more of a sense of open space and being wilder (Porté Puymorrens), and (Puigmal, the highest domaine in the Pyrenees), with its spectacular views over the French-Spanish Cerdagne, Pic Cartlit, Montserrat mountains near Barcelona & to the sea. The ski stations of Font- Romeu , Pyrenees 2000 and Les Angles are more commercial and lively at night, Les Angles being the largest, best equipped ski station.
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11: Are the ski resorts equipped with snow cannons?
A: All ski resorts are equipped, though some have made a greater investment than others, notably Les Angles which opens beginning of December and stays open until the end of the Easter holidays.
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12: Do we need to buy chains for our car?
A: It is more than likely that you will never need to use chains during your ski holiday. They are kept in the car boot more as a precaution for if there is a recent heavy fall of snow. If this is the case you are obliged to carry chains by the local police. You can buy them fairly cheaply from the larger super markets on the outskirts of Perpignan or Toulouse. Also locally, but more expensive. Sometimes car hire comes with the option of chains.
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13: How clear are the roads for getting to the ski stations?
A: After a heavy snowfall the roads are immediately cleared and if necessary recleared during the day by a large team of snowploughs; the route National connecting Perpignan, Barcelona, Andorra & Toulouse being the first priority. There are a number of large electronic panels advising road conditions. If possible avoid setting off first thing in the morning after a night of heavy snowfall; let the council sort it out, and the sun come up to melt it off, while you stay in the warm by a nice wood fire. Then set off after lunch and enjoy the delights of fresh powder snow. (Of course, the keen skiers will have none of that, and will be following the first snow plough up to the ski station!) As it is in the interests of the ski stations, the roads to them are cleared as soon as possible. The road to Sauto is cleared for locals who need to get to and from work by the village's own snowplough.
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14: Do the ski stations have bars & restaurants for lunchtime eating?
A: All ski stations have these kinds of facilities. For any non-skiiers in your group, Les Angles has a restaurant with excellent mountain views accessed by a gondola. (Possible on a foot passenger tarif) Alternatively, some ski resorts have an 'hors sac' where you can eat a packed lunch inside. (Worth investigating once at the ski resort). Puigmal has a particularly good one, though try to avoid the rowdy Spanish lunch times from 1pm!)
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15: Are there special events laid on in the evenings in the ski resorts?
A: You can pick up a program for the week from the resorts' office de Tourisme. Les Angles, Font-Romeu & Pyrenees 2000 being the best catered for. Other good places to find out about events are on supermarket & bread shop notice boards! There are always good Christmas shows on the pistes by torch light usually involving the arrival of "Papa noel" on a sledge drawn by reindeer and firework displays. On January 6th Puicerda lays on a grand procession featuring the arrival of the three kings. (It is only then that Spanish children can open their presents, so a very excitable event indeed especially encouraged by handfuls of sweets being thrown from the passing floats!)
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16: What other leisure activities could we do if we should want time off from skiing?
A: The three out door & indoor local thermal spas are a perfect way to relax. They are all in magnificent mountain settings and at a constantly hot temperature regardless of the weather conditions. There are a number of indoor swimming pools (Les Angles, Font-Romeu Olympic pool, Puigcerda, Mont-Louis) Ice skating can be found at Les Angles in the same complex as their leisure pool. Also an Olympic rink at Font-Romeu and another in the same sports complex as their pool at Puigcerda Day trips for shopping in Andorra or to Barcelona are also a possibility. For further ideas you will find a house book packed with suggestions and lots of tourist information
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17: How far is the nearest ski station?
A: From the properties at Sauto, the nearest ski station is St Pierre del Forçat (10 minute car ride) This is linked to the ski station Eyne and collectively known as the Espace Cambre d'Aze. Pyrenees 2000 is 15 minutes by car and is linked to Font-Romeu. Les Angles 20minutes. From the property at Bajande, the nearest ski station is a 15 minute car ride to Eyne which is linked as previously mentioned to St Pierre. (Espace Cambre d'Aze) Font-Romeu is 20 minutes and linked to Pyrenees 2000.
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18: Some of us are not downhill skiers in our group but would like to get out into the mountains what other possibilities are there?
