Valnord, is it a viable alternative to the Alps?

Home Forum Bike Forum Valnord, is it a viable alternative to the Alps?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Valnord, is it a viable alternative to the Alps?
  • harry too
    Member

    Looking at planning a riding trip for the summer, keen to know everyones experiences on Valnord.

    How did you get there?

    Accomodation?

    Extent of riding?

    Cost……

    and most importantly is it worth looking to Andorra as a valid alternative to the Alps.

    Looking for XC / DH type lift assisted trails that we can pick our way down, we are definately not a group of racers.

    Mackem
    Member

    Why limit yourself to Vallnord, you’ve got all the pyrenees.

    have a look at zone zero….

    http://www.bttpirineo.com/

    all well-marked proper mountain bike rides. (dont know if uplifts are available)

    There’s a few places with lifts eg Formigal.

    ianv
    Member

    Definitely: great riding, nice weather.

    Driving is the best option, you can then go to other parks like granvalira, ac les thers and even la Molina if you want a change. Camping is hyper expensive (hotels are almost the same price) but you can camp or sleep in a van at the top Valnord carpark without any hassle.

    World cup is there 28th July.

    cmjdavies
    Member

    We went last summer and had the best time I’ve ever had on a bike.

    Four days riding both Valnord and Garnvalira. Flew easyjet to Nice, hired a 9 seater (for six of us) and rented bikes from Jorma. Had change from £700 if I recall. We ate out for lunches and dinners. The hotel (can’t remember the name) came in about £35 a night twinned up.

    Although we bumped into some Irish guys who had contacted the people off the Lift Pass website who sorted them a package with hotels, lift passes and bikes all included.

    Shameless plug but here are shome shots:
    http://www.chrisdaviesphotography.com/RecentWork/Andorra/25706320_hGzXMW/2124719809_BF5m3jM#!i=2124719809&k=BF5m3jM

    Get in touch if you want any more info,

    Chris

    ianv
    Member

    Flew easyjet to Nice

    😮 thats a long transfer.

    Better would be Barcelona, Tolouse or Perpignan

    fatgit
    Member

    Hi
    Been here skiing and enjoyed it. Looking at somewhere to go last week in September biking for a week.
    Would it be snow free at this time?
    Any alternative suggestions?
    Looking for guided or way marked and catered if possible
    How much was the bike hire?
    Cheers
    Steve

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    Why not try http://www.singletracksafari.com/

    they do some really great cheap options for Valnord etc Copy from their site. The collect you and deliver you back as well as sort everything else. Good write ups in MTB mags. Cheap prices. I have used them and can recommended.

    NEW Andorra
    Vallnord Bike Park
    Transfer, Lift Pass & Hotel June 2013 Park open from 14th June TBC

    July 2013 All Dates

    August 2013 All Dates

    September 2013 Park Closes 20th TBC 2* Hotel, transfer + pass £299 B+B

    4* Hotel, transfer + pass £369 B+B

    4* Hotel, transfer + pass £440 Half Board 50% supplement 4 nights; 2* Hotel, transfer + pass £210 B+B

    4 nights: 4* Hotel, transfer + pass £249 B+B

    4 nights: 4* Hotel, transfer + pass £299 Half Board NEW FOR 2013
    Morzine Busting Prices – don’t follow the sheep – try something different!!
    NEW Andorra
    Soldeu Bike Park June 2013 Park open from 29th June TBC

    July 2013 All Dates

    August 2013 All Dates

    September 2013 Park Closes 8th TBC 2* Hotel, transfer + pass £TBC B+B

    4* Hotel, transfer + pass £TBC B+B

    4* Hotel, transfer + pass £TBC Half Board 50% supplement 4 nights; 2* Hotel, transfer + pass £TBC B+B

    4 nights: 4* Hotel, transfer + pass £TBC B+B

    4 nights: 4* Hotel, transfer + pass £TBC Half Board NEW FOR 2013
    Morzine Busting Prices – don’t follow the sheep – try something different!!

    grum
    Member

    Enjoyed Vallnord but preferred Grandvalira. Andorra isn’t a particularly charming place though (and not as cheap as I was hoping it might be).

    cmjdavies
    Member

    Bozo moment, I meant Toulouse. They guys I went with had flew into Barcelona the year before and said it was quicker from Toulouse.

    Also, they’d been with Singletrack Safari the year before and decided to book it all themselves this time. All turned out great.

    I’d echo that that there wasn’t much to Andorra – the capital was a bit more lively thank the towns with the bike parks but it didn’t matter, we spent the whole time riding, eating or sleeping!

    MartinSTS
    Member

    Hi All – I make a point of avoiding shameless self-promotion in forums – but I am going to make an exception on this one, I hope no-one minds too much! I’d rather be upfront than sneak around pretending to be an unbiased contributor…

    The reason for saying this is that I’m the boss of the aforementioned Singletrack Safari, and we are the only MTB holiday company which operates Andorra-based holidays – and more importantly, we are the Official UK Holiday Partner to both Vallnord Bike Park and Soldeu Bike Park (formerly called Grandvalira). We are supported by the Andorra Tourist board and act as spokespeople for Andorra within the UK as we are deeply passionate about not only the amazing riding, but it’s food, it’s people, the scenery, the hospitality…

    It is an amazing little place – but a lot of people don’t get away from the most obvious riding spots in the Bike Parks. We are an All-Mountain and Enduro holiday company, so whilst we take people to the Parks we also extensively ride the amazing natural singletrack, with the emphasis on gaining height as gently as possible to make sure we can enjoy coming back down! We use a combination of lifts, vans and some gentle pedalling to access some really fabulous riding.

