5 Days In Andorra

Ski School in Andorra
Please excuse the expression - this is me concentrating on the 2nd day of ski school
Jacket - Superdry Sunglasses - Oakley

So, I have just returned from an amazing mini holiday in Andorra, a principality that borders France and Spain. 5 full days of skiing in the Pyrenees, shopping, blogging and relaxing with my One.

Andorra La VellaAndorra La Vella

I think it is safe to say that Andorra, and more specifically Andorra La Vella, isn't particularly pretty, until you get up into the mountains that is, but the people are lovely and the hotel we stayed in was pretty good.

I definitely have a new found admiration for those who make skiing look effortless. The jury is still out as to whether I will carry on skiing but here are my tips and tricks for first timers like me.

1. Shoes are a girls best friend. Never is this more true than with ski boots. Whether you are renting or buying them, you need to get ones that fit WELL. I learnt on this holiday I have 'cankles'. I know, I couldn't believe it! I have never had a problem fitting into boots before, but comfort is everything when you are skiing. I think if I was to ski again I would have to get a pair specially made where they mould the boot around your leg.

2. You don't need to spend a fortune on equipment. I mean, what's the point? You might not even like it! I already had a warm coat and a base layer which I use to run in before I left, but I didn't have anything ski specific. However, I managed to pick up a pair of salopettes for around €40, 2 pairs of ski socks for €19 and gloves for €20. You can rent boots, poles, a helmet (if you are being extra cautious) and skis from ski rental places around the resort. I used Esports Everest and it cost around €60 for 3 days, including equipment insurance.

3. Don't forget your sunnies. (Like I did!) I don't mean your regular Rayban Wayfarer either. Up in the mountains you need a lens that is either sports specific or polarised. I picked up an amazing pair of Oakley Ulleres for €70. These were perfect and combatted the glare amazingly.

4. Get lessons. I cannot stress enough how important it is not to hit the slopes without any instruction first. It can be a bit pricey but not only is it dangerous for you, but also for others around you. The ski school I used was called Grandvalira.

I bought 6 hours of lessons which I could space out how I liked. I did 2 x 3 hour sessions but on hindsight I wish I had done 3 sets of 2 hours. I found it quite hard work, but I had the most amazing (bionic) instructor. Valyd managed to have me skiing within an hour, and also managed to catch me whilst remaining completely upright on the couple of occasions I lost control.

5. Pop on that Davina DVD. I think after my experience it is so important to have a certain degree of physical fitness purely because of the amount of strain you put on your body whilst skiing. Plus you will be using certain muscles you may not have used ever before.

I can honestly say I can ski now, not perfectly, but I have a really good base if I was to carry it on. If skiing isn't really your idea of fun though, Andorra is amazing for shopping. A few of my top picks are; Pyrenees. This was not dissimilar to John Lewis. Roca & Ribes for all your homeware needs, and Quars for all your frosting wants.