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Archive for December, 2018

Ski Resorts in Spain

Spain is not usually a place that is associated with skiing – rather countries such as France, Austria and Switzerland. However, due to the Pyrenees Mountains ideally located on Spain’s border and the high Sierra Nevada in the southern region, there are in fact a variety of snow sport locations to choose from! Here are five of Spain’s best ski resorts definitely worth visiting this winter.

1) Aramón Cerler (Huesca-Aragon)

For the third consecutive year, Aramón Cerler has been chosen as the Best Spanish Ski Resort at the World Ski Resorts awards! The Aramón Cerler resort is the highest Spanish ski resort in the Pyrenees, reaching 2,630 metres at its famous Gallinero summit. Situated in the Benasque Valley, the resort is surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty with more than 60 peaks over 3,000 metres high. The resort is divided into 3 areas which contain 56 slopes of each different level, meaning there is a slope to suit everyone depending on their experience. Cerler is also very family friendly, with zones specifically designed for kids’ activities. Other winter activities that guests can enjoy here are Nordic dog sleighs, tobogganing, snowshoe routes and snowboarding.

The après-ski activities at this resort are equally as great. If you are looking for a party, you will love Cafetería Remáscaro, where there is live music from DJs every single weekend. Remáscaro also offers great breakfasts and meals, and even mojitos and other cocktails. There are also plenty of après-ski activities in the beautiful surrounding Benasque Valley. Be sure to visit some of the local villages, try tapas and other local gastronomy in one of its many restaurants, spend a day shopping or have a drink and enjoy live music in a local bar.

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Cerler Resort

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Cerler Snowpark

2) La Molina and Masella (Girona-Catalonia)

Located in the Pyrenees Mountains and just 150km from Barcelona, twin resorts La Molina and Masella together form the Alp 2500 resort. They sit side by side and between them offer more than 130km of slope runs. La Molina is actually Spain’s oldest ski resort and home to the country’s first ski lift, which was installed in 1943. It is home to a large terrain park, and with easier runs, it is the ideal resort for beginners as well as snowboarders. If you are looking for something more challenging, Masella – situated on the Tosa d’Alp Mountain – is more popular with advanced skiers due to its amount of zigzagging downhill runs.

Thanks to the network of lights which illuminate Masella’s 13 main slopes, skiers can enjoy some nocturnal skiing. Masella is actually known as the capital of night skiing in the Pyrenees! There are also many non-ski snow activities available, which include snow tubing, snowshoeing, gondola rides, snowmobile rides and more. In terms of après-ski activities, this resort is definitely more relaxed and more suited to those who enjoy a quieter evening. Guests can relax in the Chill Out area, as well as enjoying a delicious meal in one of the resort’s restaurants or one of those in the surrounding area.

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Alp 2500 Resort

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Night Skiing at Alp 2500 Resort

3) Formigal (Huesca-Aragon)

The Formigal ski resort is located just 170km from the city of Zaragoza in the Tena Valley of the Aragon Pyrenees, close to the French border. The resort provides over 140km of slopes, with a range of difficulty levels to suit any type of skier. However, as a quieter, more laid-back resort; Formigal is particularly favoured by families and beginners because of how well it facilitates younger skiers. The resort is home to a Snow Garden for children, where they can take their first ski lessons with seasoned professionals.

Other activities in the Tena Valley include walking routes, tobogganing, animal observation and even spa treatments. Although still a resort enjoyed by families, the après-ski activities and nightlife here are second to none. If you want to experience a true Spanish fiesta in the Pyrenees Mountains, you will love Formigal’s après-ski bars. The Marchica bar in this resort is currently considered the best après-ski bar in Spain and one of the best in Europe, with parties beginning every night at 5pm and going on until the sun goes down. Also be sure to try some true Spanish gastronomy in the little villages of the Tena Valley.

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Formigal Resort

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Marchica Bar, Après-ski at Formigal

4) Baqueira-Beret (Lleida-Catalonia)

Spain’s biggest and most popular ski resort is located in the Val d’Aran area of the Pyrenees, around 200km north of Barcelona. This extremely impressive resort offers over 80km of ski runs to accommodate for any level, and even includes a number of black runs to challenge even the most experienced skier. Skiing at Baquiera-Beret is also known to be a favourite hobby of members of the Spanish royal family. As well as traditional skiing, winter sports lovers can also enjoy dog-sledding, snowshoeing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and more.

At Baqueira-Beret, the après-ski activities are considered some of the best in the country and there is something to suit any taste. If you want to experience its glamourous nightlife, you can enjoy a bottle of champagne on the terrace of the Moët Winter Lounge, the most luxurious part of the whole resort. Surrounding the resort you’ll also find many traditional villages to visit, filled with local architecture and beautiful Romanesque churches such as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lleida and the Church of Sant Llorenç.

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Baqueira-Beret Resort

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Moët Winter Lounge at Baqueira-Beret

5) Navacerrada (Community of Madrid)

As this resort is located just 50km from Madrid, Navacerrada is very popular with day-trippers coming from the capital. The resort is split into two sections: the upper part which is for intermediate and advanced skiers, and the lower part which is suited to beginners and those who prefer an easier run. This resort also offers guests a ski jump and a slalom run. Due to its smaller size in comparison to other resorts in Spain, there are almost no queues for the lifts if you go during the week. However as it enjoys some of the best skiing conditions and an abundance of untouched powder, it can get quite busy at the weekend. After you’ve spent the day skiing, there are many towns and places in the surrounding areas which are also worth visiting, such as: La Granja, Segovia, El Escorial, Rascafría, Fuenfría, etc.

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Navacerrada Resort

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View of Navacerrada Mountains from Segovia

6) Sierra Nevada (Granada-Andalucía)

Moving towards the south of Spain, Sierra Nevada is located between the city of Granada in the Andalucía region and the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the only few Spanish ski resorts which is not located in the Pyrenees and also happens to be Europe’s southernmost ski resort. The resort offers over 100km of alpine ski runs, which cater for all levels, from beginner right through to the most experienced skiers. The ski school here provides beginners with lessons from expert staff, as well as snow gardens where children can play and begin learning to ski. Other snow activities here include snowshoeing, guided snow tours and snowmobile rides.

The resort’s idyllic location means that it is just a short drive from the Mediterranean coast, making it one of the few places in the world where you can ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon! Better yet, after a day of skiing, visitors can unwind with a treatment at the resort’s spa. Here you will also find a variety of cafés and restaurants, as well as some hotels in the surrounding area. If you have some free time amongst all of the skiing, a day trip to the historic city of Granada is highly recommended to experience a true taste of Andalusian culture and gastronomy.

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Sierra Nevada Resort

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View of Sierra Nevada Mountains from Granada

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to follow the Across Spain Travel Chronicles blog for more posts about Spain’s most beautiful locations and rich culture.

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Map Locating Ski Resorts

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