• I am going to Arinsal in Feb and landing at Gerona airport. I am getting a hire car to drive to Arinsal as part of my holiday package. Has anybody done this before? How long is it likely to take and am I likely to need snow chains?


    • Driving from Girona will take around 4 to 4 1/2 hours with stops etc. Snow chains will depend on the weather, so keep an eye on the snow report and weather forecast closer to the time. You may be able to rent them with the car, but if you need them whilst you're here you can buy them from Andorra la Vella for less than €10!
    • I drive every year from any of Barcelona, Girona or Reus in February. I have never needed snow chains, but there are certain routes that could well need them as it can be mountainous and windy.
      The way I normally go from Gerona Airport is Join the C25 and continue on this road until the C17/E09 then follow signs to tunel de cadi, then la seu de urgell,then andorra.
      It appears longer on the map and any route planners you may use, but it does avoid the very windy mountain roads. The only down side is you have to go through the tunel de cadi which has a toll. Total journey is about 3 1/2 hours.
      Most route planners say to join the c16 at vic towards ripoll. The winding roads can make some feel sick.
      If you have not driven before when in Andorra la vella look for signs to La Massana instead of Arinsal as they are easier to find. Once at La Massana just continue onto Arinsal
      Will be in Arinsal 15-22 Feb was going to Gerona until Ryan air changed me flight time to later in the day so now am flying to reus. In my opinion the easiest way into Andorra.
      Have a great trip.
    • Thanks for the info. I will be using Sat Nav so hopefully I should be OK. Google Maps generally follows your route but goes further south towards Barcelona before picking up the E9/C16. How much is the Toll tunnel and do you need the correct money to chuck in a hopper or do you pay an attendant? We will also be there 15 - 22 Feb.


    • i believe the toll is between 9 and 10 euros. There is an attendant and you do not need the correct money. there is also services there so you can stop for refreshments/ comfort break if necessary.

      Put the route in your Sat nav now if taking your own one. If anyine is prone to altitude or travel sickness you will want to avoid the road from Vic towards Ripoll as the costant turning round the bends can make you feel sick. The best route is up the E09 and easier to navigate. Also buy a road map at the airport (or before) of the Catalan area as if a road is closed Sat navs are not always known for taking you down the best route, because if a main road is closed because of snow for example, you may have to go back on yourself if the Sat nav takes you down a very minor road which may not be open either.

      Enjoy your stay.

    • At the moment the roads in Arinsal have got a bit of snow on them and I would recommend at least snow tyres but to carry chains as well. The forecast is for more snow too. The comu (council) have their snowploughs out but the way it's been coming down they've not been abel to keep the roads completely clear.
    • I'm arriving at Reus on Friday (Ryanair permitting!) and looking at the map on Google it suggests the C14 all the way up through Tarrega and Artesa. It looks like a minor road though, will that the way to come?

      I guess I'll need snow chains too looking at the pictures(!) and the car hire firm don't have any. Will I be able to buy some at a garage en route or is that just wishful thinking?

      Glad to get any advice I can, and thanks again for the great website, booked my equipment through here seamlessly, handy to pay on PayPal too (good exchange rate).
    • I'm not too sure of the road numbers, but the way I come is a fairly minor road in places and goes through a few towns along the way. As for chains, they are a must at the moment - I just cleared over a foot off my car and now it's snowing even heavier! The roads are drivable but without chains it would be extremely dangerous. You should be able to pick some up from a garage along the way, but maybe ask around at other car hire places at the airport before you set off just to be on the safe side.
    • Andy, I am doing the same journey on Sunday. It is the C-14 all the way. there is a part near the start of your journey where the road loops round and you are on another road fora very short while, you take the slip road about 2km getting back on the C-14. When you reach the A2 motorway which you pass under there are signs to Andorra one going right the other left. Take the left option and continue on the C14 towards Agramunt. there is also a petrol station at this junction which is handy for a toilet stop.
      The c-14 continues through ponts which is a nice village with a market set between the trees. Continue straight through this town. Eventually you come to a T junction on the C-14 which you need to turn right on. Continue on to La Seu Urgell and at the big roundabout take the 3rd exit towards Andorra. Continue into Andorra La Vella head towards las Massana. Make sure you go per tunnell beacuse if the snow is still in the town there is a steep hill to climb with traffic lights on them.
      When you reach La Massana you will see the red cable cars going up. the road bears right and you need to do a left when the road forks, followed by a right. Arinsal is about 5-6 mins from here.

    • We're arriving the week after next but drinving from Barcelona. Anyone know if any of the car hire companies in the airport provide snow chains? Have looked online and none mention them. I remember last year when we did it, the company we used didn't have any, but it didn't matter then. Looks like they're vital at the moment. Can't remember who it was we used so as I can avoid booking with them this year.
    • Avis do them. I have a car booked as part of a package and it includes snow chains. They aren't cheap though, £60.00 for the week!!! I am driving from Girona but I have just looked on their site and Barcelona have chains also. Child booster seats are £53.00 each per week, daylight robbery. We are hoping to get ours in one of the cases. Best of luck with the driving, I daredn't show my wife the snow reports from the weather link, she would have a fit!!

    • Thanks for that. Shame it's Avis as they're not the cheapest. Since posting I have found another that does do them and that's 121carhire.com and they appear a lot cheaper. £36 for the chains. £200 for a people carrier as opposed to £265 from Avis. Other alternative is to fly to Reus and pick up a Freelander. Now that seems like a nice option (even if you do have to go with skanky Ryan Air to get there!!)
    • I've just driven to La Seu just over the border into Spain and the roads were fine. There's hardly any snow at all out of Andorra, but plenty piled up at the sides of the road in between Andorra la Vella and Arinsal. The central car park is pretty dodgy at the moment so drive carefully if you park in there!
    • Hi Steve thanks for the update. Does that mean (hopefully) I will not need to put the snow chains on? I have a set booked with my hire car but I have never put any on before but watching a couple of online videos it doesn't look too difficult. As they are being supplied with a hire car in Spain I cannot practice before I set off. Can't wait now my two boys are raring to go!!

    • Thanks to Andorra Friend, our drive up and back was easy and straightforward, the traffic a bit heavy through Andorra La Vella but not unexpected.
      As for Snow chains, didn't need them in the end, but I bought some anyway as you are supposed to have them available (as well as a triangle and hi-vis jacket). Found them for sale in the first garage I tried, the Total garage on the right as soon as you cross the border, for the princely sum of E21. Bargain!
      Would definitely do the journey again, anyway, painless and cost effective way of getting the family away in half term.