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Baqueira Beret Advice Please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Evening,

I'm looking for advice the best place to hire skis from in Baqueira or Vielha

I'll be staying in Viehla next to a bus stop, is it a hassle to schlep up and down with kit or am I I best hiring in Baqueria itself?

Any advice is much appreciated. Also, any restaurants or bar recommendations much appreciated.

Cheers
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44 views and no one has any advice?

Come on you lot wink
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Plenty of hire options up at 1500, from the bus stop. Otherwise it will be the case that you just put them in the under store for the bus on the drive down.
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We did a cracking 4 day boys long weekend in March 15. We stayed in the Tuc Blanc, so across the road from the bottom of the main Baquiera gondola. I seem to recall there was a ski hire shop on the ground floor underneath the hotel, just to the side. I had my own kit with me but others hired from there and were happy, one so much so had made the shop an offer and bought the skis at the end of the trip he enjoyed them so much.

For lunch on the mountains we ate twice at the San Miguel Refuge (now called El Refugi I think) on the piste between Baquiera and Bonaigua which was good (and good value, compared to French mega resort prices) on both occasions. Once at a typical self service (ie. smutty burger n fries from the counter) at the main base of the lifts in Beret, and once at a restaurant on the terrace above that self service which was really quite nice, bbq'ed cuts of meat - perfect if you get a blue sky day.

An apres ski beverage at the Moet Winter lounge, on piste between Beret heading back to Baquiera, if you've got the cash for a bottle, is a worthwhile hour at the end of the day if the sun is out. There's also usually a bit of atmosphere for an hour or so at piste closing at the bar right at the base of the piste by the Baqueira gondola.

In the evening we twice ate out at La Bordo Labato, just down the road from Tuc Blanc. Very good. However assume you will be Vielha in the evenings.
There were a couple of restaurants bordering the open space just above the Hotel Monarto, one was a fondue place, one was a grill, we ate in one of those.

The place was pretty quiet in March to be honest. We operated on the "locals" clock ! So a few drinks at 5pm, then kip until 10pm, get up, shower, go for late dinner. We popped into the nightclub "Tiffanys" on the main carpark, it was still dead at midnight. By 2am a few folk had started to turn up but it was still dead and we left.

If it snows (we had fantastic fresh snow 3 out the 4 days) make sure you are up for first lift - you have the runs almost to yourself for the first hour. Fantastic, if it's dumped powder on top of the groomed pistes.

Birreria Eth Refugi is worth popping into if you like micro brewery type beers. Tiny little bar snuck down behind Tuc Blanc, with great selection of imported beers, friendly owners/staff.
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There's ski storage and lockers at the Baqueira base station. Either below the chairlift or the gondola, I can't remember now. They were very friendly, gotta love the Spaniards.
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Thinking about a trip to Baquiera/Beret in late January. Attracted by lower cost than the Alps and better food (we were there mountain biking in October and it looked great). Last year spent a week in Barege. Flights and transfers look cheap and easy via Lourdes/rental car.

Any experience? I'm guessing few British skiers as almost no-one running trips. Any recommendations on accommodation and which village/part of a village to stay in?
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https://www.baqueira.es/noticias/971
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@b33k34. I went to Baqueira with Ski Miquel years ago and they are still offering the resort. They must be doing something right.[/b]
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I was there last January, stayed in Vielha and rented in Baqueira.

There's an Inter Sport at the base of one of the apartment block, 20m further down the hill from Boutique Moga. It's owned by an old fella, Antonio, who is probably in the region of 80. After asking a few questions about my skiing and sizing me up, he recommended some excellent skis, brand new Atomic Redster something or other and offered a very fair price without any haggling.

He's yer man.
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b33k34 wrote:
Thinking about a trip to Baquiera/Beret in late January. Attracted by lower cost than the Alps and better food (we were there mountain biking in October and it looked great). Last year spent a week in Barege. Flights and transfers look cheap and easy via Lourdes/rental car.

Any experience? I'm guessing few British skiers as almost no-one running trips. Any recommendations on accommodation and which village/part of a village to stay in?


It's good but a real ballache to get to on public transport, next time I'm hiring a car.

The food in Vielha is excellent and cheap, loads of restaurants and bars and a very large supermarket. Baqueira is pretty limited for lunch in comparison - Hotel Tuc Blanc 3 courses and a couple of glasses of wine for 20euro. Antonio, the auld ski Yoda I mentioned in the above recommendation for ski hire, seems to eat there every day.

