Things to do in Pas de la Casa: ski, shopping, how to get there…
Pas de la Caz or Casse, Pa de la Casa, Paz de la Casa or Passdelacasa, visitors have no shortage of ideas when it comes to re-naming this village in the Principality of Andorra, a mountainous region nestled in the heart of the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain. Located just after the French border, Pas de la Casa is a village with many attractions: winter sports and summer hiking, shopping, gastronomy, etc.
The Mecca of skiing and mountain recreation
Whether they call it Pas de la Caz or Casse, Pa de la Casa, Paz de la Casa or Passdelacasa, fans of winter sports are sure to know this skiing destination par excellence since Pas de la Casa is one of the gateways to the largest ski areas in the Pyrenees: Grandvalira. The village, with its magnificent landscapes, is located at an elevation of 7,217 ft (2,200 m). It is located a few feet from the top of the Col du Port d’Envalira, the highest mountain pass in the Pyrenees.
How to get to Pas de la Casa
The most convenient way to get to Pas de la Casa is by car. From Toulouse, the road that passes through Foix and Ax-les-Thermes in Ariège is a straightforward and very pleasant drive. The ascent to Pas de la Casa is easy, but one should be prepared for possible winter storms that could impact the driving conditions. At this altitude, snowstorms are frequent and special snow equipment is mandatory from November to spring. So remember to bring snow chains in the trunk of your car!
There is no train station in Pas de la Casa. The French SNCF train line stops at L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre about ten kilometres from the border between the Principality and France. From there you can find shuttles that will take you to Pas de la Casa (about 20 minutes) and to the rest of the country. Note that there is no train system in Andorra or an airport.
Andorra is a winter sports paradise
Pas de la Casa is one of the 6 sectors of the Grandvalira resort along with Grau Roig, Soldeu, El Tarter, Encamp and Canillo. Grandvalira is a legendary ski area in Andorra and the Pyrenees. The resort offers approximately 130 miles (210 km) of ski slopes, all of which are linked together by an extremely well-equipped network of ski lifts!
Skiing in Pas de la Casa
In Pas de la Casa, you will enjoy 55 slopes and 62 mi (100 km) of skiing, snowboarding, freeriding, etc. The Pas de la Casa ski area provides a magnificent environment with abundant snow and excellent sun exposure. Pas de la Casa’s climate is unique: long periods of blue sky followed by snowfall. All the slopes were created for alpine skiing, except for a small 7 mi (12 km) section dedicated to Nordic skiing. This section is located in the Grau Roig ski area, not far from the summit of the Port of Envalira, on the way down to Andorra la Vella.
Pas de la Casa is extremely family friendly. There is a large selection of lodging and restaurants at all price points. Special ski packages are available for children aged 6 to 11 and 12 to 17. Children under 6 years old pay nothing and children as young as 3 are permitted to snowboard.
There are even trails for toddlers such as the Bababoom Circus trail. The resort also has several snow gardens that are reserved for toddlers who don’t know how to ski.
Young adults and the young spirited looking for things to do at night will find many points of interest in Pas de la Casa. The après-ski scene is very lively. This hopping mini-mountain town has 50 bars and 6 nightclubs!
Shopping, cultural activities and other things to do in Pas de la Casa!
Everything is less expensive in Pas de la Casa!
Few are aware of the fact that Andorra is a culturally diverse country however everyone knows that it is renowned for its excellent shopping opportunities!
Why are the prices so irresistible?
In Andorra, taxes for goods and services are much lower than in other European countries. This is due to the VAT rate being an average of 4.5%. This creates prices that are very attractive and you can find real bargains throughout the country: gas and diesel, alcohol, cigarettes, jewelry, perfume, fashion, textiles, shoes, sporting goods, electronics, Hifi and video, motorcycles, food and culinary specialities, etc.
Keep customs limits in minds!
It can be hard to limit your shopping with such fabulous prices. But you must keep in mind that Andorra has customs limits. Be careful and make sure that you do not pass the maximum quantities of goods in order to avoid paying additional taxes when you pass through customs.
Pas de la Casa, more than a village, a gateway to the Principality of Andorra
From the heights of Pas de la Casa you can descend into the valley and discover Andorra’s other attractions. It is impossible to list all of this country’s treasures, but we can suggest a few:
- Palau de Gel, in Canillo: an ice rink with many other facilities including squash, tennis, swimming, weight lifting area, etc.
- Caldea Spa: with its many relaxation areas, spas and Jacuzzis
- Naturlandia theme park: located in the parish of Sant Julià de Lòria, this park allows you to explore the country’s fauna and flora in the Rabassa forest, which also hosts the country’s only Nordic ski resort.
- Andorra la Vella: the capital of the Principality, with its quaint streets and countless shopping destinations.
Only a two and a half hour drive from Toulouse and Barcelona, Pas de la Casa is a destination with countless things to do!