Tariq Ahmed
SF Bay Area, California

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Mountain Biking

Tips for mountain biking at Vallnord bike park in Andorra

July 12, 2022

Up until recent, I had not heard of this small country of Andorra, which is located in the Pyrenees alps, a mountainous region between France and Spain. However my amazing wife organized a mountain biking birthday trip and scheduled some time to hang out in Andorra.

Andorra is a country almost master planned to be a collection of ski/hiking/biking towns since the one thing they are in abundance of are huge mountains (11,000ft territory). Quite a unique place with breathtaking views.

Vallnord vs. Pal Arinsal vs. La Massana

Took me awhile to understand the relationship here.

  • Vallnord is the bike park, it is located in an area called Pal Arinsal
  • You can get to Vallnord by taking a Gondola from the near by town of La Massana, or driving directly to Vallnord
  • I drove to La Massana and took the Gondola up – but in retrospect, driving there is the way to go because there’s free parking and a bike rental place right at the Vallnord village (prior to that it was very unclear what the parking and rental situation was so I played it safe)

Approach 1 – La Massana

La Massana is a very tiny ski resort town where the Gondola station goes right into the town center, and then you take the Gondola and your bike up to Vallnord.


  • There’s a parking garage right beside the Gondola/ticket station, and a short walk to the Commencal bike rental place

Lift Passes

  • Now that you’ve parked, walk out and above the parking garage is the ticket center
  • The ticket center is across the road from the Gondola which sells the lift passes, but I found out after you can also get the passes inside the Gondola station as well
Gondola Station is on the other side of that bridge/walkway

Bike Rental

  • Now that you have your lift pass, time to get your bike
  • Commencal is the easiest option I could find
    • Commencal is HQ’d in Andorra and a huge sponsor of Vallnord, so they’re really the main game in town
    • They have a location right beside the Gondola, as well as another location at the Vallnord bike park village
    • There’s Single Track Safari as well – but they rent out Commencal’s as well, so might as well just go straight to the source
  • I went with the La Massana option – in either case you can reserve your bike here, which is quick and easy. Select the “Commencal Shop La Massana” option
Commencal in La Massana
Commencal in La Massana
Got me a Commencal Supreme DH

Take the Gondola

  • After you’ve got your bike, push your bike up ramp on the stairs, and the Gondola will take you directly to the park

Have to push your bike up a ramp on the stairs

Approach 2 – Park at Vallnord


  • Vallnord has a huge parking lot – it’s an extra 30 minutes from La Massana, but it’s free

Lift Passes

  • There’s a ticket booth at the Vallnord village, making it easy to get a lift pass

Bike Rental

  • Right at the village is another Commencal bike rental place – so when reserving your bike online, select the “Commencal Shop Pal” (they should rename it to Commencal Shop Vallnord to be more obvious)
Note the Commencal rental place

Note – one minor drawback of this approach is you wouldn’t do the one run that goes all the way down to the town of La Massana as your final run; which is a fun and challenging ride. Can certainly do that at any time, but you’re taking the Gondola back up to get to your car.

Vallnord Village

View of the village looking down from a trail
Kids pump track

Difficulty Level

  • Here’s a high resolution PDF map
  • There are a few greens, and many blues
  • The blues (intermediate) are what I would call borderline blacks at a Whistler/Northstar – they have large jumps, sudden significant drops (sometimes blind), and the terrain is like riding on broken porcelain tiles (technical with low traction)
  • I didn’t try the greens, but my take is this isn’t an ideal place for a beginner
  • Now if you’re intermediate and especially an advanced rider, there are a lot of interesting options for you!

Trail Head

At 10am, I didn’t see anyone riding, and what seemed like the only place to go was roped off, so wasn’t sure where to start. By 10:30am it opened up, and it starts here:


  • It was hot and dry when I was there, and about 85F in town
  • However because Vallnord is at such a high elevation, the temp was much cooler (high 60s/low 70s)

Food and Water

  • There isn’t really free water – however at the upper level where the kids pump track is, there’s a crepe booth and they have free water. I think it’s meant for paying customers, but I grabbed some water anyways (Europe I’ve found in general is unusually invested in single use water bottles, which I try to minimize – for example most restaurants have no idea what I’m talking about when I ask for just tap water)
  • Recommendation: Bring a hydration pack with your own water
  • There is a fast food booth

Other Activities

  • Vallnord does a really good job at providing other activities for little kids – they had a whole bouncy house thing going on, the Fire Dept was there teaching kids about firefighters, and other kids activities. They actually have an onsite day care as well.
  • Ziplining
  • Rock climbing


Hope that helps!



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