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La Pleta de Soldeu

Description

Andorra lies at the heart of the Pyrenees, and at the heart of Andorra itself lies the village of Soldeu, forming part of the Grandvalira Ski Resort. Soldeu is ideally placed to take advantage of the winter sports for which Andorra is becoming renowned, with Grandvalira providing a total of 2000 hectares of ski area that provide 110 slopes ranging from beginner slopes to black, as well as competition slopes, thus catering for all levels of skier. There are also snowboarding routes and snowshoe trails for those seeking an alternative to skiing. The 64 lifts in Grandvalira are capable of transporting nearly 100,000 skiers per hour, ensuring that there is always easy access to the slopes.

Soldeu itself is a popular centre for visitors to the resort; it has an excellent ski school with multilingual teachers, making it ideal for the beginner, although more experienced skiers will have no difficulty reaching a slope to suit their level of skiing expertise. It is also possible to hire skidoos, take a husky ride or a flight in a helicopter. Situated at an altitude of 1800 m, the village has hotels of several classes, including a luxury five-star hotel and spa, and modern apartments are available for both long- and short-term lets. Popular with British, French and Spanish tourists, Soldeu is well supplied with shopping facilities along with a good selection of restaurants and bars, many of which offer live music.

Situated on Andorra’s main through route between Spain and France, Soldeu is easy to reach. Modern development has been sensitive, with new residential complexes constructed in traditional Pyrenees style, in natural materials such as rock, slate and wood, but with high levels of comfort. Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Soldeu is also an ideal summer resort for visitors, offering walking tours, pony trekking and high-altitude swimming in spectacular lakes with crystal clear water. Good, uncrowded roads make it easy to explore the rest of Andorra, taking in its unique culture and folklore, which has developed over the nearly 1200 years since the principality was first established by Charlemagne.

A place that once visited will draw you back time and time again, Soldeu’s welcoming atmosphere and its natural attributes make it the ideal place to stay for shorter or longer periods. Whether you are a snow lover or a nature lover, Soldeu has something for everyone.

Food And Drink

Food in Daily Life: The diet in Andorra is based on consumption of meat, garden vegetables, and some fish. The most common winter dish, in rural and urban zones, is escudella, a soup of veal, chicken, potatoes, and vegetables. Some immigrant communities have different customs: Portuguese eat more cod and Indians, more vegetarian food. Normally, the midday meal is eaten near the workplace in a restaurant.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions: Many Catholic families still avoid eating meat on Fridays. At the feast of the Virgin of Meritxell, Andorran families often eat outdoors after the solemn midday mass: they consume cold cuts, chicken, and rabbit. The Christmas cycle is also an occasion for the organization of family meals.

Accommodation

The 300 apartments of La Pleta de Soldeu are set in their own private enclave, with decorative landscaping and lighting, and other attractive features. Parking is in underground communal garages that are reached by fast elevators; each residence has one parking spot and access to the garages is via security controlled automatic doors, and there are also storerooms and ski lockers. A social club for residents provides opportunities for relaxation and leisure, with its snack bar, lounge, relaxation area, recreation room for children, and an outside jacuzzi for 12 people, and beside the resort, there is a recently constructed golf course.

Soldeu is ideally placed to take advantage of the winter sports for which Andorra is becoming renowned, with Grandvalira providing a total of 2000 hectares of ski area that provide 110 slopes ranging from beginner slopes to black, as well as competition slopes, thus catering for all levels of skier. There are also snowboarding routes and snowshoe trails. The 64 lifts in Grandvalira are capable of transporting nearly 100,000 skiers per hour, ensuring that there is always easy access to the slopes.

Soldeu has an excellent ski school with multilingual teachers, making it ideal for the beginner, although more experienced skiers will have no difficulty reaching a slope to suit their level of skiing expertise. It is also possible to hire skidoos, take a husky ride or a flight in a helicopter. Soldeu is well supplied with shopping facilities along with a good selection of restaurants and bars, many of which offer live music.

History

The Principality of Andorra is perched high in the Pyrenees, bounded by the lands of the Republic of France and the Kingdom of Spain, the two countries that provide this long established co-principality with its Heads of State. This unique situation dates back to the late 13th century, when the co-sovereignity of the Spanish Bishop of Urgell and the French Count of Foix was established when rulings known as the Pariatges were signed in an effort to bring long standing hostilities to an end. The Bishop of Urgell now shares the constitutional role with the President of France, as the successor to Henry, King of Navarre and Count of Foix, who became King of France in 1589. However, an elected General Council is the legislative power.

Despite its ancient origins, which date back to 805 AD, Andorra is a modern European country with a distinctive culture that nevertheless welcomes new residents from all over the world. The main language is Catalan, although Spanish is widely spoken and French and Portuguese are also commonly used, and the Euro is the official currency. Andorra is not a member of the European Union, but is accessed through either France or Spain, meaning that a visa to enter Schengen countries may be necessary for the visitor to Andorra if they do not have the automatic right to enter the EU.

