If you’re looking for a winter holiday idea, skiing is certainly up there with some of the most popular possibilities. Skiing is an extremely enjoyable activity enjoyed during the winter, once the cold weather has set in. In order to ski, you need snow. When you think of snow and skiing, resorts located in Switzerland, France, and Austria instantly spring to mind. Spain, though, is one of the last places that we think of. As it turns out, there are many hugely popular skiing resorts located in Spain, you just need to know where to look. Even though Spain is renowned for its blue skies and warm sunshine throughout the years, some parts of the country see great deals of snow during the winter months. Here’s a look at some of the most popular skiing resorts in Spain.
If you’re into your skiing, Sierra Nevada is one of the most popular skiing resorts in all of Spain. Sierra Nevada is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Granada. What makes this resort so unique is the fact that it is one of the only resorts in the country that is not located in the Pyrenees. It is actually Europe’s Southernmost resort. Situated on the slopes of Veleta, it is the highest skiing resort in Spain and is home to some of the most breath-taking vistas in the country. What makes this resort so especially popular is the fact that it is also very affordable, so if you are looking to ski on a budget, Sierra Nevada is ideal. If you happen to get your timing right, because the Med Sea is so close, you could theoretically go swimming in the sea, and then hit the slopes to ski, all on the same day. In terms of prices, you can typically expect to pay anything from 18 – 30 Euros to rent your equipment etc, depending on where you look.
Up next we have Formigal-Panticosa. This next resort is situated in the Pyrenees, close to the French border. Here, the winters are surprisingly cold, and snow is very common. If you’re looking for a quiet, chilled out, relaxed, and tranquil skiing holiday, Formigal is the resort for you. Here, you’ll escape rowdy skiers looking to hit the bars after a day on the Piste, as this resort is very popular amongst families and those looking to learn how to ski. There’s over 140km of snow-laden ski slopes, along with snow gardens and heaps of amenities, including childcare. Directly next to Formigal you’ll find the even quieter resort of Panticosa. This is a much smaller resort, with just 35km of ski slopes, but what a 35km they are! Here, skiers can choose from a number of different valleys, each one more beautiful than the last. As far as prices go for ski equipment rental, expect to pay no more than 30 Euros. In fact, it may even be closer to 20 in a lot of places.
Baqueira Beret is consistently voted one of Spain’s most popular ski resorts, and once you set eyes upon it for the first time, you can see why. If you want a swanky and upmarket ski resort favoured by the elite, this is the perfect resort for you. Baqueira Beret is a firm favourite amongst, others, the Spanish Royal Family. In fact, King Juan Carlos actually has a holiday home here, so you get an idea of just how stunning it must be. Open in the mid-1960s, the resort has gone from strength to strength. Interestingly, even though it is favoured by royalty, as well as many Hollywood A-listers, the prices aren’t actually that high, especially compared with other popular ski resorts located across Europe. Covering over 146KM across six peaks, the resort is perfect for people looking for a winter break in Catalonia. As far as price goes, yes, prices are higher than those that we’ve covered so far, but they’re far from extortionate. Full kit hire prices will generally range from around 75 Euros, to 130 Euros, depending on where you hire from, and what type of gear you hire. Considering you could be sharing the slopes with nobility, that’s not a bad price at all.
La Molina is roughly a two-hour drive from Barcelona. It is a busy resort teeming with Spanish history. It is also very unique when it comes to skiing in Spain, because it was at this very resort where Spain’s very first ski-lift was installed, and the country’s first ski-school was opened. Needless to say, in La Molina, skiing is a part of the culture. Back in 2011, the resort underwent an extensive makeover to host the 2011 World Snowboarding Championships, so the facilities and slopes here are top-class. There’s around 64km of slopes, divided into 54 individual runs. As well as this, you’ll also find a park dedicated solely to beginners to the world of skiing, and the largest half-pipe in all of the Pyrenees. If you’re looking to hire your equipment, a full day’s skiing package will set you back anything from 18 Euros to around 25 Euros on average. Needless to say, the more days you hire your kit, the cheaper the price becomes. A 5-day package for example, could cost as little as 75 Euros.
Situated in the Spanish Pyrenees, and teeming with wildlife, we have the resort of Benasque. This is a slightly unique resort, in that it is ideal for individuals that prefer cross country skiing. Here, there are a whole variety of different routes, for cross country skiers of all abilities. This really is the perfect resort for people that appreciate the great outdoors. Here at Benasque, you’ll ski though lush snow-capped Alpine forests made up of oak, birch, beech, and many more varieties of tree. For a slightly different skiing experience, Benasque is perfect. Expect to pay between 20 and 30 Euros per day on average.
Located within the Aragonese Pyrenees, Candanchu is one of Spain’s most beloved ski resorts. Why? Well, other than its natural beauty, it is actually the oldest skiing resort in the country. Situated close to the French border, this is the perfect resort for people looking to familiarize themselves with the world of skiing. With heaps of beginner Pistes, and a fair few expert ones as well, Candanchu is a no frills, does exactly what it says on the box, kind of ski resort, and we love it because of that. Prices do of course vary, but per day, expect to pay anything from around 30 Euros, up to 110 Euros, depending on what type of equipment you opt for.
Finally, last on our list we have Masella. Masella is located close to the Andorran and French borders, situated 90 minutes away from Barcelona. It’s actually quite close to La Molina so you might try skiing in both in just one vacation. It overlooks the stunning Cerdanya Valley. With 75KM of slopes, spread over 65 pistes/slopes for all levels of experience, Masella is very popular during the winter months. If you’re looking to hire your equipment, 1 day will cost around 23 Euros. Above 3 days, and you can expect to pay around 19 Euros per day, which is not too bad at all, considering the services, facilities, and your surroundings.
As you can see, skiing in Spain is very possible, so if you’re eager to hit the slopes this winter, why not give the busy and expensive Swiss Alps a miss this year, and see what the stunning country of Spain has to offer instead? Until then stay curious, plan for the next vacation and don’t stop wandering!