8 Days Andorra Family Holiday Package by Responsible Travel from £849/- (Posted on Jun 6 2011)

8 Days Andorra Family Holiday Package by Responsible Travel from £849/-

7 Night / 8 Days – £849

COUNTRY: Andorra
HOLIDAY TYPE: Moderate walking holidays
DEPARTURES: 2011: 19 Dec, 26 Dec
2012: 12 Feb, 16 Dec, 26 Dec
PRICE: From £849 – £899 (8 days) per adult and from £839 – £869 per child including flights from the UK. From £669 – £729 per adult and from £649 – £709 per child excluding flights.
VOUCHERS: Gift vouchers can be used with this holiday

Andorra family holiday

Andorra family holiday

Andorra Family Holiday
Squeezed between Spain and France in the heart of the Pyrenees, the mountainous Principality of Andorra is a perfect place for a winter activity week.  In winter, heavy snowfall is almost guaranteed but this tiny country is also blessed with regular sunshine, which means much of the time there are spectacular views of its steep mountains and plunging valleys against a backdrop of clear, blue sky.  A wide range of included snow-based activities is on offer: you’ll travel by snowmobile, dog-sled, snowshoe, downhill and cross-country ski. For yet more fun you’ll learn how to make an igloo, learn avalanche rescue techniques and there’s ample opportunity to build snowmen or have the inevitable snowball fight. If you want your family to enjoy the deep snows of your childhood, this trip provides the perfect solution!

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Toulouse After your flight to Toulouse, you transfer by chartered bus (approx. 3/4 hours drive) to your hotel in Andorra. Situated high on the south side of the Pyrenees, squashed in between France and Spain, the Principality of Andorra measures a mere 25 kilometres by 30 kilometres (that’s half the size of New York City!). The country’s independence can be traced right back to Charlemagne, who captured the region from the Muslims in 803 AD. Although it gained independence from France and Spain in 1278, it was only in 1993 that the Andorran people voted to establish the country as a parliamentary democracy, with two princes as its joint heads of state. The national language is Catalan, but French and Spanish – and increasingly, English – are widely spoken. Andorra is blessed with some of the finest scenery in the Pyrenees and is a great place for an active week in the mountains. Your base for the week is the small town of Soldeu (1800m) which is located in the centre of this tiny, land-locked country.  Hotel – 7 nights

Day 2:
Snowshoeing Today you head for the scenic Incles Valley – two minutes from the hotel – where your Group Leader will give a quick lesson on how to put on snowshoes. You then have time to get used to this new way of walking. It really isn’t difficult at all and, although you might feel a little ungainly at first, you’ll soon discover that you can climb even a fairly steep slope with ease. With snowshoes you can go almost anywhere – which means you can get to places that skiers cannot. You set off along a trail through the forest, marvelling at the peace and beauty of the snowy landscape. The group’s ability will dictate how far you go and you’ll can take provisions for a picnic in the forest.  You’ll also have an opportunity to learn the technique used to locate and rescue avalanche victims (ARVA). Using a receiver you locate the signal from a transponder that anyone venturing into avalanche territory would normally wear. Having located the source of the signal, you then search the snow using poles to locate the victim. It’s a bit like a sophisticated game of hide-and-seek, but it’s a fun way of learning a skill that could one day be a life-saver! (BD)

Day 3: Downhill Skiing This morning you can try out another age-old method of getting about in the snow – skiing (additional charge. Details of costs are listed in the optional activities section at the end of the trip notes).  After heading up the Soldeu cable-car, you’ll take a one hour lesson with a qualified instructor. Once you’ve built up your confidence you can use your lift pass (included in the cost) to try out your skills on the slopes. Your lift pass allows access to runs in the Gran Valira ski area, the highest and most extensive ski area in the Pyrenees encompassing the Soldeu-El Tarter and Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig ski resorts, so naturally there’s an excellent choice of slopes – from nursery to off-piste steep runs. Your ski instructor or Group Leader can advise which ones are most suitable for your level of ability. Beginners may well start off on the quieter slopes at Canarro allowing you more space in which to get to grips with your technique. If you are an experienced skier, you can ski on the intermediate slopes but will have to pay a supplement locally. (BD)

Day 4: Igloo Building & Optional Snowmobiling After breakfast you transfer to El Tarter ski station (1700m), a ten minute drive away, to learn an interesting new skill – how to build an igloo! All that’s required is a good supply of firm snow, a spade and a team of willing volunteers. Igloo building is great fun and kids will be thrilled to see how simple it is to make an icy shelter. Knowing how to create your own shelter in the mountains is a vital component of mountain survival. In the afternoon, you have free time to choose what winter activity you would like to do (all at an additional charge).  You could undergo a dramatic change of pace as you getting to grips with snowmobiling. A snowmobile (also known as a skidoo) is powered by a petrol engine that drives a single caterpillar track. Like a motorbike you steer using handlebars, these are connected to two parallel skis rather than a wheel. The brakes are on the handlebars, and you don’t have to worry about gears – there’s only forward and reverse. Large models with powerful engines can travel at over 100 kilometres per hour, but you’ll be using smaller models and taking things a lot more gently! Driver and a pillion passenger sit on a motorbike-style seat, but – for safety – smaller children may be towed behind on a sled. Snowmobiles are simple to drive, but it’s important to take care until you are used to the way they handle. You’ll then drive on a circuit through the forest for up to an hour. Alternatively, you can choose to perfect your snowhoeing skills, head back to the slopes to go skiing or snowboarding, go ice skating or take advantage of Andorra’s tax free shopping! (BD) NB: You must be over 17 to drive a snowmobile. You will be required to sign an agreement stating that, in the event of any damage to the vehicle due to carelessness, you will cover the total cost of the damage.