A: This is a region where cross-country skiing is very popular. There are 200km of cross country ski tracks, often through pine forests and following circuits around lakes. Lessons may also be booked either on site or through mountain guide shops in the larger ski stations. Another excellent way of seeing the mountains at a leisurely rate in the snow is by racket walking. Walking up valleys with frozen cascades or around ice-covered lakes is a truly memorable experience and a perfect opportunity for observing deer & other wild life. As with cross-country skis, they also can be hired at most ski hire shops and are inexpensive. If there hasn't been a heavy snowfall for several weeks and particularly at the beginning and ends of the season when the snow has melted back at the lower altitudes, there are many possibilities for walking in normal walking boots. Truly magical on a fine day with snow covered mountains rising up against clear, deep blue skies.
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19: We are coming at Christmas. Where can we go to enjoy some Christmas atmosphere?
A: The town of Puigcerda in Spain has the best Christmas decorations. Otherwise, look out for any organised Christmas Eve events at the ski resorts.
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20: We are coming with a baby/very small child and would like to spend time skiing ourselves. Is there a crèche in the area?
A: Most ski stations and small towns in the region have crèche facilities that cater for the ski season. Some, like the one at Pyrenees 2000 operate on the main ski piste and even offer activities based around snow themes. To arrange a place you simply need to enquire at the ski station's office de Tourisme or any other 'information office' near the slopes and they will provide you with all the necessary information. You will almost certainly need to take along proof that all your child's vaccination records are up to date and some form of identification.
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A Paradise setting in the heart of the "Parc Naturel - Pyrénées Catalanes." Natural Park of the Pyrenees Orientales. Mountain walking through rare wild flowers in the Eyne valley nature reserve. Quaintly known as "The Nice of the Cerdagne", enjoying an exceptional all year round microclimate, "3000hrs sunshine per year". Superb walking, cycling, winter skiing, thermal pools and "Little Yellow Train" station. Local mountain bike hire. Cather castles lakes, grottos, gorges, abbeys. Local swimming and thermal pools. Easy distance Barcelona, duty-free Andorra and Mediterranean beaches. Windsurfing & dinghy sailing on nearby lake. Rafting, 3 summer mountain lifts, pot holing, rock-climbing sites, hang-gliding. Lake & river fishing, golf (international course at Puigcerda). Mountain bike hire, indoor Olympic ice-rink & swimming pool. Superb horse-riding. High quality accommodation for 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 people. Activity holiday. Rock climbing, bouldering, canyoning, parapente, dinghy sailing and windsurfing on mountain lake. All with a rich diversity of rare wildlife & flora. And pure mountain air. High altitude golf, and fishing in rivers and lakes. Winter sports include skiing, alpine skiing and cross country skiing, walks with snow shoes, ski de fond, ski alpin, snow covered mountains, snowboard, snowpark, these activities and more. Holidays in the Pyrenees, pyrenes, pyrénées, pireneys, Pirenees, Pirenes, Pirénées, Pirineu, Pirineus, Peyrenees, Peyrenes. Stay in Gite de France, Gîte de France, self catering, self-catering accommodation for the independant traveller. Village houses to rent in the South of France.Snow covered mountains and pure mountain air in the high Pyrenees, pyrenes, pyrénées, pireneys, Pirenees, Pirenes, Pirénées, Pirineu, Pirineus, Peyrenees, Peyrenes. Near ski resorts Font Romeu and Les Angles. Font-Romeu. Ski chalet and converted barn with panoramic views. Spectacular views. A microclimate, micro-climate in Langeudoc Rousillon, Langeudoc-Rousillon, with solar furnace, three solar furnaces & 3000 hours sunshine per year. Room with a view. Self-catering holidays in the Mediteranean Pyrenees. Catalan houses for vacation. Holiday properties with Gites de France, three star rated. THREE MOUNTAIN COTTAGES in the heart of the PYRENEES REGIONAL PARK. The famous all year round “Petit Train Jaune”, narrow-gauge mountain train with open-top carriages in Summer snakes its way down through spectacular scenery from Mont-Louis to Medieval fortified Villefranche-de Conflent and the Grottos of the “Grandes Canalettes”. Nearby – Abbeys Saint Michel-de-Cuxa, venue for the annual Pablo Casals music festival, and Saint Martin du Canigou, remote mountain setting. Romanesque churches. Local activities – over 30 sports including swimming-3 indoor & 3 outdoor pools, rivers & lakes. All year round open-air thermal pools & jacuzzis. All within 20 minutes of Sauto. Also Caldea in Andorra – 6,000m2 of futuristic water experiences!
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