Located as it is in the Pyrenees, Andorra has a high mountain climate, although there are Mediterranean influences, leading to average minimum temperatures of -2 C and average maximum temperatures of 24 C, with mild, dry summers, snow in winter and sunshine throughout the year, although the terrain of high peaks and verdant valleys mean that there are significant variations depending on altitude and location.

With a land area of 468 km2 and a young and varied population of around 85,000 inhabitants, only 37% of whom have Andorran nationality, the main economic factors in Andorra are trade, tourism and finance, with tourism taking an increasingly important role in generating employment. There is a strong cultural tradition, with prestigious international events taking place throughout the year, in addition to numerous dance, music and traditional folklore festivals. Sport is also an important driver of the economy, with trekking, climbing and cycling popular in the summer months and skiing and snowboarding mainstays in winter, with the Grandvalira Ski Resort providing slopes to cater for all levels of expertise, a ski school, 63 connected lifts, and a vibrant après ski culture. Another popular pastime is diving in lakes of pure, crystalline water, 2000 metres above sea level. There are numerous hotels throughout the country, from simple hostels to luxurious hotels and spas offering a variety of treatments, as well as many apartments available for either short or long lets. Its rich historical legacy means that Andorra has monuments and museums, while its duty free status ensures that shopping is another very popular attraction.

Andorra is a welcoming country that increasing numbers of people are visiting for shorter or longer stays. With easy access from both France and Spain, diverse attractions to suit all tastes and a high standard of accommodation and visitor facilities, Andorra could be just what you are seeking for your holiday destination.

Area

The Principality of Andorra is perched high in the Pyrenees, bounded by the lands of the Republic of France and the Kingdom of Spain, the two countries that provide this long established co-principality with its Heads of State.

La Pleta de Soldeu is situated in the area known as La Ladera de Palinquero at the foot of the Soldeu ski slopes, just outside the small town of Soldeu and less than 20 kilometres from Andorra's capital, La Vella.

Barcelona is just 200 kilometres away and the French cities of Toulouse and Perpignan are even closer. This resort makes a feasible weekend destination for those cities' busy professionals in both winter and summer.

There is a small airport located 20km from Soldeu, in the resort of Seu d’Urgell. This is available for private aircraft and there are plans to open it to commercial airlines in the future. There is also a new airport in Lleida Alguaire (www.aeroportlleidaalguaire.com) which offers commercial flights and is just 1 hour 45 minutes from La Pleta de Soldeu. In addition, there are also plans for a regular helicopter service between Andorra and Barcelona.

La Pleta de Soldeu

Surface Area: 2'5 hectares 5 phases, spread over La Ladera de Palinquero with a privileged location.

Anticipated dwellings: approximately 300.

Inhabitants

Monuments

Geographical Situation

Nearest cities:

Barcelona - 200 km
Toulouse - 173 km
Perpignan - 150 km

Tourist Information

Andorra is climbing up the popularity table for European ski resorts, with the greatly improved Grandvalira ski area bringing in increasing numbers of skiers and snowboarders eager to take advantage of its larger than average ski area, which is served by numerous gondolas and chair lifts, all accessible via a joint lift ticket. Grandvalira is the largest ski area in Andorra, and boasts 193 kilometres of slopes set between 1710 and 2640 metres altitude. It is suitable for all levels of skier and snowboarder, with 65 green runs, 89 blue, 85 red, and 47 black. The area has undergone many improvements in recent years, including more snow cannons, new lifts, and the addition of three snow parks. Snowboarders are also well catered for, with three areas of different levels: ACG Snow Park Tarter has a half pipe and large variety of different modules for intermediate and advanced boarders; and Snow Park Pas and Grau Roig’s freestyle circuit cater for beginners.

In addition to its burgeoning winter sports resorts, Andorra is also famous for its unspoilt nature. Picturesque valleys nestle at the foot of imposing mountains, creating the ideal situation for residential developments aimed at those who are interested in living a healthy outdoor life combined with comfort and privacy. To cater for both winter and summer visitors, several resorts have been developed, sensitively constructed to conform with typical Andorran architecture, yet with all modern conveniences. The most popular resort within the Grandvalira complex is Soldeu, a traditional Andorran village surrounded by natural forested mountainside. Within Soldeu itself there are various facilities, including several gastronomic restaurants, supermarkets and shops, numerous bars and cafes, two thermal health and spa centres, riding stables, nature walks and easy access to the slopes of Grandvalira. These slopes rival those of France and Switzerland, with their variety of ski runs served by modern ski lifts and incorporating children's clubs, ski schools and après ski venues. Recent investment in infrastructure, lifts and slope-grooming equipment ensures that both Grandvalira itself and the small town of Soldeu are well placed to manage additional visitors.

