January 21st is World Snow Day, which has been a special date on the calendar of everyone who loves mountains since 2007, when the International Ski Federation proposed it as the date for promoting the extensive range of opportunities available for enjoying the white stuff. The date is celebrated simultaneously at ski resorts all over the world and, as skiing is the sovereign sport of the snow-capped peaks, it plays a large part in the celebrations, along with snowboarding and other sports undertaken in close contact with the mountains. Not only does World Snow Day herald a weekend for experiencing and finding out all about winter sports, but it also provides an opportunity to explore iconic ecotourism destinations and the stunning beauty of the landscape surrounding the ski slopes.
Ski resorts reveal their best offers for having fun in the snow
World Snow Day 2018 looks beyond skiing, with the aim of encouraging children aged between 4 and 14 to try out winter sports and easing all those who love the mountains to participate in various events and activities on ski slopes all over the world. So this date marks the starting point for a perfect skiing holiday where special and exclusive experiences are guaranteed.
In fact, in Spain AEMET (la Agencia Estatal de Meteorología / Government Meteorological Agency) has joined in this year’s celebration and is planning events to raise awareness of the benefits of snow sports and the need to safeguard the environment in all the country’s ski resorts. So we have selected the most spectacular destinations in which to enjoy World Snow Day and all the packages focusing on a week in the mountains.
Skiing in the Aragon Pyrenees is always a great idea
The December cold front that has swept across almost the whole of Spain has its positive side: all the ski resorts which were threatened with having to postpone the start of their season have for weeks been cloaked in an enviably thick layer of snow. Among the favourite destinations for skiing and fun, the slopes of the Aragon Pyrenees are in perfect condition for snowboarding, skiing, snowshoe trails or sledging, or for enjoying unmissable landscapes and mountain villages such as Boltaña, an exclusive hideaway located between the Pyrenees and the river Ara.
At Candanchú, Formigal and Panticosa over 80% of the slopes are open to visitors, and various activities have been planned for the eagerly awaited World Snow Day; these include building a giant snowman and the expansion of their children’s play and freestyle facilities with new attractions. These slopes will also offer skiing and snowboarding courses for beginners at the best price as well as ski pass and equipment hire packages for a skiing trip to suit all budgets.
Apart from the special offers and discounts to encourage people to visit the mountains, the resorts are preparing special cross-country skiing routes, snowshoe routes and, in the case of Candanchú, one of the star events of the season: the Candanchú evening time trial. On January 20th, from 7.00 pm onwards, visitors can enjoy a night-time skiing event. To build up participants’ strength for this event, the popular ski resort is offering a dinner of mini pizzas, hot dogs and rolls to the music of a Redbull DJ on the Terrace of the Pista Grande Cafeteria.
Skiing holidays in the Sierra Nevada for a complete getaway
If there is one outstanding winter sports destination in Spain, it’s Granada. There, the mass that is the Sierra Nevada provides over 100 kilometres of slopes suitable for skiing, while below them the Moorish city offers various cultural options including a visit to the Alhambra and the Gardens of the Generalife or to the Arab Baths, or enjoying a tapas trail or a wander through the city’s narrow streets lined with shops selling local crafts.
For World Snow Day, the Sierra Nevada Resort is offering a special package which includes classes, equipment and a ski pass for the beginners’ ski lifts for € 25 per person. Children’s activities are also planned, along with sporting competitions, a night-time descent for clubs, and children’s films. The Granada resort is also entering the most eagerly awaited week for lovers of the mountains with over 60 kilometres of ski-able routes, slopes in all areas and at all levels, and new modules in the Sulayr snowpark. So nothing, really.
Other activities planned for the 2018 version of this event are the warming-up session led by experts in preparation for the day’s skiing, an exhibition of snow-grooming machinery, and one of the classic events of children’s skiing in the Sierra Nevada, el Ruralito, which will see 150 children aged between 6 and 12 years compete under the banner of World Snow Day. To take advantage of any of these packages, and to enjoy a day’s skiing with every comfort and convenience without giving up the city lifestyle, the perfect solution is to stay in a hotel such as the Barceló Granada Congress which offers easy access to both the mountains and the city, as well as menus and thermal treatments designed to pamper you from the moment you hang up your boots.
Original ideas for fun in the snow in the Catalan Pyrenees
One of mainland Spain’s ski resorts to take the date most seriously is Baquèira-Beret, which has launched a special offer for beginners and their companions which will be repeated every weekend for the rest of January, and which aims to encourage those who have never tried skiing to discover their new favourite sport. The offer includes alpine skiing lessons with Era Escola (in groups of 8-10 people) for Saturday and Sunday in the beginners’ area at Beret – the second day includes a ski pass for the beginners’ ski lifts – in addition to equipment hire for both days and meals at the resort (€ 82 per person). Moreover, veteran skiers who have decided to spend World Snow Day on the slopes with a friend who is a novice will be rewarded with a discount on the cost of their daily pass.
Another resort in the Catalan Pyrenees which has pulled out all the stops to offer skiing holidays tailor-made to meet the needs of every visitor is La Molina, easily accessible and with a layout that all the family can enjoy. For World Snow Day 2018, the resort will open a slope for time trials, free games and prizes for all participants. What is more, Cabirol Minifreestyler – the ski and snowboarding tricks practice area – is offering a 15% discount on ski passes (lessons and games included), and the competition in this area will be open to all juniors aged up to 14.