Opinion: A week on the pistes is sweet but there's no place like home
We enjoyed our best family holiday (so far!) over the midterm when we went skiing to Andorra.
We were all first-timers and thus quite apprehensive. We knew so little that we didn't even know what we didn't know.
What we had done was book an all-in package with the Irish-owned company Topflight and it worked out well. Skiing is not a cheap holiday but, once booked, there isn't much more expense.
We picked Andorra because it was the least expensive option - about two thirds of the cost of elsewhere - and also because it's supposed to be well geared towards beginners, which it was.
Just over half the size of Louth, Andorra is a land-locked 'co-principality' - the world's only such entity - being governed by two 'princes' from its bordering countries, the President of France and Spain's Bishop of Urgell.
A prosperous tax haven, Andorra has a population of 85,000 but every year welcomes 10m tourists, 7m of those for skiing.
It is comprised almost entirely of mountains, the Pyrenees, with Coma Pedrosa the highest peak, at 2,942m. Average elevation is almost 2,000m, nearly twice that of Carrantuohill. Only 2pc of the land area is agricultural and this is mainly used to grow tobacco.
Andorra has no international airport and no train line so getting to Arinsal was a 3.5-hour bus journey from Barcelona.