    The natural riding is mindblowing – but very , very hard to find as there’s no official mapping…in fact you’ll find about 3 different maps, all of which are different to each other, and none of which actually show everything…if you want to see some of the natural riding have a look at this video Fast Singletrack in Andorra

    As our regular guest Steve mentioned above, we now offer Bike Park packages as well as guided holidays. These have come about directly as a result of our partnership – and as a result we have access to some unbelievable deals – we can do B&B in a brand new 4* Hotel at Vallnord, including lift pass and transfer for £20 more than the room only price on booking.com! We have a choice of hotels for these unguided deals – if you want to go to Andorra cheaply this is the way to do it…Vallnord Bike Park Holiday

    If you want to see a bit more of the Bike Park riding have a look at this one MBR ride Andorra with Singletrack Safari

    If you are a trail rider then come and experience everything which Andorra has to offer – Grum; I suspect that if you didn’t find Andorra particularly charming then maybe you stayed fairly close to one of the bigger towns? Away from these the trails are phenomenal, the scenery is unspoilt and the views are enormous! Andorra is famed for having huge amounts of untamed high mountain scenery, populated only by occasional tiny villages – and the vast majority of the country is not accesable by vehicles…if you stay close to the bike parks you’ll basically be riding the ski resorts – which are understandably pretty built up. However, get a little higher into the mountains and there are miles and miles of incredible singletrack – from fast and flowing to highly technical and everything inbetween. You can easily descend for an hour on natural singletrack in Andorra: the largest and longest natural descents begin well above the treeline, before plunging deep into lucsious pine forests which cling to the valley sides – and you will barely ever met another human being once you are out in the mountains – let alone another rider. In fact, since we started guiding in Andorra 4 years ago we have never met another single rider riding out in the mountains! Andorra Guided Holiday

    Both Vallnord and Soldeu Bike Parks are huge, with long, extremely well-groomed trails, which are overseen carefully by professional Bike Patrol teams – who are there both to ensure safety and to report and repair trail problems as they occur…unlike Morzine damage and braking bumps are dealt with as they occur rather than being ignored for as long as possible! You’ll also find that the lifts are all modern ,fast and easy to use – so despite the fact that the trails are far longer than most areas of the Portes Du Soleil you will get more runs in, and you’ll never stand in a queue for more than a minute of so! Top to bottom at Vallnord is 1000m vertically, and takes at least 30 monutes to descend for even the fastest riders.

    To give you an idea on prices out and about a large beer is around 2 to 3 euros (so half the price in the Alps), a pizza in a nice italian costs 8 euros and even a tasty steak in quite a posh restaurant will only set you back around 15 to 20 euros….and we even know a place where you can get a 3 course lunch, with bread, water and wine for 5 bucks!! There’s plenty of great value food and drink around – and if you’re with us we also guide you in the evenings to help you find the best combo of great food and good prices…

    You can probably tell we absolutely adore Andorra and are extremely passionate about it – it’s a fantastic place – and to answer Harry Too‘s original question – Vallnord is more than a viable alternative to Morzine.

    If you have a look at Dirt from January, or MBR from last December you will find long, detailed features about what we get up to, where we ride and what the place is like…both magazines absolutely adored the place and were blown away by the riding!

    Again, apologies for the blatant plug – but I’m not exaggerating when I say we know Andorra far better than anyone else….and its an awesome place both on and off the bike.

    [video]http://youtu.be/kyHF6LF0oG8[/video]

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Vallnord is great. We went there in the summer and also went to La Molina and Les Angles which are relatively nearby. Morzine is so Butlins now…

    ianv
    Member

    Andorra isn’t a particularly charming place though

    I really like it. Massana and Ordino are quite nice and the people are super friendly.

    scottfitz
    Member

    Enjoyed Vallnord but preferred Grandvalira.

    Me too!

    also went to La Molina and Les Angles which are relatively nearby.

    Me too both worth a visit if you have a car.

    grum
    Member

    I really like it. Massana and Ordino are quite nice and the people are super friendly.

    People were friendly but there’s a lot of not particularly attractive shops, apartment buildings and adverts everywhere, and petrol stations approximately every 50 yards. I found it not quite as cheap as the Austrian alps too, which was surprising. Much cheaper than the French alps.

    There were some mega braking bumps/ruts at Vallnord – Morzine must be pretty bad if its a lot worse than that!

    I would go back though – admittedly we were only there a few days and stayed in the main resorts. Sounds like I’m being really negative but overall I really liked it.

    MartinSTS
    Member

    There were some mega braking bumps/ruts at Vallnord – Morzine must be pretty bad if its a lot worse than that!

    Oh defnitely – we operate in The Alps throughout July and August too, and Vallnord and Soldeu are so, so much better maintained – the main runs at Les Gets in particular were appalling last year – more like braking chasms than braking bumps!

    Anywhere that you have hundreds of riders passing through you get trail damage – the difference is whether anyone attempts to repair it or not. Vallnord had one short section about 3/5 of the way down Route 66 which got a bit worn late last summer. They were struggling to repair it because there was no rainfall whatsoever from mid June until Sepetmber…the ground was simply turning to powder and there was no mositure to rebuild the surface with, so the underlying rocks started coming through. Compared to some of the PDS areas though, seriously, it was nothing!

    Once you get beyond La Massana you won’t find a single petrol station either 😉

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

The topic ‘Valnord, is it a viable alternative to the Alps?’ is closed to new replies.