While skiing and snow can make you think of the Alps and gorgeous Switzerland, skiing in Spain might be something you wouldn’t want to overlook anymore. With mountain ranges like the Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada, Cantabrian mountains, and more, you can never run out of mountains to hike or ski upon.
Most people know the country of Spain for its decadent paellas, sun-kissed beaches, arts and architectures, and its cultural influence across the history of the world. Very few are acquainted with the experience of skiing in Spain. The country surprises you with the ski experience it offers.
What Does Skiing in Spain Offer?
Snow-capped mountains border the north and south of Spain. There are dozens of ski resorts in Spain that are aided by over 300 ski lifts. The country boasts of around 1100 kilometers of snow-covered stretches of slopes. While the northwest region is adorned with golden sandy beaches in Leon and Cantabria, the Spanish ski experience is a whole different feat.
A significant reason for the popularity of skiing in Spain is the price. Spanish ski resorts or ski runs are quite cheaper than their other European counterparts. And while some countries offer only the snow experience, Spain has the whole nine yards plus skiing. Here are some skiing regions and mountain ranges to get you started to go skiing in Spain:
1) The Pyrenees
The mountain ranges of the Pyrenees share the French border that lies to the North of Spain. While the French also have some part of the Pyrenees to themselves, the Spanish Pyrenees are divided essentially into Aragonese, Catalan, and Andorran.
If the Alps are your ultimate skiing dream, the gorgeous mountains of the Pyrenees come very close. This region’s highest point, Aneto, is situated at a whopping 11000 feet, which along with the marvelous snowed slopes, will provide you with skiing that’ll you’ll never forget.
Resorts in The Pyrenees
Resorts nestled in the mountains of the Pyrenees are abundant and well kept. The ultimate skiing in Spain experience can be enjoyed here with resorts that cater to all levels of ski expertise and offer cozy stays, breathtaking views, and delicious Spanish cuisine.
The Spanish royal family’s preferred ski resort, Baqueira-Beret, is probably the largest and hugely popular ski resort. Spread across a gigantic 5300 acres, this secluded resort will successfully give you your dream ski vacation.
This resort will make you forget that you’re skiing in Spain. At the Baqueira-Beret, there are several different activities you can enjoy that include the famed downhill skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, and so much more. Here there is also a ski school that’ll give you the lessons you need and aid you in becoming a professional. You don’t have to worry about a snow shortage here due to the resort’s professionally managed slopes.
The resort has around 33 lifts that vary in difficulty levels, so there’s something for everyone. While you’re at the resort, you can explore the nearby region in Granada for the famous Spain architecture and beautiful churches.
If you’re looking for some delicious foods, there are a lot of good places around. Rafaelhoteles by La Pleta, Ticolet, Restaurante La Borda Lobato by Ron Barceló is among some of the great restaurants in Baqueira. To get here, you can take a plane to the nearby airports of Toulouse (TLS) or Barcelona (BCN) or catch a bus from Grenada, if you’re already around.
2) La Molina and Masella
The La Molina and Masella resorts can be accessed through Barcelona, and you can enjoy the trip. La Molina boasts of being home to one of Spain’s first ski lifts and one of the first ski schools.
The Masella is famous for being a place for the experienced skiers that choose to have challenging ski runs on the slopes of the Tosa d’Alp mountain. Among the two resorts, they share 132 slopes that span across an impressive 143 kilometers and have 33 ski lifts available.
Formigal is the family-friendly resort you’d love, spanning across 176 kilometers atop the Aragon Pyrenees. Close to the French border, this resort has gorgeous and well-maintained slopes and a piste of 137 kilometers and 22 lifts. The resort boasts of its highest point at about 7380 feet.
The resort itself is divided into four separate valleys, all of which can be accessed by the town that’s below the resort at about 4900 feet. There’s a little bit for everyone here with restaurants, ski schools, snow gardens, and more.