La Pleta de Soldeu is a development of 700 apartments with between one and three rooms; it is situated in the area known as La Ladera de Palinquero at the foot of the Soldeu ski slopes, just outside the small town of Soldeu and less than 20 kilometres from Andorra's capital, La Vella. La Pleta de Soldeu combines the best of both summer and winter sports - Soldeu's ski slopes extend upwards beyond this development while a golf course is to be constructed just beside. Many other sporting pursuits are available in the neighbourhood, with pony trekking being particularly popular. Existing hotel accommodation within Soldeu is being upgraded and several luxury hotels are being constructed nearby. The La Pleta development is aimed at both permanent residents and short-term visitors - with Barcelona just 200 kilometres away and the French cities of Toulouse and Perpignan even closer, this resort makes a feasible weekend destination for those cities' busy professionals in both winter and summer.

La Pleta de Soldeu's apartment blocks are arranged in descending terraces and are clad in local wood and stone. Their traditional rustic design ensures that the complex blends harmoniously with the natural surroundings and, although the traditional design continues into the apartment interiors, the quality of construction and fittings is anything but rustic. High-tech features abound, from the anti-shock reinforced concrete foundations, via the American Oak parquet floors in main living areas, to the fully fitted kitchens, complete with all the latest electrodomestics and including a washer-dryer and dishwasher. As befits a development above the snow line, the residences in La Pleta de Soldeu are fully insulated, both thermally and acoustically. Double-glazed aluminium windows help keep the centrally heated apartments cosy in winter. Bathroom and kitchen floors are tiled with high-quality glazed clay, non-slip floor tiles, whilst the walls have decorative ceramic tiles. Bathrooms have white porcelain fittings, with built-in marble sinks in master bathrooms. The interior doors are of fine varnished wood, as are the built-in wardrobes and their fittings in each bedroom.

The apartments range in size from 35-m² studios to 122-m² two-bedroom apartments, and all are fully furnished with all living/dining room and bedroom furniture, including curtains and bedding, and living rooms and master bedrooms have both telephone and television-radio connection points with parabolic antenna to ensure good reception. A television set is included in the furnishings package. Add cooking utensils and a few personal touches and the apartments are ready to move into. The 700 apartments of La Pleta de Soldeu are set in their own private enclave, with decorative landscaping and lighting, and other attractive features. Parking is in underground communal garages that are reached by fast elevators with automatic doors; each residence has one parking spot and a storeroom and access to the garages is via security controlled automatic doors. A social club for residents provides opportunities for relaxation and leisure, with its heated indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, children's play area and its lounge and snack bar.

The apartments in La Pleta de Soldeu have attracted interest from both those who plan to use the apartments themselves and investors interested in rental properties. With Andorra’s easy road access from Barcelona and Toulouse and the availability of cheap, plentiful flights, Soldeu and Andorra look set to continue their popularity

Places To Visit

Microminiatures Museum:

The Microminiatures Museum in Andorra is situated in the town of Ordino. It is home to a collection of work by the internationally renowned Nikolai Siadristy; famed for his microminiatures and widely considered to be among the best in the world. The museum is itself on a small scale, measuring just 170 m², and so is easily visited as part of an afternoon stroll around the town center.

Automobile Museum:

The National Automobile Museum of Andorra is home to a collection of vintage cars, motorbikes, and bicycles. Overall there are more than 90 vehicles exhibited which span the ages. The museum is situated in the town of Encamp.

D'Areny House Museum:

The D'Areny House Museum in Andorra is the former residence of the D'Areny family and dates back to the year 1633. It is an excellent example of the type of property noble families took residence in at that time. Though it has seen some alteration the property retains many original features, and is furnished in traditional style.

Perfume Museum:

The Perfume Museum in Andorra is situated in the town of Escaldes-Engordany. As it name suggests the museum exhibits a great many perfumes and fragrances. In fact Andorra is known in the industry as the city of a thousand perfumes due to it's 109 perfume factories located in the 468 km² that it occupies.

Art Museum:

The Art Museum in Andorra is situated in Escaldes- Engordany. Rather than just being a gallery it is more of a cultural centre for the area. Spread over three floors it's exhibits include many sculptures and works by Josep Viladomat, as well as temporary artistic exhibitions on photography, painting, and more. The museums third floor is given over to models of Romanic art and of some of the principalities most important constructs.

Badge Museum:

The Badge Museum in Andorra was at it's inception the only (known) museum of it's kind in the world and featured in the Guinness Book of Records. It is home to a collection of over 61,000 badges of all shapes, sizes, and descriptions. The collections cover 110 different themes.

Rull House Museum:

The Rull House Museum in Andorra is an Andorran family home from the 17th century. Well preserved after a fire nearly levelled it in the 19th century this house museum is typical of the age that it dates from. Though then built for a fairly affluent family it is by no means luxurious and makes for an interesting diversion.

St George Iconographic Museum:

The St George Iconographic Museum in Andorra houses a private collection of iconographic religious artworks from around Europe. The pieces date mainly from between the 17th and 19th centuries and are backed up by audiovisual films and a library on the subject matter.

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