When you picture a classic skiing holiday, you probably see the Alps in your mind’s eye. You probably have visions of a ski resort high up in the mountains of Austria, France, or Italy. You probably don’t envisage yourself skiing in Spain. But that doesn’t mean that taking a ski holiday in Spain won’t be the best decision you make all winter.
Way down in the south of Spain, just a stone’s throw from the Costa del Sol, is the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Snow-capped from November to May, the stunning mountains here are home to a family-friendly ski resort that’s perfect for all abilities and makes for a fantastic winter break.
If you’re intrigued to find out more about a Sierra Nevada ski holiday, then read on to discover everything you need to know, from how to get there and where to stay to what to expect from one of the best places to ski in Spain.
Skiing in Spain: an introduction to the Sierra Nevada
The Sierra Nevada mountains can be found in the autonomous community of Andalusia, in the Granada region. The name literally means “mountain range covered in snow”. The peak of Mulhacén is the highest point on the Iberian Peninsula, standing at 3,470 metres.
On a clear day, from the very top of the ski resort, from which red runs lead down to the rest of the pistes which fan out across the mountains, you can see the Mediterranean and the peaks of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
The ski resort here is the perfect spot for a holiday, as it has everything you could need to keep you busy. It’s great for families, but also has a buzzing après-ski scene to keep any party lovers happy.
There’s a British-run ski school here if you’re in need of skiing or snowboarding lessons in English, and there are slopes to suit everyone.
Whether you’re a beginner wanting plenty of variety to improve your technique or are an experienced skier looking for a few thrills, skiing in Spain offers something for everyone.
Sierra Nevada ski resort: how to get there
Getting to the Sierra Nevada resort in Spain is very convenient and painless. You have the option of flying into Granada or Malaga airports. Malaga airport is especially good for finding cheap flight deals, especially in winter.
If you fly into Malaga, you could even combine your Granada Spain skiing holiday with a few days enjoying the balmy temperatures on the Costa del Sol, which stays surprisingly warm even in the middle of winter.
If you plan things well, you could even be enjoying one of the best places to ski in Spain in the morning, and then relaxing on a beach with a sangria in hand the same afternoon.
Wherever you choose to fly into, you can either rent a car, which is great for exploring the local area, or rely on public transport. There are a couple of buses a day that take you from Granada up to the ski resort itself.
Sierra Nevada resort Spain: where to stay
When you’re planning a trip skiing in southern Spain, you have two choices. If you want to dedicate the whole week to enjoying some of the best skiing in Spain, then you’ll probably want to stay in the village of Pradollano, which is at the foot of the ski resort.
The village is loosely divided into three zones, lower, middle and upper. The higher zones are slightly less easy to access, so you should take that into account when deciding where to stay. There’s a big selection of hotels and self-catering accommodation for you to choose from up here.
But, if you like the idea of discovering the secrets of the sensational city of Granada whilst also enjoying the ski season in Spain, then you should book yourself a hotel in its heart.
The ski resort is an easy 45-minute drive away from Granada, and staying in the city means you can go out in the evenings and explore the winding, historic streets.
And the best part is, you can sample the delights of Granada’s famous, excellent value tapas bars, where you get a free tapa with every drink you order. Ski during the days, and then eat and drink like royalty in the evenings.
When you need a day off from all that skiing, book a visit to the magical Alhambra, or treat yourself to a spa session at one of the traditional hammams.
Spend time enjoying the weather, which is likely to be wonderfully warm during the day, even when you can see the snow-capped peaks of the mountains.