Skiing in Sierra Nevada: the perfect winter getaway
Sierra Nevada is a true paradise for people who love the snow. If you’re looking to glide down some excellent slopes under the sun, then this is the place. This is one of the most popular ski stations for Europeans and Spaniards alike because the snow season, which tends to begin in early November and end around the middle of May, is longer than at other destinations.
For a full day of skiing or snowboarding, it’s best to arrive early. Keep in mind that weekends and public holidays are busier and everything takes longer—there is more traffic, longer equipment rental queues, more people, etc.—, so it’s always better to go on a weekday.
The ski station is located in an area called Pradollano at an elevation of 2,100 metres in the heart of the Penibaetic System housed in Sierra Nevada National Park. Most of the ski station is on the northern slope of Pico del Veleta, one of the highest peaks in the Iberian Peninsula. The total slope length covers 105 kilometres on 115 pistes of varying degree of difficulty: there are 40 blue, 16 green, 50 red and 9 black. The station also has several cross-country skiing tracks and special snowshoe routes.
Visitors can also check out the large freestyle park, Sulayr, which has 70 obstacles and a halfpipe. Weather permitting, there is also night skiing at the station on Saturdays.
Sierra Nevada features an area called Borreguiles, where visitors can make their way up the mountain to enjoy the snow without skis. There is a special pass for this activity, which is cheaper than a regular ski pass.
A ski pass must be purchased in order to ski at Sierra Nevada and the price is approximately €45, depending on the season. Admission is free for children under the age of 6 years, although a €3 deposit must be paid. The price of a ski pass for minors up to 16 years is €30 per day.
The station has 15 official ski and ride schools with a total of more than 400 professionals on staff. Certain packages include the ski pass, equipment rental and a private lesson.
Visitors who only wish to spend the day in the Borreguiles area can purchase a special pass that costs €17.
Another option is to sign up for the Sierra Nevada Club card that includes options for ski passes, lodging, equipment rentals and private or group lessons. This card is a great way to skip the queues and take advantage of special deals, and it can be topped up just minutes before hitting the slopes.
One of the reasons why Sierra Nevada Ski Station is a top pick is because it has a longer ski season than other resorts. It is the first to open, usually in early November, and operates throughout winter until the first Sunday in May, when the season ends.
Snow reaches the highest skiable level at 3,300 metres above sea level as well as the lowest point at an elevation of 2,100 metres.
Although Sierra Nevada is a skier and snowboarder paradise, other activities are also available in this mountain range. The Pradollano area has lodging and restaurants for visitors to kick back after a long day in the snow.
Additional activities are also available at the ski station, such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Sierra Nevada also has something for adrenaline junkies, such as tandem paragliding or paraskiing over the mountains with an expert pilot.
Special activities for kids include ice skating (€7.50 per hour) and visiting the children’s recreational area where they can try archery, skibobbing and sit-skiing. As a new activity, kids between the ages of 5 and 12 years can drive children’s snowmobiles in a closed circuit for a price of €10 (8 minutes). In addition, the Hoya de la Mora area has a hill for sledding, which kids love.
Adults and children alike agree that Sierra Nevada is the perfect destination for a winter getaway. And if you travel to Granada during the ski season, be sure to set aside a day at the ski station for guaranteed fun.
Information of interest
- The ski resort has several public car parks, so getting here by car is one of the best options. Depending on the season, the price is approximately €20 for a full day. Keep this alternative in mind because street parking can be scarce.
- It is also possible to get here by bus since there is a regular line from the city centre and the roundtrip price is €9. The first bus leaves Granada at 8:00 AM and the last bus departs at 6:30 PM. This is definitely worth taking into consideration if you plan on staying in the city and spending a day on the slopes.