The capital city of Madrid has been a bustling hub of activities, culture, and history for Spain. Among everything that you can do in and around Madrid, skiing is an option too. The skiing in Spain experience is amplified here. Skiing resorts are abundant around the city, along with an indoor ski area known as the Snow Zone.
The Snow Zone is located inside Intu Xanadú Shopping Center and is an extensive ski school alongside providing for the tourists. Here you can go tobogganing or ride a snow bike. They also organize birthday and other parties so you can bring family and friends to a fun time.
Mountain Ranges and Resorts
The Sierra de Guadarrama or famously known as the Guadarrama mountains, are home to the resorts, Valdesqui and Navacerrada, which have beautiful ski season lasting from December till March. These resorts offer you a calming ski and one of the best one-day skiing in Spain experience so close to the capital city itself.
Valdesqui features pistes spread across 21 kilometers and an elevation of 1380 feet for your preferred quick ski run experience. Puerto de Navacerrada, on the other hand, provides you the skiing in Spain experience at an elevation of over 6000 feet and caters to beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers.
3) Sierra Nevada Mountain Range
Boasting the highest point in the entirety of Spain at 11,414 feet, Sierra Nevada is very apt to give you the authentic skiing in Spain experience. Located on the southern border and close to Morocco, Sierra Nevada has everything from beaches to skis.
The luxury of skiing in Spain, especially in Southern Spain, is that you can ski in the morning and relax by the beach at noon. The Sierra Nevada offers ski runs that are divided into four regions. The highest peak point Veleta, overlooks the Mediterranean and Rif Mountains in Morocco, which you can clearly see on a good day.
Due to some unpreventable changes, consistent snow throughout the season has been challenging to achieve, so there are snow machines set up that guarantee snow throughout and do not hamper your skiing in Spain experience.
Resorts in The Sierra Nevada
Here the ski season is in its prime from November till May. The ski station will make you feel like you’re in the Alps and not skiing in Spain, at a very scalable distance from the beach.
Sierra Nevada Ski Station
This ski resort is nestled in Pico de Veleta and boasts of holding the FIS Alpine World Ski Championship back in 1996 and lots of other professional tournaments. That should hint at the amazing quality of the slopes.
The mid-point is located at an astonishing elevation of 8780 feet, and here, there are ski rentals, restaurants and cafes, and a ski school. At the bottom of the mountains lies the quaint village of Pradollano. This town makes for a nice place to chill out after you’ve exhausted yourself from a long day of skiing in Spain expeditions. Here there are bars, restaurants, ski rental shops, souvenir shops and more.
On this resort, there are 108 kilometers of pristine ski runs that go up to about 3300 meters in elevation and are accompanied by 24 lifts, with various difficulty levels. This resort reaps the benefits of being a prime destination for skiing in Spain because the ski season spans into spring, unlike other places
Accommodations and Activities
There are a lot of different activities that you can indulge in and around the Sierra Nevada. You can hike to the top of the Mulhacen mountain and experience some of the most breathtaking views. On this national park, there are other summits you can ascend like Alcazaba, Capileira, and more. In the nearest city of Granada, you can look around and marvel at the culture and visit the palace of Alhambra, which is an example of the Moorish influence on the architecture of the city.
After you’ve exhausted yourself out with all the skiing and the endless activities, you can lodge at one of the man hotels or rental places. Some of the most popular include The El Lodge Ski and Spa, Hotel Kenia Nevada, Hotel Apartamentos Trevenque, Hotel Telecabina, HG Maribel, and so many more.
Even if you hadn’t thought about it before, now is the time to experience the uniqueness that is skiing in Spain. It may seem a little out of place for anyone hearing it for the first time, but it’s going to give you some of your most incredible skiing memories. Due to Spain’s diverse weather conditions and its proximity to the ocean, here you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding, and then go warm up at the beach. Enjoy the diverse skiing experience!