My advice would be to stay in Vielha and take the bus up the road in the morning. Hotels are good, cheap and some have spa facilities included.

The booze is top notch, really nice wine and cheap. There's also plenty of good modern locally brewed beer.

My days of giving a surly Savoyard 25euros for a school dinner spagbol and a freshly pished pint of pisswater are over.

¡Viva España!
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Check out Ski Inspired. They run a chalet in Baqueria, slightly up the hill, one minute walk to a lift into the main system. They also run a ski school. Have stayed stayed there with a group of old crocks for the past two years. Great skiing and as above great food and booze.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
peter w wrote:
Check out Ski Inspired. They run a chalet in Baqueria, slightly up the hill, one minute walk to a lift into the main system. They also run a ski school. Have stayed stayed there with a group of old crocks for the past two years. Great skiing and as above great food and booze.


Seconded, plus they will sort you with transfers.
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Yes, found SkiInspired. I've seen a few recommendations to stay in Vielha here and elsewhere now (better food and life).

Ski Miguel's chalet gets some bad reviews now and the food in that part of Spain is excellent and cheap - I don't want to be eating crappy chalet food.

It seems to be cheaper to rent a car than use the transfer services (unless theres a charge for parking when you get there).
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Free open-air parking at all entrances to the ski area. The covered parking in Baqueira village (Ruda) is not too outrageous, and many consider it worthwhile on bad weather days.

Vielha is a real town, whereas the other villages are, well, villages. Different atmospheres, of course. The Val d'Aran is more of a restaurant place than a party place, so do explore the many excellent dining options. When it's time for a few drinks, Vielha is the better choice. But in fact there are surprisingly many drinking holes hidden round and about. "The valley gives up its charms by degrees", so says my old guide book; and I agree with that. All the villages have sights worth seeing but you have to go exploring a bit... in almost all of them, I've stumbled across nice things and thought, "should've found this earlier". It's something I like a lot about the place, in fact.
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I thought I'd update this thread for future searches.

We went as a couple for the last week of January and had a great time. Forecast was for 50+cm of snow on the Saturday/Sunday but temperature rose and it all fell as rain (right up to the top of the mountain). Sunday was grim but the sun came out the on Monday and though it was icy in places I've skied far worse. We got a decent dump at the end of the week and had two days of powder skiing (even if vis was poor).

Stayed in Viehla in the Tryp Hotel next to the car park. Rented a car at Toulouse - it's an easy 2 hour drive from there.

On the Sunday we tried the public bus - 1.10 each way per person. There's only one bus an hour, there was no shelter so coming back we were waiting in the rain (or sheltering under a bin store). The 8am would get you in 40minutes before the first lift, the 9am maybe half an hour after. If you miss that you're losing most of the morning. I'm amazed the resort doesn't run a free shuttle up and down.

We drove up to the free public car park the rest of the week and paid 20Euro each to keep our skis and boots in the storage under the lift. Parking in the underground car parks is 10 euro a day if the weather's bad and you don't want to clear snow off your car at the end of the day. Quite a few of the hotels in Viela and other villages seem to run shuttle buses - worth asking about if you're booking (and I'd say a must if you're not driving)

Viela has a stack of good places to eat. We particularly enjoyed Ertau for tapas/Pinchos and very friendly staff. Had a great meal at El molí and local craft beer at ReFu (also a branch in Baqueira 1500 for a post ski drink). We tried two places for Pizza on the main drag and both were disappointing - everything else we ate over the week was good. The limited choice in Baquira mentioned here was echoed by a few people we met staying there.

On the hills each place has 3 parts - a fast food joint (baguettes), a self service canteen and a restaurant. The restaurant are most expensive but seemed the best value for money to me - a couple of Euros more than self service got a much better meal.

The week was really quiet - sometimes we had a piste to ourselves. The weekend was a lot busier but still never had to queue for a lift for more than a minute or two (and could shortcut those using the single person queue).

We'll be going back!


