Standing at the top of a red run so steep we couldn’t see over the edge, I looked at my eight-year-old son and said “What do you reckon?” My husband and older son had already disappeared over the edge in a spray of powder and now it was just the two of us under a bright blue sky in the silence of the snow-covered Pyrenees. “Let’s do it, Mummy,” came the horrifying reply. So swallowing my terror, we inched over the top and began our nerve-racking descent. It wasn’t elegant, a ski or two may have come off, but eventually we made it in one piece and the sheer joy of schussing the last few hundred yards down to join the others made us laugh out loud. It was the defining moment of our family ski holiday in Andorra – our first time in the tiny principality between France and Spain, and the moment I realised we were definitely coming back. Jointly governed by the French president and a Spanish bishop, Andorra is bigger than the Isle of Wight but smaller than the Isle of Man, and the only ‘country’ in the world where Catalan is the official language. We’d never skied there before, but its reputation for family-friendly slopes, English-speaking ski instructors and the fact it’s relatively budget-friendly meant we couldn’t wait. There was also a super friendly Kids’ Club – perfect for parents keen to make the most of the glamorous bar for those essential early evening gin and tonics – plus a top notch buffet service for breakfast and dinner, with smiley multilingual staff. Our children loved the buffet, and not just for the churros con chocolate they fell for, but also because they felt brave enough to try things they usually wouldn’t at home – at one point I saw my 11-year-old tucking into octopus. What we really loved about the hotel was the smart ski hire shop in its basement and adjacent heated ski boot room. As anyone who has taken children skiing before knows, getting the boots and skis sorted on day one can be a nightmare. This ultra-relaxed set up made getting kitted out a breeze. It was also large enough to ensure everyone had space to get their boots on in the morning, before hopping onto one of the non-stop free shuttle buses to the lift. But it was the skiing that was the absolute stand out. Andorra, once slightly looked down upon by those who considered themselves pro skiers, has spent a fortune on its skiing infrastructure, resulting in a vast network of world class slopes that make it an obvious choice for the World Cup. There are more than 200 kilometres of runs, all of them beautifully signposted, most of them wide and sweeping, and a network of sleek snow cannons to ensure that even if there’s no snowfall – unlikely at this great height – you’ll be guaranteed excellent snow. There’s a fabulous network of pretty much queue-free lifts to get up them and the skiing is so pretty, with tree-covered slopes, little lakes, and a blue, blue sky – with more than 300 sunny days a year, Andorra is the sunniest ski resort in Europe. The best thing, though, of all, was the ski school: Grandvalira Ski School has English speaking instructors, many of them Brits out there for the season, which made our children’s week. The instructors were hands on, fully engaged with the children, and went out of their way to make every day fun. Our boys loved Lucas, who teased them all day long as he led them on mile after mile of exhilarating skiing. Published in Daily Times, March 15th 2019.