Day 5: Cross-Country Skiing The forest of La Rabassa near the Spanish border is a chance to see a different area of Andorra, and is ideal for exploring and absorbing the stunning snow-clad landscape on cross-country skis. Longer, thinner and lighter than downhill skis, cross-country skis are designed more for practicality than speed. Only the toe of your boot is attached to a cross-country ski (unlike a downhill ski where the whole boot is rigidly attached). Having the ability to flex the heel allows you to climb as well as descend, which means you can cross a greater variety of terrain. The pace is relaxed – you’ll start on an easy circuit to get used to this new mode of transport. (BD)

Encamp Andorra

Encamp Andorra

Day 6: Dog-Sledding Today you’ll learn how to harness a team of dogs at the kennel and discover how a dog sled is handled. The dogs always get really excited as soon as they see the sleds coming out, and it’s often a struggle to hold them back, so the sleds have a snow anchor just for that purpose. Each sled can carry two people plus a driver (or musher) – pulled by a team of 4-6 huskies or 8 Alaskans. It takes a while to get everything ready but eventually you set off on a forest trail, with the dogs tugging hard at their harnesses before they break into a smooth rhythm. All you can hear are the runners of the sled fizzing over the frozen snow and the odd bark or yelp from the dogs. Just hold on tight and enjoy the passing scenery for around an hour! It is normally possible for children from about 8 years old to drive their own sled.  To minimise the amount of time waiting around the group will normally be divided for this activity and whilst not sledding you can hit the slopes for some more skiing (additional charge). If you are an experienced skier, you can ski on the intermediate slopes but will have to pay a supplement locally. (BD)

Day 7: Free Day Today is free for you to choose from the many activities on offer in Andorra. You may wish to head back to the slopes for more downhill skiing (in which case you’ll need to purchase a lift pass), or simply relax. You could take a bus into the capital, Andorra La Vella. If you’re in need of a little retail therapy, there’s a treat in store: Andorra has no taxes and is thus the ultimate place to go tax-free shopping. Most towns have a fair variety of shops, but Andorra La Vella has by far the best selection. In Escaldes-Engordagny you can visit Caldea thermal baths. The facilities are impressive – on three levels under a huge glass dome, there are indoor and outdoor swimming pools, saunas, hot-tubs, jacuzzi, Turkish baths and even a grapefruit bath! A soak in the warm, mineral-laden thermal baths will help to ease away any aches and pains. Although not cheap, a general entry ticket allows you to pamper yourself for up to three hours. You can opt for one of the many additional treatments that include various styles of massage and hydrotherapy (at extra cost). The complex also has shops, restaurants, and a children’s centre. In Encamp you may like to visit the National Automobile Museum which houses an impressive collection of cars and bicycles – one of the largest in Europe. You could also take a ride in the state-of-the-art Funicamp gondola, which runs from Encamp up to the station at Collada d’Enradort (2506m) from where you could ski down to Grau Roig (for experienced skiers only). If you’re keen to try out a more active pursuit, you could go ice-skating in the Palau de Gel (ice stadium) in Canillo, or relax and watch some curling or ice-hockey.  (BD)

Day 8: Fly home This morning, you transfer by bus (approx. 3/4 hours) to Toulouse where the trip ends for Land Only clients whilst those on our group flights will fly home. (B)

How this holiday makes a difference

On this trip: We employ the services of local people who depend on our visits for income. We use locally-run hotels and local operators for the activities.

Our Responsible Travel Code: Clients who travel with us will automatically receive a copy of our Responsible Travel leaflet. This contains details and advice on how you can make a positive difference when you travel. If you would like a copy in advance of travel please contact us.

Charity Partnerships: We work in partnership with Plan International. Plan works with some of the world’s poorest communities where three out of four children die before the age of five. We also support Friends of Conservation – an international charity committed to working with local people to develop a balance between their needs and the wildlife with which they share the natural habitat and ecosystems.

Carbon Balancing: Global warming is a real issue and is a direct result of your travel. We have teamed up with Climate Care to give you the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions from your flight. You’ll be asked upon booking if you want to donate – with set amounts from £5. As a company we offset the carbon emissions from all staff travel in full.

Our Foundation: We’ve highlighted a few of the ways in which we offer our support, financially or otherwise, and now you can, too. We have set up our own foundation, which will administer funds donated by you. A small donation of £1 per person will be taken when booking a holiday and that money will be put to good use by one of our carefully selected projects. If you don’t want to make the donation, just tell us when you book.

For More Information & Reservation Andorra Family Holiday Package


Posted by on Jun 6 2011. Filed under Andorra, Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, Europe, Featured, Flights.

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8 Days Andorra Family Holiday Package by Responsible Travel from £849/-

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