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Well planned ski town overlooking (often dry) lake. Canadian-feel with 'wild west' wood construction in newer parts, and classic old french town. Plenty of very attractive thick log-built chalets around for rent, as well a more usual apartments and hotels.
Built on a large curve, it also has a seaside feel - although you are at least a couple of hairpin roads anyway from one. Altitudes of 1650m (village) to 2300m (peak) is not the highest in the Pyrenees - check you getting cold weather or be prepared for the snow to turn to mush - and you'll feel like your waterskiing instead.
The town is predominantly east facing on a semi circular track around the mountain. There is a wide valley (with a mostly dry lake bed), and a mountain range on the other side.
This area is classified the Pyrenees but it is the eastern end now, and starting to "thin-out" the peaks are not so close together as you head towards the Med, this means the line of sight to the next mountain across the valley is a lot lower than in the deep valleys further West.
This means the sun rises over the mountains and hits the village quite soon after it would have appeared over the horizon. At these latitudes the sun is very strong and this has a very fast warming effect and physcologically direct sunshine has a positive mental effect.
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Reception desk off the main canteen area. Irish lady is the manager and speaks English among other languages; handy if you need detailed advice.
You need a code to get in after 9pm.
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Cleverly planned resort that merges into the local town of Les Angles. Ski into the village was a design goal, and even with expansion the result is good.
Large restaurant with several comfy sofas for lounging around on. Council owned building so no pressure from staff, you relax and spend ages here.
Glass windows all the way along afford view of pool and vistas beyond that outside.
Next to the urbanisation of El Tarter and at the base of the gondola is the free car parking areas. Big for Andorra is gets very busy.
There are 3 main areas; the primary one (1-on map) outside the cable car and new offices for Grandvalira, an older one (2-on map) over the river and towards the Llop Gris hotel and the Calbo rental store - this one has a chairlift going up as the most suitable.
And if you drive further up toward Soldeu just about 200metres there is another bridge with access to the nordic hotel, keep going up there are there are overflow car parks (3-on map) with pretty much direct access to the piste - you will have to ski back down just a little way to catch a ride back up, and make sure you come down the correct run, to avoid having to walk back up to where you've parked the car.
A word of warning - don't park too close to the new huge "mushroom" shaped cover for the goldola base unless you prepared for an avalanche of snow as the day warms up. At some point durning the day the snow will all come off in a one-er!
One of the six main ski stations in the Grandvalira ski-resort - the others being Grau Roig, Funicamp (from Encamp), Soldeu, Pas de la Casa and El Tarter.
You take the 6 person cable car up from the village itself (not free parking in Canillo). It has a ski school, medical clinic, restaurant complex and large sun terrace with play park.
There are only a couple of pistes terminating here, and a couple of chair-lifts - but the aspect is perfect as it is south facing.
The Mirador Roc del Quer is an extended platform out into the valley with a sculpture of a bronze man sitting on the end of a girder. Art and engineering combine to make a natural and man made spectacle.
You will have seen it high up above Canillo village if you staying there or skiing there.
Perfect for a morning or afternoon stroll for young and old: 5/10 mins walk from the car park - get a fantastic view of the Canillo valley, or alternatively double-check you still get vertigo.
Certainly open in the summer; check access in winter - the mayor of canillo pronounced that it would be open in winter too, at the opening ceremony - but best to check with these things; heavy snowfall will block the road and access path for sure.
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Graphic showing average weather in Les Angles in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)
|Month||Temp °C||Rainfall Cm||Temp °F||Rainfall Inches|
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