Spain is the second largest country in Europe after Switzerland by the number of mountains. In high season these mountains attract millions of tourists. Magnificent ski trails and services of high level combined with some breathtaking landscapes – what else is needed to have unforgettable winter holiday? In Spain there are 32 ski resorts. A holiday in any of them will make you very excited, and our ranking will help you to make your choice.
Baqueira is the best place in the Catalan Pyrenees, a favorite ski resort not only for Spanish people, but also for French citizens, who prefer to spend holiday here, not in the French Pyrenees. Baqueira is very fashionable place. There are as many four- and five-star hotels as stars in the sky. You can only reach Baqueira by car driving in a mountains, surrounded by waterfalls and narrow canyons. The road is very beautiful; and the surrounding mountains are the highest of the Pyrenees, the height is up to 3000 meters. It is 285 km far from Barcelona and 166 km far from French Toulouse.
Skiers of all levels can find here the most suitable tracks. Today there are 99 tracks: 6 green, 41 blue, 37 red and 15 black. The ski resort in these beautiful places was founded 60 years ago. Currently the name Baqueira-Beret unifies in one infrastructure 50 small hidden villages. All towns have managed to preserve their original architecture. The only thing that has changed is that now old wooden houses, churches and museums are accompanied with modern ice palaces, theaters and shopping centers. You can stay in any of numerous hotels and apartments as well as in one of two paradors. A special topic in Baqueira is gastronomy. There are over 200 restaurants. The ski season begins in late November – early December and ends in mid-April.
It is the southernmost ski destination in Europe. It is only an one hour’s drive from Costa del Sol; and you are in the mountains from where if the weather is clear you can observe the Mediterranean Sea, as even the coast of Morocco which is already in Africa!
Sierra Nevada was founded long time ago, but it has become famous only since 1996, when the World Cup of winter sports was held here. Since then, Sierra Nevada has been constantly hosting worlds and European championships in alpine skiing.
The number of tracks in Sierra Nevada increases from year to year incredibly fast. Five years ago there were only 45, and nowadays there are 120! Among them you can find 18 green trails for beginners, 42 blue, 53 red and 7 black. Each track has its advantage, all skiers feel happy no matter which level do they have. There are also tracks for night skiing, especially for lovers of extreme sports. The season in Sierra Nevada despite the southern location lasts from late November to late April.
The downtown of this area is considered to be the city Pradollano, a place for endless fun. Numerous shops, bars, wineries, restaurants, unique architecture of hotels, bright illumination — all this creates a festive and unique atmosphere, that is so typical for all European ski resorts. Restaurants and nightclubs are open all night, all places of entertainment are within 300-400 meters, so you can easily move from one to another. After a hard day on the slopes, you can relax in the entertainment center, spa and a fitness center with pool, sauna, jacuzzi, solarium or Turkish baths. You can also spend a couple of days of your vacation in Sierra Nevada forsightseeing. For example, go to Granada (just 32 km far), it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, where you can enjoy the views of the Moorish palace Alhambra and the Generalife gardens. You can also take a trip to the capital of Andalucía Sevilla (250 km), Malaga (130 km) or Córdoba (166 km).
It is one of the most popular ski resorts in the Catalan Pyrenees, which is situated in 14 km from Andorra. It is also the oldest resort in Spain, skiers have discovered La Molina more than 100 years ago. However, the current ski resort was equipped in 1943 and since then has been developed and improved. Today the skiers are very glad to come here, you can even see here the king of Spain, due to the most modern facilities and well developed infrastructure. Snowboard World Cup was held here in 2011.
In La Molina are located about 54 tracks of 61 km length: 13 green, 16 blue, 18 red and 7 black. Many trails have an approximate length of 6 km. 80% of them go through the forest. The ski resort is more suitable for beginners and for a family holiday.
In the nearby town Alps (8 km from La Molina) you can fly in a hot air balloon, a glider or a sports plane to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pyrenees from the air.
You can stay in various hotels and guest houses in the mountains and in nearby towns Alp, Puigcerdà, Berga and Bolvir (here are situated the most luxurious hotel in the area, the former summer palace Torre del Remei). Here you can also experience a unique gastronomic pleasure: food in the local restaurants is delicious and wine is more than excellent.
The ski season lasts from late November to late March.
A 16 km far from La Molina, is situated another resort Masella, both of them together are forming a ski area known as Alpes-2500. Masella is in our ranking due to the most challenging slopes in Spain for extreme skiing that can be found here. Here come skiers, who doesn’t need help of instructors anymore. Local coaches joke says: ‘They come here to ski and to Baqueira to show off’.
Masella has the longest ski slope in western Pyrenees, it is called Dues Estacions mas La Plana and it has 7 kilometers in length. The resort is also perfect for snowboarding, snow park here is equipped with the latest fashion trends. Here you can find 64 tracks, most of which pass through the forest, there are 9 green (so that beginners can also accompany the pros), 24 blue, 22 red and 9 black. As for luxury accommodation, there is no problem: four and five stars hotels here are no less luxurious than in fashionable Baqueira. After conquering the mountain peaks you can easily relax in spa centers, fitness clubs, golf clubs and swimming pools, even with thermal water.