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Mon 29-01-18 20:34; edited 1 time in total
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Hi @b33k34, thanks for your update (and all the other information) I'm thinking about doing exactly the same trip but over the feb half term. Reasonable flights from London plus reasonable airbnb. I wanted to ask who you used for car hire in Toulouse and did you need to specify winter tires and chains ? in addition, how did you find the drive to the resort each day ? This will be the first time driving in a ski location, on the other side of the road, possibly on snow so I'm interested to know how you found it.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks djf
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djf wrote:
Hi @b33k34, thanks for your update (and all the other information) I'm thinking about doing exactly the same trip but over the feb half term. Reasonable flights from London plus reasonable airbnb. I wanted to ask who you used for car hire in Toulouse and did you need to specify winter tires and chains ? in addition, how did you find the drive to the resort each day ? This will be the first time driving in a ski location, on the other side of the road, possibly on snow so I'm interested to know how you found it.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks djf
I hired with Avis from Toulouse, ordering winter tyres and chains. Got to the car in the rental garage, no winter tyres. That was a big issue as I was arriving at the end of a monumental three day storm so I knew roads would be difficult and I wanted to avoid using chains if I could. Went to the Avis desk in the garage and they informed me that the grade of car I booked (C, IIRC, one up from economy) did not have winter tyres and if I did want that kit I would need to downgrade to an economy car. Was a bit cheesed off, but accepted that (then had to wait 20 minutes until they found the correct size chains). Altogether unsatisfactory, but I got the impression that was standard practice for all the rental companies at Toulouse (which gets far less traffic heading to ski resorts than, say, Geneva).

Glad I made a fuss as the drive up was tricky for the final couple of miles (so much snow had fallen, plus ongoing high wind blowing even more fresh on to the roads), and without winter tyres I would have to used chains, putting them on in the dark in bad weather. Skiing was epic the following day...
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Wow @rob@rar, that sounds like a right pain in the ####. Sounds to me like they were pulling a fast one on the car, who'd only limit those tyres to economy. One of those things though, in that situation how can you possibly argue it because if they don't have the right tyres on that vehicle you have no choice. Very helpful though, never thought to actually check them if they're on your order. Thanks for the info
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Calafate Ski hire in Tanau is excellent and they have lockers. Just at the bottom of the Esquiros chair - very slow. I think there is a small car park there just by the return piste that comes over the river.
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if that's the one I'm thinking of it's where I got my skis, parking might be an issue, you aren't supposed to park opposite iirc, but there is a car park about 150m up further up the road (by up I mean it's uphill, I did it in boots once then decided against it Wink

Nice cafe next door.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Fri 24-08-18 10:34; edited 2 times in total
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Not sure when this thread posted but I have skied Baqueira a number of times. I lodge my own skis and boots , about 15 euros a week, just below the access Gondola where you can also conveniently hire and return good equipment at a similar cost to other places in the valley. There is a large free car park with free transport to the Gondola. The bus up to Baqueira from Vielha gets crowded at peak times but only costs about 1.50 euro each way. Advice would be to get to the access Gondola early on the first morning to get kit and book storage. The other good factor is a free lift pass, apart from a few euros local tax, if you are old enough!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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mike poulton wrote:
I lodge my own skis and boots , about 15 euros a week, just below the access Gondola where you can also conveniently hire and return good equipment at a similar cost to other places in the valley!
Thanks for that, I wondered how much those lockers were to rent for the week. That restaurant is now pretty good after last year's big renovation, if you're looking for a decent quality self-serve place.
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Ah yes @Little Martin I think you are right now I think about it. Large chunky barriers block it off but leave enough space to drop off only.
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Dorset Mogul wrote:
Large chunky barriers block it off but leave enough space to drop off only.
That's right. Parking seems a bit tricky around the resort from what I've seen, but the big (free?) public car park at the entry to the resort seems the best option, even if you have to take that little land-train thingy to get to the gondola at the start and end of each day.
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Yeah, after my first day near the ski rental, I parked at the bottom, we were getting there before 9 before it got busy. There are other lift served car parks around, depends how far you are willing to drive.

We had a ski locker in the bb ski school office, which is just up the road from the main gondola, not sure if they rent them out to the public though or just people on courses.
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great information all, many thanks. Selling it more and more to me. Having some issues finding any of the car hire places that will offer winter tyres. We'll be arriving on a sunday after 8 so no luck with local snow chain purchasing so that'll be needed with the car. I can select chains but no option for tyres, have emailed most of the in airport suppliers. I'm coming to conclusion Rob@rar that you were lucky to get them at all Smile

Going to google street view the comments above so I can work out the options. One of the airbnb places offers free daily transfer so thats another option too.

Cheers
djf

p.s. thanks for the info on hire. The plan is to take all our own gear but will def look at locker options.
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